Tradescantia sillamontana Matuda
White Velvet, White Gossamer Plant, Hairy Wandering Jew, Cobweb Spiderwort
Tradescantia sillamontana is a low-growing perennial with fleshy stems, holding leaves that are arranged in 2 ranks. This plant is one of the most succulent and most attractive species of the genus Tradescantia. It grows up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. Leaves are a dull olive to gray-green, sometimes blushed purple, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. The leaves and new stems are so heavily covered with cobwebby, silver-white hairs, and the plant appears quite silver. Flowers are magenta, with three petals that are crowded into the terminal leaf axils. They appear in summer.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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.
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 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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