The purple waffle plant, also known as red ivy, is an extremely resilient and easy-to-grow plant. It rarely suffers from pests and diseases, so you can grow it both indoors and outdoors, depending on your preferences. It is also very good looking, people preferring this plant because of its intriguing leaves, green on one side and purple on the other side. Both colors are visible due to the crinkled texture of the leaves. Precisely this crinkled appearance led to the name of purple “waffles”, as they resemble with waffles. You can choose this plant to embellish your garden or as a potted plant, as it looks great in hanging pots or flower boxes next to windows.
The Hemigraphis family, from which the purple waffle plant comes, contains no less than 30 species, each with its particularities. Most of them are highly decorative, just like the purple waffle. But besides its beautiful aspect, this plant is appreciated for its air-purifying properties. Yes, it is said that the purple waffle can clean the air inside a room, so this is one more reason to make this plant part of your house. You don’t know how to grow or care for a purple waffle plant? Don’t worry about it because this article offers all the details you need to know to enjoy gorgeous plants all year round.
How to grow a purple waffle plant
In case you don’t have too much experience in growing plants, it is worth knowing that purple waffles are extremely easy to handle. This makes them an ideal choice for beginners. So, if you’d love to have a potted plant or a gorgeous flower box, or some handsome plants in the yard, go for purple waffles. To have this kind of plant thriving in your home or garden, you need to pay attention to just two important aspects. Purple waffles are sensitive to watering and temperature. Thus, you will need to monitor these two parameters to have gorgeous and healthy plants.
The ideal soil for purple waffles is a rich one. Before you plant a purple waffle or soon after purchasing such a plant, make sure you have soil rich in hummus. Besides this, you will need to feed your plant with proper fertilizer periodically. Regarding temperature, purple waffles love warmth. So, if you live in a colder climate, consider growing purple waffles indoors. They look great in hanging baskets or in flower boxes, where they can be admired in the best way.
How big does a purple waffle plant get?
If you’re interested in growing purple waffles inside, you probably wonder how big it will get. Purple waffles are so popular as potted plants because they don’t grow tall at all. If you have a healthy and thriving plant, it can reach a height of 8 inches. That’s why you can easily place a box of purple waffles on your window sill. It is possible to say that it is wider than taller, having a slightly bushy appearance. If you grow it outdoors, where it is not contained by a pot, a plant can spread over an 18-inch area, making its colors even more visible.
So, as you can see, this plan is ideal for indoor pots and for decorating outdoor gardens, walkways, and any other corners of the yard. Just remember, when planting purple waffles outdoors, to position the plants in partially shaded or full-sun areas. According to experienced growers, this plant thrives and looks at its best when it grows in partially shaded locations. This is where they display the most beautiful colors, such as a metallic green and deep purple.
One of the reasons purple waffles are so great for beginners and inexperienced plant growers is that they are fairly resilient to pests. However, when you grow them indoors, they can end up being victims of the whitefly and scale. In this case, you will need to administer the right treatment to help the plant. The sooner you act, the better it will be for your plant.
The best living conditions for purple waffles
These plants love warmth, so if you grow them outdoors, it is recommended to bring them indoors during winter. The purple waffle won’t make it through the frost, so this is something you need to consider if you live in colder climates. If temperatures drop below the freezing point, the plant will be severely damaged and there are high chances you will lose it. Besides warmth, waffle plants appreciate high humidity as well. You can increase the air’s humidity around them by placing the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water or by misting water around the plants when it’s too hot and dry. If possible, you can even place the plant on the bathroom’s window, after a steamy shower. This is a great treatment for plants that spent too much time in a hot and dry environment and seem “lethargic”.
Regarding water, the plant loves moist soil. Of course, don’t let the soil to be soaking wet or have water running out of it. How to know when it’s the best time to water the plants? When 1 or 2 inches of soil at the top of the pot is dry, it’s time to give some water to your purple waffle plant. Potted plants should be water sufficiently to keep their soil moist. When it comes to garden plants, they should receive about 1 inch of water weekly, which will ensure the plant’s water necessary. To help retain moisture in the soil, it is recommended to spread a layer of mulch with a thickness of 2 inches around the purple waffles. This will prevent water from evaporating from the soil too quickly, especially when temperatures are high.
If you wonder what’s the best soil for purple waffles, the potting mix you find in regular gardening stores will do. In case you plan to put the plants outdoors, it would be great if you can add leaf mold or compost to the soil, for enriching it. Fertilizing the plant is also a must. In their natural habitat, purple waffles enjoy the nutrients provided by decaying leaves, fallen on the soil, as they grow in jungle areas. To recreate the same kind of fertilization, you need to add houseplant fertilizer when watering the plants every two weeks. A 6-12-6 fertilizer with a slow-release will offer the plant the required nutrients. Use the fertilizer during spring and summer. Purple waffles don’t require fertilizing during autumn and winter, just periodic watering.
How do you revive a purple waffle plant?
Your purple waffle plant is not doing so well? There may be a few reasons your plant is looking rather lifeless. It may have experienced temperatures that are rather low, hot and dry air, or irregular watering, which is the most common cause. You can revive the plant, but you need to be patient. First, move the plant in a warm place, where it can receive several hours of indirect sunlight. Make sure you are watering the plant as soon as the soil at the surface is dry. You can check it by placing your finger on it, as you can sense whether there’s any moisture in the soil or not. The purple waffle tends to get very upset if the soil gets drier than it should be.
If there are any dead or dry leaves or stems, remove them. This will allow healthy leaves to enjoy as much light as it is possible. Usually, during the recovery period, it’s not necessary to fertilize the plant. All it needs is some time to get better. Don’t forget to add moisture to the air around it, if it is too dry. Using a container that is wider than the pot, with pebbles and water in it, will do the trick. Position the pot on it and the plant will have plenty of moisture as the water in the container evaporates. Just make sure to check water levels in the container and add more, when necessary.
Is the purple waffle plant poisonous?
If you have pets around the house and children, you may wonder whether the purple waffle plant is toxic. It is well-known that cats are usually tempted to nibble on the leaves of plants, especially when growing them indoors. Also, small children go through a period in which they want to taste everything. So, having a poisonous plant around is not an option in this case. Luckily, the purple waffle plant is non-toxic. It is not toxic for cats, dogs, or horses, being a good candidate if you want to enjoy a beautiful plant around and inside the house. However, it is recommended to keep an eye on small children, so they won’t ingest parts of the plant, as there is the danger of chocking with them. Apart from this, the plant does not contain any toxic ingredients.
So, in case you were looking for a plant that is easy to grow and resilient to pests, purple waffles are a great option. You just need to pay attention to temperature, humidity, and watering. Periodically, during the warm season, you should give it some fertilizer. In return, the plant will purify the air and enchant you with its metallic green and purple leaves.