Gardening Tips: Purple Hearts

By Andrea Pavee

In a previous article, I wrote about the purple Rhoeo plants, commonly known as the Moses-in-a-Basket plant, which blooms tiny, white flowers at its base when mature.

Today, I thought I would speak about Purple Hearts, and my history with them.

When I moved into a new home, way back in 2002, my Uncle Donald, who had been a Plantation Manager, offered to propagate different plants to help grow what was then a very sparse garden. Among the beauties he gave us, the Purple Heart is the one which has lasted through many, many generations.

It is one of the easiest plants to grow and requires very little nurturing. Simply pluck a soft stem of about 6 inches, stick it into earth and watch it grow. She prefers the shade with a sprinkling of the morning sun, though.

In time, she will bloom delicate pink flowers which beautify the garden and gladden the heart.

My purple hearts have been used as “skirts” to neaten the base of some of my potted plants. Alternatively, they are just as beautiful when hung from beams.

Uncle Donald recently passed away due to old age. He is much loved and will be greatly missed. He was a man with a big heart and always had his heart and arms open to any in need, especially his family.

When he was Plantation Manager, he was always on the move, living from plantation to plantation. Back in the day, huge plantations encircled what was back then the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. If his posting was within the Klang Valley, the whole family would troop over to the plantation for Christmas and New Years’ Eve parties. Nestled in the middle of nowhere, celebrations were full of music, food, song and dance, with noise pollution never being a problem.

After retiring, he was content to mind his own little patch of garden, and how did his garden grow!

My purple hearts were his gift to me and while it took me an age to get a hand into gardening, I am glad I finally did. Today, Donald’s Purple Hearts have a home and place in my garden. Learning from him, I have also propagated some shoots for friends and given them away, with the hope that they too will find the same joy as I did with such a beautiful and meaningful plant.

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 15 October 2021

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