If this plant looks anything like wandering jew, well, there’s a good reason. It’s a sister to the famous clan of tropical hanging basket plants. This one stands virtually alone, however, in that it’s winter-hardy in Texas landscapes. Oh, it will die to the ground with the first hard freeze of the fall, but it will wait patiently to sprout out again the following spring.
If you use this as a groundcover, combine it against a bed of Goldsturm rudbeckias, lantanas, artemesias or some other vividly contrasting color. Or, for a more sedate combination, plant it alongside purple coneflowers.
Purpleheart produces pencil-sized stems that tumble over the ground. It’s not rampant in its growth, but it will certainly sprawl and cover the space in which it’s planted. Its mature height is 8 to 10 inches.
Nurseries have purpleheart plants in the springtime, or you can root cuttings from a friend’s old planting. One thing is for sure: once you get this great little perennial, you’ll never want to let go.