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Tradescantia zebrina (Inch Plant)

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Scientific Name

Tradescantia zebrina Bosse

Common Names

Inch Plant, Silver Inch Plant, Wandering Jew

Synonyms

Tradescantia zebrina subsp. zebrina, Tradescantia pendula, Zebrina pendula, Commelina zebrina, Cyanotis zebrina

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Tradescantia zebrina is a very popular trailing, succulent-stemmed plant. Foliage 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 clad with fleshy, pointed, stem-clasping, oval leaves up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long, that are blue-green with two broad silvery longitudinal stripes above and solid purple underneath. 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.

Hardiness

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’ll find the plants to be quite resilient. They’re hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9 and will tolerate more than what one would expect. Tradescantia typically grow in moist, well-drained and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil. Tradescantia plants 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 four weeks. Water sparingly in winter.

These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you’re 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

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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