METRO PLUS

Purple passion

GYNURA SARMENTOSA, Purple Passion Vine or the Velvet plant is known for its soft hairy, velvety purple leaves. Gynura is usually grown as a houseplant and has purple hair on both upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, stems and flower heads.

The plant is a `vine' (a twining or trailing form incapable of supporting itself) and is especially effective when kept in hanging baskets. It may also be allowed to trail so as to exhibit to the full extent the colour and beauty of its foliage. Direct sunlight is necessary for growth and striking coloured foliage. Water is required in moderate quantities to prevent the soil from drying.

Liquid soluble fertilizer high in nitrogen may be applied to promote healthy leaves. Gynura needs high humidity to grow well.

Propagation is through tip cuttings.

Insert four to five tip cuttings in a pot with a depth of at least three-inches. Ideally, several young plants should be kept in a single container and should be nipped from time to time.

CHITRA RADHAKRISHNAN

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