Purple Passion Vine - Gynura aurantiaca

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Gynura aurantiaca (female-tail, orange in colour)

Common Name
Purple Passion Vine, Purple Velvet Plant, Velvet Plant

Origin
Native to Southeast Asia, especially Java

Description
The Purple Passion Vine's bright purple colouring makes it stand out in any indoor jungle. The tiny hairs on its leaves give it the colour, and their brightness stands out like a halo around the green of the leaves. The vivid colouring needs bright (but indirect) light to grow so vibrantly. It is in the Daisy family, and at the end of a plant's life cycle (usually 3-5 years) it will produce bright orange pom-pom like flowers; in its natural habitat this allows it to be pollinated and so pass on its DNA. As a houseplant, the flowers will add even more beautiful colour- but as the plant will die after flowering, read our tips below for more detail on extending its life! Whether you choose to let it flower or keep it as a foliage plant, this plant's stunning colour will draw the eye wherever it is placed.

Light
The brightest spot out of direct sunlight will keep your Purple Passion happy, such as a north-facing window. East or West facing can also work, as long as you keep a close eye on the dryness of soil.

Water
Consistently moist soil above all is the most helpful for this plant. Allow the top third to dry out between waters, but no more; crispy leaves are a sign that the plant's moisture levels are inconsistent. Reduce slightly in winter when the plant will be dormant, and water less in a darker location.

Humidity
Average humidity works well with the Purple Passion, just make sure it's not too close to a radiator.

Soil
Use a fine, well-draining but moisture retentive mix for best results; a soil designed for ferns would work well here. Should only need repotting twice in its life cycle (usually 3-5 years); when you repot, do so in spring.

Food
Feed every four waters in the growing season, reduce to every six in autumn and winter.

Temperature
Ideal temperature is 18-24°C; make sure it does not get colder than 15°C in winter. If it is cold for a longer period, this can trigger flowering and the end of the plant's life cycle, so a consistent temperature of about 18°C will help sustain the life of your vine as a foliage plant.

Pet-safe
No; this plant is not poisonous but can cause irritation & discomfort if your pets nibble on it.

Sprouts Top Tips
Flowering marks the end of the life cycle of a Purple Passion Vine. If you want to prolong its life, you can cut off the beginnings of the flower buds; alternatively, you can propagate your plant by stem cuttings before it flowers so that the plant can continue to live through this clone. When the plant is big enough, you can cut the top 6cm off the leading stem, with at least 5 leaf nodes on, to propagate, Carefully snip off the bottom two leaves, then place the stem in lukewarm water on a bright windowsill while you wait for the roots to grow. Once they are 3cm long, it's ready to be potted into soil!

 

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D
Dedrick
Lovely little plant, well packaged and per...

Lovely little plant, well packaged and perked up quickly after its journey.