What Is Crimson Ivy: Learn About Crimson Ivy Care

Purple-Green Leaved Crimson Ivy Plant
red ivy
(Image credit: Roman Tiraspolsky)

Crimson or flame ivy plants are also known as Hemigraphis colorata. Related to the waffle plant, they are native to tropical Malaysia and southeast Asia. Crimson ivy plant is often sold as an aquatic plant, although the plant does like too much moisture and won’t survive long submerged. Curious about crimson ivy care? This is a super easy plant to grow and doesn't need a lot of maintenance.

What is Crimson Ivy?

If you are looking for a pretty foliage houseplant, look no further than crimson ivy plant. What is crimson ivy? It is a tropical foliage plant that may produce tiny white blooms if you are lucky. It is best grown as a houseplant but can thrive outdoors in warm regions.

Crimson ivy may also be known as flame ivy or even purple waffle plant. Flame ivy plants are not true ivies but do have a horizontal growth and sprawling nature. Stems root at soil contact just like many ivy plants. Growing crimson ivy as a groundcover will provide a carpet of brightly colored foliage.

Hemigraphis colorata is an outstanding tropical plant with green and purple hued leaves. The foliage is slightly ruffled and has deep veins. Leaves are oval with a blunted tip and toothed edges. The leaves are 2/5 inches (1 cm.) long and the entire plant can get up to 11 inches (28 cm.) in width. Hemigraphis means "half writing" and the species name, colorata, means colored. When the plant is in perfect cultivation, it will develop small white, 5-petaled, tubular flowers.

Growing Crimson Ivy

Hemigraphis needs rich, well-draining soil. It should be kept moist at all times but never soggy. Filtered light is best for this plant. An eastern window or late western sun provide just the right amount of light. Do not place the plant in a southern window or it will burn. Flame ivy plants need temperatures of at least 60 degrees F. (16 C.) and has no frost tolerance.

Keep humidity high by misting the plant or placing the container on a saucer of pebbles filled with water. Put the plant in the shower once per month to clean the foliage and leach the soil. Allow the soil to dry slightly in winter.

Crimson Ivy Care

This plant doesn't need a lot of feeding provided it has nice, rich soil. Feed once per month during the growing season but do not feed in winter when the plant is not actively growing. If you put the plant outdoors in summer, watch for common insect pests.

Repot annually with fresh soil and increase the pot size when pot bound. Pinch the tips of the plant to encourage bushiness, unless you want the plant to hang over the edge of the container. If you want to share this plant, it can easily be propagated through stem cuttings and will root easily in a glass of water.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.