The purple passion plant, also called the velvet plant, has leaves and vines densely covered in vivid purple hairs. Its striking color and texture catches the eye, and its tendency toward producing long vines makes it a lovely plant for a hanging basket. A few simple steps will help your purple passion plant thrive.
Light and Temperature
The plant does well in bright light, but keep it out of direct sun. New leaves are most purple when the plant receives adequate light. Purple passion plants prefer temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fairly moist soil is recommended for the velvet plant, but do not allow the soil to become too wet, as that could encourage root rot. The soil may dry slightly between waterings. A weekly watering schedule is usually adequate for this plant.
The purple passion plant requires more potassium than some plants, so a 3-1-3 fertilizer is recommended. Fertilize the plant during active growing, spring through fall.
The velvet plant is known and liked for its lovely leaves, but not for its flowers. It produces bright orange flowers that smell unpleasant. Some plant owners cut off the flowers before they bloom to avoid the offensive smell. Another approach is to use the commercial product Florel, which has been shown to suppress flowers on the purple passion plant, the University of Florida Extension reports.
Control the creeping habit of purple passion plants by trimming the vines. Pinch an inch or two off stems any time the plant is actively growing to encourage bushiness. You don't want the plant looking straggly. During annual spring pruning, cut off longer vines at the third or fourth node from the base of the plant. Older leaves do not retain their bright purple color, so do not feel bad about trimming the plant back.
When you are pruning, stick cuttings into water or potting mix to root them. They root fairly easily and so soon you'll have velvet plant cuttings to share with friends.