Habitat: South America
Cultivation: Bright position but not utterly exposed to direct light, nebulizations in the Summer, well draining substrate.
Curiosity: In Italy these plants are known by the common name of “Misery weed”, probably because of their prostrate posture.
Tradescantia are perennial herbaceous plants belonging to the Commelianaceae family. This genus includes more than 70 species, very appreciated in Europe for ornamental use. In Italy these plants are known by the common name of “Misery weed”, probably because of their prostrate posture.
It is precisely this habit that makes them perfect houseplants or balcony plants: if planted in pots, the Tradescantia make their stems fall down like a cascade of hair.
The Tradescantia are native to South America where, in some cases, they have also become weeds!
Tradescantia are herbaceous perennials that reach 30-60 centimeters in length. They can have tuberous roots, in addition to the adventitious ones that develop when their long stems are in contact with the soil. The leaves, oval or almond shaped, are arranged in a spiral along the stem. They are usually green: sometimes they have a purple lower page, or in other cases all the foliage is purple, or they can be green but streaked with different colors. The foliage of these plants, as well as their prostrate posture, has also helped to make them popular in the gardening world!
The flowers, on the other hand, are not so conspicuous. They are small, often pink or white depending on the species, with three petals.
VARIETIES AND TYPES:
There are a lot of species of Tradescantia. Here below are a few ones:
- Tradescantia ambigua
- Tradescantia boliviana
- Tradescantia cerinthoides
- Tradescantia crassifolia
- Tradescantia deficiens
- Tradescantia edwardsiana
- Tradescantia gigantea
- Tradescantia hirta
- Tradescantia navicularis
Check our online store for more ones!
TIPS FOR GROWING
Tradescantia are very resistant plants and are not difficult to grow: perfect for beginners!
- If you put them in a bright position, the colors of the leaves will be enhanced, but be careful not to expose them to direct sunlight.
- It is better to keep them indoors, as these plants cannot tolerate temperatures lower than 10ºC.I
- Watering should be abundant and regular in Summer and Spring, during the growing season, while in Autumn and Winter, you should reduce the frequency of watering, always waiting for the soil to dry before a new water supply.
- Nebulizations during the summer, especially on particularly hot days, can benefit our seedling.
- As a substrate, the universal potting soil is very good, maybe adding some draining pebbly material.
- The Tradescantia love ventilated rooms but not cold currents: it is better to place them in a ventilated room but without too many draughts, especially in winter.
The propagation of Tradescantia usually occurs by stem cuttings, which can be rooted both in soil and water.sd