Gynura - Asteraceae - How to care for and grow Gynura plants



The Gynura they are small plants much appreciated for the beauty of their velvety leaves.






: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons


: Asteris






Asteraceae (Compositae)











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Gynura of the family ofAsteraceae it includes evergreen plants, native to the tropical areas of Africa and Asia, widespread and cultivated to adorn the houses as they are very decorative and easy to grow.

They are plants characterized by velvety leaves covered with a light red hair which in contrast with the green color of the leaves gives the leaf a violet color. Depending on the species of Gynura they can have an erect or drooping posture and therefore suitable for growing in hanging or climbing baskets.

They produce small orange or yellow flowers that are not very decorative and have an unpleasant odor gathered in inflorescences at the apex of the branches.


In the genre Gynura we find about fifty species but the most used for ornamental purposes are the following.


There Gynura aurantiaca it is a plant native to India and West Africa and is characterized by long creeping stems that give it a spreading habit. The leaves are fleshy with slightly indented edges, a deep green color and the whole plant is covered with a reddish down.

It blooms at the beginning of spring producing numerous flowers similar to daisies but which it is advisable to eliminate as they are inconspicuous and would make the plant perish too much giving it an ungainly appearance.

It can be grown both as a climbing plant and in hanging baskets.

The cultivar is very widespread G. aurantiaca 'Purple Passion' (synonymous with G. sarmetosa) climbing or creeping with red-colored stems covered with down and lanceolate leaves densely covered with purple-red hairs on the underside, more slightly on the top.


There Gynura bicolor is originally from Indonesia. The leaves are lanceolate, green on the upper side of the leaf and red on the underside. The flowers are orange in color.

The plant is very popular in Taiwanese vegetarian cuisine. We use the tender leaves and the sprouts consumed boiled or sautéed or added to stews to soups. As well as the roots they are used boiled to make tea.


The Gynura they are very easy plants to grow.

It is a plant that loves light but exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

The ideal cultivation temperatures are around 18-21 ° C and should not drop below 10 ° C.

In breeding the plant of Gynura it should be borne in mind that during the autumn-winter period the plant enters vegetative rest so that all activities are suspended.


The Gynura they are plants that require a lot of water, therefore during the summer period they are watered with great generosity while during the autumn and winter the soil is watered just enough not to dry out.

They love humid environments therefore it is advisable to nebulize the leaves, preferably early in the morning, because if you wait for the sun to become too hot, small dark blisters could form.


There Gynura it is repotted every two years in spring using a substratum formed by fertile soil, peat, soil of well decomposed leaves and coarse sand to favor the drainage of the irrigation water.


Throughout the spring - summer period, a good liquid fertilizer is administered to the plant's irrigation water every 3-4 weeks. During the periods of the year the fertilizations must be suspended.


At the beginning of spring the plant blooms producing small yellow-orange and completely insignificant flowers that it is advisable to remove as soon as they form both to avoid wasting unnecessary energy to the plant and because they have an unpleasant odor.


Pruning of the Gynura it becomes necessary when the plant grows in an untidy way. In this case in spring, before the vegetative restart, give it a more compact shape with a good pruning.


The multiplication of the plant of Gynura occurs by cuttings.


In spring (April) cuttings about 8-12 cm long are taken from the apex of the most robust stems.The cutting is cut immediately under a knot and the lower leaves are removed.The cut must be done with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying fabrics and after having cleaned and disinfected (preferably with the flame) for good tools to prevent them from infecting the fabrics.

The cuttings thus prepared are planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and closed with a transparent plastic sheet (see photo on the side). This arrangement allows the soil not to dry out too quickly and at the same time maintain a constant temperature.

To prevent the plastic from coming into contact with the green parts of the cutting, place wooden sticks where you will place the plastic.

Place the pot in an area of ​​the house where temperatures are around 18-21 ° C. Remove the plastic every day both to control the humidity of the soil (it must always be humid) and to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic. Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root, at this point you can transplant the cutting into the final pot and treat the new plant as if it were an adult.


The leaves turn brown quickly

This symptom indicates that the plant was left without water.
Remedies: take action accordingly.

The leaves of the plant lose their vibrant color

This symptom indicates insufficient lighting.
Remedies: immediately move the plant to a brighter place but not in direct sun.

Small whitish insects on the plant

Small, yellowish-white mobile insects on the plant are certainly aphids commonly known as lice, the most common plant pests.

Remedies: it is necessary to intervene with specific insecticides easily available in centers specialized in gardening.


The name Gynura comes from the Greek ghynè "Female" e ourà «Tail» due to the very elongated stigmas.

Light and color

Of course it is easy, but above all pleasant, to observe the beauty of the colors of the blooms of houseplants, but how many of you actually know why it is possible to see these colors?

Color is the product of reflected light, but let's try to understand how it works. The entire spectrum of colors that make up the light is almost totally absorbed by the surface of the elements that make up the plants, therefore flowers, leaves and stems. The colors that are not absorbed by these elements are reflected: and these are the ones we are able to see and appreciate.

Gynura aurantiaca [Vase Ø12cm | H. 10 cm.]

The Gynura aurantiaca plant is an evergreen herbaceous houseplant, native to the tropical areas of Africa and India. Expanded habit with long creeping stems, it has beautiful velvety green leaves covered with a light red down, which gives the leaf a purple tint. It produces daisy-like yellow flowers that bloom in spring. It prefers bright places and temperatures must not be below 10 ° C.

  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Origin: Africa, India
  • Light: lots of light, not direct sun
  • Minimum temperature: 10 ° C
  • Watering: keep the soil moist, avoiding water stagnation
  • Soil: soft and draining, universal soil in pot, expanded clay at the bottom of the pot to favor drainage
  • Fertilization: once a month administer liquid fertilizer for green plants
  • Reproduction: cutting

Plant sold in plastic grow pot. The toilet seat is not included but you can find it here

5 plants with colorful leaves to hang at home

How many times have you thought about giving a touch of color to your home? It appears a little dull, especially in winter, and you would like to cheer it up with some luxuriant plants, perhaps particular, a little exuberant if you can say so. Choose some species characterized by particular leaves, with shades of color ranging from green to purplish red! There are some particularly easy to grow, even in hanging baskets, so as to create a cascade of brightly colored foliage, in front of which it is practically impossible to remain indifferent. Read on and discover 5 hanging plants with colorful leaves to hang at home.

Tradescantia fluminensis 'Quadricolor' has beautiful colorful leaves to liven up the home! - photo

How to grow indoor hanging plants?

Being species characterized by a drooping crown, that is by herbaceous shoots that tend to grow falling down, they are perfect plants to be hung from the ceiling or the wall. This condition allows for better visibility of the plants and causes their leaves to be arranged to create a waterfall, showing themselves in all their beauty. I recommend the Nido Cottage Lechuza vase, in plastic of different colors, equipped with a convenient hook to hang it in total safety. It is a light vase with a water reserve: the water that drains from the holes is collected at the bottom, thus avoiding dripping underneath!

Here are the most beautiful hanging plants with colored leaves

Cissus discolor

It belongs to the Vitaceae family, it is a climbing herbaceous species that, when grown in hanging baskets, develops its branches to fall back. If not contained, these can reach 3m in length. It is highly appreciated for the color of its lanceolate leaves: intense green with silvery or pink spots on the upper side, reddish-brown on the lower side. Even the shoots and tendrils are colored, red! During the summer it emits small reddish green flowers, which will give rise to small dark red berries.

Cissus discolor - photo from


It belongs to the Acanthaceae family and is amazing for the coloring of its leaves! They seem to be crossed by a dense white or blood-red network (depending on the variety): the color of its veins, in fact, stands out against the green of the oval-shaped leaf plate. Look for the “Mosaic Tiger” variety! It is a perennial creeping plant, perfect for growing in hanging baskets. It maintains small dimensions, which do not exceed 20cm of overall dimensions.

Fittonia "Mosaic Tiger" - photo pixabay

Gynura aurantiaca

It belongs to the Asteraceae or Compositae family and is very popular for the purple color given by the thick and thin hair that covers its leaves, which are basically dark green. In winter it emits small yellow-orange flower heads, gathered in apical corymbs. For growing in baskets, choose the semi-twisted climbing variety “Purple Passion”, whose twigs extend up to over 1 meter.

Gynura aurantiaca seems to be made of velvet, covered with a purple fluff - photo by the author

Tradescantia fluminensis

It belongs to the Commelinaceae family and is a perennial hanging plant (its twigs stretch for about 20cm) characterized by pointed elongated sheathing leaves. The “Quadricolor” variety is very popular for the coloring of its leaves, green, crossed by longitudinal bands of different colors ranging from yellow to pink or violet purple even the lower page. The white flowers are inconspicuous.

Tradescantia fluminensis "Quadricolor" - photo

Tradescantia zebrina

It belongs to the Commelinaceae family, it is a close cousin of the previous Tradescantia fluminensis, also with a drooping habit. It differs slightly in the appearance of the leaves, which are ovate and slightly fleshy. The "Violet Hill" variety is characterized by green and silver longitudinal banded leaves on the upper page and purple-purple on the lower page.

Tradescantia zebrina "Violet Hill" - photo Pixabay

Some tips for growing indoor plants

Water. Indoor hanging plants should not be too wet: both so as not to weigh down the pot, and to prevent excess water from overflowing!

Light. Place your indoor plant in a well-lit area of ​​the house, in front of a living room window for example, but also in the kitchen or bathroom! It ensures that it is not reached by direct sunlight, even through glass. At the same time, that it is away from air conditioners or heat sources such as radiators.

Nourishment. To stimulate the formation of a flowing and luxuriant canopy, administer a specific fertilizer for green plants: try the fertilizer in sticks, very comfortable, to be inserted into the soil will gradually release the nutrients needed by the plant.

Topping. To make the plants more compact and luxuriant, cut the tips of their twigs, so as to limit their development in length and stimulate the thickening of the foliage: use a florist's scissors to do this. You can use the plant parts you cut to make cuttings and get new seedlings!

Which of these colorful hanging plants would you choose for your home? If you want some more ideas on hanging plants to grow, read also “6 hanging plants for green or flowered baskets”.

Green and chlorophyll

To get specific for example the parts of each plant that deal with photosynthesis are green. The color in question is attributed to a particular pigment which takes the name of chlorophyll: the task of this pigment is to transform the energy produced by the sun's rays into energy useful for the vital functions of the plant itself.

In some cases the chlorophyll pigment is not particularly evident, it is not particularly difficult to see plants in which the shades of green are tinged with brown, blue or reddish colors. The most evident case of this sort of "masking" of chlorophyll occurs in the varieties of plants that they take on a purple color.

There are still different cases in which the stem and leaves are green wisely hidden, and above all protected, by a light down that almost completely covers the surface, as for example happens in Gynura with a purple color or a type of cactus with a particularly evocative name: Head of an Old Man (or Cephalocereus senilis).

It is noted that the shade of green of the stem and foliage assumes a decidedly more intense color when the plant is in the darkest places in the house. If, on the other hand, you place the plant in sunny places you may witness rapid yellowing and loss of coloration, as for example occurs in variegated varieties (in this case the plants will enhance the shades tending to yellow and white more).

In some cases, the coloration other than green assumed by specific specimens is only temporary. This happens for example with the Anthurium, this plant has in fact reddish shoots, with the passage of time the green will become predominant again.

- Mealybugs: occur with the formation of brown growths (determined by the small "shell") and giving the plant a blackish and sticky appearance (due to the production by the plant of sugary substances that make it subject to attack by fungi and fumaggini). They fight by removing them and treating the plant with an anticoccidial product or by rubbing the affected parts with a wad soaked in water and alcohol.

- Red spider: mite that develops easily in hot and dry environments. Its appearance can be prevented by spraying the leaves and keeping the ambient humidity high (for example by placing the plant on a bowl filled with pebbles that are always kept wet, making sure that the water never reaches the bottom of the pot). It is fought with acaricidal products.


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