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The complete purple waffle plant care guide

Want to add a waffle plant to your houseplant collection? They are beautiful and easy to care for! Here’s my complete purple waffle plant care guide!

I love houseplants, but I especially love plants with a unique color or texture. They really add a certain something extra to your collection.

If you also look cool textures, you are going to love the waffle plant! As a bonus, the purple waffle plant brings bold purple color and a cool waffled texture to your home!

purple waffle plant in a pot on a table

What is purple waffle plant?

Purple Waffle plant is the common name for Hemigraphis alternata. This is a small, bushy house plant that grows in a mound and makes a great ground cover or potted plant.

The cool thing about waffle plants is that the leaves have ruffled – or waffled – texture to them.

Purple waffle plants have leaves that are green on top and purple or red on the bottom. They are are really beautiful!

Other names for purple waffle plant include:

  • Hemigraphis Alternata
  • Metal Leaf plant
  • Waffle plant
  • Red Flame Ivy
  • Red Ivy

Types of purple waffle plant:

  • Red Flame Ivy – dark purple leaves with green underside
  • Belgian Waffle – green and cream leave with purple undersides
  • Snow White – green and white tops with pink undersides
purple waffle plant

Purple waffle plant origins

This is a tropical plant that grows natively in Java. They naturally grow under other plants in the jungle, in the nutrient rich jungle soil.

Is purple waffle plant rare?

No, waffle plants are common to find at stores like Lowes and Home Depot!

Is purple waffle plant toxic?

Waffle plants are non-toxic to humans and pets.

purple waffle plant care guide

Purple waffle plant care guide

Waffle plants are very easy to care for and grow quickly in warmer months.

Purple Waffle Plant watering

Waffle plants like moist, but not soggy soil. Water them when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. Be sure that your pot has drainage holes to avoid pooling water and root rot.

Read my guide on drilling drainage holes in pots!

purple waffle plant

How often should I water my purple waffle plant?

Water your plant when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry or the plant looks limp – about once a week.

Your plant will need to be watered more often in sunnier or hotter conditions that dry out soil faster. Remember that running heat in the winter dries plants out faster, too.

Should I mist my purple waffle plant?

Yes, waffle plants love to be misted. In fact, if they get brown tips of the leaves, that means they need more misting or humidity!

purple waffle plant

Purple waffle plant lighting needs

Waffle plants like bright, indirect light. If the plant doesn’t get enough light, it will start to lose its purple color.

Direct sunlight will burn their delicate leaves.

Can I keep purple waffle plant outdoors?

You can keep waffle plants outdoors in warm months. Move them indoors when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Keep them out of direct sun and instead choose a covered patio or shaded spot.

purple waffle plant

Purple waffle plant soil + potting

Waffle plants do fine in regular houseplant potting soil. Just be sure that the soil is well draining – they don’t want their roots sitting in pooling water.

When planting outdoors, add compost to the soil.

Does purple waffle plant like to be root bound?

Waffle plants might tolerate being root bound but they won’t grow in that condition. If you notice roots growing out of the drainage holes of your pot, it’s time to move it to a pot 1-2 inches larger in diameter.

purple waffle plant

Purple waffle plant fertilization

Waffle plants like to be fertilized a couple of times a year during the warm growing season. You can use any simple houseplant fertilizer!

waffle plant cuttings

How to propagate waffle plants

It is extremely easy to propagate purple waffle plants in water.

  1. Identify a healthy branch, preferably with new growth
  2. Snip the branch with sharp scissors
  3. Remove any lower leaves
  4. Place in water so at least 1 – preferably 2 – nodes are underwater
  5. Change the water once a week and top off as necessary
  6. See roots form in 2-4 weeks
  7. Once the roots are 2-3 inches long, plant in soil

See my detailed guide on how to propagate waffle plants here!

purple waffle plant

Troubleshooting waffle plants

Why does my purple waffle plant have crispy leaves?

Crispy leaves indicate that your plant needs either more water or less sun. If the plant is in direct sun, move it out. Otherwise, water the plant more and start misting it regularly to boost humidity.

purple waffle plant

Why does my waffle plant look limp?

Waffle plants go limp when they need water. When I kept my plant on the patio, it was frequently going limp. Assuming it’s otherwise in good shape, give it a good heavy watering and it will perk up very quickly.

How do you revive a purple waffle plant?

If your plant looks limp, water it. If the leaves are crispy, cut them off.

purple waffle plant

Why are my purple waffle plant leaves curling?

Curling leaves mean your plant has a watering problem. Shriveling leaves usually indicate that a plant is under watered. If the leaves are mushy and rotten, that indicates over watering.

Why is my purple waffle plant leggy?

Leggy growth could be due to too much fertilizer or not enough sunlight. These plant’s won’t go back and grow leaves on old stem, so go ahead and snip it off and propagate it!

Any more questions about waffle plants?

Thanks for reading!

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