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Tradescantia is some of the world’s most grown houseplants. Think of all the colors in a rainbow – Tradescantia varieties cover the entire spectrum.
Tradescantia is a relatively simple plant to cultivate inside. They’ll repay you with lovely foliage and occasional blooms that are as much a surprise as a joy. Named after John Tradescant, a 16th-century botanist in England, Tradescantia needs lots of bright light and regular watering.
Tradescantia is known as inch plants, spiderworts, speedy henry, variegated laurel, wandering trad, hairy stem, Indian plant, purple-heart, trinity flower, Moses in a basket, wandering Jew, and others. Tradescantia is some of the world’s most popular and commonly grown houseplants.
Indoor Tradescantia Care
Spiderwort is a hardy perennial belonging to the Commelinaceae (dayflower) family and is prized for its colorful flowers and leaves. Spiderwort gets its name from the stem discharge that occurs when the stem is severed. It hardens into a threadlike substance that resembles a spider’s web.
Many of these plants have blooms that open in the morning and shut in the afternoon when exposed to sunlight. If the weather is overcast, they may stay open later in the day or until the evening. It has strap-like leaves that are 12″ to 18″ long. The blooms are three-partied, and the stamens have spidery hairs.
Throughout the summer, spiderwort blooms for a long time. Extending the bloom duration is as simple as deadheading spent blooms, and each flower only lasts a day.
Inch Plants are another name for tradescantia houseplants. The distance between nodes is where the moniker “Inch Plant” originated (not how fast they grow, as some sites claim). The plants seem to grow an inch at a time because roughly an inch is between each leaf.
Tips For Maintaining Tradescantia Plants
Tradescantias are the easiest indoor plants to grow. These plants are easy to care for and a fantastic option for novice indoor gardeners and new plant parents.
Tradescantia Watering Needs
Water your Tradescantia as soon as the top half of the soil becomes dry. You should water your plant thoroughly and then allow the water to drain from the pot’s bottom. Because Tradescantias are prone to root rot, it’s crucial to ensure the planter is adequately draining.
While sometimes misting the stems and foliage is acceptable, it is preferable to hydrate the soil surface directly. Foliage that is always wet tends to attract fungus. The attractive leaves of this plant may become stained by water droplets. To reach the soil’s surface without wetting the leaves, use a watering can with a long, thin spout:
Tradescantia’s Best Potting Mix
Tradescantias may grow in practically any type of soil mixture because they are not very fussy about their soil. But since these plants truly enjoy moisture, the soil shouldn’t be overly dry for an extended period. Use a potting mix that retains moisture yet drains excess water effectively.
Requirements for Tradescantia Lighting
Bright indirect light is best for tradescantia growth. The plants’ lovely leaf decorations will start to deteriorate if they do not receive enough light. Long stretches of low light can weaken, limp, and make the plant prone to illness. Tradescantia growing indoors will probably benefit from extra lighting provided by a straightforward LED plant lightbulb or by being grouped with other houseplants under an LED diode grow light in the form of a plate.
However, the leaves of these plants can become burnt if they are suddenly exposed to direct sunlight after a period of darkness. Tradescantia plants can grow in direct sunlight in cooler climates, especially if they are gradually exposed to a little bit more sunlight each day until they get acclimated.
Tradescantia’s Required Temperatures
Most interior environments are particularly favorable to tradescantias. Although they can endure and perform well in greater temperatures, they do best in temperatures between 70 and 80 ⁰F (21 – 27 ⁰C).
These plants shouldn’t be kept where it routinely drops below 50 ⁰F (10⁰C) because doing so will cause damage and discoloration to the foliage. Several different kinds of Tradescantia plants can die at temperatures below freezing (or kill any above-ground vegetation).
Humidity Levels for Tradescantia Growth
Tradescantias adore wetness and humidity. Using an area humidifier is an excellent approach to raise the humidity levels for your plants because pebble trays and spraying are not always as efficient. You can choose to use a standard ultrasonic mist humidifier or purchase a unique humidifier from a plant store.
Fertilizing your Tradescantia can aid in its growth; however, it is not required. If you decide to fertilize, you should follow the fertilizer’s instructions and apply it in the spring and summer. Some top-notch organic fertilizers for Tradescantia plants are listed below:
Although pruning is not necessary for this plant’s growth, many people choose to do it to maintain a busy, tidy appearance on their Tradescantias. Use clean, sharp scissors to trim away any fading or dead leaves.
Repotting your Tradescantia might be a crucial step for its growth and health. However, re-potting can be a complicated process. When repotting your Tradescantia, you should keep a few things in mind.
The spring season is the ideal time to repot Tradescantia because this is when plants begin to grow after their winter slumber actively. Starting their growing season with a repotting gives the roots time to adapt to the new potting soil and planter pot.
Remember that just growing your plant does not imply you have to transfer it to a new pot immediately. Growing indicates that your plant is doing well in its current setting. Look for symptoms and apparent indicators, such as roots coming out of the drainage holes and growth stalled or slowed down, to determine when you need to re-pot your plant.
To avoid root rot when switching containers, it’s crucial to use a container with drainage holes and an easy drainage system. Choose a pot or container between 1-2 inches wider and deeper than the existing pot to acquire the correct size.
Repotting your plant requires precision. The following methods will help make re-potting simple and effective:
- Water your Tradescantia before transferring it so you can easily separate the roots afterward. This will make it easier to transport your Tradescantia. To ensure that your plant is prepared for extra water, you should wait a little longer before repotting it.
- Wear gloves for this stage since the tradescantia roots can irritate the skin when you carefully remove the Tradescantia from its pot. Be cautious not to damage any stems when removing the plant from its container. To carefully remove the plant, it is advised that you tip the pot onto its side and hold it there.
- Break up the roots: If the roots are knotted or grouped together, you should carefully separate them.
- Fill the new container with dirt; add moist soil to the bottom of the pot.
- Add your Tradescantia to the pot by setting it in the center and covering it with soil.
Tradescantia plants can be multiplied quickly. Due to their inability to keep up with how quickly the plants grow and multiply, many growers of these plants are known to give away several other plants obtained through propagation.
The roots of a Tradescantia plant can be easily extracted from plant cuttings, making the propagation process very simple. Make sure your cutting is from a mature, healthy plant if you want to reproduce. Cut the stem right below the node where a leaf starts to sprout using sharp scissors. You should have a 4 to 6-inch cutting for the greatest effects.
These plants can be multiplied in both water and soil. You should put lukewarm water in a cup or container to use for propagation in water. After removing the leaves from the bottom of the stem, submerge the cutting in water, and then set it on a windowsill where it will receive plenty of light.
On the other hand, you should keep the plants away from direct sunlight, such as that coming from south-facing windowsills.
Make sure that the roots are continually immersed when propagating in water. You can move it to a pot with soil once the roots reach a length of a few inches (often after three to four weeks).
Growing plants in soil require a somewhat different and more extensive technique than growing plants in a container. To reproduce, first put soil in your pot, then cut the leaves off the stem’s bottom half. Your cuttings should then be inserted into the ground.
The same pot can hold many cuttings. You should cover the pot with plastic after the cuttings are planted (secured around the pot with a rubber band). Placement of this pot requires bright, filtered light.
Your plants will grow once new growth starts to show (often after approximately a month), at which point you can remove the plastic bag without risk.
Questions and Answers
What is the Tradescantia plant’s life cycle?
Perennial plants include tradescantia species. Plants that survive for more than two years are known as perennials, distinguished from shorter-lived biennial or annual plants. Because they may be easily replicated to create more and grow, tradescantia plants are frequently referred to as eternal plants because they live for an extended period.
How fast do Tradescantia plants grow?
Tradescantia plants can grow a few inches per month and are considered quick-growing.
Tradescantias are frequently used as hanging plants since their leaves grow while draping over pot sides. Their rapid growth is another factor in their lovely appearance as hanging houseplants.
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