How to Grow Tradescantia - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Liana Category   /   2023

Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, is a genus of about 75 species of flowering plants in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada to northern Argentina, including the West Indies. They are mostly herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annual or biennial. The genus is named for John Tradescant, a 17th-century English naturalist.

How to Grow Tradescantia - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Tradescantia plant? Unless you over or underwater this plant, it's very difficult to kill. It's recommended for beginner gardeners because of its resilience. It's a fast grower, so you'll see results quickly.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Because it is a vine, it will continue to grow and can reach a length of up to 80 cm. The leaves are usually about 3-5 cm long and 2-3 cm wide. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate in shape with a pointy tip. They are also covered in tiny hairs, which is why they feel fuzzy when touched. The flowers of the Tradescantia plant are small and insignificant. They are typically white or pale purple in color and have three petals. The Tradescantia plant is native to North and Central America, but it has been introduced to other parts of the world, such as Europe and Asia.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The reason it's such a popular houseplant is that it's very easy to care for and it grows fairly quickly: up to 25-30 cm per year. It's an evergreen plant, so it will keep its leaves all year round. It's also a very tough plant and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, so it's perfect for beginner gardeners.

Tradescantia Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Liana
Family Commelinaceae
Origin Central and South America

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Sometimes, a plant will live for many years with little to no care. Other times, it will need to be updated more frequently. Perennial plants, like Tradescantia, can last for years with proper care. However, over time, the plant may need to be updated. Perennial plants usually need to be replaced every 3-5 years.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Eventually, you should keep the temperature at least 50-55,4 ° F. In the summer: 64,4-75,2 ° F, in winter it is better to keep the temperature at least 50-55,4 ° F.


What about the humidity? Although the Tradescantia plant is fairly stable, it will respond well to increased humidity in the summer. This can be achieved by spraying the plant or by placing the pot in a pallet with wet claydite. It is important to note that Tradescantia syllamontane is an exception to this rule; it actually prefers dry air and will decay if exposed to excessive humidity.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Unless you have a variegated Tradescantia, this plant prefers bright diffused light. This means an area out of direct sunlight but still bright. They can adapt to partial shade, but if you want to grow them near a brightly lit window, they should be 0.5-2 meters away. If the lighting is poor, the stems may stretch.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Tradescantia? Unless the plant is growing in water, the Tradescantia plant needs moist, well-drained soil. The plant can grow in almost any soil, but to prepare the soil of their own, take: 1 part compost soil, 1 part coarse sand or perlite, 1 part of sod land.

Watering Time

How much I must water Tradescantia? Unless the plant is wilting, it's best to underwater rather than overwater. In spring and summer, aim to water Tradescantias two times a week. The soil should not be allowed to dry out completely, but waterlogging should also be avoided. In winter, cut back on watering to once a week or less; the soil should be only slightly moist during this time.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Although the Tradescantia plant is not a heavy feeder, it's a good idea to fertilize it every two weeks during the spring and summer months using a liquid fertilizer. Doing so will help promote healthy growth and prevent any nutrient deficiencies that could lead to problems such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth.


How to reproduce Tradescantia? The Tradescantia plant can serve as an easy example of vegetative reproduction. To propagate, simply take an apical cutting that is about 8 cm long and plant it in a mixture of peat and moss. The cutting will easily root in water. When planting in a pot, it is best to plant several cuttings at once.


Why Tradescantia won't bloom? Common ly known as 'Spiderwort' or 'Wandering Jew', the Tradescantia plant is a perennial flowering plant that blooms in the summer. It has small, white or blue-violet flowers that only last for one day, but the plant produces new flowers continuously throughout the blooming season. The Tradescantia is native to the New World, from southern Canada to northern Argentina, and is named after 17th-century English botanist John Tradescant.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Tradescantia? So, the plant is transferred every 2-3 years, but with age the shoots become bare and it is necessary to replace them with young cuttings.

Caring The Tradescantia

How to care the plant? So, the plant is adaptable to a range of growth conditions and will thrive in most homes. However, in spring, you should prune the plant back, leaving only 2.5cm length shoots. It's also important to regularly pluck the tips of the shoots, as the stems of the plant break easily.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Tradescantia plant? The plant does not tolerate a spider mite, green aphids, mealybugs. The leaves of the plant turn yellow from excess light. The tips of the leaves on the plant dry when too hot and dry or when there is too much light. Slow growth is observed with a lack of nutrition. The stems can decay with excessive watering. The lower parts of the shoots are bare with the age of the plant, this is a normal process. The stems are stretched when there is a lack of light. Variegated leaves are green with excessive feeding or lack of light. With insufficient watering, the leaves turn brown.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Tradescantia poisonous? If you have this plant in your home, you should be aware that it is toxic to both humans and pets. The entire plant is poisonous, but the leaves and stems are the most toxic parts. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your pet has eaten this plant, call your veterinarian immediately.