One of the good things about a purple heart plant is that it looks pretty throughout the year, especially if you live in a place with a mild climate. While the succulent stems and trailing leaves will add a hint of color in your indoor space throughout the years, the pink flowers are present only for a short time.
More than being pretty, purple heart plant is also a favorite for many indoor gardeners because of its ability to get rid of pollutants at home. This is one of the plants that are instrumental in the improvement of indoor air quality.
There are different ways to make the most out of your purple heart plant. For many, they grow it in a pot and use it a table accent. This is good only if the plant is still small. Otherwise, it may create clutter on the table rather than being a decorative piece. A better way to use purple heart plant is to hang it in a basket and let its cascading leaves make your walls less boring.
Planting and Growing Conditions
You need to have a healthy outdoor purple heart plant before you can start growing it indoors, which is the best method of propagation. From the tip of purple heart plant, prune seven cuttings, each with an average length of three inches. Take out the lower leaves and dip the tip in a glass with at least an inch of water. Position it by the window, making sure that there is no direct sunlight. Within two weeks, the roots will start to appear.
Find a hanging basket that will serve as your pot. Fill it with soil. Using a spoon, dig holes in even spaces. Since you have seven tips, there should be seven holes. Insert the cuttings with roots in the holes. Water from the surface of the soil and press firmly, making sure that the soil will cover the roots.
Now that your basket is ready, hang it on the ceiling or wall. When choosing where to position the basket, it is important to be familiar with the light requirements of the plant. Since it is actually an outdoor plant, you need to make sure that it receives at least four hours of sun in a day. To achieve the best color, see to it that it receives bright sunlight. Near the window is a good place. Indoors, the leaves may not completely turn purple. In most instances, only the sides will be purple.
When growing purple heart plant, another important element is soil. Make sure that you have a well-drained soil. In this case, some of the best types of soil that you might want to use include sand, clay, alkaline, and loam. You can also add peat moss to your potting mix to make the soil more nutritious.
More so, pay attention to the indoor temperature and make sure that it is suitable for the requirements of the purple heart plant. The average ideal temperature is from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, you can grow it throughout the year.
Pests and Diseases
It is a good thing that purple heart plant is not much of a problem when it comes to pests and diseases. It can tolerate most health problems. Nonetheless, it is still important to be careful with aphids and spider mites. In the same way, plant viruses can also be apparent and can cause infestation if not given attention.
Care and Maintenance
Here are some of the best tips to ensure the healthy growth of your indoor purple heart plant:
- While sunlight is good for the plant, avoid abrupt exposure. This will cause the leaves to burn, and hence, the plant will become unattractive.
- Every now and then, pinching the tips will be good to encourage the bushy growth of the plant, making it look more attractive. This will encourage the growth of new tips. Do not throw the cuttings. You can use them to grow new plants.
- Do not over-water the plant. Avoid the soil from being soggy as this can encourage root rot. See to it that the soil is completely dry before the next watering.
- Regular pruning is also necessary. It is a crawling plant and hence, it can be invasive. This is especially true if it is in the ideal growing conditions. You might also want to use a root barrier to limit the spread of the root as it grows.
- Fertilizing will help to keep the plant in its best state, although you only have to do it once in a month during the active growing season. Liquid fertilizer is best. The best fertilizer is one with equal parts of potassium, phosphate, and nitrogen. Be sure to water the plant immediately after the application of the fertilizer. In the winter and fall, do not fertilize.
- When pinching the stems for propagation, it is best to use gloves for protection. There are some people who can develop sensitivity with the sap. If in case rashes or skin irritation develops, consult with a medical professional the soonest.
While purple heart plant is often an outdoor plant, you can also grow it indoors. Proper care and maintenance are necessary to make it grow successfully. With a little effort to spare, it is sure to enliven any space with its bright foliage.