The Graptopetalum purple haze plant may be one of the most colorful houseplants around. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to take care of, requiring very little maintenance and only needing infrequent watering to survive.
The Graptopetalum purple haze is a succulent, which means it stores water in its fleshy leaves and stems so it can survive droughts and neglect from owners better than traditional houseplants. This plant, however, can also be quite hard to keep alive if you don’t know how to care for it properly.
With over 100 species in the genus Graptopetalum, you may be wondering how to best care for your Graptopetalum purple haze (Graptopetalum paraguayense). This particular succulent tends to prefer warmer weather, but with proper care and lighting, it can thrive in any climate.
Here are some tips on how to care for your purple-leafed Graptopetalum.
Origin and distribution
The Graptopetalum purple haze is native to Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. It’s also cultivated in Argentina and grown as an ornamental plant worldwide. Its natural habitat includes temperate forests at elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 meters (4,900–9,800 feet). In addition to its native range in South America, it can be found growing wild or cultivated in Australia; New Zealand; Southeast Asia; India; Japan; Europe; parts of Africa; Central America, and Mexico.
They thrive in hot climates with good drainage. If you want your graptopetalum purple haze plants to grow well indoors, keep them near a sunny window that receives plenty of direct sunlight. During the summer months when they aren’t receiving any direct sunlight, move them closer to a window where they can receive indirect light from a sun-lit room.
When night temperatures are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), graptopetalums will usually grow better if they get some indirect light during nighttime hours.
Graptopetalum purple haze propagation
Today, they are primarily propagated by stem cuttings. These are either placed directly into a medium containing water until roots form or they are first dipped into a rooting hormone solution before being planted into media containing water.
Propagation by seed has been done but with less success than propagation via stem cuttings since seed germination rates are generally low and erratic. The seeds require scarification to break down their hard outer coating in order for them to germinate. Scarification can be accomplished mechanically (e.g., nicking) or chemically (e.g., soaking in hot water).
The seeds have average viability of about 3 months if stored at room temperature in a sealed container; however, if refrigerated, their viability is extended to about 2 years. If allowed to dry out completely, their viability will be reduced even further.
They should not be frozen as cold temperatures can damage their delicate cells. One source claims that Graptopetalums grow best in partial shade with very little water once established. In addition, they prefer well-drained soil and do not tolerate standing water well.
Graptopetalum purple haze care information
Graptopetalums are native to Mexico and South America, so they like slightly hot temperatures. The best place for your Graptopetalum purple haze is on a sunlit windowsill. They need six hours of sunlight each day. Make sure to water them regularly during their growing season, from spring through fall. During the winter months, when they are not actively growing, you can reduce watering somewhat.
Graptopetalum purple haze plants are low-light plants that don’t tolerate direct sunlight very well. Make sure your plant gets at least 3 to 4 hours of indirect sunlight each day.
Keep it in an area where it won’t be exposed to direct sun, such as near a window with blinds or curtains, or indoors under a grow light if you want faster growth. If your graptopetalum is outdoors, keep it out of the hot afternoon sun and give it plenty of room for air circulation around its leaves.
When it comes to soil, it’s important to ensure you’re using a high-quality brand that won’t lock out moisture from your plant. Graptopetalum purple haze prefers loamy, fertile soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. It’s best to purchase an all-purpose or cactus potting mix, which is typically sandy and lightweight.
This low-nutrient mix will help you avoid overfeeding your plant, causing issues like root rot. Additionally, keep in mind that purple haze thrives in full sun; if grown indoors, make sure to place it near a window where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
Graptopetalum purple haze is drought tolerant, but it does best when watered regularly. As a succulent, it requires more water than other houseplants; lightly soak it every few days and make sure to water at its base. Be aware that watering too often can cause root rot, so be judicious in your watering schedule. The soil should not be soggy—your finger should leave an indentation after you push on it—but neither should your Graptopetalum purple haze be bone dry.
If you’re planting a new Graptopetalum purple haze, use a houseplant fertilizer with a moderate amount of nitrogen, high levels of phosphorous and trace amounts of potassium. If you have an established plant that hasn’t bloomed recently, apply fertilizer in early spring to encourage blooming.
Be careful not to overfertilize your plant; too much nitrogen can kill it. As a general rule, fertilize every two weeks during spring and summer with a 1-1-1 ratio fertilizer and once per month during fall and winter with a 0-10-10 ratio fertilizer.
Avoid fertilizers with more than 10 percent nitrogen or less than 3 percent phosphate. Fertilizer application should be followed by watering, so water your plant thoroughly after applying fertilizer. Avoid touching or pruning while it is flowering, Graptopetalum purple haze is a slow grower, and flowers take time to develop.
If you’re looking to keep Graptopetalum purple haze indoors, you’ll need to provide optimal conditions for growing it in your home. To ensure it grows well and thrives, temperatures should be kept between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with night temperatures dropping into the 40s. These plants require a lot of light, so they should be placed near a bright window or under a grow light. Keep them away from any direct sunlight, as that can burn their leaves.
Graptopetalum purple haze does best in humid conditions. If your area is arid or tends to get particularly hot and dry, these plants may not grow well for you. For indoor Graptopetalums, place them on a humidity tray and make sure they’re placed near a water source. Water at least every two weeks; over-watering can be just as bad as under-watering when it comes to succulents!
The ideal humidity range is 40-50%. If you’re having trouble getting your Graptopetalums to thrive, try adding a few pebbles to your pot and filling it with water.
One of two things can happen to a Graptopetalum purple haze when it is overgrown:
- You can snip away all but 2-3 inches from its base and you’ll be rewarded with many new side shoots.
- If you want to keep your plant full and bushy, simply prune it back hard (to about 1/2 inch off of its base). This will give your Grapto enough time to recover before it starts growing again.
In general, you should only prune in late winter or early spring. Always remove dead leaves as they appear and never remove more than 25% of your plant at one time.
When to repot
Graptopetalums are succulents and as such, they need very little water to survive. However, watering is necessary if you want them to grow and bloom. This means that you should repot your Graptopetalum purple haze at least once a year. Repot in spring when they’re starting to wake up after winter dormancy.
Try using a slow-release fertilizer to make sure your plant keeps growing all season long. Also, keep an eye out for pests like spider mites or mealybugs. If you notice these pests on your plant, treat it with insecticidal soap to kill off any bugs before they spread to other plants in your collection.
Graptopetalums need rest. Unlike other succulents, they won’t tolerate extreme temperatures or drought conditions. Place your plant in a cool location with low light (such as a basement or garage) for three to six months. In the winter, your Graptopetalum purple haze may drop some of its leaves and will appear dormant.
Don’t fret—the plant will soon grow new foliage when placed back into direct sunlight during warmer weather. If you don’t have room for a dormancy period, try bringing it indoors and letting it rest on an east-facing windowsill. If you bring it inside, however, make sure that you don’t let it sit in water at any point; overwatering can cause root rot.
Graptopetalum purple haze flowers & fragrance
These purple succulents will brighten any indoor garden and add a touch of fragrance to your home with their gentle floral scent. With proper care, they make great houseplants for low-light environments such as offices or apartments.
With a slow-growing succulent like Graptopetalum, you’ll notice more new leaves in spring and summer than during any other time of the year. But it still won’t be too fast to keep up with, even with regular waterings, Graptopetalums will add only a few new leaves per year.
Graptopetalum purple haze has not been reported to contain any poisonous chemicals, and so it is considered safe for both humans and pets.
USDA hardiness zones
Graptopetalum purple haze thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 8b through 11. In these regions, it can be grown outdoors year-round. Outside of these areas, you can grow it as an annual plant or bring it indoors for winter and treat it as a houseplant.
Pests and diseases
Because Graptopetalum purple haze is susceptible to pests and diseases, it’s a good idea to learn how to control them. While pesticides may work well in some cases, they can also be harmful to you, your family, and your pets.
Home remedies like light traps or garlic sprays are low-cost options that won’t hurt your plants as much as harsher chemicals. Learning about pest and disease management can help you keep your plants healthy for years to come.
It will also give you an advantage over less experienced gardeners who aren’t aware of what to do when pests or diseases strike. Plus, it could make all the difference if your plants become infested while growing competition during a plant show.
In summary, Graptopetalum Purple Haze grows best in partial shade, with regular watering and fertilizing (1/4 strength fertilizer throughout spring, summer, and fall; 1/2 strength during winter). The plant is sensitive to over-watering, so keep the soil moist at all times. Avoid letting your Graptopetalum Purple Haze be exposed to temperatures under 10 degrees Celsius. Aftercare should focus on ensuring that the soil stays damp without any excess water build-up.