Tradescantia: home care, reproduction, transplantation, types and photos

Tradescantia: home care, reproduction, transplantation, types and photos

Houseplants Published: 09 January 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:

Botanical description

Tradescantia (lat.Tradescantia) belongs to the Kommelinovye family and includes up to 30 species. The birthplace of Tradescantia is the temperate and tropical zones of America. The name of the genus comes from the name of the gardener John Tradescant, who worked for King Charles I of England and was the first to describe this genus of plants. Popular names - Saxifrage and Babi's gossip.
It is a short herbaceous perennial with straight or creeping shoots. The leaves are alternate, and, depending on the species, have a lanceolate, elliptical or ovoid shape. Inflorescences grow from the axils of the apical leaves. Tradescantia is one of the most popular indoor ampelous plants. Pinching helps to make the plant more branchy and thicker. Tradescantia is most often grown in hanging vases or on high shelves so that the shoots can hang down. Tradescantia blooms with blue-violet and just blue flowers, even in rooms.
The plant is also used in aquariums - it is placed near the aquarium so that the shoots can sink into the water, thereby forming a green mat. Possesses tradescantia and medicinal properties - neutralizes electromagnetic radiation and purifies the air in the room. If you cut off the branches of Tradescantia and put them in water, then they can stand from several months to a year, if you sometimes add fertilizers to the water.

Briefly about growing

  • Bloom: the plant is grown as an ornamental deciduous plant.
  • Lighting: bright diffused light or partial shade. Variegated plant varieties are more demanding on lighting, but they also cannot stand the direct sun.
  • Temperature: from spring to autumn - 25 ºC, in winter - no higher than 12 ºC.
  • Watering: during the period of active growth - regular and abundant, as soon as the top layer of the substrate dries. In winter, you can allow the soil in the pot to dry one quarter of the depth, but if the plant hibernates in the cool, then watering is carried out only after the substrate has completely dried.
  • Air humidity: usual for living quarters.
  • Top dressing: from spring to autumn - once every two weeks, alternately with mineral and organic dressings. It is better not to feed variegated forms with organic matter.
  • Rest period: not pronounced.
  • Cropping: in the spring.
  • Transfer: combine with pruning. Young vines are transplanted annually, adults - after two or three years.
  • Substrate: 2 parts of deciduous land, one part of sod and humus land and half of sand. You can also purchase ready-made soil for tradescantia.
  • Reproduction: seeds, cuttings and division.
  • Pests: scale insects, thrips and spider mites.
  • Diseases: decay, bare stems, discoloration of leaves, spots on them and brown tips as a result of improper care and breach of conditions.
  • Properties: pale tradescantia causes skin irritation.

Read more about the cultivation of Tradescantia below.

Photo of Tradescantia

Home care for tradescantia


The best place for tradescantia is windows on the west and east sides with bright but diffused light. They can also grow on northern windows; on the south side, you need to provide shade during hot hours. Varieties with variegated leaves are more demanding on lighting - with a lack of light, the leaves can turn evenly green, and with an excess of direct sunlight, they fade. White-flowered Tradescantia is the most shade-tolerant species. In summer, plants can be planted in the garden or taken out on a balcony covered from drafts and the sun.


In summer, the temperature should be around 25 ° C. In winter, it is better not to be above 12 ° C, but even at a higher degree, Tradescantia can overwinter normally.

Watering Tradescantia

Indoor Tradescantia requires abundant regular watering in the spring and summer, but the water should not stagnate in the pot. You need to water it with soft water a couple of days after the top layer of the substrate has dried. In winter, watered 3-4 days after the top of the soil dries. Throughout the year, you need to ensure that excess water does not linger in the pot and the soil does not sour. After 30 minutes after watering, you need to drain the water from the sump and wipe it dry. If the plant grows at a temperature of 12 to 16 ° C, then water it after the soil dries. Long time without watering weakens Tradescantia, but it will not die.


It will not be superfluous to spray Tradescantia in the summer, although the lack of spraying will not affect the plant badly.

Top dressing

In summer and spring, they are fed every two weeks alternately with mineral and organic fertilizers. Varieties with variegated leaves can lose color from organic fertilizers. There is no need to feed Tradescantia in the autumn-winter period.


Indoor Tradescantia is aging rather quickly and loses its decorative qualities. For example, the stems are exposed. To prevent this from happening, every year you need to pinch the shoots and do minor pruning, as well as transplant the Tradescantia into a fresh substrate.

Tradescantia transplant

Transplanting is usually combined with pruning. Young specimens are transplanted annually, and older ones - every two to three years. In a pot, it is imperative to build high-quality drainage, and the soil is best composed of deciduous, humus, sod land and sand (2: 1: 1: 0.5). They also sell a ready-made substrate for tradescantia.

Growing from seeds

Seeds are sown in early spring in a mixture of equal parts of peat and sand. Sow in mini greenhouses, keeping the temperature at 20 ° C. The container must be regularly ventilated and sprayed. Young tradescantia, with proper care, will bloom in the 3rd year.

Propagation of tradescantia by cuttings

You can propagate Tradescantia by cuttings all year round. Cut shoots are cut into pieces 10-15 cm long and planted in 5-8 pieces in pots; the soil is prepared equal from parts of sand, humus and compost soil. The temperature should be kept at 15-20 ° C. The cuttings should take root within a few days. The decorative appearance of Tradescantia will take a month and a half to two months.

Reproduction by division

You can propagate Tradescantia by dividing the rhizome during transplantation.


Tradescantia pallid can irritate the skin, so wash your hands with soap and water after handling the plant.

Diseases and pests of tradescantia

Tradescantia grows poorly. The stems are stretched, and the number of leaves is negligible if the plant lacks nutrition, moisture or light.

The leaves of the tradescantia are turning green. Insufficient lighting leads to the fact that the variegated leaves become whole green.

Spots on the leaves of tradescantia. Yellow spots appear on the leaves of Tradescantia, and the stems become lethargic due to lack of moisture in the soil.

Tradescantia is stretched out. During the winter, the stems can stretch out, and at the base of the stem, the leaves dry up and fall. The plant can be renewed with young rooted cuttings.

Tradescantia leaves turn brown. The tips of the leaves may turn brown if the air is too dry.

The leaves of the tradescantia become monochromatic. Leaves can lose streaks and become monochromatic if there is not enough light, or if the plant is not properly pruned or cuttings are carried out.

Tradescantia pests. Most often, Tradescantia suffers from rot. Outdoors, it can be damaged by aphids and slugs.


Tradescantia x andersoniana

So called hybrids with Virginia Tradescantia, cultivated for the garden. Stems of varieties of this species are branched and straight. Leaves are green-purple and lanceolate. The flat flowers are blue, white, purple and pink; gather in inflorescences similar to umbrellas.

The variety Purewell giant carmine-red flowers. Variety Osprey has white flowers, and Leonora - blue-violet. The variety Iris blue flowers grow very densely, and the variety J. G. Weguelin flowers are large and sky blue.

White-flowered Tradescantia / Tradescantia albiflora

This species can still be found under the name tricolor tradescantia (Tradescantia tricolor) or Tradescantia uiridis... The homeland of this species is the tropical part of South America. Its shoots are creeping. Leaves are ovate-elongated, glossy, bald, up to 6 cm long, up to 2.5 cm wide, green or silvery variegated. Inflorescences grow at the top of the stems, sometimes from the axils of the leaves. The flowers are small, white.

The tricolor variety has leaves with lilac-pink and white stripes, while the albovittata variety has white stripes on the leaves. Aurea has yellow leaves with green stripes. The aureovittata cultivar has yellow-golden longitudinal stripes on the upper leaf plate.

Tradescantia blossfeldiana

Habitat - Argentina. This herbaceous perennial plant has creeping red-green stems. Leaves are lanceolate and elliptical with a sharp top, with tubular sheaths, growing in turn; they reach 8 cm in length and 3 cm in width; the upper side of the leaf is dark green with a red tint, and the lower side is purple. The leaf sheaths, the leaves themselves and the stems under the nodes are covered with white hairs. Pedicels are heavily pubescent, grow from the axils of the upper leaves and at the ends of the shoots, long. Two bracts of different sizes are attached to the bottom of the inflorescence. The flowers have three petals and sepals. The sepals are heavily pubescent and purple. The petals are bright pink above and white below. The bottom stamens are covered with long white hairs.

Variegata has a very similar pattern of wide yellow stripes on adjacent right leaves (and adjacent left ones). The pattern on the right leaves is different from the pattern on the left. If the plant has little light, with improper propagation by cuttings or incorrect pruning, the leaves may lose stripes.

Tradescantia virginiana

The plant lives in nature in the southeastern part of North America. The stem is straight, knotty and branched, grows up to 60 cm long. Leaves up to 20 cm long, lanceolate; the leaf sheath covers the stem. Flowers of violet-pink color reach 4 cm in diameter, gather at the top of the stems in umbrella-shaped inflorescences; have three petals and two large bracts. The flowering period is July-August. The fruit is expressed by a capsule that opens with longitudinal valves.

The variety atrorubra bloody red flowers, in the variety coerulea - blue, y rosea - pink, while rubra flowers have a red tint.

Tradescantia pilosa

The stem is straight, the leaves are long and covered with white hairs. The flowers are pink-lilac.

Tradescantia zebrina

Other name - hanging tradescantia (Tradescantia pendula)... Bare shoots of red or hanging down, or spreading. The leaves grow up to 10 cm long and up to 5 cm wide, have an elongated ovoid shape; on the upper side along the entire leaf there are two white-silver stripes, the color of the lower side is red. The flowers are purple or purple, small.

Tradescantia navicularis

This succulent species grows widely in Peru and Mexico. Shoots are naked and creeping. Small leaves are boat-shaped, egg-shaped; grow up to 4 cm in length and up to 1 cm in width; pointed, thick, keeled below, dotted with purple dots and cilia at the edges. The inflorescence grows at the top of the plant. The petals of the flowers are pink.

Tradescantia multicolor

Leaves grow densely, small, green with pink and white stripes. Very ornamental plant.

River Tradescantia / Tradescantia fluminensis

Another name for the species is Tradescantia myrtle. The plant is native to Brazil. Red-purple shoots are covered with green spots, spread. Leaves on both sides are smooth, ovoid, attached on a short petiole, reaching 2.5 cm in length and 2 cm in width.

Variegata has cream-striped leaves and Quicksilver stripes are white.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the family Commelinaceae
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Indoor Plants Information

Sections: Houseplants Beautiful flowering Commeline Shade-tolerant Plants on T

Zebrina is often grown in hanging pots.

Tradescantia zebrina is a herbaceous plant of the Kommelin family. It has an unusual leaf color. On the lower side, they are painted in a purple shade, on the upper side they are two-colored. A green-purple stripe runs along the central vein of the leaf, wide silvery stripes on the sides of it. The center and edges of the sheet are purplish green.

Shoots of young plants are erect, and with age they go down. They reach 80 cm in length. The stems of cylindrical cross-section also have a violet-purple hue. The alternate leaves are rounded at the base, oval in shape. They reach 7 cm in length and 3 cm in width. At home, zebrin rarely blooms, although it is valued mainly for its beautiful leaves.


Tradescantia belongs to the extensive family of Commelinaceae, which includes more than 700 species of various annual and perennial crops. At home, it is customary to grow ampelous species of simple and variegated tradescantia, which have falling or straight stems, the structure of which allows them to easily root on the soil surface. Saxifrage leaves deserve special admiration. The exotic color of the lanceolate or oval foliage, illuminated by soft sunlight, adds a special charm to the interior of any room.

The saxifrage blooms in a group of small delicate flowers of pinkish, snow-white or purple color, which are collected in neat tassels. Each blossoming flower lives for a day, and in the morning it withers and falls off. But this does not spoil the appearance of the plant, since the flowers of the variegated tradescantia grow in numerous clusters, and new blossoming inflorescences appear as quickly as they wither. Flowering continues for four months. At home, the most popular flowering varieties are Pink Chablis, Max Double, Concord, Bilberry Ice, Maiden Blush, Blushing Bride and Blush Bride, which can also grow in the garden.

Shoots of simple and variegated Tradescantia grow and curl very quickly, with good care they can add about 20-30 cm per year. Branched stems stretch unevenly, so the plant needs regular pruning. Pinching will help the Tradescantia flower grow thicker and more luxuriant. Cut branches of a flower can stand in water for more than a month, and if you regularly add top dressing, then more than a year.

Tradescantia can be both an annual and a perennial flower, but it is preferable to grow perennial species at home. Some varieties of variegated Tradescantia can grow outdoors, like coleus or lily of the valley, so many gardeners use this original flower to decorate their summer cottages. The plant is most often planted next to gloxinia, fuchsia and cyclamen, creating spectacular green compositions. Particularly elegant on the flower beds is the Kupolka variety, which has elongated sharp leaves and pale purple flowers, Uegelin or the winter-hardy street variety Osprey. Breeders have also bred miniature dwarf varieties, but in our latitudes they are not widespread.

Indoor Tradescantia, like the Sitara rheo spatacea, is used in folk medicine.The first useful properties of this plant, having studied it in detail under a microscope, were described in his work by the Venezuelan biologist Jonathan Pirerro. The healing properties of Tradescantia are due to the presence of milky juice in its stems, which has disinfecting, wound healing and hemostatic properties. Tradescantia retains its properties both fresh and dried.

The plant is used to treat shallow wounds and cuts, heart and respiratory problems. At home, for these purposes, Tradescantia white simple or blue Tradescantia is grown. Before using any infusion based on Tradescantia, you should consult your doctor, since flower juice has contraindications for use.

Home care for tradescantia

Tradescantia is an unpretentious and completely capricious plant. Feels comfortable in ordinary flower pots. It must be replanted once a year. If this is not done, the stems will begin to dry out. Tradescantia lives no more than three to four years, after which it is replaced with a young cutting from its own shoots.

Good to know: Tradescantia perfectly gets along with any indoor plants, perfectly cleans the air and very subtly "feels" the energy of the home. If everything is in order in the house, then the plant is great, but if negative is present, then the flower begins to fade.

Pruning and replanting

At a young age, Tradescantia is shown an annual transplant, older specimens are transplanted every 2-3 years. So that the plant does not suffer from stagnant moisture, the pot is filled with drainage material (pebbles, expanded clay, brick chips) by at least a third, and the substrate is prepared from leaf and sod soil, humus and sand (4: 2: 2: 1). If you do not have enough time to prepare the formula, you can buy special soil for tradescantia in the flower shop. During transplanting, a large overgrown Tradescantia bush can be divided into several parts and the divisions can be planted in separate pots.

Since at home, Tradescantia is aging very quickly and loses its attractiveness, it is recommended to prune the plant simultaneously with the transplant. For better tillering, young shoots are pinched, and adults are slightly shortened.

What it is?

Tradescantia (in the Latin alphabet Tradescantia) is a perennial plant, as it lives for more than two years. The name has a fascinating history. Swedish naturalist Karl Linnaeus traveled and discovered new plant species. In one of his studies in Latin America, Karl recorded several types of vegetation that differed from others in their succulent leaves and beautiful shades of flowers.

When fixing and creating a description for the plant, it was necessary to give it a name. Carl Linnaeus at that time was interested in the Tradescant family, or rather, John and his son John Jr. It was in honor of the father and son, the same lovers of natural science, that the flower was named, which is now common as a room dweller.

Natural range - the region of origin of the flower is in America and covers an area from northern Argentina to Canada. Shoots are usually creeping, sometimes straight. The leaves have a sequence in the structure. Rooting in soil is typical for Tradescantia.

The most widespread species are marked "indoor". But they can also be grown in conservatories and greenhouses. The very structure of the flower looks and is very delicate. Regular flowering represents 3 months of the appearance of flowers, but the life cycle of each of them is one day. In the center of the flower there is always a cluster of stamens, which reach about a centimeter in length.

The ability to purify the air and favorably influence the atmosphere is indeed present in most indoor plant varieties, therefore its cultivation will not only become a decorative attribute, but will also purify polluted air.

Owners of different plant species note that it tends to grow rapidly. If the long branches begin to feel the closeness of the pots or flowerpots, the flowers may decide to expand. There were cases when Tradescantia moved from one pot to the next, increasing its area. Therefore, gardeners give advice: you should not install another plant close to the pot.

Outwardly, flowers will not surprise a sophisticated grower. Blue, purple, white and pink are the colors that are present in bloom. The decision to place the plant pot in a suspended state or on a wall shelf will be especially successful: the branches will slowly climb down the wall.

Signs and superstitions

Tradescantia is one of the few plants that has the ability to protect its owner. This flower is associated with the following beliefs:

- the presence of tradescantia in the house protects the owner from malicious intent and limits him from the influence of visitors who have bad thoughts

- the flower clears the space of various negative entities if it feels the owner's care for itself

- sudden drying of tradescantia signals the removal of damage or evil eye from the owner

- some consider Tradescantia to be an unsuitable flower for the home, as it can lead to undue anxiety

- the plant contributes to positive changes and the achievement of any results.

Watch the video: Wandering Jew Plant Care: Growing Tradescantia Zebrina