Plant DetailShow Menu

Plants that fill a similar niche:
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris
Procris repens
Strobilanthes alternata 'Exotica' has some common disease problems:
Whiteflies Found on Flowers and Foliage

Waffle Plant Strobilanthes alternata 'Exotica'

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Hemigraphis alternata 'Exotica'
  • Hemigraphis 'Exotica'
Phonetic Spelling
stroh-bil-AN-theez al-ter-NAY-tuh
Description

Purple waffle plant is a small, tender, herbaceous, tropical perennial in the Acanthaceae family that is grown for its colorful, textured foliage.  In cooler climates, it is often grown as an annual or in a container.  Temperatures below 50 degrees will cause the plant to die.  Providing this plant with bright light will help the plant to retain its rich purple coloring.  Direct sunlight will cause the leaf color to bleach or show signs of being sunburned.  

Makes a great showpiece when placed in the right container.  Its purple leaves look great when planted in a clay pot.  Or perhaps a container with different shades of purple.  Contrasting container colors, such as pink, blue, green and yellow also add to the plants beauty.  

The white flowers are short-lived, but when in bloom make a stunning contrast to the dark, purple foliage.  Moderate pruning for cleaning up the plant may be required.  

Want plants that have a more bushy appearance?  Pinch the stem tip off just above the leaves.  This will allow the plant to focus on growing new foliage, giving a more full or bushy appearance.  It will also slow down the stems growth.  Use the clippings to propagate additional plants.

It's time to repot your plant when the roots begin to protrude from the drainage holes of your container. 

The 'Exotica' cultivar features shiny purple leaves with a puckered "waffle" texture, hence its common name.  Tolerant of drought and dry soils.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Not typically insect issues.  An occasional application of an insecticidal soap will prevent any insect issues from arising. Diseases that typically affect houseplants in general are scale, whiteflies and root rot.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#annuals#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple leaves#showy leaves#hanging baskets#terrarium#tropical perennials#spreading#tender perennials#herbaceous perennials#warm climates#groundcover#long lifespan#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#container plant#perennial
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#annuals#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple leaves#showy leaves#hanging baskets#terrarium#tropical perennials#spreading#tender perennials#herbaceous perennials#warm climates#groundcover#long lifespan#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#container plant#perennial
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Strobilanthes
    Species:
    alternata
    Family:
    Acanthaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Houseplant, groundcover
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    New Guinea
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny, tubular shaped flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The upper side of the leaves is green-grey while the underside can range from magenta to purple.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil