How to Grow Purple Passion Plant (Gynura Aurantiaca)

Renowned for its health benefits and therapeutic properties, the purple passion plant has many uses in the plant world today.

It’s also known as the Purple Passion Vine, Purple Velvet Plant, Royal Velvet Plant, or simply Velvet Plant – with a botanical name of Gynura Aurantiaca.

Originating from Southeast Asia, it has been know to help reduce anxiety and sleeping disorders.

This tropical plant also has appeasing effects on some portions of the brain, thereby soothing the nervous system and allowing it to relax.

purple passion plant taking sunbathPin

Speaking of propagation, Gynura Aurantiaca is a very unique, and easy to grow houseplant.

Thanks to the soft purple hairs on its fuzzy green and purple leaves, the purple velvet plant has velvety leaves that appear to glow in the sunlight.

It almost has a purple sheen to it. It doesn’t mind indirect light, which also makes it ideal for growing indoors.

How to Care for a Purple Passion Plant

Amount of Light

The purple passion plant enjoys indirect light.

If it sits in a partial shade environment where it doesn’t receive enough light, it will become leggy.

It will stretch to find a light source. In addition, the hairs on the green leaves will become dull, thereby making it lose its effervescent purple color.

The purple passion plant can do well under artificial light.

How Much Water Does A Purple Passion Plant Need?

We tend to water our plants to continue to enable them to grow faster.

But the roots of a new purple passion plant are fragile, making them prone to root rot when you overwater them, thereby destroying the whole plant as a result of wet feet.

In the same vein, the green leaves of the purple passion plant start to sag when it doesn’t get enough water and may become root bound to the pot.

However, you will need a balanced watering schedule when growing purple passion plant. New purple passion plants need to receive the right amount of water.

Note that this watering method will be largely dependent on the size of the purple velvet plant in order to avoid root rot, and also the amount of light it gets.

The easiest hands-off approach is to have a self-watering planter or pot. We highly recommend this self-watering pot as it’s so easy to use. Add water and that’s it. No-fuss no muss.

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the purple passion plant sitting in a pot top viewPin

What is the Best Temperature for a Purple Passion Plant?

Just like other indoor plants, the purple passion plant will thrive under normal room temperature, as it doesn’t tolerate much heat.

Temperatures between 60F and 80F (15C to 26C) is ideal for the propagation of the purple passion plant.

What Humidity Levels Does a Purple Passion Plant Thrive In?

The purple passion plant enjoys relatively moderate to high humidity.

If you happen to have low humidity, you can place your plant on a tray containing water and rocks. This can help create moisture in the air around your plant.

Alternatively, an electric humidifier could help raise the humidity.

If you are looking for a relatively cheap humidifier to increase the humidity around your plant, this humidifier is perfect for the job. It’s been used by indoor growers and seems to get great results.

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Common Problems When Caring for a Purple Passion Plant

Just like other houseplants, the purple passion plant can fall victim to common pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, and scale.

Pests to Look Out for

Pests like the spider mite are troublesome. They can go undetected on your purple passion plant for some time. This is because they are so tiny, and it is very difficult to spot them with naked eyes.

Once you detect this pest on your purple passion plant, the best thing to do is to take the purple passion plants outside and spray with high pressure of water which would be enough to flush away the mites.

However, if your Gynura aurantiaca is attracting mites, you can simply cut off the affected parts of the purple passion plant and rinse the plant with water.

For insect control, neem oil or a general insect spray that works really well with all sorts of pests. We generally use this insect spray but you could use any other brand.

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the beautiful purple passion plant close up viewPin

Diseases to Look Out For

Diseases are also a problem while growing purple passion plants. Although they generally resist diseases, they are not immune.

The most common disease that affects both the new plants and the mature plants are botrytis and fusarium wilt which causes the foliage to turn brown, wilt and die off.

While these are common diseases, pathogens can also infect the purple passion plants through contamination, thereby inhibiting the plant’s growth.

Another problem is the discoloration of the green and purple leaves. Curling or brown leave or brown spots are a sign that your Gynura aurantiaca is getting too much light.

Trim off the affected part if this happens, and move the whole plant further away from the direct light source.

A pair of sharp scissors will do, but if you want something more sturdy we recommend these garden shears. These garden shears are super sharp and perfect for pruning and cutting any plant stem, root, or any other part of a plant.

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How to Propagate a Purple Passion Plant

There are many methods of growing purple passion plants, but stem cutting is one of the easiest methods for beginners.

In horticulture, stem cutting is a method in plant propagation whereby a healthy vegetative portion of a mother plant is cut off and is encouraged to form roots.

Stem cutting is also known as cloning, simply because you are creating the exact same copy of the parent plant.

The best secret a gardener can give you is to use some rooting hormone. The plant starts to grow with new growth by using root hormones.

If you are new to rooting hormones, we recommend you take a look at this rooting hormone product. It was easy to use, simple directions, and works like gangbusters. The roots just grew like a weed!

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Propagating Purple Passion Plant Cuttings in Water or Soil?

After successfully cutting the stem of the purple passion plant, the next thing to do is root the stem.

While this is easier to do, it can be done in one of two ways.

First, by planting the stem directly in fresh soil or secondly, by keeping the stem in water for a while until roots start developing.

Before we can then plant them in the soil is even better if it’s a well-draining potting mix or seed starting mix.

Stem cutting can be done for the purple passion plant at any time of the year, but taking the cuttings in the summer and spring periods when the Gynura Aurantiaca plant is active in its growing season will yield faster results.

Planting Purple Passion Plant Cuttings

Examine your purple passion plant to make sure it is healthy and free from disease, and also check for insects, as mealybugs and spider mites love to reside in those soft velvet leaves.

Fill your pot with some fresh seed starting soil. Seed starting soils are excellent for purple passion plants that are just developing.

If you are looking for some good seed starting soil, we suggest this seed starting mix. It’s been giving us great seedlings from all sorts of plantings.

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Water the soil and then use the tip of a pencil to poke a hole in the soil medium before inserting the stem cutting of your purple velvet plant, then water again to keep the soil moist.

But remember not too much water too much as to get soggy soil.

Poking a hole in the soil medium will allow you to insert the stem cutting in the soil without damaging the tip of the purple passion plant.

Another thing to note is that stem cuttings cannot be placed side by side with established tropical plants, as new cuttings cannot take the same amount of light as established purple velvet plants can.

Place your pot where it can get bright light, but not too much direct sunlight (in other words, indirect sunlight is best)


If you decide to grow a purple passion plant, they are a fast-growing plant. They can reach maturity in a matter of a few years.

In that time and as the purple passion plant matures, the purple passion plant may even bloom orange flowers. They may also look great in hanging baskets or a small pot.

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