Care of Passion Plants

Overview

The passion plant, a vining plant with purple-tinged foliage, is also called purple velvet, royal velvet and velvet plant. It is native to Indonesia, but can be raised indoors with proper care. It also can be grown outdoors in semi-tropical climates. It enjoys full or partial sun and is sensitive to overwatering. Its Latin name is Gynura aurantiaca, or Gynura sarmentosa.

Step 1

Ensure the passion plant is in good soil. A moist potting soil with the addition of some vermiculite or perlite for drainage is ideal. A ratio of one cup vermiculite to five cups soil is adequate. Outdoors, loosen the soil, and add compost or mulch if necessary. The soil should be moist, rich and well-drained.

Step 2

Place in a sunny location. Passion plant does fine in full sun, over eight hours a day, but will tolerate partial sun, or sun between four and six hours a day. The more sun the plant gets, the more highly colored its leaves will be.

Step 3

Water regularly, but don't overwater. Water when the soil is dry, but before the plant wilts. It will do so noticeably when the soil is too dry, and you should become familiar with the wilting point after a few tries. A good guideline is to water every seven to 10 days.

Step 4

Fertilize the plant regularly during the growing season. Use a balanced 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer designed for houseplants. Water with the fertilizer monthly during the growing season to encourage new growth, from spring to fall. Stop fertilizing in the late fall to allow the plant to go dormant.

Step 5

Cut back if needed. The plant does tend to vine, and you can take cuttings off it to keep it in its pot or in the desired shape. You can root new cuttings in moist potting soil. Cut vines at the third or fourth node or knuckle from the base.

Tips and Warnings

  • Purple passion plants are prone to infestations of aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Watch carefully for these pests, and get rid of them right away using insecticidal soap or neem oil preparations.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Vermiculite or perlite
  • Fertilizer

References

  • DenverPlants.com: Purple Passion Plant
  • Bella Online: Passion Plant Care
Keywords: how to care for passion plant, purple passion plant care, purple velvet plant basics

About this Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.