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Callisia repens (Turtle Vine)

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Scientific Name

Callisia repens (Jacq.) L.

Common Names

Turtle Vine, Inch Plant, Creeping Inch Plant, Creeping Basket Plant, Bolivian Jew

Synonyms

Hapalanthus repens (basionym), Commelina hexandra, Spironema robbinsii, Tradescantia callisia

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Callisia repens is a low growing, evergreen, perennial succulent up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and spreading up to 4 feet (1.2 m) or more, on stems that root at the joints. The leaves are soft, downy, dark green above, rich purple below and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The flowers are small, white and appear in late spring or early summer.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °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 repens is native to Mexico, Central America, South America.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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