care & grow guide: tradescantia

Published on 30 January 2023 at 16:25

Tradescantias (also known as Inch Plant, Spiderwort or Wandering Dude) are some of my favourite houseplants - not only have they got stunning foliage, but they're pretty low maintenance too. Fast-growing plants and easy to propagate, they thrive in different environments. There are so many beautiful variations available, they look amazing trailing down a wall or shelf! 


Tradescantias are happiest in bright but indirect sunlight. Low light can cause stretched out growth and faded colours, whereas too much light can cause the leaves to burn. A great spot would be a shelf or table close to a bright window. Getting the perfect amount of light means your plant will reward you with beautiful brightly coloured foliage! 


Tradescantia Fluminensis Tricolour



Tradescantias do not like to dry out too much between waterings. A general rule I use for my plants is to check the top couple of inches of soil - is it dry? In that case, it could probably use some water! Ensure that all excess water has drained from the pot, as Tradescantias are susceptible to root rot. Remember that during the summer, the soil will dry out much quicker and will need checking regularly.


Average household temperature, from 10°C to 24°C. Will grow faster in warmer temperatures and is not frost tolerant.


During the growing season, your Tradescantia will benefit from a fertiliser every few weeks. This will help keep your plant healthy and support it whilst it puts out lots of new growth. Ensure the fertiliser you use it specifically for houseplants, and follow the dosage instructions - using too much fertiliser can actually stunt plant growth or even burn the roots! 


I pot my Tradescantias in a plastic pot with drainage holes, with a potting mixture of around 80% houseplant soil mixed with 20% perlite. This mixture will ensure the soil drains well and doesn't retain too much water, which could cause problems for your plant. Tradescantia roots can grow fast - especially during growing season! Check the underside of your plastic pot every couple of weeks - are the roots beginning to stick out? If so, then your plant may be ready for a repot! 


Tradescantia 'Yellow Hill'



Tradescantias are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate! Grab a pair of clean, sharp scissors and find a healthy stem that's a few inches long - then snip! Remove the bottom few leaves, and put the stem in a glass of water. Within a few weeks, you should get a few inches of new healthy roots, ready to be potted into soil. Its great to propagate these plants, as it encourages thicker & fuller growth



These plants are very adaptable to their environment - they're generally happy in average household humidity, but will thrive with a little extra!  A great way of adding humidity is regular misting, purchasing a humidifier, or keeping your plant in a bathroom.  



Mildly toxic - keep away from children & pets


Tradescantia 'Yellow Hill'

Overall, I think Tradescantias make really great houseplants - they're relatively easy to care for, adapt well to their environment, and brighten up any room. One of the easiest and fastest plants to propagate, they're definitely worth a try.

Happy growing!