Tradescantia (100 photos): types and care

Tradescantia (100 photos): types and care

Tradescantia is a herbaceous perennial with amazing decorative properties. Its monochromatic or variegated foliage of green, lilac, pink tones often makes it a real decoration of indoor interiors, as well as home gardens. Delicate shoots are regularly covered with flowers of various colors. The homeland of the plant is Latin America, although today it is quite common on various continents. It got its name in honor of the English naturalists John Tradescant Sr. and John Jr., who made a great contribution to science at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries..

Main types

Tradescantia has many forms and species, of which there are about 75. This is largely due to its wide distribution on various continents, but it is worth giving credit to breeders who tirelessly grow new varieties. A variety of species today allows you to grow this crop both indoors and in personal plots, admiring its beauty. Consider the most famous and favorite types of flower growers.

Tradescantia white-flowered

Both American continents are native to this species. White-flowered tradescantia takes root well in apartment conditions and even received the second name “woman’s gossip” because of the numerous intertwining shoots and leaves that form a ball.

Its main decorative properties are the original leaves, which have a striped pale green color, an elongated shape and a glossy surface. In some varieties, the stripes may have a golden hue. The flowers, as the name implies, are white, sometimes have a pinkish tint, and are shaped like small stars. Although a single flower lives only a day, the flowerpot bloom can be observed for several months, as new buds bloom every day..

Tradescantia white-flowered

Virginia Tradescantia

This herbaceous perennial is native to the US state of Virginia. The peculiarity lies in a rather long flowering, and the flowers have a bright expressive color, represented by a blue palette. Leaves of a linear shape grow up to 20 cm in length.

Virginia Tradescantia

Tradescantia Anderson

This group of ornamental varieties that are great for growing both at home and in the garden. Plants grow up to 80 cm in length, have high decorative values, and flat flowers are painted in blue, white, purple or pink tones. An interesting feature of this species is its love for shady areas – its flowers look much more beautiful when it is cloudy outside..

Tradescantia got its name in honor of the American botanist E. Anderson, who studied it for a very long time..

Tradescantia Anderson

Tradescantia Blossfeld

This type of Tradescantia has thick, fleshy stems with reddish-green skin that creep along the ground. The dark green surface of the leaves sometimes has a reddish tint, and the reverse side is densely pubescent, purple in color. On the sepals, you can see a silvery pile..

Tradescantia Blossfeld

Tradescantia Zebrina

It is also called zebra-like tradescantia due to the original color of the multi-colored leaves, which have a purple-lilac inside and a green outside with white and silver stripes on both sides of the central vein. The color of the blossoming buds is predominantly purple or scarlet. The plant has a creeping stem and is often used as an ampelous plant..

Tradescantia Zebrina

Covered Tradescantia

This beautiful perennial plant, reaching a height of 30–40 cm, has erect foliage that forms a dense rosette. The color of the deciduous plate on the front side is green, and on the back it is pink-lilac, thanks to which this tradescantia looks quite bright. The flowering of small white buds that appear under a leafy blanket gives it more originality..

Covered Tradescantia

Proper care of Tradescantia

To ensure a high decorative effect of Tradescantia, it is necessary to follow certain rules of care, creating a favorable microclimate. It is not at all difficult to grow this plant, which is one of the reasons for their popularity among flower growers..


For the most part, Tradescantia likes bright light, but is afraid of direct sunlight, from which it can get burned. With a lack of lighting, the stems stretch out, and the thinning foliage becomes pale. In apartment conditions, it is better to choose places for flowerpots on window sills facing the east or west side. In the open direct sun, Tradescantia is left in the morning and evening..

Tradescantia Care - Lighting Tradescantia Care - Lighting


The plant does not require special temperature conditions. In the warm season – from mid-spring to October – it will feel comfortable at a temperature of + 25C. With the onset of cold weather, it must be gradually lowered. Tradescantia should overwinter at a temperature of + 10 … + 12C, so that it enters a state of dormancy. On particularly hot days, it is better to transfer indoor flowerpots to an open ventilated balcony..

Tradescantia Care - Temperature Tradescantia Care - Temperature


Tradescantia prefers moderate humidity. It must be periodically washed from dust, and also sprayed on warm days. These procedures are especially useful for plants living in hanging planters, as they are most prone to drying out..

The danger is waterlogged soil, which can lead to rotting of the root system, therefore, even when planting tradescantia, you need to take care of drainage. Excess water remaining after irrigation in the pan must be removed.

Tradescantia Care - Humidity Tradescantia Care - Humidity


Especially careful watering is necessary for Tradescantia in the spring and summer periods – the soil should always remain moist. In winter, the amount of drinking is reduced – often one pot is enough about 70-80 ml of water per week.

Tradescantia Care - Watering Tradescantia Care - Watering

Fertilizers and feeding

To maintain the decorative appearance of the plant, it must be fed in spring and summer, during the period of active growth. For this purpose, you can use complex dressings intended for decorative deciduous indoor flowers. In winter, fertilizers are not applied, because an excess of nutrients in insufficient lighting can lead to death.

Tradescantia care - Fertilizers and fertilizing Tradescantia care - Fertilizers and fertilizing

Diseases and pests

Diseases occur most often due to improper care of Tradescantia. For example, with a lack of light, the stems will begin to stretch, and the foliage will thin out. With a lack of moisture or too direct sunlight, the leaves turn brown. Normal conditions should be created to eliminate problems..

As the crop ages, the stems are exposed at the base, and the only recourse is to use the tops of the shoots as cuttings. The rest of the plant is thrown away.

Another ailment that a culture can comprehend is a sooty fungus that settles on leaves in those places where traces of scale insects or aphids are left. It provokes a violation of respiration and photosynthesis, which leads to the weakening of the plant..

Like all decorative flowering crops, Tradescantia is not ignored by various pests, for which it becomes a real delicacy. The following representatives are especially dangerous:

Aphids are a sedentary insect that feeds on cell sap, as a result of which the foliage shrivels and the buds fall off. It is necessary to wash the plant with soapy water and treat with Aktellik.

The spider mite is so small that it can only be seen in group colonies that look like pollen on the leaves. Signs of damage are determined by leaf fall and the presence of a thin web. Tradescantia must be thoroughly bathed and humidified..

Scale – settle on the underside of the leaf and feed on its juice, leaving a sticky discharge. Gentle pest removal and insecticide treatment will be required.

Tradescantia - Diseases and Pests Tradescantia - Diseases and Pests

How to transplant Tradescantia

The need for transplanting depends on the age of the culture. It is carried out, as a rule, after 2-3 years. It is worth noting that Tradescantia tolerates the process well, if you take care of creating optimal conditions..

By removing the plant from the pot, you can, if necessary, divide the bush, remove dried branches, and also clean the rhizome of old earth. The new soil should be light and nutritious, contain deciduous and soddy soil, humus, a little sand for better air permeability. You can buy a ready-made composition. A drainage layer should also be laid.

The planted tradescantia must be placed in the shade for the first few days so that its efforts are directed towards rooting. When landing in open ground, it is worth choosing a site where partial shade will be created at noon.

How to transplant Tradescantia How to transplant Tradescantia

Reproduction at home

To propagate Tradescantia, growers use one of three methods – they grow seedlings from seeds, divide the bushes, or use the vegetative method of cuttings.

Propagation of tradescantia by seeds

Seeds for seedlings must be sown in March. It is necessary to prepare in advance shallow containers with soil containing sand and peat. The seeds are slightly deepened into the ground, sprinkled and moistened. Next, the container is covered with a film (glass) and installed in a warm place. You need to open the greenhouse regularly, wipe the condensate and moisten the soil. With the appearance of the first shoots (after about two weeks), the cover is removed. When full leaves appear, the seedlings can be transplanted into “adult” pots.

Propagation of tradescantia by seeds Propagation of tradescantia by seeds

Propagation of tradescantia by cuttings

In this case, it is necessary to cut off the tops of the stems about 12-15 cm long with a sharp knife. For rooting, they are placed in a container with water or soil. Next, you need to create a greenhouse and keep it warm. The rhizome develops within 7-10 weeks, after which the sprouts will begin to actively grow.

Propagation of tradescantia by cuttings

Reproduction of tradescantia by division

You can divide the bush during transplantation. The process consists of removing an adult bush, shaking the root off the ground and cutting it into several pieces with a blade. The resulting material is immediately planted in prepared containers with soil so that the rhizome does not dry out.

Reproduction of tradescantia by division Reproduction of tradescantia by division

Tradescantia – photo

Juicy bright green stems, stunningly decorative leaves and variegated blooms are the main advantages of Tradescantia. This can be clearly seen in a further photo selection, which presents various types of culture, ways of placing it in home and garden conditions. Happy viewing!

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