Tradescantia Care and Propagation
One of my favorite colorful plants is the Tradescantia! This genus comes in various colors, with pinks being the most spectacular IMO. I have the tradescantia fluminensis tricolor and the Tradescantia "nanouk". Both are easy to care for and offer gorgeous pinks if grown in bright light. Check out my care and grow tips below!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROPER LIGHT
Tradescantia thrive in bright light. The pink varieties like the tricolor and nanouk will fade in color if they do not receive enough light. They can tolerate some sun as well, and can be grown indoors or outdoors in partial sun depending on your climate/location.
Keep in mind that the pinks will only remain pink with bright light. Tradescantia will also get "leggy" if they are grown in lower light. This is when the leaves get smaller and further apart on the stem. The stem also gets skinnier and longer, stretching out in search of better light.
DO NOT OVERWATER
Tradescantias in general like to be on the drier side. Make sure to plant them in well-draining soil (I like to mix some extra perlite in with my indoor soil). Wait for the soil to dry out completely between watering. Too much water can cause root rot. If you're unsure, you can plant them in a plastic nursery pot so you can feel how light the pot is when the soil is completely dry.
When you're figuring out the watering schedule, it's always better to under-water than over-water. Tradescantia are hardy and will be fine if you forget to water for a few days.
MAINTAINING AND REFRESHING
A lot of people ask me how I keep my pink tradescantias looking so full and fresh. Even with proper light and watering, these plants can still get crispy leaves and start to look leggy once the seasons change. My secret is that I "refresh" my pots once a year. This does NOT mean I throw them away once they become unattractive. I refresh by cutting back the plant down to a few inches above the soil line to encourage new growth. I also cut the pinker/fuller tips of the stems and propagate!
Tradescantia cuttings are super easy to propagate! Some people prefer to put the cuttings in water, but I recommend planting unrooted cuttings directly into soil. Tradescantia is one of those plants that I have found root slower in water and the water roots tend to be weaker. I prefer rooting in soil because it's much faster and produces stronger roots.
When planting your cuttings, make sure your pot is not too big, and your soil is dry. Stick them into the soil with at least one node under the soil line. Water immediately afterwards and don't water again until the soil is completely dry. Make sure to place the pot in a bright spot in your home. That's it! The cuttings should root in just a few days!
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