How to care for: Tradescantia (Zebrina)
Tradescantia is a family of herbaceous and perennial plants. This plant family consists of sixty species, most of which are hanging. The Purple Flame is an exception to this rule, as it grows in height. The Tradescantia is an easy indoor plant. Position the plant on a spot with indirect sunlight and give it a sip of water once a week. You will be able to enjoy this special plant for a long time.
Water once a week
How do you take care of a Tradescantia?
The Tradescantia likes to be placed in a spot with lots of light. Not all species tolerate bright light well. It is best to place the plant in medium bright light. The Tradescantia prefers a spot next to a window on the west or east. A spot near the south is of course also possible, but make sure that the plant is at least 2 metres away from the window.
Tradescantia plants prefer a balanced level of moisture, not too wet nor too dry. Therefore, the best way to check if your plant needs water is to check the top centimeters of the soil. If it's dry, then you can water the plant. From spring to summer you can add some water every 5 days. From autumn to winter every 10 days is enough.
During spring until summer, a fertilizer every two weeks provides a boost to the Tradescantia. However, during the winter months, you shouldn't feed the plant any fertilizer since it doesn't grow during these months. The leaves turn yellow and die from over-fertilization.
Repotting the Tradescantia isn't necessary every year. We recommend repotting the Tradescantia every 2 years. This gives the plant new nutrients and more room for root growth. The airier soil is also very good for the water flowing through. The best period to repot is spring.
The Tradescantia is not known for its air-purifying function. As far as we’re concerned, no problem.
Is a Tradescantia toxic?
The Tradescantia is toxic to children and pets.
Diseases and peculiarities
If the air is too dry, the Tradescantia can suffer from spider mites. To prevent spider mites, it is best to use the plant sprayer once a week. Spider mites are an infection of mites on plants. You can recognise the infection by infected leaves and a kind of cobwebs. If you have come across spider mites, it is best to place the plant outside. Wind and moisture from outside will quickly keep the spider mite away.
Frequently asked questions about the Tradescantia
How fast does a Tradescantia grow?
If a Tradescantia is well cared for, it can grow up to 2.5 centimetres per day.
Is the Tradescantia a succulent?
Tradescantia plants originally come from North and South America. In nature, they usually grow upwards along large trees and plants. They can store a lot of moisture in their stems, but they are not succulents.
Can Tradescantia be kept outside?
In theory, Tradescantia can be placed outdoors. However, we don't recommend placing the plant outside. Do you want to move the Tradescantia outside in the summer? Let the plant get used to its new environment, and make sure it is as sheltered from the wind as possible.