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Callisia navicularis (Chain Plant)

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Scientific Name

Callisia navicularis (Ortgies) D.R.Hunt

Common Names

Chain Plant, Inch Plant, Striped Inch Plant, Window's Tears, Day Flower

Synonyms

Tradescantia navicularis, Phyodina navicularis

Scientific Classification

Family: Commelinaceae
Subfamily: Commelinoideae
Tribe: Tradescantieae
Subtribe: Tradescantiinae
Genus: Callisia

Description

Callisia navicularis is a creeping, perennial, succulent plant, rooting at the nodes with some short stems growing upright with tight overlapping leaves and other stems with leaves more open and spreading along the ground, from which the shorter stems and flowers arise. The stems are succulent and clasped tightly by hard and waxy, deeply guttered, lanceolate leaves. They are held in a distichous arrangement on opposite sides of the stem. These unique leaves are up to 1.2 inch (3 cm) long, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide, bronze-green above and streaked purple below. In summer, when grown in bright light, the bright lilac-pink flowers open in the morning and close later in the afternoon. They last only one day.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Tradescantia is easy and you will find the plants to be quite resilient. These plants typically grow in moist, well-drained and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil. Tradescantias do best in partial shade but will do equally well in sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist.

You can grow Tradescantia indoors too as long as suitable conditions are given. Provide the plant with either a soilless mix or loam-based potting compost and keep it in bright filtered light. You should also pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

Allow it to spend warm spring and summers days outdoors, if feasible. During its active growth, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks. Water sparingly in winter.

These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you are growing them in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and will help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems back about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia

Origin

Callisia navicularis is native to Mexico.

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