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How to Grow Hemigraphis

Hemigrraphis Waffle plant
Hemigraphis alternata

Hemisgraphis, Purple Waffle Plant, is an interesting trailing plant with shimmering gray leaves that are puckered, with burgundy-colored undersides.

Hempgraphis is grown mainly for its colorful leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped with scalloped edges. A spike of small white flowers enclosed by large bracts appears in summer.

Hemisgraphis thrives in filtered light at average room temperatures. It is a good choice for a hanging basket.

Hemigraphis is a genus of more than 60 species of tropical plants with trailing branches. Hempgraphis is native to woodland margins in tropical Asia.

Get to Know Hemigraphis

  • Plant type: Tropical trailing perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 10-11
  • Hardiness: 65° to 80°F (18°-27°C) year-round
  • Height and width: Trailing to 24 inches (61cm)
  • Foliage: Leaves on arching or trailing stems are oblong or heart-shaped, about 3 inches (7cm) long and 2 inches (5cm) wide; leaves are deeply puckered or waffled; metallic gray-green or purplish-green on top, dark red underneath.
  • Flowers: Small tubular 5-lobed usually white flowers are inconspicuous
  • Bloom time: Spring to summer
  • Uses: Indoor hanging basket
  • Common name: Purple waffle plant
  • Botanical name: Hemigraphis alternata
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Origin: Tropical Asia
Hemigraphis alternata
Hemigraphis alternata

Where to Plant Hemigraphis

  • Grow Hemigraphis in filtered light
  • Plant Hemigraphis in standard indoor potting soil.

How to Water and Feed Hemigraphis

  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Mist Hemigraphis daily; keep humidity at 45 to 60 percent.
  • Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks but do not fertilize in winter.

Hemigraphis Care

  • Pinch off the growing tips to promote a bushy shape.
  • If the plant becomes leggy, it may help to prune it back by half in late winter.
  • Let the plant rest for a short period in winter; reduce watering, keeping the soil barely moist; withhold fertilizer during the rest period.
  • Repot every spring.

Growing Hemigraphis as a Houseplant

  • Hemigraphis thrives in bright light; it can also be grown under fluorescent light.
  • The stems can become spindly if the light level is too low.
  • High humidity and an average to warm temperature year-round are needed.
  • The potting mix can be allowed to dry slightly between thorough waterings.
  • Fertilizer should be applied monthly during spring and summer.

Hemigraphis Pests and Diseases

  • Hemigraphis is rarely bothered by pests.

Hemigraphis Propagation

  • Propagate Hemigraphis by cuttings

Hemigraphis Varieties to Grow

  • H. alternata has ivylike, heart-shaped 3-inch leaves, gray-green above with wine red undersides.
  • H. ‘Exotica’ puts forth elongated oval leaves that are healthy puckered, giving the foliage a “waffled” look. Leaves are purplish-green above, magenta underneath.


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