The purple heart plant, also known as Tradescantia pallida, is a popular houseplant and landscaping choice due to its vibrant purple foliage. However, despite its hardiness, the plant can still experience issues that can lead to its demise. If you’re noticing your purple heart plant dying, there are several potential causes to consider.
Recognizing the Purple Heart Plant’s unique characteristics can help you better understand how to care for it. The plant features long, slender stems that grow up to 18 inches in length and produce small, three-petaled pink or purple flowers. The foliage is the plant’s main attraction, with its deep purple color and velvety texture.
To keep your purple heart plant thriving, it’s essential to provide it with the ideal environment for growth, which includes proper soil and watering requirements, potting and repotting techniques, and regular maintenance.
Key Takeaways on Purple Heart Plant Dying
- The purple heart plant is a popular houseplant and landscaping choice due to its vibrant purple foliage.
- Recognizing the plant’s unique characteristics can help you better understand how to care for it.
- To keep your purple heart plant thriving, it’s essential to provide it with the ideal environment for growth, including proper soil and watering requirements, potting and repotting techniques, and regular maintenance.
Recognizing the Purple Heart Plant
Purple Heart Plant, also known as Tradescantia pallida, is a fast-growing perennial plant that is native to Mexico. It is a popular plant for gardeners due to its ease of care and vibrant purple stems. The plant is also known as Purple Queen, Spiderwort, Purple Secretia, and Setcreasea pallida.
The plant type of Purple Heart is a trailing groundcover with succulent leaves that grow up to 7 inches long. The mature size of the plant can reach up to 1-2 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. The plant produces small flower clusters that range from violet to pink in color.
The botanical name of Purple Heart Plant, Tradescantia pallida, is named after John Tradescant, a gardener to King Charles I of England. Pallida means “pale” in Latin, which refers to the plant’s pale green leaves.
The most distinctive feature of the Purple Heart Plant is its vibrant purple stems. The stems are the main attraction of the plant, and they are what make it so popular among gardeners. The leaves of the plant are typically a pale green color, which provides a nice contrast to the purple stems.
Purple Heart Plant is native to Mexico, but it is commonly grown in other areas of the world as well. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions, including full sun and partial shade.
Ideal Environment for Growth
The Purple Heart plant is a hardy plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. However, providing the ideal environment for growth can help ensure that the plant remains healthy and vibrant.
The Purple Heart plant requires bright, indirect light to thrive. Placing the plant in a west or east-facing window can provide the ideal amount of light for the plant. Full sun can also be beneficial, but care should be taken to avoid exposing the plant to extreme heat and direct sunlight for extended periods.
The Purple Heart plant is a tropical plant that thrives in warm temperatures. Ideally, the plant should be kept in an environment where the temperature remains between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can tolerate temperatures outside of this range, but care should be taken to avoid exposing the plant to extreme temperatures.
The Purple Heart plant prefers a humid environment but can tolerate low humidity levels. Placing a small humidifier near the plant or misting the leaves with water can help increase humidity levels.
4. Hardiness Zones
The Purple Heart plant is hardy in zones 8-11. If you live in a colder climate, the plant can be grown indoors or in a greenhouse.
The Purple Heart plant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. A mixture of potting soil and perlite can provide the ideal growing medium for the plant.
The Purple Heart plant is drought-tolerant and prefers to be watered sparingly. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. The plant should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch.
Soil and Watering Requirements
The soil and watering requirements are crucial to the survival of the Purple Heart plant. The plant prefers well-draining soil with a pH range of 6 to 8. The ideal soil type is a mixture of peat moss and sand, which helps to enhance soil drainage.
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for the plant’s death. The plant is susceptible to root rot, which is caused by soil moisture and poor drainage. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged. It is essential to avoid watering the plant excessively, especially during the winter months when the plant is dormant.
Underwatering is also harmful to the plant’s health. The plant needs regular watering, especially during the growing season. The frequency of watering depends on the soil moisture level and the environment’s humidity. It is recommended to water the plant once a week, but it may require more frequent watering during hot and dry weather conditions.
The plant requires well-draining soil to prevent water from accumulating around the roots. The soil should have adequate drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Using mulch on top of the soil can also help to retain moisture and prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
Potting and Repotting
Potting and repotting are crucial steps in the care of the Purple Heart plant. When potting, it is important to choose a container that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. The container should have drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom, which can lead to root rot.
It is recommended to use a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or compost. Adding perlite to the soil mix can also help with drainage. When potting, fill the container with the soil mix and gently press down on the soil to remove any air pockets.
Repotting should be done when the plant has outgrown its current container or when the soil has become compacted. Signs that a plant needs to be repotted include roots growing out of the drainage holes or the plant becoming top-heavy and unstable.
When repotting, gently remove the plant from its current container and loosen any compacted soil around the root ball. If the roots are tightly wound around the root ball, gently tease them apart to encourage new growth.
Place the plant in the new container and fill in any gaps with fresh soil mix. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain out of the bottom of the container.
Plant Care and Maintenance
The Purple Heart plant is a relatively low-maintenance plant, but it does require some basic care to ensure it stays healthy and vibrant. Proper care will also help prevent the plant from dying prematurely.
The Purple Heart plant thrives in full sun, but it can also grow in partial shade. However, plants growing in partial shade will appear more green than purple. Indirect or filtered light helps avoid leaf burn or scorch, but too little sunlight will cause foliage to drop.
Pruning is an essential part of Purple Heart plant care. Regular pruning will help keep the plant healthy and promote new growth. Prune the plant back to half its size in the spring to encourage new growth. Pinch back the tips of the stems to promote bushier growth.
The Purple Heart plant requires regular fertilization to stay healthy and vibrant. Use a balanced fertilizer with an NPK of 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 diluted to half-strength every two weeks in spring and summer. Reduce to once a month in autumn and winter.
4. Plant Care
The Purple Heart plant prefers well-draining soil that is kept moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top 1 inch (1.5 cm) of soil is dry about once a week. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely, as this can cause the plant to wilt and die.
Regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests or diseases, such as spider mites, mealybugs, or fungal infections. If you notice any signs of pests or diseases, treat the plant immediately with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.
Propagating a purple heart plant can be an excellent way to save a dying plant or to create new plants for your home or garden. The most common method of propagation is stem cuttings.
To propagate a purple heart plant using stem cuttings, start by selecting a healthy stem with at least two nodes. Cut the stem just below the second node using a sharp and clean pair of scissors or a knife. Remove all the leaves from the bottom node and leave the top leaves intact.
Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder and shake off any excess. Rooting hormone can help stimulate root growth and increase the chances of successful propagation.
Next, place the cutting in a container with moist potting soil or in a jar of water. If you are using soil, make sure it is well-draining and keep it moist but not waterlogged. If you are using water, make sure the cutting is submerged in the water but not touching the bottom of the jar.
Keep the container or jar in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight. Check the cutting regularly and keep the soil or water moist. After a few weeks, the cutting should start to develop roots. Once the roots are a few inches long, the cutting can be transplanted into a larger container with potting soil.
Flowering and Blooming
The Purple Heart Plant is a flowering plant that produces small and delicate pink or white flowers. These flowers bloom in the summer and fall seasons, and they are a beautiful addition to any garden or indoor space.
To ensure that your Purple Heart Plant blooms to its fullest potential, it is important to provide it with the right growing conditions. This includes providing it with bright, indirect sunlight and keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.
During the blooming season, it is important to remove individual spent flowers by pinching them off with your fingers. When an entire stem of flowers has passed, cut it off with pruning shears just a few inches above the ground. This will encourage the plant to devote energy to blooming rather than seed production .
It is important to note that the Purple Heart Plant is known to form dense groundcover, which can prevent the germination and establishment of other plants. Gardeners should be aware of this when planting the Purple Heart Plant in their garden .
Potential Health Issues
The Purple Heart plant is generally a hardy plant with few health issues. However, there are some potential health issues that can arise and cause the plant to die.
One of the most common problems with the Purple Heart plant is yellow leaves. This can be caused by a lack of water, too much direct sunlight, or a nutrient deficiency.
If the plant is not watered enough, the leaves will start to turn yellow and eventually fall off. If the plant is getting too much direct sunlight, the leaves will also turn yellow and may even become brown and dried out.
Another potential health issue that can cause the Purple Heart plant to die is Fusarium wilt. This is a fungal disease that affects the roots of the plant and can cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown.
The plant may also wilt and eventually die if left untreated. To prevent Fusarium wilt, make sure the plant is not overwatered and that the soil is well-draining.
Root rot is another potential health issue that can cause the Purple Heart plant to die. This is a fungal disease that affects the roots of the plant and can cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown.
The plant may also wilt and eventually die if left untreated. To prevent root rot, make sure the plant is not overwatered and that the soil is well-draining.
If a Purple Heart plant is dying, there are a few things that can be done to fix the problem. First, check the soil to make sure it is not too wet or too dry. If the soil is too wet, let it dry out before watering again. If the soil is too dry, water the plant thoroughly and make sure the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot.
Pest and Disease Management
Purple heart plants are generally quite hardy and low-maintenance, but they can still fall prey to pests and diseases. Here are some common issues to watch out for and how to manage them.
The most common pests that affect purple heart plants are aphids. These small, soft-bodied insects can quickly multiply and cause damage to the leaves and stems of the plant. To control aphids, you can:
- Spray the plant with a strong stream of water to knock them off
- Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to the plant
- Introduce natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings to the area
Other pests that may occasionally affect purple heart plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These can also be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
The most common disease that affects purple heart plants is root rot. This occurs when the soil is too wet and the roots become waterlogged, leading to decay. To prevent root rot, make sure the plant is not overwatered and that the soil has good drainage.
Another disease that may affect purple heart plants is fungal leaf spot. This appears as small, dark spots on the leaves and can be caused by high humidity or poor air circulation. To control fungal leaf spot, you can:
- Remove affected leaves and discard them
- Apply a fungicide to the plant
- Improve air circulation around the plant by pruning back nearby foliage
To prevent pests and diseases from affecting your purple heart plant, it’s important to maintain good plant hygiene. This includes:
- Regularly removing dead or diseased leaves
- Keeping the plant in a well-ventilated area
- Avoiding overwatering and ensuring the soil has good drainage
If you do notice signs of pests or diseases on your purple heart plant, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the issue from spreading. With proper care and attention, your purple heart plant should thrive for years to come.
Toxicity and Safety Measures
The Purple Heart Plant, also known as Tradescantia pallida, is a beautiful and vibrant houseplant that is easy to care for. However, it is important to note that this plant is toxic to both humans and pets. The sap from cut or broken stems can occasionally cause skin irritation for people or pets, according to the University of Wisconsin.
Although the Purple Heart Plant is not on the ASPCA’s toxic plant list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs, it is still important to take safety measures when handling this plant. Wearing gloves can help prevent skin irritation from the sap. It is also recommended to keep the plant out of reach of pets and children.
In addition to skin irritation, the Purple Heart Plant can also cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. Symptoms of ingestion can include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of the plant, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Toxicity can vary depending on the amount ingested, the size of the animal, and other factors. Therefore, it is important to err on the side of caution and take safety measures when handling the Purple Heart Plant.
Landscaping with Purple Heart Plant
The Purple Heart Plant is a versatile and attractive plant that can add a pop of color to any garden or landscape. This ornamental plant is native to Mexico but is now grown in many parts of the world. It is a popular choice for gardeners because of its low maintenance requirements and its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions.
One of the best ways to use the Purple Heart Plant in landscaping is as a ground cover. Its trailing stems and purple foliage make it an excellent choice for filling in gaps between other plants or covering bare patches of ground. It can also be used to create borders or edgings for flower beds or walkways.
The Purple Heart Plant is not considered invasive, so it is a safe choice for most gardens. However, it is important to note that it can spread quickly if left unchecked, so it is important to keep an eye on it and prune it back as needed.
In addition to ground cover, the Purple Heart Plant can also be grown in hanging baskets or as a trailing plant in containers. Its cascading stems and vibrant purple foliage make it a great choice for adding interest and color to a patio or balcony.
Purple Heart Plant as a Houseplant
The Purple Heart plant, also known as Tradescantia pallida, is a popular houseplant due to its striking purple foliage and ease of care. It is a perennial plant that is native to Mexico and prefers a warm, humid environment.
As a houseplant, the Purple Heart plant requires bright, indirect light to thrive. It can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much can scorch the leaves. It is recommended to place the plant near a window that receives plenty of light but has a sheer curtain to filter the intensity of the sun.
In terms of humidity, the Purple Heart plant prefers a moderate to high level of humidity. It is recommended to keep the plant away from drafts and to use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase the humidity around the plant. Alternatively, the plant can be misted regularly to provide additional moisture.
The Purple Heart plant is relatively low maintenance and can tolerate periods of drought. However, it is important not to overwater the plant as it can lead to root rot. It is recommended to allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering and to ensure that the pot has adequate drainage.
Family and Origin
The Purple Heart plant, also known as Tradescantia pallida, is a tropical plant that belongs to the spiderwort family, Commelinaceae. This family includes about 652 species of flowering plants that are mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
The Purple Heart plant is native to the Gulf Coast region of eastern Mexico, from Tamaulipas to Yucatan. It is a tender evergreen perennial that is grown as an ornamental plant for its striking purple foliage.
The plant was originally named Setcreasea pallida by Joseph Nelson Rose in 1911 but was later reclassified in the genus Tradescantia by D.R. Hunt of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The spiderwort family is known for its three-petaled flowers that bloom in the morning and close by midday. The Purple Heart plant also produces small, delicate, heart-shaped blossoms that are typically pink or purple in color.
The plant has long, trailing stems that can grow up to 2-3 feet in length. The stems, leaves, and flowers of the Purple Heart plant are all purple in color, which gives it the common name of purple queen.
Overall, the Purple Heart plant is a beautiful and unique addition to any garden or indoor space. However, it can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases, which can cause it to wither and die. In the following sections, we will explore some common causes of Purple Heart plant death and how to prevent them.
Purple heart plants are known for their hardiness and ability to tolerate a range of weather conditions. They are evergreen perennials that can survive in both hot and cold climates, making them a popular choice for gardeners.
In terms of winter hardiness, purple heart plants can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F. However, their foliage may not survive in colder temperatures, and the plant may go dormant until spring. In colder regions, it is recommended to grow purple heart plants in containers and winter them indoors or keep them exclusively as houseplants.
Frost can also be a concern for purple heart plants. While they can tolerate light frost, prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can damage or kill the plant. Gardeners in areas with cold winters should take precautions to protect their purple heart plants from frost damage.
Despite their hardiness, purple heart plants are also drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions. However, they do best with regular watering and should not be allowed to dry out completely. It is recommended to water purple heart plants when the top inch of soil is dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I revive my purple heart plant?
If your purple heart plant is dying, there are a few things you can do to revive it. First, make sure it is getting enough light. The purple heart plant needs bright, indirect light to thrive. If it is not getting enough light, move it to a brighter spot.
Next, check the soil moisture. The purple heart plant likes to be kept moist, but not waterlogged. If the soil is too dry, water it thoroughly. If the soil is too wet, let it dry out before watering again.
Finally, make sure the plant is not being exposed to extreme temperatures. The purple heart plant prefers temperatures between 46-79°F (18-26°C). If the plant is being exposed to temperatures outside of this range, move it to a more suitable location.
Why is my purple heart plant turning brown?
There are a few reasons why your purple heart plant may be turning brown. One common cause is overwatering. The purple heart plant likes to be kept moist, but not waterlogged. If the soil is too wet, the roots may begin to rot, causing the plant to turn brown.
Another cause of browning leaves is exposure to extreme temperatures. The purple heart plant prefers temperatures between 46-79°F (18-26°C). If the plant is being exposed to temperatures outside of this range, it may begin to turn brown.
Finally, the plant may be suffering from a fungal or bacterial infection. If you suspect this is the case, remove any affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide or bactericide.
How often should you water purple heart?
The purple heart plant likes to be kept moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top 1-inch (1.5cm) of soil is dry, about once a week. Be sure to water the plant thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain away.
Why are the leaves on my purple heart plant turning green?
The leaves on the purple heart plant should be a vibrant shade of purple. If they are turning green, it may be a sign that the plant is not getting enough light.
The purple color of the leaves is due to a pigment called anthocyanin, which is produced in response to bright light. If the plant is not getting enough light, it may begin to produce less anthocyanin, causing the leaves to turn green.
Is the purple heart plant poisonous to humans?
The purple heart plant is not toxic to humans, but it may cause skin irritation in some people. If you come into contact with the sap of the plant, wash the affected area with soap and water.
Is the purple heart plant poisonous to dogs?
The purple heart plant is considered toxic to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests any part of the plant, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms. If you suspect your pet has ingested the purple heart plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below