Purple Waffle Plant

A Purple Waffle plant, also called Metal Leaf plant, Waffle plant, Red Flame Ivy, and Red Ivy originated in the jungles of Java. The plant gets its name because of the”puckered” appearance of its leaves. A Purple Waffle plant, Hemigraphis alternata, only grows about 6”-8” tall but can produce stems 12” to 24” long and looks great in a hanging basket. This is a very pretty plant with shiny, dark green leaves that have a purple underside. Waffle plants are easy to care for and a perfect plant for beginners.

Plant Care


Provide medium to bright indirect light but no direct sun. The leaf edges turn brown and curl and the colors in the leaves bleach out if the light is too strong. When there is not enough light, the vibrant colors in the leaves of a Purple Waffle plant start to fade.


Keep the soil barely moist but not soggy, at all times. Water less during the winter when the plant is growing slowly.


Feed your Waffle plant monthly from late March through September with a plant food high in phosphate (5/10/5) diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Be sure the soil is moist when you feed the plant or the roots may get burned


Waffle plants likes warm temperatures between 55°F-75°F (12.8°C–23.9°C). Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) may damage the leaves.


These plants grow better and look better in high humidity. If the air in your home is very dry, set the plant on a wet pebble tray. Be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water. If you do mist the plant, mist during the warm part of the day so the leaves have a chance to dry before night.


A Purple Waffle plant occasionally produces small, tubular, white flowers.


Fairly pest resistant, but a Waffle plant may attract whiteflies and scale


Root rot develops when the plant is overwatered. Mildew may occur if you mist a Purple Waffle plant late in the day and the leaves don’t dry before evening.


Use a rich, organic soil full of peat moss that drains quickly.

Pot Size

Move the plant to the next size pot, and nothing larger, when the roots have filled the existing pot.


Pinch the stem tips of a Waffle plant to keep it bushy and compact. Allow some stems to grow long if you want to put the plant in a hanging basket.


Propagate during the spring and summer using 4″-6” stem tip cuttings taken just below a node in the stem.

Clean Air Plant

This is an excellent clean air plant, made even better by the increased area of the deeply puckered leaves.

Poisonous Plant Info

Non-poisonous to humans and pets