How to Care for Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

Have you ever seen a plant that has purple leaves and foliage? Believe it or not, there is a plant that has purple leaves and foliage. This colorful plant is known as “Gynura Aurantiaca” but also called Purple Passion Plant and Purple Velvet Plant. The plant’s leaves have a purple velvety look and beautiful yellow daisy flowers. The Purple Passion Plant is one of the most grown indoor plants and has been a household plant worldwide for the past 200 years. The Purple Passion Plants is native to the wild parts of Africa, Australia, South America, Mesoamerica, Florida, and a few other southern regions.

They like to be grown in indirect light and moderate temperatures (between 16 to 24 C). They grow daisy flowers of yellow color; these flowers mostly grow on an erect stem. The Purple Passion Plant is perennial, and evergreen and they can grow up to 30cm high. But the stems can spread around 2 to 3 meters. The plant has two types of branches one that grows leaves and the others that only grow flowers.

The whole plant is covered with purple-colored tiny hairs, these hairs are the reason behind the velvety look and the purple color of the plant. They are on almost every part of the plant. Once the plant ages, it loses its tiny hairs that cause the purple color of the plant to slowly fade away with the aging of the plant.

Each plant can produce between 1 to 5 flower heads and each flower stalk only grows a single daisy flower with yellow petals and a blackish-brown circle in the middle, and their odor is strong. Their leaves are smaller, but elongated and have many edges, these leaves are also covered with the tiny purple hairs, giving them a velvety look and purple color. Due to its many unique features and easy to grow nature, this plant has won the Garden Merits Award from the Royal Horticultural Society.

How to Water Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

The Purple Passion Plant likes to be watered frequently as they are grown mostly in the well-draining soil. Most of these require watering once every 4 to 6 days. They are not capable of handling the dry conditions at an early age but once they get old enough, they can also become capable of tolerating some level of drought as well. Their watering is different based upon the area, climate, soil, and season.

Below are the proper watering guidelines for the Purple Passion Plant:

  • Purple Passion Plants do not like to be overwatered, as this can rot their weak roots and cause the death of the plant. Water them once every 2 to 4 days when the plants are very young. Once they become a few inches taller you can water them once every 4 to 6 days.
  • Their watering requirements are dependent on the seasons, during the hot summer days, they require more frequent watering and more water as well. During autumn and spring, they require a moderate amount of water, while in the winter, you can water them less often, sometimes even once every 14 to 15 days.
  • You can also water them following the “soak and dry method” used for a lot of other plants where you allow the soil to completely dry out and then water it. This approach can be used for the Purple Passion Plants, but this will badly impact their growth, so it is advised to properly water them.
  • If you have planted them outside, you might need to water them more frequently than the indoor plants, as the outdoor plants mostly face the sun all day long and the soil outside will quickly evaporate all the water, but inside, light is indirect and temperatures are also much lower than outside in hot regions and this help conserving the water for the plant’s growth.
  • You can create a watering schedule for your Purple Passion Plants based upon the environmental, climate, seasonal, and soil requirements. If you keep following the schedules, your plants will show faster growth and they will also grow more flowers and more leaves.

Lighting and Temperature needs for Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

Lighting Requirements

The Purple Passion Plants like to be grown in the full bright environments. You can grow them under the partial sun, a place where they can get enough light. If you want to plant them outside in the gardens or yards, you can plant them, but you will have to water them more frequently to avoid dehydration.

If you have grown a plant inside and you are feeling that it is not properly growing, you can keep such plants in a window that directly opens in the east so that plants can get enough light. Growing them in partial shade is the best way to grow them.  Most of the Purple Passion Plants show retarded growth if they are not provided with a bright environment or sufficient light. Your plant needs indirect sunlight for almost 6 to 8 hours a day. If you have a place where light enters the room indirectly such as from a window that opens East.

Indoor plants should never be exposed to the outdoor sunlight directly as their leaves may get sunburned because they have never faced the direct sunlight. Similarly, if the Purple Passion Plant is grown in the outdoor environment and full sunlight, it might not survive in the indoor environment for a longer time. So, it is better to keep the plant in an environment where you have planted it.

Temperature requirements

The Purple Passion Plant likes to be grown in a moderate environment where the temperature is stable between 60 to 70 F. (16-21 C.). You cannot properly grow them in very cold and very hot temperatures as both conditions are harmful to the plant. They are not cold hardy plants and cannot survive the frost conditions for a very long period. Similarly, in hot environments, the plant quickly dehydrates and its leaves wilt due to the high temperature, this slowly leads to the death of the plant.

If you grow them in a cold area, it is advised to keep them inside the house and protect them from the extreme cold temperatures. Otherwise, the plant will quickly wilt and die. During the winter season, it is advised to keep them in a place where temperatures remain normal for most of the time.

Extremely hot and cold conditions can also lead to the discoloration of the plant, as all the small hairs on the leaves that give it purple color quickly fall off from them, this causes the change in the color of leaves and the overall look of the plant will be destroyed. So, it is very important to keep your Purple Passion Plants safe from both extremely hot and cold temperatures for the long term.

Soil needs for Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

The Purple Passion Plant has very delicate roots that can get rot because of overwatering, to avoid this, you must plant them in a soil that is porous. Porous soil can help quickly drain all the excess water. This not only protects the roots of the Purple Passion Plant but also boosts its growth.

Apart from the soil’s ability to quickly drain the water, it must also include the compost and other natural fertilizers, these are important as they will provide the nutrition to the plant and will boost its growth in the early days. A porous soil mostly contains more sand, perlite, and pumice. All these things help the soil be more porous and help drain water quickly. Such soil is also used for many other plants, especially plants that do not like to be overwatered.

Fertilizer for Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

Fertilizers are vital for the proper growth of your Purple Passion Plant. If you want your Purple Passion Plants to thrive and show an early blossom and maintain its purple look for a longer time, you must add the fertilizers into the soil.

Soil contains the nutrients required for the proper growth of the plant in a very limited amount. When you plant something in the soil, it starts taking these nutrients from the soil and soon the soil runs out of nutrients, this either halts the growth or kills the plant.

To avoid this the use of fertilizer is recommended so that the depleted nutrients of the soil are provided to the plants to maintain their optimal growth. Before applying any fertilizers, it is important to know about them and know which nutrients your soil lacks so that you can use the appropriate fertilizers.

Types of Fertilizers

There are different types of fertilizers based on their major components. Below are the five major types of fertilizers:

  1. Nitrogen-based fertilizers: Used in a soil that has a deficiency of nitrates, one of the most important compounds for plants.
  2. Phosphorus-based fertilizers: If the soil lacks the phosphates, then these fertilizers are used to boost the growth of Purple Passion Plants.
  3. Calcium based fertilizers: Mostly used in the soil that lacks calcium in it. They are known to boost the growth of the plant.
  4. Potassium based fertilizers: Like the calcium-based fertilizers but here the main component is the potassium, they are used in the soil that has the deficiency of the potassium.
  5. Micronutrients fertilizers: These are the fertilizers that contain micronutrients for the plants. They are used in the soil that lacks micronutrients. They help boost the overall growth of the plant.

How to use Fertilizers

When it comes to fertilizing the Purple Passion Plants, the first thing you must have is a soil test to determine which fertilizer you should use, and how much you should use, as over-fertilizing can be a serious issue and even can severely damage the plant. To get this right, you need a proper soil test and use a fertilizer recommended or based on that test.

Follow the instructions below for the proper fertilization of your Purple Passion Plants:

  • You can mix the fertilizer in the soil before planting the trees, if your soil test shows that soil lacks some elements that are required by the plant at a young age, you must add all these into the soil before plantation, so that the early growth of the plant is not affected by the low availability of nutrients.
  • Once the plants start growing, and they are a few inches above the ground, you can spread the fertilizers around their stems, make sure not to spread too close to the stem, mix it in the soil, and water it so that it can dissolve and become a component of the soil.
  • If you don’t want to use the fertilizers by spreading around the soil, you can mix the fertilizers with the water and create a mixture. You can keep feeding this mixture to your plant once every 30 to 40 days.

Fertilizing your plants has a lot of benefits but if you don’t use them properly there can be a negative impact on your Purple Passion Plants. Overfertilization is a serious issue, this can kill the plants, that is why never use the fertilizers without reading the instructions provided with the fertilizers. Also, use them according to the soil test results.

How to Prune Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

The Purple Passion Plant grows quickly, and it can take over a large space if it is not trimmed or pruned. Pruning also helps the plant grow new leaves and branches during the days of spring. Pruning is also done to control the size of the plant and make it look more appealing to the eyes.

With the help of pruning, you can also cut off the dying parts of the plant and allow the healthy parts to thrive. Regular pruning for the Purple Passion Plant is required once every year. The best season for pruning your Purple Passion Plant is before the start of the spring. This is because, in the springtime, the plant grows new branches and new leaves.

Once you are done pruning the Purple Passion Plant, give it some water and fertilizer. This will encourage the growth of new leaves and branches quickly.

How to Repot Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

The Purple Passion Plant quickly grows new branches and sub-branches and spreads all around the place it is grown. This makes the place look overcrowded, this is the time when the Purple Passion Plant is repotted. Repotting allows the plant to grow even further and boosts its growth rate.

They require repotting every year and the best season to repot them is the summer season. You need to prepare a bigger pot for them. Add the required amount of soil and then uproot the plant from the pot it already is in and transfer it to the new pot.

You need to be careful while uprooting and transferring to make sure that you don’t damage any roots of the plant. Once repotted into the new container, water them and leave them in the bright light. They will show the signs of growth in a few days.

How to Propagate Gynura Aurantiaca (Purple Passion Plant)

Purple Passion Plant is mostly propagated with the help of cuttings from the stem. This is simple, you look for a mature plant, take cuttings with the help of a sterile knife and then let them plant them in the new pot. Water them and let them be under the sunlight and humid conditions for a few days until the cuttings start sprouting.

Growing Purple Passion Plant from Seeds

You can also grow the Purple Passion Plants from the seeds as well. All you have to do is to place the seeds in the soil and water them, cover the pot with the help of a plastic sheet, that allows the light to pass, this will create a humid environment so the seeds can quickly sprout. Once the seeds sprout, you need to take care of them by placing them in a bright environment and providing the water, protection, and fertilizers on time when required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why is my Purple Passion Plant wilting?

Answer: Most of the time Purple Passion Plant wilts because it is either, overwatered, underwatered, over-fertilized, or its roots are rotting, sometimes it can also be due to the low availability of the sunlight.

Question: Does a Purple Passion Plant flower?

Answer: Yes, the Purple Passion Plants flower, they grow small daisy flowers of yellow color. They grow one flower on one stalk, that is mostly erected and looks different from the whole stem.

Question: Is Purple Passion Plant a vine?

Answer: The Purple Passion is a plant, but it has a habit like the wines that it spreads all around rather than going upward. That is why it is sometimes also referred to as a vine.

Question: How often to water a Purple Passion Plant?

Answer: Watering the Purple Passion Plant depends on the area, soil, and season. If you are in a hot region you need frequent watering. In cold regions, less frequent watering is also enough. Mostly they require water once every 4 to 5 days.