How to grow Tradescantia spathacea

Tradescantia spathacea grow and care – herbaceous leaf plant of the genus Tradescantia also known as Moses in the Cradle or Rhoeo discolor tricolor, Tradescantia spathacea perennial evergreen or annual plant, used as ornamental plant as ground cover, can grow in tropics, mediterranean, desert, subtropics, temperate climate or indoor as houseplant and growing in hardiness zone 9b+ with the right overwinter care in hardiness zone 9a as perennial and hardiness zone 3+ as annual.

Tradescantia spathacea leaves and flowers

Leaves color green shiny from above and purple from the bottom can be variegate with green and white on the top.

Flower color white with three petals, the flowers grow inside purple leaves that grow like a case.

Tradescantia spathacea for sale – Seeds or Plants to Buy

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How to grow Tradescantia spathacea growing and care:

Strong plant without special requirement but the plant prefer: moist soil, humidity, rich soil

How to care:
When the plant young to add mulch to keep the moist of the soil, pruning once a year better after blooming season, add once a year organic matter

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seedling / Seed / Vegetative Reproduction – propagate by cutting or bending a branch over and covering it with soil

How to propagate by cutting:
Propagate by cuttings – cut stem and better to cut stem with at least 3 leaves, put it in the soil keep the soil moist and high humidity, cutting season spring to early summer another option cuttings in water need to switch every few days the water and after grow few roots to put in the soil or to wait more and put fertilizer

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
No, but easier start from cutting than to start by seeds although germination also easy and when grow as annual better to start by cutting

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Invasive, aggressive

Planting season:
Spring as annual plant or in hardiness zone 9, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10a, spring to autumn 10b-11a, all year in hardiness zone 11b+

Pests and diseases:
Aphids, mealy bug

Pruning season:
All year, better in the winter and after blooming season

How to prune:
Dead leaves and bloom stems

Size of the plant:
10-30 cm, 4-12 inches

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Fast growing / Medium growing

Water requirement:
Average amount of water to small amount of water and can be drought tolerant

Light requirements and conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full sun, half shade, full shade – possible but need to know that without enough light the plants won’t bloom the plant need a lot of hours of indirect sunlight

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
Yes, but in order to bloom need to be mature and that mean place to grow

How to grow indoors
Choose location with light (better with even with little sun), artificial home light won’t be enough and indirect light will do the job

Growing is also possible in a pots, planter, flowerpot, containers:
Yes, start with container size minimum 5L to 10L (2.6-5.2 gallons) and better to use shallow because the plants grow widely, better bigger than the root ball at least 200% (the plant grow very fast), every time that the roots fill the pot need to switch to bigger or to prune the roots and the leaves and re-plant it also better to switch the soil every few years, better to use potting mix or peat soil with perlite, mix it with humus and organic matter, use chopped mulch to keep the soil moist, let the bottom of the pot fill in water but dry once in a few day.

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Most of the year

General information about the flower
White flowers with three petals, the flowers grow inside purple leaves that grow like a case.

How to grow Tradescantia spathacea from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Sunny location with good drainage

Saving seeds and care until sowing:
Dry and dark place, better to keep in in the refrigerate before

Sowing season:
Spring to summer

How to plant:
Plant in light soil with good drainage

Planting spacing:
20*30cm (8*12 inches)

Depth of Sowing:
0.5-1cm (0.25-0.5inches)

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil with light humidity

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water, keep soil moist but not over water and don’t let it dry

Germination time:
2-8 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Full sun, regularly water, keep the soil moist

Scientific name:

Tradescantia spathacea

How to grow Tradescantia spathacea

Tradescantia spathacea planting

Tradescantia spathacea plant care

Growing Tradescantia spathacea plant

Tradescantia spathacea plant

Tradescantia spathacea


Blooming Seasons
  • Autumn flowers
  • Summer flowers
Flower colors
  • Purple flower
  • White flower
  • Desert Climate
  • Mediterranean Climate
  • Subtropics Climate
  • Temperate Climate
  • Tropics Climate
Leaf color
  • Purple leaf
  • White leaves
Ornamental parts
  • Ornamental flower
  • Ornamental leaves
  • Ornamental plant
Plant growing speed
  • Fast growing plants
Plant life-form
  • Annual plant
  • Evergreen
  • Herbaceous
  • Perennial plant
Plant Uses
  • Colored leaves
  • Ground cover plants
  • Indoor plants
  • Ornamental plants
Planting Season
  • Autumn Planting
  • Spring Planting
  • Summer planting
Plants sun exposure
  • Full sun Plants
  • Part shade Plants
  • Shade Plants
Watering plants
  • Small amounts of water
Hardiness zone
  • Hardiness zone 10
  • Hardiness zone 11
  • Hardiness zone 12
  • Hardiness zone 13
  • Hardiness zone 3
  • Hardiness zone 4
  • Hardiness zone 5
  • Hardiness zone 6
  • Hardiness zone 7
  • Hardiness zone 8
  • Hardiness zone 9

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