How to Share a Cutting From a Purple Heart Plant

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean, sharp knife

  • 3-inch pot

  • Perlite

  • Decorative bow or ribbon (optional)

  • Glass of water (optional)

Setcreasea pallida (syn. Tradescantia pallida), or the common purple heart plant, may be best known by another common name, wandering Jew. The purple heart is so easy to grow and propagate that even the greenest novice will easily succeed.

Step 1

Clip 3- to 4-inch stem tips from your purple heart plant with a clean, sharp knife in spring or summer.


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Step 2

Cut the leaves from the lower third of the stem.

Step 3

Fill a 3-inch pot with perlite to start the cutting for a friend. Set the pot into a container of warm water until the surface of the planting medium feels moist. Remove the pot from the water, and allow it to drain freely for about an hour. The medium should be kept evenly moist, like a wrung-out sponge, but never soggy or wet.


Step 4

Bury the purple heart cutting stem about 1 inch deep in the moist medium. Set the pot on a warm windowsill in bright light, but out of direct sun. The cuttings should root in four weeks.

Step 5

Decorate the pot with a bow or ribbon when you're ready to present the cutting. This adds a nice touch to cuttings you wish to share with others.


If you grow purple heart plants outdoors, confine it to your own property. This plant has the capability of flourishing and spreading to the point of being invasive.

Many hobbyists successfully root purple heart in a glass of water on a bright, warm windowsill.


Do not leave purple heart clippings on the ground, and don’t toss them onto your compost heap. Even the smallest scrap of this plant has the ability to root in any soil.


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