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

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What is Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda)? If you want to have a grassy-like plant in a cute pot for plant beds in your home, Hemigraphis repanda is the option for you, commonly known as Dragon’s tongue, also used in the aquarium, belongs to the family Acanthaceae. In this plant you can about how to grow, care for, and propagate Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda).

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. When paired with lighter-coloured 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. 

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

Combine this plant with others that will complement it, or use multiples in the aquarium or, better yet, the paludarium.  Dragon’s tongue can also be grown as a houseplant. It may bloom with small fragrant flowers for you in the spring or summer. 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 or a paludarium, or you might want to go with a different plant. Before and during the bloom period, fertilize the dragon’s tongue with a balanced houseplant liquid. Fertilize only when the plants are dormant, which is late fall and winter.

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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 rooting hormone. Place the cutting in a vermiculite-filled pot. 

Care for Dragon’s Tongue(Hemigraphis repanda) Plant

Soil type Moist, well-drained, and porous soil 
Water supplyOccasional 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.

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, How to Grow and Care Fern leaf Lavender? – Hardiness of Fern leaf – Is it edible or not?

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.
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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 report 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, scale, mealybugs, and whiteflies are all pests that can affect Dragon’s tongue grown in the garden.


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.

Can a dragon’s tongue plant survive in water?

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

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.

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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