Botanical Name — Gynura aurantiaca
Common Name — Purple passion or Purple velvet
Plant Family — Asteraceae
This vibrant member of the daisy family is native to Southeast Asia, where it’s found in the tropical rainforests of Java, Indonesia. In its native environment it grows as a low lying ground cover. Stems trail and twine. Known for its unique, velvety stems in bright purple, this plant makes a standout cascading specimen in a hanging basket.
- Bright, indirect light. An eastern or northern facing window is ideal.
- Will start to lose intense purple color when the plant is not getting enough light.
- Will burn if the plant is placed in direct sunlight.
- Does well in temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees.
- It likes high humidity, but this is not essential. Purple passion will do fine in a normal household environment.
- Allow the top 25% of soil to dry out in between waterings.
- Try to keep foliage dry. Do not mist.
- Moisture can get trapped in the “hairs” on the leaf and cause burning if the sun is too bright, or increase chances of fungal disease.
- Good indoor potting mix.
- Moist, but well draining, well aerated soil.
- Likes nutrient soil, high in organic matter.
- Produces yellow, orange foul smelling flowers. Should be pruned once they appear.
- Blooms from November to February in seasonal regions.
- Generally does not blossom in low light.
- Fertilize with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during the summer. Never fertilize in winter.
- Can easily be propagated from stem cuttings placed in water or directly in soil.
- No serious insect problems or susceptibilities.
- Watch out for common pests: whiteflies, mealy bugs, spider mite, scale, and aphids
- Overwatering can cause rot.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Likes to be kept root bound in small pots. Repot once every two to three years, moving up on pot size.
- Purple passion is non-toxic to humans and pets, but should not be ingested.