How to Grow and Care for Dragon’s Tongue (Hemigraphis Repanda)?

Do you know why I bought this Dragon Tongue? Because of its unique look and vibrant color. But to truly bring out its beauty, I had to understand all the basic requirements, which differ from other plants. So, before growing the plant, you need to learn about it.

To assist you, I have shared my experience of growing a Dragon’s Tongue, including how to grow it, providing all the care, and some tips that will help you in cultivating a Dragon’s Tongue. In case you encounter any problems, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section below.

What is a Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda) plant?

Native to India and Malaysia, the dragon’s tongue is a tropical grass-like plant. The main feature of the Dragon’s tongue is its colorful foliage. Hemigraphis repanda is the option for you, commonly known as Dragon’s tongue, is also used in the aquarium, and belongs to the family Acanthaceae. 

When paired with lighter-colored plants, the narrow, serrated, dark green leaves have a deep purple underside, creating an elegant contrast. It is easy to grow and care for Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda). Stem cuttings taken in late spring or summer are used to propagate the plant. Take 3- to 4-inch cuttings from the plant’s green (soft, not woody) part.

Dragon’s tongue is an adaptable, low-maintenance, and beginner-friendly plant. It rarely grows taller than 15 inches (38 cm), so it can fit easily anywhere. 

How to grow Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda)?

  1. Combine this plant with others that will complement it, or use multiples in the aquarium or, better yet, the paludarium. 
  2. Dragon’s tongue can also be grown as a houseplant. It may bloom with small fragrant flowers for you in the spring or summer.
  3. Give this plant filtered light and keep the soil moist. With the information above in mind, you might want to try it in an aquarium like you keep pothos in it or a paludarium, or you might want to go with a different plant.
  4. Before and during the bloom period, fertilize the dragon’s tongue with a balanced houseplant liquid.
  5. Fertilize only when the plants are dormant, which is late fall and winter.

How to propagate Dragon’s Tongue (Hemigraphis repanda)?

Stem cuttings taken in late spring or summer are used to propagate the plant. Take 3- to 4-inch cuttings from the plant’s green (soft, not woody) part.

Remove leaves from the bottom half portion. If you want, you can soak the cutting in the rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a vermiculite-filled pot. 

Dragon Tongue Plant (Hemigraphis repanda) Care

Below are the caring tips for your plant, so you have to follow them so that you maintain the growth of your plant. They are as follows:

Flowering And Fragrance

The flowering and fragrance of this plant is unique. This plant produces amazing small flowers that come in shades of white and pink flowers in the plant with its five petals. You will see that the plant’s flowers will contrast well with the boundary contrast. 

Also, it will bloom at the time of early spring or summer. It also produces an amazing aromatic scent in the plant that cherries you. It tends to attract the pollinators towards them. 

Sunlight needs 

This plant requires a good amount of filtered sunlight so that the plant grows well. For developing your plant, you have to provide indirect sunlight to the plant and also partial shade will go well with the plant. 

If you will supply the plant with direct sunlight, then your plant’s foliage will be destroyed. They can adapt to the low sunlight but not it will slow down the growth of the plant. 

Temperature needs

The ideal range of temperature for this plant lies between 40° to 60° degrees Fahrenheit or (4° – 15° C). You have to provide your plant with this level of temperature, otherwise, the plant will get spoiled. 

They prefer to grow in the warm environment. Its USDA hardeiness growing zone is 11-12. Keep in mind that the temperature should not go below 40° degrees Fahrenheit (4° C).

Watering needs 

What about the watering needs of this plant? You have to water the plant when the soil is dry. Keep in mind that you do not have to provide an excess supply of water to the plant. It is one of the evergreen perennials that will not grow well in dry conditions. 

The level of humidity for these plants should be maintained for healthy growth of the plant. Also, mulch your plants on time to see them grow at their best. 

Fertilizer needs

Fertilizer is needed by every plant to thrive well especially when it comes to feeding the plant.

To feed the plant, you have to provide balanced liquid fertilizers to the plant so that it grows well. A good dose is important for the plant to survive well. 

  • Folks, you have to keep in mind that the plant requires a good amount of balanced liquid fertilizer.                                             
  • You have to apply a proper dose of the balanced liquid fertilizer every month in the blooming season, preferably in late spring.
  • During fall and winter, do not fertilize the plant as it is dormant.

Soil needs

This plant requires moist and well-drained soil for its growth. The soil should be porous if you want to grow your plant well. 

If you water your plants daily, then they will remain moist but if you over-water them, then the soil will remain wet for a long, so you have to use well-drained soil which will retain the excess water from the soil. 

If the soil is poor, then you have to add some organic matter to it like peat moss, manure, compost, etc that will help in providing nutrients to the soil. 

Pruning needs 

Last but not least, pruning is another caring tip for your plant that will help in encouraging new growth in the plant. It will help in managing the growth of the plant by removing messiness from the plant. 

You will be able to see the desired shape and size of your plant in your home garden. You have to remove all the dead and decayed leaves from the plant so that the negative energy from the plant is removed. 

Prune plants freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Pinching plants back stimulates dense, bushy new growth and encourages more flowers. You have to make use of sterilized scissors for your plant. 

Tips for Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda) Plant

Soil type Moist, well-drained, and porous soil 
Water supplyFor occasional water, check if the soil is dry then give water evenly to the soil
LightBright indirect light, direct light in the morning, 
HumidityPreferable – High humidity greater than 50%
FertilizerLiquid fertilizer, giving more fertilizer in the late spring season and avoid using it during all and winter
Potting The pot should have a proper drainage hole or system, avoid too big pots

Some facts about Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda) Plant

‘Dragon’s Tongue’ plant is a slow-growing perennial with a low growth habit that can grow up to 8″ tall.

The thin, narrow green leaves have a crinkly texture and hints of dark purple or maroon color. The fine, colorful leaves can grow to be up to 2 inches long.

Uses of Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda)

  • The small houseplant’s stunning purple foliage makes it ideal for ground covers, hanging baskets, color container gardens, window boxes, garden borders, and as a terrarium plant.
  • During the blooming season, the evergreen plant produces nectar, which attracts pollinators like hummingbirds and doesn’t repel bees.
  • For cooking, dragon tongue beans are frequently combined with herbs, spices, and vegetables.

Pest and problems of Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda) Plant

  • Moisture stress and even root rot are common side effects of too much water. If the plant becomes stressed as a result of too much water, the best solution is to repot it in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Spider mites are attracted to indoor plants that live in a dry environment, and the Dragon’s tongue is no exception. Discolored leaves, curling edges, and a droopy appearance are the most common signs of a spider mite infestation.
  • Aphids, scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies are all pests that can affect the Dragon’s tongue grown in the garden.

Wrapping up the context

In this guide, you come to know that the main feature of the Dragon’s tongue is its colorful foliage. When paired with lighter-colored plants, the narrow, serrated, dark green leaves have a deep purple underside, creating an elegant contrast. 

Dragon’s tongue is an adaptable, low-maintenance, and beginner-friendly plant. It rarely grows taller than 15 inches (38 cm), so it can fit easily anywhere. Read the guide to understand it properly.

Thanks for reading! Happy Gardening!

FAQs

1. Is the dragon’s tongue plant poisonous?

No! Dragon’s tongue is NOT poisonous or toxic to humans or pets. You can keep this plant in or around your home without fear of it harming your children or any pets you may have.

2. Can a dragon’s tongue plant survive in water?

No! It cannot survive. Though it requires moist soil for survival.

3. How do you care for a dragon’s tongue indoors?

Don’t let it wilt or dry out because it’s not drought-tolerant. Water it as soon as the top inch feels dry on touching. Avoid pruning and remove the faded leaves, if any.

4. Is a dragon’s tongue toxic to cats?

Yes! They are. So it is important to keep your cats away from Hemigraphis repanda.

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