Tradescantia zebrina Bosse
Inch Plant, Silver Inch Plant, Wandering Jew
Tradescantia zebrina subsp. zebrina, Tradescantia pendula, Zebrina pendula, Commelina zebrina, Cyanotis zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina is a very popular plant that typically grows up to 6 feet (15 cm) tall but creeps to 2 feet (60 cm) wide or more if allowed to do so. Stems are fleshy, ascending, decumbent, or trailing, and rooting at nodes. They bear attractive blue-green, slightly succulent leaves with two broad silvery longitudinal stripes above and solid purple underneath. The leaves are oval, pointed, stem-clasping, and up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long. Tiny three-petaled lavender-purple flowers appear sporadically throughout the year on plants grown in the native habitat, but flowers rarely appear on indoor plants.
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 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. Water moderately during its 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 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.
This species is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia and naturalized in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and various oceanic islands.
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