If you want a pretty little-potted plant that sits on your countertops, kitchen islands, tables, or desks, you will probably love the purple waffle plant. In addition to its lovely colors and shapes, the purple waffle is also easy to grow and care for. This cute plant will fulfill your passion for home or office decoration throughout the year. Check out the following for in-depth information.
What is Purple Waffle Plant?
Purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) can grow up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) tall. The plant stems are purplish; the foliage is hairy and in pairs. Uniquely, each leaf of the pairs has different sizes compared to the other. Each side of the leaf comes in two different colors: dark green on the leaf side that faces the top and purple (or light green) on the lower side. The plant’s flowers grow on the area where the stem and the leaves meet.
Despite its popularity as a decorative plant in the UK and US, purple waffle—under the name of Hemigraphis alternata—is also used as an herbal remedy to improve the function of urination, as well as cure hemorrhages, sexually transmitted diseases, and dysentery in Indonesia.
Purple Waffle Plant Varieties
There are several varieties of purple waffle plant that you will love, including:
Belgian Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternata Belgian Waffle)
As a variety of waffle plant, Belgian purple waffle plant has been copyrighted and has attractive features, such as bright green leaves with creamy-yellow outlines. The lower sides of the foliage are purple. The plant can reach up to 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in height and 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) in width.
Snow White Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis Snow White)
If you want the sweeter look of a waffle plant, this variety can be a good idea. The houseplant features light green leaves with pink and white tips. The patented variety can grow up to 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in height and 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) in width.
Dragon’s Tongue (Hemigraphis repanda)
Resembling multiple tongues of a dragon, this variety of waffle plant has thin bushy foliage in mixed colors of purple and green. Similar to the other varieties, Dragon’s tongue can grow up to 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in height and 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) in width.
To get more beautiful decoration to your home, pair up your purple waffle plant with the other decorative plants, such as Stromanthe’s variegated foliage, Ti Plant, and Red Aglaonema. Accentuate the unique leaves of the purple waffle plant with great pots. Clay pots in terra-cotta will look impeccable against your plant’s purple foliage. Besides that, you may also choose pots or containers flushed with blue, pink, yellow, and purple.
How to Properly Grow a Purple Waffle?
Growing a purple waffle is pretty simple as long as you have the right site to grow it. Unless a purple waffle plant gets enough sunlight through the windows, it will gradually lose its purple color and gain sunburnt on the tips of the leaves. Therefore, it is important to place the plant near a clear window. Also, do not forget to water your plant regularly to keep the soil’s moisture.
Pruning or grooming is not a necessity for your purple waffle as it is a little houseplant. However, you can always cut the stems when they grow too long or scraggy. Give the plant fertilizers at least twice in a year to make it thrive more beautifully. Well, fertilizing, even more, is fine, especially when your plant is placed in bright sunlight. You may use any fertilizers for houseplants as long as you follow the instructions of use on the packaging.
The Key to Purple Waffle Plant Care
Fortunately, your exotic angel plant is not only beautiful but also low-maintenance. Focus on some important aspects of waffle plant care, such as brightness, humidity, watering, and fertilizers. Once your plant gets the proper care, it will “thank” you so much by showing off its beauty and immunity towards pest infestations.
As mentioned above, growing a purple waffle requires moist soil—specifically to get healthy leaves. Therefore it is necessary to maintain the humidity of the surrounding. Water the plant until it drips from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot but don’t do it too often. Watch the humidity level of the soil and do the watering before it completely gets dried. Note that you should use filtered water to prevent the remaining salt in the soil.
In fertilizing, any houseplant fertilizers will do well for your purple waffle plant. However, never over-fertilize your plant as it will make it weak, scraggly, and lose their colorful appearance. Dissolve a teaspoon of 20-20-20 ratio of fertilizer with a gallon of water. Apply the solution to your plant once a month, replacing one-time watering. Then, let the plant have a “rest” within fall, winter, or wet season (any colder months) by not feeding it at all.
Meanwhile, pruning can be done to get rid of unwanted stems that grow at the bottom. You may also soak your gardening shears in disinfectant about 5 minutes before pruning to prevent pest infestations or diseases.
How to Control Purple Waffle Disease?
As a small-sized houseplant, purple waffle has to face many threats, especially from insects. Do not underestimate white flies or scale insect infestations. This problem generally caused by the honeydew sap and cotton-like things on the lower sides of the foliage.
More serious infestations can cause the leaves to scorch or even make the plant begin to die from its stem backward. To solve this problem, you have to use insecticide in the form of a soap solution. Please put it in a spray bottle and spray it out to each side of every leaf once in 4-7 days until the insects leave. Then, rinse the foliage with clean water a couple of hours after using the spray, so that it will not injure your plant.
The other issue is when the temperature in the surrounding is too dry, your purple waffle plant will get vulnerable, crisp tips of leaves. Do mist every day to stabilize the humidity. You have to use demineralized water to avoid the appearance of white spots on the foliage.
So, have you decided to grow and care for a purple waffle, yet? Get one and enjoy the beauty for the whole year around!