Tradescantia Growing Tips

Tradescantia Growing Tips

Tradescantias are very easily grown plants and will only get into a poor condition if they are given no attention at all, Some species are quite hardy and can be grown outside, but the most popular plants are for indoor growth. Tradescantia fluminensis, commonly known as the Wandering Jew or Wandering Sailor, is the one most usually seen. Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor is a popular variety, as is Tradescantia fluminensis New Silver. If these plants are given a lot of light then ,. some pink or mauve can often be seen in the foliage. They grow quickly and will produce long trailing stems that should be cut back drastically to induce bushiness. Tradescantia albiflora is an extremely similar, although slightly smaller, plant to Tradescantia fluminensis. Tradescantia blossfeldiana grows upright on a stiffer stem. Thicker stems are hairy and the leaves have a similar hairy covering in some of the varieties. The undersides of older leaves of this species are purple but there are many varieties, some of which present an almost complete purple appearance T. blossfeldiana tricolor is one of the more popular varieties. Tradescantia reginae also grows erect, with leaves that are about 6 inches in length. These are light green in colour with dark green bands and purple on the underside.

tradescantia All Tradescantia shoots can be used as cuttings and rooted in a sandy soil during the summer months. They should be given plenty of water in summer, less in winter and should always be stood in a good light to preserve the variegated appearance.

Sometimes rapid growth results in plain green shoots, which should be cut out whenever they appear. Plants can generally withstand some draughts although, preferably, they should always be kept warm. They can be grown in houses with gas central heating and growth improves with feeding during the summer months. If the air is too dry, it may cause lower leaves to shrivel and a light spraying with water at room temperature is beneficial.

Tradescantias are sometimes confused with species of Zebrina and Setcreasea. Zebrina pendula is very similar to Tradescantia fluminensis, but the leaves are slightly larger, thicker and coloured more vividly. It grows more slowly than tradescantias and dislikes direct heat. Setcreasea are similar in shape to Zebrina and S. purpurea or Purple Heart, has elongated leaves of a purple-red. They will not grow with so little attention, needing more warmth and good light. Both of these genus will propagate easily from cuttings.

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