Tradescantia mundula variegated ‘Tricolor’


Tradescantia fluminensis f. bicolor


Tradescantia mundula is native to Argentina Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast and Uruguay. The variegated ‘Tricolor’ form originates from nursery.


Tradescantia mundula variegated ‘Tricolor’ is a perennial herbaceous succulent belonging to the Commelinaceae botanical family. This particular hybrid has an erect habit when young and a falling attitude in age. The growth is low-profile and the stem is green and can grow up to 20 cm in height. The leaves are petiolate, fleshy, oval shape and their color is really special. The leaves are half pale green and half creamy white. The young shoots are purple pink and for these colors the plant is called ‘Tricolor’.


This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Using a perforating pot, you can drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Because Tradescantia mundula variegated ‘Tricolor’ is a hybrid, in order not to lose the characteristics of the plant, propagation can only be done by cutting. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves cleanly from the stem. Plant the leaves in a pot with a mix of equal parts potting soil, sand and gravel. Place the pot in indirect light, and lightly mist over occasionally; in 1-2 months the leaves will be ready to be repotted. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.


The genus was named after John Tradescant, who was the court gardener to Charles I of England, who brought Tradescantia from America and introduced this plant to Europeans. The variegation is due to the loss of the ability to produce chlorophyll in some tissues of the plant, so that this tissue is no longer green. Chlorophyll-free tissues are usually white or pale yellow colored (due to carotenoid pigments) in contrast to the normal green tissue.

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