Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D.R.Hunt
Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew
Setcreasea pallida, Setcreasea tampicana, Tradescantia jaumavensis
Tradescantia pallida is a popular trailing plant with fleshy stems and glaucous green, spirally arranged leaves suffused with purplish-violet. It can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. The leaves are pointed, lance-shaped to narrowly elliptic, and covered in soft, fine hairs. They are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide.
The flowers are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) across and have three deep pink petals and two sets of bracts at the base. They appear at the stem tips in summer and open only in the morning.
Tradescantia pallida is native to northeastern Mexico. It occurs in the Gulf Coast region, from Tamaulipas to Yucatan.
USDA hardiness zone 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 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 if the soil is moist.
You can grow Tradescantia indoors, too, if suitable conditions are given. Provide the plant with 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 summer days outdoors, if feasible. Water moderately during active growth and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every four weeks. Water sparingly in winter.
These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially when growing in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and 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.
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