Purple Heart

Tradescantia pallida
Characteristics
Category Ground Cover
Size 12" x 12"
Flower Color Pink
Flower Season
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Regular Irrigation
Growth Rate Fast
Hardiness 32°F
Notes:

May cause a skin irritation or allergic reaction.

Description

This attractive perennial is noted for its violet purple leaves and low-growing habit to one foot with an almost equal spread. The undersides of its narrow, oblong leaves are deep violet to pink. The plant is a vigorous grower with a trailing habit and produces dainty, pink blooms in small clusters that are only open in the morning.  This plant may cause a skin irritation or allergic relation from the juices in its stems. Wear protective clothing and gloves when working around it, especially if you have sensitive skin. Use it for its excellent colored foliage, which makes a nice contrast against other green plants in containers, hanging baskets, rock gardens, raised planters, narrow beds, and borders, and as an understory plant. This plant is very easy to grow and easy to propagate by cuttings. The purple heart is native to tropical and semi tropical areas of Mexico, from Tamaulipas to the Yucatan.

Maintenance

It takes full sun to partial shade, but the foliage may be a richer color in full sun. Purple heart also likes rich, moist, well-draining, sandy soil and is drought-tolerant. This groundcover prefers regular irrigation and freezes below thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit. If frosted back, prune it to live growth. The plant recovers quickly in the spring. To maintain a nice shape and stimulate growth, remove flower stems and prune after the groundcover finishes blooming.