Houseplant of the Week: Tradescantia

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Leaves of Tradescantia houseplant, aka purple inch plantOur latest Houseplant of the Week, Tradescantia, goes by many names, including wandering jew and the purple inch plant.

Whatever you call it, however, it has a beauty that looks great in a hanging planter or spreading along a flat surface.

Part of the spiderwort family and originally from Mexico, Tradescantia is a plant that grows easily – some might argue too easily. In fact, in certain zones, it is grown outside and can be seen as invasive!

But as a indoor plant, it will be a welcome and colorful addition to any room.

Typically, Tradescantia matures into a plant about 6 to 9 inches in height spreading 12 to 24 inches.

Caring for Your Tradescantia

Probably the trickiest part of cultivating your Tradescantia is getting the moisture levels right. These plants like their water, but like most plants will develop root rot if they are soggy. Your best bet is to make sure that it is planted in potting soil that drains well. Mixing a little sand into your potting soil can help. Water them when the soil starts to get dry; don’t let the plant fully dry out.

You’ll also be looking to find the right balance for light. Inch plants like bright but indirect light. Too little light and the distinctive variegation on its leaves will start to fade. Too much direct sunlight and those leaves will scorch. However, inch plants can tolerate some direct light, which makes them a great choice for growing in a sunny window.

Propagating Your Inch Plant

Remember how we said this plant was easy to grow? Well, that applies to creating new inch plants from cuttings. Simply take a one-inch piece of stem containing at least one leaf and set it in fresh potting soil. Water it regularly and you should have a fully rooted new plant in just a few weeks.

You can check out all of our Houseplants of the Week in our gallery here.