Purple velvet or purple passion (Gynura aurantiaca) is a houseplant with fuzzy purple hairs that cover its foliage. Get facts and information on growing and caring for Gynura varieties. These colorful plants grow very well in hanging baskets.
Gynura, specifically Gynura aurantiaca, grows only 6” h x 2’w. It is a herbaceous plant with a trailing form making it an excellent plant for hanging baskets. Purple passion needs bright to medium light to keep its intense purple color and dense form. When grown in the proper light, it remains stocky and thick. If grown in too little light, the plant becomes leggy. Adaptable to a cool window, purple passion tolerates cool to average temperatures (55-65) and average humidity (30-60 %). A pot-in-pot system helps maintain adequate humidity around the plant.
Care of Purple Passion
Keep evenly moist during active growth; reduce watering and allow the soil to dry slightly in winter. Feed three times in summer with foliage plant food. You can repot the plant annually, but it isn’t necessary. After a couple of years, the plant may get ragged, so start a new plant every year to keep an attractive specimen. Pinch it regularly to keep it stocky.
Propagate by stem cuttings in water or soil. You will get an attractive plant faster if you root several cuttings in a single pot. Use rooting hormone and keep the humidity higher than usual while the plant is developing roots.
Pests and Diseases
Treat mealybugs with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or horticultual oil. Avoid spraying the entire plant with oil so the hairs don't mat.
Species of Gynura aurantiaca
The cultivar ‘Purple Passion’ is the standard plant. The species is seldom available.
Tip: Pinch out the stem tips regularly to keep the plant looking shrubby and attractive. Also pinch out flower buds because they have an unpleasant odor.