Tradescantia (Tradescantia) is a member of the Commelinaceae family. This genus includes about 30 species. In nature, this plant is found in the tropical and temperate zones of America. The name “Tradescantia” comes from the name of gardener John Tradescant, he served the English king Charles I and first described this genus. In the people such grass is also called “Woman’s gossip”, or “kamnelomka”.
Tradescantia is not a very tall herbaceous perennial plant that has creeping or straight stems. The alternate leaf plates can have a different shape, depending on the type, it can be elliptical, lanceolate or ovate. The formation of inflorescences occurs from the sinuses of the apical leaf plates. Tradescantia is among the ampelous plants that are most popular with gardeners. Thanks to regular pinching, the bush becomes lush and branchy. Most often, a pot with such a flower is placed on a high shelf or in a hanging vase so that long stems can hang freely. During flowering, flowers of blue or violet-blue color form on the bush. Tradescantia is also used to decorate aquariums. To do this, set the flower in such a way that its stems submerge into the water of the aquarium and form a green spectacular rug.
This plant is different and healing properties. It contributes to the purification of air in the room, and also is able to neutralize electromagnetic radiation. The cut branches of this plant, placed in the water, can stand there for several months, and sometimes for about a year. But for this you need to regularly pour fertilizer into the water.
Brief description of cultivation
- Bloom. Tradescantia is raised as an ornamental leafy plant.
- Illumination. Slight shading or bright, but certainly diffused light. Note that variegated varieties need more sunlight, but the direct rays of the sun can also harm them.
- Temperature conditions. In spring and summer, the air temperature should be about 25 degrees, and in the cold season – no more than 12 degrees.
- Watering. During the growing season, they are watered plentifully and systematically, immediately after the upper layer of the soil mixture in the pot dries. During cool wintering, watering is done only when the substrate in the tank dries out completely, but if the flower is wintering in warm, then it should be watered immediately after the earth dries to of the depth.
- Air humidity. It grows well with a low level of humidity characteristic of residential premises.
- Fertilizer. Top dressing is carried out only in the spring-summer period regularly 1 time in a fortnight, and it is recommended to use organic matter and mineral fertilizers alternately. Variegated varieties are better than organic fertilizers not to feed.
- Rest period. It is not clearly pronounced.
- Pruning. In the spring time.
- Transfer. It is carried out together with pruning. Transplantation of young bushes is carried out every year, and adult copies – 1 time in 2 or 3 years.
- Soil mixture. If desired, you can buy ready-made groundwater mixture for tradescantia. But it can also be done by connecting the sod, foliage and humus soil, as well as sand in the ratio 2: 4: 2: 1.
- Breeding. Rhizome division, grafting and seed method.
- Harmful insects. Thrips, scythes and spider mites.
- Diseases. If the plant is improperly cared for or does not provide him with comfortable conditions for growth, then he can bare shoots, rot, and even this causes the foliage to become faded, or spots appear on it, or its tips turn brown.
- Properties. Pale Tradescantia can cause skin irritation.
Tradescaning care at home
Best of all, the Tradescantia will feel on the windowsill of the eastern or western orientation, and it must be borne in mind that the bright light must necessarily be diffused. It can also grow well on the northern windowsill. When growing on the south window in the midday hours, the flower must be pritenyat.
The most demanding of lighting are variegated forms. If the light is not enough for them, then the color of the leaf plates will become just green, and in the case of excessively intense illumination, the foliage will fade. The most shade-loving species is the white-flowered tradescantia. In the summer, the Tradescantia can be transferred to the garden or to the balcony, and the place for it should be protected from drafts and direct sunlight.
In summer, this vine grows best at air temperatures of about 25 degrees. It is best suited for wintering (not higher than 12 degrees), but with good care it will be able to winter well and in warm weather.
In the spring-summer period, the bush should be watered systematically and abundantly, but make sure that there is no stagnation of the liquid in the substrate. Soft water is used for irrigation, and it is carried out a couple of days after the top layer of soil mixture dries out. In the cold season, watering is carried out after three or four days after the drying of the upper layer of the substrate.
Constantly make sure that the water does not stagnate in the root system of the vines, because it can sour the ground mixture. When it takes half an hour after watering, they drain the drained excess water from the pan, and wipe it with a dry cloth.
During cold wintering (12–16 degrees), watering the flower is carried out only when the earth lump in the pot dries out completely. Tradescantia is able to do without watering for a long time, while it will greatly weaken, but this will not lead to its death.
It is not necessary to moisten the bush from the spray gun, but in the summertime regular spraying will be helpful.
In spring and summer, you need to feed the flower systematically 1 time in 14 days. To do this, it is recommended to use organic and mineral fertilizers in turn. However, when growing variegated forms, it is better to abandon the use of organic fertilizers, since due to them the color of the foliage can become just green. With the onset of autumn feeding stop, and resume them only in the spring.
When grown at home, the culture rather rapidly grows old and loses its former beauty. For example, she may bare shoots. In order to preserve the decorativeness of the vine for a long time, it is necessary to regularly nip the stems, and still every year make a small pruning. Also do not forget about the transplantation of the bush into a fresh substrate, which should be carried out in a timely manner.
Tradescantia is usually transplanted on the day of pruning. Young plants need more frequent transplantation, which is carried out 1 time per year, when they become adults, this procedure can be performed less frequently (1 time in 2–3 years). Before planting at the bottom of the tank it is necessary to make a good drainage layer. For transplantation, a soil mixture of the following composition is used: 1 part of sod and humus soil, 2 parts of deciduous soil and half of the sand. If desired, for the transplant, you can use ready-made earthen mixture intended for Tradescantia.
After working with Tradescantia pale it is necessary to wash your hands, as it can cause irritation of the skin.
Growing from seed
Tradescantia sowing seeds is carried out in the first spring weeks, for this purpose, they use ground mix consisting of sand and peat. For crops, it is necessary to build a mini hot house, inside which the air temperature should be maintained at 20 degrees. Crops must be systematically ventilated and moistened with a spray bottle. If the plants grown from seeds, properly care, then their first flowering can be seen in the third year of growth.
If you decide to propagate the vine by cuttings, you can do this at any time of the year. To do this, cut the stem and cut it into pieces, reaching a length of 10 to 15 centimeters. From 5 to 8 cuttings are planted in one pot, and they are filled with a substrate consisting of compost and humus soil, as well as sand (1: 1: 1). For better rooting, the temperature must be maintained at a level of 15 to 20 degrees. Rooted segments very quickly, after only a few days they must grow roots. After 6-8 weeks, they will become spectacular bushes.
Reproduction by division
During transplantation shrub can be propagated by dividing the rhizome.
- Tradescantia grows poorly. Shoots become elongated, and the number of foliage is reduced due to lack of water or nutrients, as well as due to poor lighting.
- Tradescantia leaves are green. When growing variegated forms you need to ensure that the flower has enough light, otherwise its foliage will turn green.
- Spots on the sheet plates. If the plant lacks water, then because of this, its shoots will become sluggish, and specks of yellow color form on the surface of the leaf plates.
- The flower is drawn out. During the winter period, shoots at Tradescantia can stretch out, while the foliage dries and flies at their base. In this case, for the rejuvenation of the bush using rooted cuttings.
- Tradescantia leaves turn brown. If the air humidity is too low, the tips of the leaf plates may turn brown.
- The foliage becomes monophonic. Stripes sometimes disappear on the leaf plates, and they become monotonous. This happens because of too poor lighting, and also if pruning or grafting was carried out incorrectly.
Diseases and pests
Most often, such a flower is affected by rot. If he is on the street, then slugs and aphids can harm him.
Types and varieties of Tradescantia with photos and names
Anderson’s Tradescantia (Tradescantia x andersoniana)
This plant is a hybrid with the Tradescantia virginsky, it was created for cultivation in open ground. Varieties in this species have straight branchy shoots. Lanceolate leaf plates have a purple-green color. Flowers of a flat shape can be painted in white, pink, blue or purple, they are collected in inflorescences, the shape of which is very similar to umbrella-shaped. Grades:
- Purewell giant – color of flowers carmine red;
- Osprey – during flowering decorate white inflorescences;
- Leonora – flowers violet-blue;
- Iris – blooms magnificently blue flowers;
- G. Weguelin – In this species, the flowers are very large, and they are painted in a sky-blue hue.
Tradescantia white flowers (Tradescantia albiflora)
Either Tradescantia tricolor (Tradescantia tricolor), or Tradescantia uridis (Tradescantia uiridis). It comes from a tropical part of South America. It has creeping stems. Bare brilliant sheet plates have an elongated ovoid shape, their width is about 25 mm, and their length is up to 60 mm. Their color can be silver-motley or green. Most often, the inflorescences form on the tips of the shoots, but sometimes grow out of the leaf sinuses. Small flowers painted white. Grades:
- tricolor – on the foliage there are strips of white or pinkish-lilac color;
- albovittata – leaves are decorated with white stripes;
- aurea – this variety has yellow foliage with green stripes;
- aureovittata – the front surface of the leaf plates is decorated with golden-yellow longitudinally arranged stripes.
Tradescantia Blossfeld (Tradescantia blossfeldiana)
In nature, the species is found in Argentina. In such a herbaceous perennial creeping shoots are painted in greenish-red color. The shape of the alternately arranged leaf plates is elliptical or lanceolate, they have a pointed tip and a tubular sheath. The width of the leaves is about 30 mm, and their length is up to 80 mm, their seamy surface is painted in violet color, and the front one is in dark green with a reddish tint. On the surface of the foliage, leaf sheaths and shoots under the nodes is pubescence, represented by white hairs. Long densely pubescent stem grow on the ends of the stems, as well as from the sinuses of the upper leaf plates. At the bottom of the inflorescence grow 2 bracts of various sizes. The composition of the flower includes 3 sepals and the same number of petals. On the surface of the purple sepals there is a dense pubescence. On the lower part of the stamens there is pubescence, represented by long white hairs.
There is a variation of variegata. She has similar drawings of wide yellow stripes on the neighboring right and also on the adjacent left leaf plates. The patterns of the left and right leaves are different. With improper grafting or pruning, and also because of poor lighting, the pattern on the foliage disappears.
Tradescantia virginian (Tradescantia virginiana)
Originally from southeastern North America. The length of the knotty, straight and branched shoots is about 0.6 m. The length of the lanceolate foliage is about 20 centimeters, the leafy vagina covers the shoot. The diameter of pinkish-purple flowers up to 40 mm, they are collected in apical umbellate inflorescences, they include 2 large bracts and 3 petals. Flowering occurs in July – August. The fruit is a box with longitudinal flaps. Grades:
- atrorubra – color of inflorescences is blood red;
- coerulea – blue flowers;
- rosea – Pink inflorescences;
- rubra – The bush is decorated with red flowers.
Hairy Tradescantia (Tradescantia pilosa)
Straight shoots adorn long leafy plates, on the surface of which there is a pubescence of white hairs. The color of flowers lilac-pink.
Zebra broom (Tradescantia zebrina)
Or Tradescantia pendant (Tradescantia pendula). Red bare stems can be creeping or hanging down. The width of the egg-shaped foliage is about 50 mm, and the length is up to 100 mm. On the front surface along the entire leaf plate passes a couple of stripes of silver-white color, and their bottom surface is red. Small flowers painted in purple or purple.
Naval tradescantia (Tradescantia navicularis)
Such a succulent plant in nature is found in Mexico and Peru. On creeping stems no pubescence. The boat-shaped small leafy plates of an egg-shaped form are about 10 mm wide, and up to 40 mm long. Thick top, pointed at the top, keeled below, has cilia along the edge, and on the surface there are many purple dots. The formation of inflorescences is observed on the top of the bush, they consist of pink flowers.
Tradescantia motley (Tradescantia multicolor)
The shoots are densely leafy with small green leaf plates, on the surface of which there are stripes of white or pink color. Such a plant is considered highly decorative.
Primorye tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis)
The homeland of this plant is Brazil. On the surface of creeping purple-red stems, there are many green specks. The shape of short-stem smooth leaves is ovoid, their width is up to 20 mm, and the length is about 25 mm. Grades:
- variegata – on the foliage there are strips of cream color;
- Quicksilver – leaves are decorated with white stripes.