Purple Passion Plant
A Quick Guide to Growing the Purple Passion Plant
The Purple Passion plant, Gynura aurantiaca, is also known by such other names as Royal Velvet, Purple Velvet, and Velvet Plant. As you might suspect, the Purple Passion plant has beautiful purple leaves that appear fuzzy and feel like velvet. It can be grown either indoors or outdoors. If you let it grow indiscriminately outdoors, it will be good for ground cover, but the oldest growth will have more of a faded purple color.
Many people say that they just had to buy a Purple Passion plant the moment they saw one. That’s because it has such a beautiful purple color, and if you make sure the plant gets lots and lots of sunlight, the purple will get brighter and brighter. Also, most plants do have fuzzy leaves, which gives the passion plant a very unique quality and look.
The Purple Passion plant does have flowers but they are more of an after-thought, as most people buy the plant solely for its purple-colored leaves. The flowers are actually very nice looking, because they are a bright orange against the backdrop of the purple plant. Like many other plants and trees, however, the flowers do not have a pleasant smell. In fact, the odor has been described as “horrible.” Some people actually cut off the flowers before they open up.
The fruit of the plant is edible and the juice can be used in jams and jellies. The fruit is smooth inside and has pulp and black seeds. The rest of the plant itself is poisonous, however, so do not ever eat the stems or leaves. To be safe, set the plant in a place where children and animals cannot reach it.
It is easy to grow a Purple Passion plant. If you don’t want to purchase a plant, you can obtain cuttings from a friend’s plant and root them either in water or plant them right into your potting mix. Because you have to prune your plant every year, you can start new plants with the cuttings and even give them away as gifts. The Purple Passion plant grows very long vines and it is necessary to cut them back to make the plant bushier.
While the long vines might seem attractive at first, the older growth does not maintain the nice purple coloring you want to encourage in the plant. As far as soil goes, keep it moist but never wet. It is okay to put it on a schedule with your other plants which you water once a week. If you keep the soil mixed with peat moss, it should stay at just the right moisture level. It will grow quicker if you fertilize the plant during its summer growing season.
There some insects that like the Purple Passion plant as much as gardeners. Both aphids and spider mites are attracted to this plant and will feast on it if given a chance. If you do have these pests, treat the plant with an insecticidal soap. It is sometimes the case that you unknowingly bring home a plant from the gardening store which already has spider mites or aphids. Sometimes the insects are hard to spot in the store. So, if you are obtaining a new Purple Passion plant, keep it segregated in its own little spot away from all of your other plants until you are sure it isn’t infested with pests.
If you are intrigued by exotic plants, this is one of the species that is among the easiest to grow and maintain. Plus, with its beautiful purple leaves, it is sure to become a topic of conversation among visitors.