Waffle Plant Info: How To Grow Hemigraphis Alternata Houseplants

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing waffle plants as part of a dish garden or a mixed container provides unusual, cascading foliage with a purple color and metallic tint. Waffle plant info indicates that the plant, also known as red ivy or red flame ivy, grows easily indoors under the right growing conditions.

Growing Waffle Plants

Learning how to grow Hemigraphis alternata and other waffle plant species is fairly simple once you have it in the right location. Red ivy plant care requires that the plant get bright, but indirect light, meaning direct sunlight should not reach the foliage. When growing waffle plants in direct sun, much of the foliage color washes out and leaf tips can burn. Keep growing waffle plants away from drafts as well.

Waffle plant info says growing waffle plants need evenly moist soil. Consistent watering of well-drained soil promotes the growth and well-being of the waffle plant. However, do not allow the roots of the plant to remain in soggy soil.

Info also indicates high humidity is an integral part of red ivy plant care. Mist the plant regularly, or better yet, create a pebble tray to provide humidity to all your indoor plants. Place layers of pebbles in a plant saucer, or any container without drainage holes. Fill three-quarters of the way with water. Set the plants on top of the pebbles, or near the pebble tray. Indoor humidity is usually low, especially in winter. Pebble trays are an easy way to give your houseplants what they need.

Waffle plant info says it is easy to get more growing waffle plants by propagating from stem cuttings. Take 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm.) stem pieces from the waffle plant, removing all but the top leaves, and place in small containers in moist soil.

Fertilize with a liquid houseplant food or granulated fertilizer. Water as needed to keep the soil moist and you should have rooted cuttings ready to transplant in seven to 10 days. Use the cuttings with compatible plants for more dish gardens.

Now that you’ve learned how to grow Hemigraphis alternata, take advantage of its showy color in different houseplant combinations.

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Houseplants forum→Dying Purple Waffle plant

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This little plant and I quickly had a disagreement on watering, as I felt it wanted to be constantly moist, and it felt it wanted to be much dryer. There stems got weak and translucent, falling on their own. There was no rot in roots, so I cut it way back, and watered much much less, and it's fine now. It's a straggly grower, needing a lot of pruning, and without it, longer stems become ugly, and easily drop off. So, as long as the soil does not smell like mold or rot, I would just experiment with changing it's care. I bet it rejuvenates nicely.

I searched out data base to see if anyone else here grows your plant, and it seems no one here does.
Best of luck.

Move your plant to a location where it gets lots of very bright, but mostly indirect sunlight - no more than a couple of hours of direct sun falling on it. A north or east windowsill would be best. The repotting has complicated the watering. My suggestion is that you water it lightly as soon as the surface soil turns light brown and dry. Adjust the amount of water so that it reaches that level of dryness again in about a week.

Don't do anything else to it. Fertilizer, for example, will not help nor will disturbing the roots. It will take quite a while for the damaged roots to recover. Slowly, you should see some healthy new growth. But be patient!

How to Grow Purple Waffle

Related Articles

The purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis 'Exotica') features green leaves with purple margins. The foliage has a wrinkled texture that resembles a waffle. Although waffle plants are perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, they are most often grown as potted houseplants. Proper care results in healthy plants that can grow up to 8 inches tall and spread over an 18 inch area. The trailing stems are especially attractive in window boxes and hanging baskets.

Grow purple waffle plants in rich but well-drained soil in a full-sun to partial shade location. It performs best grown in partial shade, as foliage grown in full-sun might not develop the plant's characteristic metallic sheen.

Protect containerized waffle plants during winter. Bring potted outdoor plants indoors before temperatures drop below freezing because the plant will not survive frost.

Water purple waffle plants when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil begins to dry slightly. Provide garden plants with about 1 inch of water weekly, and water potted plants as needed so the soil remains moist throughout. Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding plants grown in a garden bed to help conserve the moisture.

Fill the drip tray beneath potted plants with pebbles and set the pot on top. Add water to the tray until the water level is just beneath the top surface of the pebbles, and replenish it as needed. The water increases humidity around the plant when it's grown indoors.

Mix ½ teaspoon of an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, such as a 24-8-16 blend, with 1 gallon of water. Water the purple waffle plant with the solution every two weeks during the spring and summer growing season. The plant doesn't require fall or winter fertilization.

Trim or pinch off dead or damaged leaves and stems as needed throughout the growing season. Purple waffle plants don't require regular pruning.

Hemigraphis alternata
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Purple Waffle Plant Plant Features

Purple waffle plant is a delightful small houseplant that has colorful foliage, making it a lovely addition to your home or office all year long. In addition to its beauty, purple waffle plant is easy to grow indoors.

Its small stature makes purple waffle plant an ideal houseplant for decorating beside tables, countertops, and desks. Because it's low growing, you can also use purple waffle plant as a groundcover underneath taller indoor plants, such as ficus trees.

Accent purple waffle plant's unique foliage with a great container. Clay (terra-cotta) pots offer a lovely contrast against the purple leaves, but you can also make a big impact with containers that have shades of yellow, purple, pink, or blue.

Purple Waffle Plant Questions?
We love chatting about houseplants. If you have questions about your purple waffle plant, simply drop us an email! And sign up to receive our special email newsletter for more tips and ideas for growing gorgeous plants in and out of your home.

Purple Waffle Plant Growing Instructions

Grow purple waffle plant in medium to bright light indoors. If the plant doesn't get enough light, it may lose some of the rich purple coloring. If it gets too much direct sun as a houseplant, the leaves may bleach and show signs of sunburn.

Water purple waffle plant enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Because it's a small houseplant, you typically don't need to prune purple waffle plant, but if stems get too long or scraggly, you can prune it back at any time.

Fertilize purple waffle plant a couple of times a year (at minimum) to keep it happy. You can fertilize more frequently, if you wish, especially if you grow it in a bright spot. Use any houseplant fertilizer and follow the directions on the packaging.

Note: Purple waffle plant is not intended for human or animal consumption.


Indoors: High light
Indoors: Medium light



Special Features

Purifies the air

Complement your Purple Waffle Plant with these varieties:

Varieties: Our Favorites

Belgian Waffle Purple Waffle Plant

Hemigraphis alternata Belgian Waffle

Belgian Waffle is a patented variety of waffle plant that has medium-green foliage edged in creamy-yellow. The undersides of the leaves are purple. It grows 6 inches tall and up to 12 inches wide.

Dragon's Tongue

Dragon's tongue is a textural houseplant that offers narrow, purple-green leaves on a low-growing plant. It's perfect for medium-light terrariums! Dragon's tongue grows 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide.

Purple Waffle Plant

Purple waffle plant has metallic green-purple foliage with a unique puckered texture. It grows 6 inches tall and up to 18 inches wide.

Snow White Purple Waffle Plant

Snow White waffle plant is an exciting small houseplant that has light green foliage variegated with white and pink edges. This variety is patented. It grows 6 inches tall and can reach 12 inches wide.

Chinese evergreen is a can't-go-wrong houseplant. It grows practically everywhere, from low to bright light and doesn't mind if you forget to water from time to time.

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Purple Waffle Plant Indoors (Hemigraphis alternata)


Colorful trailing plant produces rich purple-tinted foliage with a crinkly look similar to the texture of a waffle. An easy to grow, low maintenance selection that adds a colorful, decorator touch to any room or office. Native to the tropical regions of Indonesia and India.

A great potted plant for a sunny spot indoors or on a lightly shaded deck, patio, or porch during warm weather. Perfect for hanging baskets.

Plant Feed

Once every month during growing season.


Basic Care Summary

Thrives in a warm location with bright, indirect light. Keep soil consistently moist. Can be pruned freely to maintain desired size.

Planting Instructions

Start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Many are available with a mild starter fertilizer in the mix.

Select a container with a drainage hole or be prepared to drill holes for drainage if there are none.

Prepare the container by filling with potting soil up to 2” (5cm) from the rim of the planter. Remove the plant from its pot.

Make a small hole in the soil slightly larger than the root ball either by hand or using a trowel. Insert the plant into the hole and press soil firmly around the roots and just covering the root ball. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start. Place plant in a reliably sunny location.

Repot every 2 years in the same container or in a container slightly larger than the diameter of the roots.

Watering Instructions

Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water.

Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet.

Fertilizing Instructions

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed for foliage plants.

Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.

Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. A single application can often provide plants with the proper level of nutrition all season long.

Pruning Instructions

Most container plants can be pruned freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Keeping the foliage trimmed also keeps the plants looking neat and tidy, encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.


Unsuccessful tropical house plants will be offered a one-time replacement with a new plant or gift card.

Up to 1 month 100% Replacement
Up to 3 months 50% Replacement
3-6 months 25% Replacement
Beyond 6 months No Replacement

Whether purchased in store or online, the plant and receipt must be brought back to our store at 7800 Roblin Boulevard. The plant will be assessed by our greenhouse team to determine cause and replacement value. Shelmerdine will not authorize replacements through emailed pictures or accept plants sent to us via courier for assessment.

*Bonsai, flowering indoor plants, air plants, patio tropicals, 2” plants and 4” plants are not covered under this policy.

Watch the video: How to Grow u0026 Care of Red IvyHemigraphis alternate, Red flame Ivy

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