09
September
2019

Setcreasea ‘Purple Heart’

SET Purple Heart 01
Bees have no problem zeroing in on the these tiny flowers

With thick leaves of dark purple and a tough hide that resists all sorts of abuse, Setcreasea ‘Purple Heart’ is usually planted as a groundcover. Few people know that it has a flower but it does, and this is what it looks like. Blooms emerge at the stem tips where the folds of the heavy-set leaves branch out. Flowers are small when compared to the surrounding leaves but the bees manage to find them while the plant is in bloom.

To achieve a deep rich purple, allow the Setcreasea to bask in full sun. If shade is involved the leaves take on a bronze tinge. ‘Purple Heart’ is great for very dry soil because the folded leaves guide the water in toward the stems, where it trickles down to the roots. As a result, the plant is appropriate for rockeries, gravel mulches, or other stony areas. It also does perfectly well in standard garden soil.

SET Purple Heart 10
Folded leaves guide water in toward the stems where it trickles down to the roots

Stems are long but they wander across the soil or trail over the sides of containers, so the plant doesn’t grow very high off the ground. At best it reaches about shin high with a complex network of criss-crossing leaves and stems that produce a look all its own. If you want long and rambling, let the plant grow out to its natural length; however, it is very friendly to pinching and shaping, which produces a cleaner edge and a bushier plant. ‘Purple Heart’ has only moderate needs for both water and fertilizer.

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