Purple Velvet Plant

Purple Velvet Plant

The purple Velvet plant, also known as the purple passion plant, is a unique houseplant. It is not entire purple, though. The leaves are green with purple hair-like edges that make it look bright purple from a distance. Their striking appearance and low maintenance have made them a common houseplant for many households.

The only crucial thing you need to look out for when you have this plant is watering it and getting just enough light. If you can figure these two out, you have yourself a healthy houseplant. If you have cared for houseplants before and know how to determine whether or not they need some water, then you have nothing to worry about. You will figure everything out as you tend to the plant.

Here are some quick facts about the purple velvet plant:

  • Origin – Southeast Asia
  • Scientific Name – Gynura Aurantiaca
  • Family – Asteraceae
  • Common Names – Purple velvet plant, purple passion, velvet plant, royal velvet plant
  • Ideal Temperature – 60-77°F
  • Height – 1-2’
  • Toxicity – not toxic to people and pets
  • Light – Bright indirect light
  • Soil moisture – moist but well-drained
  • Humidity – moderate to high humidity
  • Pests – mealybugs and spider mites
How To Care For Your Plant

How To Care For Your Plant

Now that you have all the details about the plant listed let’s look at how to care for your plant best.

Watering

One thing you need to remember when watering your plant is its roots are very fragile than the average house plant. If you drown them in a lot of water, they will get root rot, which might destroy the whole plant. To prevent root rot, ensure your place your plant in well-draining soil.

You also need to be careful when you water the plant so that you do not overdo it. Pay attention to the moisture content in the soil; the soil should be moist and not soggy. Even with this, the plant does not do well with drought. If you notice the leaves are droopy and looking dull, it's time to water the plant.

It might take some getting used to, but after a while, you will be able to balance out how you water your plant. The frequency with which you water your plant will be dependent on a couple of factors.

If it is in summer, you might have to water your plant frequently while you can let it dry out a little bit in winter. The plant's size and the warmth it is getting will also determine how often you have to water your plant. There is no one correct measure of water for all the purple plants you have.

Light

Purple velvet plants enjoy bright, indirect sun. If you put it in direct sunlight, the leaves will get burnt. The best option for the plant in your home would be by a window but ensure you use sheers to filter the sunlight that gets to the pant.

During winter, you might have to consider using artificial light for your plant. If you deprive your velvet plant of light, it will become leggy as it stretches to try get to the light.

Temperature

The plant does well in temperatures of 60-75°F. You need to remember that it does not tolerate high heat, so be keen when temperatures in the house go above 75°f.

Although it does better in cooler temperatures, below 60°f is not an ideal temperature for your plant. If you live in an area with either too high or too low temperatures, you will need to control the house's temperatures to be within this range so your plant can thrive.

Feeding

The passion plant loves its fertilizer. Use standard houseplant fertilizer mixed to half the recommended strength. People often argue about how often you should feed the plant. The verdict by many is to feed it twice a month during summer and once during winter.

One way you can be sure you are not overfeeding it is by looking at the leaves. If they look scorched, then you are either over-fertilizing it or using a potent fertilizer. If you notice your plant has stopped growing despite giving it fertilizer in winter, stop giving it more fertilizer until spring returns.

Humidity

The purple velvet plant enjoys medium to high humidity level. This characteristic makes it a perfect plant for the kitchen and bathroom. Be careful not to mist the leaves with water spay as the leaves will rot.

If you stay in a place with low humidity getting an electric humidifier is your best bet. If you cannot afford this, you can also put the plant in a tray containing rocks, as it is known to create moisture in the air around the plant.

Apart from the moisture helping with plant growth, it is also known to keep pests like spider mites away.

Pruning

The purple velvet plant can get really tall and leggy. The best way to avoid it is to prune aggressively. If you prune it well, you end up with a fuller and bushier-looking plant.

Repotting

The purple velvet plant is kept indoors for about two years, so you do not need to repot it. While the plant might seem to need repotting while indoors, you need to remember that the roots do well in space-limiting conditions.

Should you get to a point where you feel like you need to repot it, do so with great care as damage to the roots is very easy.

Flowers

During winter, the plant produces the brightest yellow flowers. They look like thistles and resemble dandelion flowers. The only downside to these flowers is the offensive odor they produce. If this is something, you might not want, then nip the flowers as soon as they start to bud.

Propagation

If you want the plant to keep growing, you cannot skip propagation. Once your plant reaches maturity, which is denoted by the flowers, it is a sign that you should propagate. If you do not want to waste your stems, you can do this while pruning.

To help you do this, get a stem that is a couple of inches long. You can put the stem in water since it propagates well there.

Ensure it has consistent heat and wait for the roots to show after a few weeks. You can also do the same thing in moist solid by following the same direction as the water process.

Toxicity

So far, there have been no reports of the plant being toxic. The characteristic makes it an ideal houseplant, especially if you have children and pets who might want to nibble on it.

The only thing you need to be careful about is that they do not ingest it as it can cause a stomach upset. Although it is rare, some people have realized they are allergic to the plant.

Lifespan

The lifespan of the purple velvet plant is around 2 years. You will notice its aging by the growth of the flowers. As the plant ages, the leaves become dull and get more green than purplish.

At this point, most people get rid of them by moving them to the backyard. You need to remember when you plant it outside because it tends to spread very fast.

How To Care For Your Plant

Common Issues With The Purple Velvet Plant

Although it is a low maintenance plant, there some issues it comes with as well. Knowing about these will ensure you make the best decision about the care of the plant.

Scorch

You can identify the scorch by the browning of the leaf edges and all over, which indicates that the condition has gone bad. The main reason for this is either too much direct light or too much or potent a fertilizer. Identify what the cause is and rectify it before the entire plant gets scorched.

Pest

The purple velvet plant falls prey to pests just like all the other house plants. The most common pests that attack it are spider mites. Since the mites are small, you will notice yellowing on the leaves.

You can fix this by hosing the plant with water a couple of times to get the mites out. You can also use plant insecticide to kill these pests.

Root Rot

The fragility of the plants' roots makes them very susceptible to root rot. To avoid this, ensure you keep the soil at the right moisture level.

Final Verdict

With these few rules, you are on your way to becoming a great plant parent. The purple velvet is an excellent complement to any home.