It is likely that you have ever seen a Tradescantia , even though you did not know it was one of the more than 70 varieties of this species.
The best known is the violet leaves or tradescantia purpurea but there are also popular ones like fluminensis, pallida, spathacea, virginiana or sillamontana. Today we will dedicate ourselves to the Tradescantia Zebrina , a variety that retains that violet color, although combined with other tonalities.
Features Of The Tradescantia Zebrina
This decorative plant is notable for its narrow leaves with strips of light green and silver and violet. Between spring and autumn it blooms giving away white or mauve blossoms.
Its appearance requires planning to landscape it for ornamental and decorative purposes because although it can be planted anywhere, it is common to be located in areas that need to be filled or as a hanging plant. In addition, it is a plant that expands quickly and that is another point in favor to have it at home but always taking care not to spread too much.
They are creeping or hanging plants with attractive oval shaped leaves with tips and green and silver on the beam and a beautiful purple on the underside. The flowers are not very interesting from the ornamental point of view because they are small but of blue or purple colors. They bloom in summer.
They are used as indoor or terrace plants in hanging pots or in a window and as a cover plant at the foot of trees and shrubs.
The Zebrina thrives well in semi-shade or very bright exhibitions but without direct sun and high temperatures; it does not suit you that the thermometer drops below 15 ºC.
A good soil would be a normal commercial substrate with a little sand to drain well. The transplant or the plantation will be done in autumn or spring.
Irrigate always with water without lime and regularly throughout the year except in winter, which will greatly reduce the water supply and, if it is cold, they will almost be eliminated. It can withstand short periods of drought.
They do not need special fertilizers .
Although they do not need pruning, they can be trimmed to control their growth.
It is a very resistant plant that is not usually attacked by pests and diseases.
They can be multiplied from seeds sown in spring but it is faster and safer to do so by dividing the plant in autumn or spring or, very simply, by cuttings.
How To Take Care Of the Tradescantia Zebrina
The plant needs a neutral soil with good drainage, although it adapts well to both clay and sandy soils.
As for the sun, you will need an average exposure , it is best to place it in a semi-shaded place. You will need a moderate irrigation and an annual fertilization plus a maintenance pruning to prevent it from spreading.
- Light: it is essential that you protect your Tradescantia zebrina from the direct rays of the sun. However, try to provide all the light you can , grow stronger and the color of its leaves will be much more intense.
- Irrigation: the guidelines are very different depending on the ambient temperature . In warm times you should water frequently and seek high humidity. It avoids as always the puddles but tries that the earth does not get to dry completely between irrigation and irrigation. When it’s cold, you should space the irrigations a lot more. The Tradescantia zebrina is able to withstand small stages of drought when temperatures drop. As a guide, in winter I usually water it once every 2 or 3 weeks, always observing the state of its leaves.
- Temperature: Ideally, it is between 20 and 30ºC . Below 15ºC it starts to suffer a little, especially its growth.
- Flowering: in the summer, small purple or blue flowers bloom in summer, but they do not have much ornamental value .