The Purple Waffle plant is as unique as its name suggests. It has crinkly purple leaves, making it a great conversation piece for any home or office. It boasts small white flowers during the summer, but its attractive purple leaves remain year-round.
If you’re facing purple waffle plant crispy leaves, there are a few potential reasons. Put simply, the Purple Waffle will become crispy when not provided enough water, or if there’s too much sun.
Purple Waffle Plant Basics
The Purple Waffle looks exotic, but it’s relatively easy to grow. It’s at home in a tropical environment. It needs temperatures at least 50 degrees or higher.
The leaves are deeply puckered, creating a waffle-like pattern. This also increases the surface area of the plant. This is one reason why it’s important to provide the plant with enough water and humidity to keep it happy.
They are most at home in rich soil. You can choose to add a standard houseplant fertilizer monthly to provide it with enough nutrients. However, over-fertilization can damage the plant, so follow the manufacturers’ instructions when fertilizing. Remember, more isn’t always better.
When it comes to the sun, they prefer indirect sunlight. Too much direct sun can rob the plant of its signature red or purple leaves, and cause leaf scorch.
Keep in mind that the Purple Waffle plant is named for its natural texture, which is similar to a waffle. However, the natural texture is different from the leaves becoming crispy. The natural texture will not feel dry or crumbly. If it feels crispy and dry, then you have a problem with your plant that needs to be addressed.
The vast majority of plants are at a higher risk of being overwatered -such as Plumeria or Oleander – rather than underwatered. However, the Purple Waffle is a tropical perennial. This means it prefers warm and wet conditions.
It doesn’t like its feet to be very wet. Instead, you’ll need to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
Signs of Underwatering
One way to determine if under watering is the cause of your plant’s woes is to check the soil. If the first few inches are dry, your plant needs more water.
You can also look for signs of under watering. Plants that are underwatered will wilt. This occurs because the cells lose their rigidity when dehydrated.
The leaves will turn brown or yellow at the edges and tips. They will have crispy texture, because the leaves are dry. Eventually, the entire leaf will turn brown and crispy. Your Purple Waffle may also lose leaves due to under watering.
Slow growth is another sign. If you are watering them enough to keep them alive, but not enough for them to thrive, the plants growth will halt or dramatically slow. This occurs because the Purple Waffle doesn’t have the resources to continue growing.
If you planted your Purple Waffle in a beautiful ceramic pot, this might be the issue. Ceramic pots do not hold moisture well. This can exacerbate under watering, or create under watering because the soil isn’t retaining moisture.
Try changing the pot. If your plant perks up, this was the cause of your crispy leaves.
Watering the Purple Waffle Plant
Most Purple Waffle Plants require watering every other day. To see if your plant needs water, check the soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water the plant.
You can also add compost or water absorbing crystals if you can’t water your plant frequently enough.
Too Much Sun
Too much sun is another common culprit for crispy leaves. The Purple Waffle prefers indirect sunlight, or partial sun. If the plant is indoors, bright indirect light is the best.
If it’s outdoors, choose an area with partial shade. The plant requires sun, but too much bright sunlight can burn the leaves. This is known as leaf scorch.
Signs of Leaf Scorch
One of the signs of leaf scorch is crispy or papery leaves. Yellowing typically occurs around the veins and leaf margins. The tips of the leaves will become brown or yellow.
These parts of the leaf are the last to get water, so they are more susceptible to the drying effects of the sun.
Healing Leaf Scorch
Unfortunately, damaged leaves won’t recover. If they are brown or severely damaged, the leaves should be removed to allow new growth. With proper watering and limited sun exposure, the plant itself can recover from leaf scorch.
You may need to replant the Purple Waffle in a different location if outdoors. If it’s indoors, move it to an area with less direct sun.
Because the Purple Waffle is a tropical plant, it requires high humidity. Indoor plants can struggle with humidity, especially in the winter. Heaters dry the air, lowering the humidity. Outdoor plants can also have issues when the humidity is low.
You can combat low humidity in a few ways. If your Purple Waffle is indoors, then consider using a humidifier. This can improve your overall air quality, and benefit your plant.
You can also mist the plant daily to increase the humidity around the plant, without turning your home into a spa.
Purple Waffle plants love bathrooms. Place it in a window near your shower. The higher humidity in the room will help your plant to thrive.
Final Thoughts on Crispy Leaves for Purple Waffle Plant
The Purple Waffle plant is relatively easy to care for. You simply need to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
Following a generous watering schedule, and watering it every few days can accomplish this. Keep the temperature above 50 degrees, and provide it with plenty of indirect or partial sunlight.
Regardless of whether you choose to grow it indoors or out, this is all that’s really required for the Purple Waffle to thrive.