Purple Waffle plants are herbaceous perennials that are native to Java, Malaysia, and India. They are a well-known prostrate cultivar with passionate green leaves.
They belong to the blooming plant family, Acanthaceae that also include other species like Alphelandra, Justicia brandegeena, and Crossandra infundibuliformis.
These perennials are getting more popular nowadays since they are very easy to grow inside homes and offices.
- 1 Purple Waffle Plant Scientific Name, Common Size & Growth
- 2 Purple Waffle Plant Benefits and Uses
- 3 Purple Waffle Quick Planting Guide
- 4 How to Grow Purple Waffle Plant with Cats
- 5 Tips to Find the Best Purple Waffle Plant for Sale
Purple Waffle Plant Scientific Name, Common Size & Growth
Botanically, they are known as Hemigraphis alternata. Meanwhile, their common names include Metal Leaf, Red-flame Ivy, and Cemetery Plant.
The genus name comes from the Greek words ‘hemi’ and ‘graphis’ that refers to ‘half’ and ‘brush’, indicating the plant’s opaque hair-like stamens.
Typically, this prostrate houseplant will grow up to 15 to 22 cm in height and 12 to 24 inches in width. Red-flame ivy has a medium to quick growth rate and will generate colorful variegated leaves as it grows.
While the top part of the foliage features a rich green tone, the bottom side boasts a deep reddish purple color.
Purple Waffle Plant Benefits and Uses
Gardeners typically use these herbaceous perennials as houseplants since they can boost indoor beauty.
You can place this low-maintenance perennial on top of your office desk, bedroom side table, or on the kitchen countertop to make these spaces look more striking.
Due to its small measurement and slow-growing habit, people tend to grow it as a groundcover for spots under something like a Ficus tree. Besides, you can also use them to complement other flowering species like Exotic angle, Aglaonema, or the Ti plant.
2.1. Purple Waffle Plant Aquarium
Not only for indoor uses, but this plant is also often sold in stores as an aquatic plant. However, you should keep in mind that this perennial is not completely aquatic and may melt away after being submerged for a long time.
2.2. Purple Waffle Plant Outdoors
Even though Red-flame ivy is very popular as houseplants, this tropical perennial can be an excellent outdoor annual as well.
Outdoors, it will make a pretty backdrop for dazzling, showy blooms when planted as a groundcover in its ideal area of USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11.
To let the ivy grow well, make sure to place it in limited shade outdoors.
2.3. Purple Waffle Plant Air Purifier
Purple waffles are known as one of the finest air purifying plants for home. They can get rid of volatile organic compounds including decane, benzene, and octane.
Moreover, these plants can also sanitize the air from other VOC compounds like methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, and hexane that typically present indoors.
2.4. Purple Waffle Plant Terrarium
Aside from hanging plants, you can use these plants for DIY terrariums. They make a great choice for such a project due to their decorative properties.
With their aesthetic appeal, these tropical plants will be pleasing for your eyes and may help to get a trouble-free sleep.
Purple Waffle Quick Planting Guide
Unlike many other tropical plants, this species enjoys indirect light to maintain its colors rich. Thus, you need to keep Red-flame ivy away from direct sunlight.
Generally, this species needs around six hours of daily light, but make sure to check it occasionally in case the plant receives too much.
Furthermore, your Red-flame ivy will require constant levels of temperature and moisture to grow healthily. Since this plant cannot withstand chilly winters, don’t forget to bring it indoors before the temperature gets less than 4 degree Celsius.
Soil and Transplanting
These herbaceous perennials like organic, humus-rich soil better. They will appreciate sites with a neutral pH level of between 6.1 and 6.5.
Repot your plants if their roots begin to emerge of the drainage holes. Make sure to do it lightly since the stems can crack easily.
Consider utilizing a spade or butter knife to pull out the root-ball of this ivy and move it to the bigger container that has been filled with excellent potting soil.
Watering and Feeding
Although purple waffle plants will appreciate high humidity, you should not soak them in water frequently. Misting system remains the best approach to ensure no standing water exists so the roots of this plant are not vulnerable to rotting.
During hot, dry conditions, you should provide Red-flame ivy with extra water. Try to use a pebble tray or water crystals to keep the moisture.
You can feed your plant during spring and summer or throughout its growing season. Doing so will support the ivy to cultivate quickly in the following periods.
Grooming and Maintenance
Since Red-flame ivy is not a big plant, pruning is generally unnecessary. You can consider doing so if its stems are getting too long.
To maintain the health of your plant, make sure to employ filtered water since it can avoid overload fluid buildups. Keep in mind to always bring this ivy indoors before frost or it will die.
Common Diseases and Issues
Generally, Red-flame ivy is not prone to diseases as well as pests. Root rot, scale, and whiteflies are among the common issues a gardener will face when growing this plant.
Other problems such as downy mildew, alternaria, and mealybugs are less common, but may affect your ivy too. For instance, if your red-flame ivy suffers from an alternaria infection, it may experience stunted growth and brown marks on the foliage.
Meanwhile, downy mildew may affect your ivy with the hint of discolored leaves, loss of blooms, and mottled appearances.
How to Grow Purple Waffle Plant with Cats
Luckily, Red-flame ivy is non-toxic to cats or dogs, so you can keep it along with your lovely pets with ease.
Nothing in this ivy will be unsafe for your pets. Thus, you should not hesitate to take advantage of the plant in hanging baskets or water gardens anymore.
Tips to Find the Best Purple Waffle Plant for Sale
Finally, you probably want to find this red-flame ivy on nearby nurseries right away. It is possible to shop the plant online too if your local store does not have any.
Make sure to get the fresh one from a reliable provider and transplant it carefully to a new container if needed.
To conclude, purple waffle plants are a wonderful perennial that offers various purposes including to create beautiful terrarium and to sanitize the air indoors.
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