Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina
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Tradescantia zebrina

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Tradescantia zebrina is part of the Commelinaceae family and its native range is Mexico to Colombia. This plant typically grows as ground cover but is suited to hanging baskets in the home, stems are fleshy with oval shaped with silvery stripes and purple undersides.

Genus name honors John Tradescant (1570-1638), botanist and gardener to Charles I. The specific epithet means zebra-striped.

Pot: 12cm

Height: Approximately 10cm from base of pot

Light: Bright indirect light, meaning the plant sees the sun for 0-4 hours per day - this could be through trees or a translucent curtain, it’s important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive.

Water: Allow the first 2-3 inches of mix to dry out. Before watering, ensure the substrate isn’t compacted, if it is, aerate it with a few pokes of a skewer or blunt stick. I’d recommend watering from below; sit the plant in a basin or saucer of water for 30 minutes, remove and allow to drain. This plant has a very dense crown and stems that are prone to rot. 

Potting mix: A well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark and worm castings.

Fertilising: Feed your plant every other watering during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.

Temperature: Ideally 18-23°C.

Humidity: Tradescantia would prefer higher humidity but do well to adapt to average home humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.

Tradescantia are toxic, keep out of reach of pets and children.