4.7 out of 5 (82 experiences)
About Purple Heart
Tradescantia pallida, also known as the purple heart plant, is an exceptionally easy plant to care for and rewards growers with delightful purple blossoms. Their small flowers are heart shaped, which gives them their name. They are extremely easy to propagate by stem and one plant can give rise to dozens of new ones, which makes them great for sharing. 🤝 As houseplants they often trail, but will also creep along the ground if grown outdoors. Their succulent leaves make them sensitive to frost, so be sure to bring them indoors if your winter temperatures dip below freezing. ❄️
Also known as
Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart' and Purple Fuzz
How to care for Purple Heart
How often to water your Purple Heart
Purple Heart needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Finding light for Purple Heart in your home
Purple Heart may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.
Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to keep it happy during this time of reduced sunlight intensity in Fort Collins, Colorado ⛅.
How to fertilize Purple Heart
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Purple Heart after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Purple Heart is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!
Purple Heart prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Purple Heart may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
Purple Heart is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.
Purple Heart doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.
Purple Heart does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!
Purple Heart should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
It’s common for Purple Heart to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
Purple Heart is native to the Americas.
Yes, you may see your Purple Heart bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
Purple Heart has long, trailing foliage which makes them a great addition to a hanging planter. The newest growth will emerge from the tip of the stems.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Purple Heart can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 8a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.
Purple Heart can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:
- Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
- To get the cutting to root, you can either:
- Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
- Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.
Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.
Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Purple Heart, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.
Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for Purple Heart
0.5 cups every 9 days
< 3ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on your location in Fort Collins, Colorado, the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
What other plant parents say
Like any tradescantia these are basically gonna thrive the minute you keep them hydrated and in partial sun. I started this monster of a plant in May from a cutting (with one tiny sad stem) and since then I already had to repot twice. Since May. Now I’m not allowing it to grow anymore, let see what winter brings.
This is a great plant for hanging or climbing. If you give it more shade or it gets root bound it will turn green. It grows quickly so keep an eye on the roots. If it gets rooted just give it a larger pot. Works very well outside as a planter cover as well. Vibrant beautiful purple leaves and stems with lavender flowers.