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Setcreasea pallida ‘Purple Heart’

Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart'

set-KREE-see-ah PAL-ih-duh

‘Purple Heart’ is a trailing, tender perennial with purple stems and violet-purple leaves that produces pink flowers in summer. This plant is mainly grown for its foliage (leaves can reach 7 inches in length); best color is achieved in bright sunlight and a dry, cramped root zone. It is excellent as a groundcover or in containers or hanging baskets. It grows 8-12 inches tall and 16 inches wide.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFoliage may irritate skin.

CareProvide moist soil in part to full sun. Pinch to encourage bushiness and cut back flowering stems after blooming. Water moderately and fertilize monthly during active growth.

PropagationInsert 2- to 3-inch-long stem-tip cuttings in soil mix or water and pot up in soil-based mix.

ProblemsViruses, aphids, spider mites.

  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 11
  • Plant Height : 6 to 12 inches
  • Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
View Comments


  1. user-7007519 04/17/2015

    can Setcreasea pallida, or Purple Heart grow in Nebraska?

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 04/18/2015

      I don't know why not,but I would put it in a pot so you could bring it indoors for the winter.

    2. lonettenbillhendrick 11/13/2015

      yes I lived in SD and put mine in pots I bring them in when it gets cold. they will also bloom most the winter with the right kind of light. I am now in Wisconsin and you know how cold it gets here and I have another where it gets high light and it is now November 13 and it has blossoms on it again. :)

  2. user-7007550 04/30/2015

    Will purple heart grow outside in Indiana and does it come back every year

    1. lonettenbillhendrick 11/13/2015

      I really don't know because I bring mine in every year when it gets close to frost time. I plant mine in a pot and hang it outside in the summer where it gets only morning sun. when I bring into the house I put it where there is a lot of bright light and they bloom most of the winter also almost like that plant Moses in Cradle or Boat.

  3. lonettenbillhendrick 09/30/2015

    my stub that came with the plant says it is a annual, Hardy to 40 degree's. I bring mine in the house and grow as a houseplant and it is gorgeous. had it for years easy to propagate to. Just thought I tell you what I know and have learned through the years. I also lived in Edgemont SD when I started to grow them and now live in Wisconsin.

    1. rhondanelson 11/10/2015

      That is my experience, too. They're easy to grow and very resilient (hence the name Purple Heart?)!

      1. lonettenbillhendrick 11/13/2015

        I'm thinking it's more like that plant Moses in the Cradle or Boat remember that name for a plant. My mother gave me one years ago.

        1. annabellehavlicek 08/01/2017

          Yes, my uncle use to call the purple heart moses in the cradle (bull rushes) because of the way it flowered.

      2. the_rightstuff 04/17/2016

        It used to be called a 'Wondering Jew' plant because it can grow (and spread) even in the desert. Then PC came along....Now it's called a Purple Heart due to its' color and the shape of it's flowers...

        1. renidea 11/01/2016

          Actually the 'Wandering Jew' plant is an entirely different plant (Tradescantia zebrina). It's also known for it's purple color, but it looks entirely different.

          1. renidea 11/01/2016


        2. notaproblum 05/07/2017

          i "Wonder" where you get your info... make up stuff much?

          1. the_rightstuff 05/08/2017

            No apologies for being better informed than you.

          2. notaproblum 05/14/2017

            but sir.... youre incorrect on your spelling & statement... how is it that youre better informed.... read down a few posts on this discussion... as well as what other posters pointed out... if you mean you are better informed after our comments... you are correct!

        3. annabellehavlicek 08/01/2017

          The wandering jew is a different type of plant than the purple heart.

        4. ellsie00 08/06/2017

          Been growing for 40 years...both names work. Been sharing in NC the past 10 years because everyone asks for cuttings. Very easy to grow by anyone.

          1. amynailling 10/07/2017

            If I have some in a pot, but would like to transfer to ground cover, when is the best time to do so? I'm in texas...

          2. ellsie00 10/07/2017

            Amy, if your ground is still warm and you have separate rooted plants, I would plant right now. If you get freezing temps this winter your plants, but not the roots, will freeze, but bloom with warmer weather. Again, very easy to grow.

          3. amynailling 10/08/2017

            Awesome! Thank you...i think that's what I'll be doing this weekend then

  4. rhondanelson 11/10/2015

    It's November here in Tennessee, and cold enough to see my breath (about 55 degrees). My Purple Heart just started blooming a week ago, but it's supposed to bloom in summer? Can I still expect to see blooms this coming summer?

    1. lonettenbillhendrick 11/13/2015

      I really don't know much about the weather in that area. LOL! I've always been in cold winter weather. Maybe try to google your area or ask a landscape place that sells plants that is near you.

  5. Clhqayyum 05/30/2016

    I live in central NC. Even here these plants are labeled as "annual". However, I planted some about 7 or 8 years ago and they return more full and beautiful every year since then. We do get below freezing temps in the winter but those cold snaps normally don't last more than a couple days at a time. Avg winter temps in the 40s around here. I plan to rip out all my ugly, thorny, leggy knock out roses and replace them with mass plantings of Purple Heart.

  6. user-7008102 06/02/2016

    I am more interested in the deep purple leaves than the pink blooms. That being said, do you think it will grown in shade? I was thinking of putting this around the base of a tree.

    1. sinkphaze 08/20/2016

      Old post but gonna leave this here anyways.

      It will grow in partial shade but in my experience it tends to scraggly in low light. Plus it turns green, an interesting shade of green but still green

  7. notaproblum 05/07/2017

    i love the "right stuff" poster having the "wrong stuff" info... first... "Wondering Jew" bwhahaahah ahahahahahaahahha....i wonder what they are thinking about? common sense would point to "wandering" since the plant, well...wanders... not wonders... pfffffff.. PC? fake news.. ..mkay.. carry on.. :)

  8. patriciastreeterdennis 08/30/2017

    I have been reading some of the posts regarding The Purple Heart plant and I have one question. Is the plant pet friendly? I have a cat and I have been given some cuttings that I want to root in pots for indoor and my cat tends to "taste" new plants. Is there a risk?

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