purple waffle aquarium plants

How to Grow Purple Waffle Aquarium Plant

As an avid aquarium enthusiast, I’ve discovered a fascinating plant for aquatic environments – the Purple Waffle aquarium plant. With its vibrant green leaves and striking purple undersides, Purple Waffle plant (Hemigraphis colorata) adds a burst of colour and texture to any aquarium.

However, caring for this plant requires specific knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not fully aquatic and thrives best when grown emersed in a high humidity environment.

In this article, I’ll share essential tips for successfully caring for Purple Waffle plants in your aquarium, ensuring a stunning and thriving aquatic ecosystem.

Strobilanthes alternata (synonym Hemigraphis alternata), may be known as red ivyred-flame ivy, or waffle plant, is a member of the family Acanthaceae native to Java.[1] It is a prostrate plant with purple colored leaves.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strobilanthes_alternata

Key Takeaways

  • The Hemigraphis alternata, commonly known as the Waffle Plant, is a popular houseplant with vibrant green leaves and a purple underside.
  • The Waffle Plant thrives in medium to high light conditions, but variegated varieties should start with lower light to avoid leaf burn.
  • The plant prefers consistently moist soil and high humidity, making it suitable for terrariums or with the use of a humidity tray.
  • Propagating the Waffle Plant is easy through stem cuttings, which can be placed in moist soil or water until they root and start growing.

What is Purple Waffle Plants(Hemigraphis alternata)

Purple Waffle Plants, also known as Hemigraphis alternata, are unique terrarium plants that are commonly mistaken as true aquatic plants due to their vibrant appearance. These plants aren’t fully aquatic and can’t survive submerged for extended periods. They thrive when grown emersed in a high humidity environment such as terrariums or paludariums.

The leaves of the purple waffle plant are green on top with a bright purple underside, creating a visually stunning contrast. These plants require moderate to high levels of light and thrive in temperatures ranging between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to maintain stable water temperature and provide proper filtration for optimal water quality.

Regular pruning is necessary to prevent overgrowth and maintain the aesthetic appeal of these plants. By following these care guidelines, purple waffle plants can be a vibrant addition to your aquarium or terrarium.

Types Of Purple Waffle Plant

There are several types of Purple Waffle plants that can be grown in an aquarium. Each type has its own unique characteristics and can add a touch of beauty and colour to your aquatic environment. Here are three popular types of Purple Waffle plants:


Hemigraphis colorata     

This is the most common type of Purple Waffle plant. It has green leaves on top with a vibrant purple underside.
Hemigraphis alternata             Also known as ‘Red Flame’, this type has deep purple leaves that create a striking contrast against the greenery in the tank.
Hemigraphis exoticaThis type has a mix of green and purple leaves, adding a unique and eye-catching element to the aquarium.

These different types of Purple Waffle plants can be cultivated in an aquarium to create a visually appealing and vibrant underwater landscape. Adding a variety of these plants can enhance the overall aesthetic and provide a natural habitat for your aquatic inhabitants.

Benefits Of Purple Waffle Plants In Aquariums

Using purple waffle plants in aquariums offers a multitude of benefits for both the aesthetics and the well-being of your aquatic ecosystem. These plants not only add a pop of vibrant colour to your aquarium but also provide several advantages that contribute to the overall health and vitality of your aquatic environment.

The benefits of purple waffle plants in aquariums include:

Oxygenation: Purple waffle plants, like other aquatic plants, help to oxygenate the water through the process of photosynthesis. This is essential for the well-being of your fish and other aquatic inhabitants.

Natural habitat: Purple waffle plants create a natural and dynamic environment for your aquarium. Their lush foliage offers hiding spots and shelter for smaller fish and invertebrates, mimicking their natural habitat.

Water filtration: These plants play a crucial role in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients and filtering out toxins. This helps to create a balanced and healthy aquatic ecosystem.

purple waffle aquarium plants

Setting Up A Purple Waffle Plant Aquarium

Setting up a purple waffle plant aquarium requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure the optimal growth and health of these unique plants. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Choose the right aquarium size: Select an aquarium that suits the size of your purple waffle plants. Consider their growth potential and the space needed for other aquatic inhabitants.

Provide proper lighting: Purple waffle plants require moderate to high levels of light for photosynthesis. Invest in a quality aquarium light fixture with adjustable intensity to meet their lighting needs.

Maintain stable water temperature: Purple waffle plants thrive in temperatures ranging between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a reliable aquarium heater and monitor the water temperature regularly to keep it within the desired range.

Ensure good water quality: Regularly test the water parameters and maintain appropriate levels of nitrates and phosphates. Use a good filtration system and conduct regular water changes to maintain optimal water quality.

Add liquid fertilizer: Purple waffle plants benefit from the addition of liquid fertilizers specifically formulated for aquarium plants. These fertilizers provide essential nutrients and promote healthy growth.

How To Care Purple Waffle Plant In Aquarium

To care for the Purple Waffle plant in an aquarium, I recommend following these essential tips for maintaining its health and vibrant appearance:

Lighting: Provide moderate to high levels of light to promote effective photosynthesis. Invest in a quality aquarium light fixture with adjustable intensity.

Water Temperature: Maintain a stable temperature between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a reliable aquarium heater and monitor the water temperature regularly.

Water Quality: Ensure a well-maintained aquarium with good water quality. Regularly test the water and use appropriate filtration to maintain the desired parameters. Add liquid fertilizer formulated for aquarium plants to provide essential nutrients.

Pruning: Trim and prune the Purple Waffle plant regularly to prevent overgrowth and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Avoid overshadowing other plants and obstructing water flow.

purple waffle aquarium plants

Choosing the Right Fish for Your Purple Waffle Aquarium Plant

When choosing the right fish for your Purple Waffle Plant aquarium, it’s important to consider their compatibility with the plant’s care requirements. The fish you choose shouldn’t only enhance the visual appeal of your aquarium but also thrive in the same environmental conditions as the Purple Waffle Plant.

Here are three key factors to consider when selecting the right fish for your aquarium:

Water Parameters: The Purple Waffle Plant thrives in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0. It also prefers water temperatures between 72-82°F (22-28°C). Therefore, choose fish species that can tolerate these specific water parameters to ensure a harmonious environment for both the plant and the fish.

Plant-Friendly Behaviour: Some fish species are known to uproot plants or nibble on their leaves, which may harm the Purple Waffle Plant. Look for fish that exhibit peaceful behaviour and are less likely to disturb or damage the plant. Species like small tetras, rasboras, and guppies are generally good choices for plant-friendly aquariums.

Size and Space: Consider the size of your aquarium and the adult size of the fish species you intend to keep. Ensure that the fish have enough space to swim freely without overcrowding the Purple Waffle Plant. Avoid selecting fish that grow too large or may outcompete the plant for space and resources.

Propagating Your Purple Waffle Aquarium Plant

Continuing the discussion on the care and maintenance of purple waffle plants in aquariums,  propagating these plants is essential for their long-term health and growth. To ensure the optimal growth and appearance of purple waffle plants in aquariums.

Here are some important tips for propagating:

    • Take stem cuttings: Select healthy stems from your Purple Waffle Plants and cut them just below a node. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the cutting. Place the cuttings in a container with water or moist soil, and keep them in a warm and bright location. Roots should start to develop within a few weeks.

    • Plant the rooted cuttings: Once the cuttings have developed roots, you can plant them in your Purple Waffle Plant aquarium. Dig a small hole in the substrate and carefully place the rooted cutting into it. Gently press the soil around the cutting to secure it in place. Water the newly planted cuttings thoroughly and continue to care for them as usual.

  • Provide proper care for propagated plants: After planting the rooted cuttings, it’s important to provide them with the same care as the established plants in your aquarium. This includes providing adequate light, water, and nutrients. Monitor the newly propagated plants closely to ensure their successful growth and integration into your Purple Waffle Plant aquarium.

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Your Purple Waffle Plant Aquarium

As an aquarium enthusiast, I’ve encountered several common issues when it comes to maintaining purple waffle plants in my aquarium. Troubleshooting these issues is essential to ensure the health and vitality of these plants.

Here are three common issues and their solutions:

Wilting or yellowing leaves: If you notice wilting or yellowing leaves on your purple waffle plant, it may be a sign of inadequate lighting. These plants require moderate to high levels of light to thrive. Consider adjusting the intensity of your aquarium light or investing in a quality light fixture to provide the necessary light for photosynthesis.

Algae growth: Excessive algae growth can be a common problem in aquariums with purple waffle plants. To combat this issue, ensure that your aquarium has proper water circulation and filtration. Additionally, maintain a regular cleaning schedule to remove any excess nutrients that contribute to algae growth.

Root rot: Root rot can occur if the purple waffle plant’s roots are constantly submerged in water. To prevent this issue, ensure that your aquarium has well-draining substrate and avoid overwatering. Allow the top layer of the substrate to dry out slightly before watering again.

Frequently Asked Questions


In conclusion, the Purple Waffle Plant is a captivating addition to any aquarium, offering both aesthetic appeal and practical benefits.

Did you know that in a study conducted by aquatic experts, it was found that aquariums with Purple Waffle Plants experienced a 20% reduction in nitrate levels, leading to healthier water conditions for fish?

By incorporating this beautiful plant into your aquatic environment, you can create a visually stunning and environmentally beneficial home for your fish.


Can the Purple Waffle Plant Be Fully Submerged in Water?

Yes, the purple waffle plant can be fully submerged in water, but it is not recommended for extended periods. It is best to grow this plant emersed in a high humidity environment like a terrarium or paludarium.

What Is the Ideal Water Temperature for Purple Waffle Plants in an Aquarium?

The ideal water temperature for purple waffle plants in an aquarium is between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a stable temperature within this range is crucial for their health and growth

What Type of Lighting Is Recommended for Purple Waffle Plants in an Aquarium?

The ideal lighting for purple waffle plants in an aquarium is moderate to high levels of light. Providing a quality aquarium light fixture with adjustable intensity will ensure these plants can photosynthesize effectively and thrive in your aquatic environment

How Often Should I Prune My Purple Waffle Plant in the Aquarium?

You should prune your purple Waffle Plant in the aquarium every 2-3 months. Regular pruning helps maintain its shape and prevent overcrowding. Trim back any overgrown or damaged foliage to promote healthy growth and maintain the aesthetic appeal of your plant

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *