Setcreasea purpurea

A horizontally-growing plant. There is a fine purple-blue bloom on the spear-shaped leaves of Setcreasea. It is related to the Tradescantia which it resembles. It trails well and is suitable for combining with other plants.


  • Minimum all year 5 °C (41 °F)

Soil: A soil-less compost with 20% good friable loam added.

Where to position: It accepts shade but good light produces better colouring. It tolerates draughts and temperature changes.

Setcreasea purpurea

Watering requirements: Keep soil well moistened. Mist-spray once weekly. Do not spot the leaves.

General care: Feed monthly with very weak liquid fertilizer. Remove dried leaves, pinch out tips if stems become denuded or too leggy. It can be cut back if it becomes untidy or to encourage denser growth.

Rest: Reduce water and stop feeding

in winter. Slowly return to normal routine as warmer weather and increased light stimulate new growth.

When it looks sick:

  • Blotchy, unsightly leaves : Caused by allowing water droplets to remain on the leaves.
  • Poor colouring, leggy stems, dry, dead leaves : All of these result from inadequate light. Move it to a brighter spot. Trim off unsightly stems and dead leaves, pinch out tips and the plant should soon improve.
  • Root-rot : Caused by over-watering or poor drainage. Carefully re-pot and reduce the amount of water given.

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