Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow a Waffle Plant

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

The waffle plant is a tender tropical plant most commonly grown as a houseplant. It is sometimes grown as an annual ground cover due to its spreading habit. Its Latin name is Hemigraphis alternata, but various cultivars are referred to as “purple waffle” or “red ivy.” Its leaves are green or burgundy with silvery markings and a puckered appearance, no doubt the origin of its common name. The undersides of the leaves are purple or wine-colored. Because it thrives in humid environments, the waffle plant is sometimes used in terrariums or in gardens under glass. Waffle plants can also be used in the front of the flower border, since they only grow 12- to 15-inches high.

Grow the waffle plant in medium, bright indirect light indoors. They grow and thrive in an east- or west-facing window, especially if it receives some shade, such as from an outdoor tree or nearby building. They make good hanging plants, particularly in the fluorescent light of an office building

Keep them in a room with temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be moved outdoors during the summer months after average nighttime temperatures rise above the 60s.

Water frequently to keep the soil moist. A good rule of thumb is to water when the surface of the soil feels slightly dry. Do not allow them to dry out.

Provide them with extra humidity by misting daily or running a humidifier in the room where they are growing. It is also helpful to group them around other plants; they will all provide extra humidity to each other.

Fertilize during the growing season from early spring until late autumn. Do not feed them during the short days of winter. Use regular water-soluble houseplant fertilizer mixed with water and applied directly to the soil following the manufacturer's recommended rate of application.


Things You Will Need

  • Watering can
  • Regular houseplant (water-soluble) fertilizer

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.