Gynura is a handsome small perennial or shrub with soft, hairy, purple leaf surfaces that give the plant a velvety texture. It is sometimes called purple passion plant or velvet plant.
Gynura grows easily at average room temperature and under artificial light. It catches the eye immediately with its vivid and exotic foliage.
Get to Know Gynura
- Plant type: Evergreen tropical perennial
- Growing Zones and range:
- Hardiness: Grows best at temperatures between 60°and 70°F (16°-21°C)
- Height and width: 2 to 3 feet (61-91cm) tall and wide
- Foliage: Lance-shaped leaves grow 6 inches (15cm) long and 2½ inches wide with toothed edges. Velvety violet hairs cover both leaves and stems.
- Flowers: Small yellow or orange flowers with unpleasant scent; best to pinch away flowers
- Bloom time: Spring or summer
- Uses: Houseplant
- Botanical name: Gynura
- Common name: Purple passion plant, velvet plant
Where to Plant Gynura
- Gynura grows best in bright, filtered light; too little light will cause the plant to become leggy and dull the purplish color.
- Gynura grows well under artificial light, needing 14 hours daily.
- Pot Gynura in standard indoor potting soil.
How to Water and Feed Gynura
- Allow top 1 inch (2.5cm) of soil to dry out between waterings; the plant will suffer if overwatered.
- Keep humidity high by placing the plant on a humidity tray. Do not mist Gynura or wet the foliage.
- Fertilize Gynura with a complete fertilizer from spring through early autumn; do not overfertilize or plant will become lanky.
- Pinch off growing tips regularly to produce a bushy plant.
- Repot when roots occupy ½ of pots space.
- Let plant rest from late fall through winter; keep in a cool, well-lit spot at 55°F (13°C); reduce water, keeping barely moist; feed half as frequently.
- Gynura is occasionally bothered by aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites.
- Propagate Gynura by stem cuttings taken in summer.
Gynura Varieties to Grow
- Gynura aurantiaca ‘Purple Passion’ and ‘Sarmentosa’ are commonly sold.