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The genus Tradescantia belongs to the family Commelinaceae and is native to the Americas. You'll find different species from south of Canada down to Argentina. It contains 85 different species, and many are now cultivated and grown as houseplants. These include the Silver Inch Plant, Spiderwort, Boat Lily, and Turtle Vine, among others. As these plants have been cultivated for many years, many different cultivars and hybrids have been created too.

Tradescantias have gained popularity due to their unique leaf patterns and colors. They come in a variety of different hues, including purple, pink, green, mint, and silver. The leaves can be variegated, striped, fuzzy, or metallic, making them a visually interesting addition to any space.

In their natural habitat, most of them grow as ground-covering plants, and they have therefore evolved into shade-tolerant plants. When kept as indoor houseplants, they are often grown as vining plants, creating cascades of foliage from all types of pots or hanging baskets. Some species prefer to grow more horizontally or slightly erect.

Silver Inch Plant Watering 1


Most Tradescantia species prefer to be kept in a spot with plenty of light, but they can get damaged if they're exposed to too much direct sun. Half sun/half shade suits most Tradescantia species best. When kept outdoors, they will handle shade much better than when kept indoors.

If you grow your Tradescantia in a hanging basket, it can easily become bald on the top as it often receives less light there. It's important to ensure that all parts of the plant receive an equal amount of light to prevent balding on the top of the plant.

Tradescantias prefers to be kept evenly moist at all time and dislikes wet soil. They prefer to dry out a little between waterings than being overwatered - Like most plants. The key is to have your Tradescantia planted in an airy and well drained soil.

Boat Lily


When care for properly your Tradescantia will reward you with flowers. They will always have three petals but can range from the colors of violet, purple, pink and white.

Tradescantias doesn't age well, so you might need to rejuvenate your plant once in a while. Repot the mother plant, cut it back and use the tips as cuttings to grow new plants with. Prefect gifts to friends and family.


How to propagate your Tradescantia

As these plants can start to look a little straggly and bare as they get older, it's a good idea to instead create new plants.

You can do this by taking a cutting from the plant of a few inches at least (around 8cm). Then, place the cutting in a well draining rooting mixture or directly in water. With either of these options, your cutting should still be placed in bright, indirect light. New roots will start to develop within around 4 weeks.

If your cutting is placed in water, you can transplant it into soil once the roots have developed to a significant length after a few weeks. It can then be replanted and treated as a mature plant!