VELVET PLANT

FAMILY: Asteraceae | GENUS: GYNURA

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Perennials
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Varies by Species
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants

Plant Details

These natives of the Old World tropics offer strikingly colorful foliage. Usually grown as house- plants, they also make interesting additions to borders. Thrive in fertile, well-drained soil outdoors.

purple velvet plant

gynura aurantiaca

  • CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Native to Indonesia.
  • Upright in youth, clambering when mature.
  • Grows 45 feet tall in south Florida but is shorter elsewhere; may spread twice as wide as tall.
  • Deeply toothed leaves, to 8 inches long and 4 inches wide, are heavily cloaked with velvety purple hairs, as are the stems.
  • Leaves emerge bright purple, then mature to deep green.
  • Sometimes blooms in late summer, bearing 34 inches., yellowish orange flowers that take on purple tones with age.
  • Purple Passion has smaller leaves and is distinctly trailing; excellent for use in hanging baskets.

Outdoors, purple velvet plant grows best in light shade. Indoors, give it bright light from a south- or west-facing window. Let the soil surface become dry to the touch before watering; then water thoroughly. Feed every other week in spring and summer and monthly in fall and winter with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer. Watch out for mealybugs and dispatch them by dabbing them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Propagate by stem cuttings taken in spring and summer. Cut back old, woody plants to produce fresh, colorful foliage.

okinaway spinach

gynura bicolor

  • LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Native to the Moluccas in east Indonesia.
  • Forms a leafy mass to 12 feet tall, 23 feet wide.
  • Coarse, deeply toothed, nearly hairless leaves reach 6 inches long and half as wide; they are chocolate-purple with prominent green veins on their upper surface, rich purple beneath.
  • Edible leaves are popular in Taiwan.
  • Showy orange-yellow blossoms to 12 inches across are borne on slender, erect stems; they attract butterflies and emit a sweet, pungent odor that some people do not enjoy.
  • Good in combination with finer-textured plants.
  • Outdoors, plant in full sun or partial shade.
  • Indoor culture is same as for Gynura aurantiaca.

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