How To Grow And Take Care of Purple Heart Plant?

How to grow and take care of purple heart plant - greenplantpro

The purple heart plant is so-named because of its light lilac-colored flowers. Sometimes these flowers are white or pink. They have three petals arranged in a way that resembles a heart. It’s best known for its deep purplish-green leaves, as they are visible throughout the year. The scientific name of the purple heart plant is Tradescantia pallida, or T. pallida for short. 

Pallida is Latin for “pale,” and the reason for this name could be due to the pale colorations of the plant’s flowers.

This plant originated along the eastern Gulf Coast of Mexico, but it’s now found globally in temperate, subtropical, and even tropical climates.


What Does a Purple Heart Plant Look Like?

It has long purple stems with purple leaves all along the stem. When they flower, the flowers are pale in color, ranging from light pink to violet. The flowers can be white. 

They cap the top of the stem, settled in between the two top leaves. These plants creep along the ground, never reaching a height of more than a foot and a half. Purple hearts spread more than they grow.


Is a Purple Heart Plant Indoor or Outdoor?

That depends on where you’re trying to grow the plant. To provide proper purple heart plant care, you need to give it full sun. If you live in a warm, sunny place, your plants will thrive outside. 

Homeowners use them as border and accent plants in gardens. However, if you live in a colder environment with less sun, it’s best to keep your plant inside. It still needs plenty of sunlight, so place it near a window.


Do Purple Heart Plants Come Back Every Year?

Purple heart plants are known as perennials, which means that they may die off in the wintertime and lie dormant until spring. They’ll continue to produce new growth every year when they return.


How Do You Grow and Take Care of a Purple Heart Plant?

The first thing you must know about how to grow this plant is that they need lots of sunlight. You shouldn’t expose your plant to too much sun all at once — getting the plant used to the sun can be a gradual process until it’s ready to go into full sunlight either inside or outside. If you plant them in light shade, they’ll do just fine, but the plant will be more green than purple.

If you’d like to propagate your purple heart plant, or in other words, make more little plants, you can cut a growth node from a healthy plant, a few inches long. Leave the leaves at the top of the stem, but remove the ones toward the bottom of the cutting so that the plant can root. 

Fill a small pot with a soilless potting medium and poke a hole into the “soil” so that you can gently press the node into the hole. Keep the potting medium moist, and after a few weeks, the node should take root and grow.


How Big Do Purple Heart Plants Get?

They can grow from 12 inches to 18 inches tall. However, they do tend to get wide at about 16 to 18 inches wide.


How Long Do Purple Hearts Last?

If you keep them inside, they can last all through the year and for several years. But if you plant them outside, they will shrink back and disappear during winter freezes but return in the spring.


Are Purple Heart Plants Invasive?

Some considered it an invasive plant in areas where it’s non-native, which is everywhere except eastern Mexico. This invasive status is because it grows easily and quickly as long as it has porous, well-drained soil and plenty of sun. 

Most of the time, however, the plant will simply grow to fill up any allotted space. Although they spread when they grow, they don’t grow nearly as quickly as true invasive plants like kudzu or Japanese honeysuckle.


Is the Purple Heart Plant Toxic to Dogs?

The purple heart plant is toxic to both animals and humans; it causes contact dermatitis. Always wear gloves when working with this plant.


How Often Should I Water My Purple Heart Plant?

Whenever its soil or potting medium feels dry to the touch, you should water your plant. They are native to drier and sunnier places, so they don’t need much water. Be sure not to oversaturate the soil.


Why Is My Purple Heart Plant Turning Green?

Perhaps your plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight. These plants do well in full sun. If they’re in the shade too much, they’ll become green rather than their characteristic purple. If you want them to return to purple, make sure that your purple heart plants are exposed to more direct sunlight each day.


What Does a Purple Heart Plant Mean?

Like most other plants and flowers, purple heart plants have spiritual meanings and symbolism. The purple heart plant represents calm energy. Many associate purple with royalty and power. Its purple color also symbolizes peace and tranquility.


Purple Heart Plant Benefits

Although these plants can cause dermatitis if you touch them without gloves, they have great benefits when planted indoors. They can clear toxins out of the air to improve indoor air quality through a process known as phytoremediation

In a study that tested 28 different plants indoors, the plant was the most effective at removing volatile organic compounds from the air like respiratory irritants and pollutants.



If you’re looking for an excellent indoor or outdoor plant that bursts with stunning color and filters out toxins in the air, the purple heart plant is a wonderful option. It’s easy for beginners to care for and is a popular choice for wall growing, hanging baskets, and garden borders. 

Its purple is vibrant all year round if grown inside or in hot climates, but it’s a special sight when they flower in spring.

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