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How to Care for Tradescantia Zebrina

This week we’re bringing you all you need to know about the gorgeous Tradescantia Zebrina. With his trademark stripy leaves this guy is strangely reminiscent of a zebra, so if you want to add some dazzle to your indoor jungle, then this is the plant for you. Not only does he look fab with his unusual stripy leaves in hues of green, silver and deep purple and thick juicy stems, he’s also a fast-growing, stunning houseplant. He’s undeniably an all-round winning addition to your indoor plant line up, we’ll think you’ll be going wild for this guy. Read on to discover all you need to know to care for Tradescantia Zebrina to keep him happy and healthy.

A Guide to Care for Your Tradescantia Zebrina

These beauties require a little bit of TLC to keep thriving. But your loving care and attention will be richly rewarded with beautiful, trailing growth that makes a gorgeous focal point in your home.

How often should I water my Tradescantia Zebrina?

Give your Tradescantia Zebrina a drink every 7 to 10 days once the top couple of centimetres of soil has dried out. Push your thumb a few centimetres into the top of the soil and if it feels dry then your plant is ready for a water. He will need water less frequently in the winter than in the summer. Make sure your plant is not left sitting in water as this can cause root rot.

Where should I position my Tradescantia Zebrina?

To maintain the lovely purple hue on the leaves, place your plant in a warm, bright and sunny spot. They can tolerate some direct sunlight. They love to be warm so don’t place your Tradescantia in a chilly room or in a draught.

Should I prune my Tradescantia Zebrina?

Giving your Tradescantia a prune is an essential part of his care so make sure you get into the habit of giving him a trim. Pruning or pinching will make your plant more compact and bushy and it will encourage new growth.

Does my Tradescantia Zebrina like humidity?

Yes, the tradescantia zebrina will be very happy in a humid environment. Consider placing him in your kitchen or bathroom where the moisture levels are naturally higher than in other parts of your home.

How do I propagate my Tradescantia?

Yes you can, tradescantias are actually one of the simplest plants to propagate! To do it, use a clean, sharp knife to cut an 8 to 10-centimetre length of tendril from your plant.

Plant your cutting in a growing pot with houseplant potting soil, ensuring it is kept moist. Alternatively, you can plant it into the same pot as your original plant to make your plant bushier.

Place your plant in a bright spot to ensure it grows well.

Shop the Tradescantia at The Little Botanical

Here at TLB we make it oh-so-simple to add botanical style to your indoor décor and the Tradescantia Zebrina is no exception. The stunning tri-colour leaves of this beauty really pop when planted in our bespoke stoneware in natural shades of almond, charcoal or grey. Just perfect for blending in seamlessly with your interior colour scheme.

A fab way to display this trailing plant is to pop him in one of our gorgeous macrame plant hangers. Not only are these hand-woven accessories a great space saver, but they will also add a touch of boho chic to your home. They will allow the Tradescantia Zebrina to cascade beautifully from up high to really maximise the visual wow factor of those stunningly patterned leaves.

Fun Facts about the Tradescantia Zebrina

The Tradescantia is named after John Tradescant, a 17th century plant-hunter who was King Charles I of England’s gardener.

The second part of this plant’s name is inspired by his stripy likeness to a zebra as ‘Zebrina’ is Portuguese for zebra.

He’s a versatile chap and will cascade or climb, depending on where you place him.

Tradescantia Zebrina is his botanical name, he is also known commonly as an Inch Plant.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Tradescantia

Are Tradescantia Zebrina safe for pets?

No, sadly Tradescantia Zebrina plants are mildly toxic to cats, dogs and humans so best avoided if you have inquisitive four-legged friends or small children in your home. If this is the case, don’t worry, we do have a fab selection of pet friendly plants here at TLB.

Why are the leaves on my Tradescantia losing their variegation?

If you notice the leaves of your Tradescantia losing their lovely stripes and becoming slightly dull and a uniform green colour, it’s likely that he’s not getting enough light. Try trimming the green leaves away and moving him to a brighter spot.

Why is my Tradescantia leggy?

The most common cause of your Tradescantia looking leggy is a lack of light; he is literally stretching out in search of light. To remedy this type of growth, give him a good trim and place him in a spot where he will get more natural light. Both of these things should help to encourage new, bushy growth.

It is also worth noting that after about a year or so your Tradescantia is likely to start looking leggy no matter how superbly you’ve cared for him. At this point, the plant can be trimmed back and moved to a brighter spot, as above. In addition, he should be moved to a new home, read our handy guide to repotting plants to help you do this.

Why are the branches off my Tradescantia falling off?

It is possible that branches falling off of your Tradescantia could be a symptom of root rot, which is caused by overwatering. Make sure that your plant is not overwatered or left sitting in water for too long. If you are concerned about overwatering your plant, we’d recommend that you water him from the bottom. To do this, take him out of his decorative pot and place him in a sink of water for about 20 minutes. Let him drain and then return him to his decorative pot.

Why are the leaves of my Tradescantia starting to yellow and turn brown?

Leaves yellowing and turning brown is a sign of dehydration in your plant. Although Tradescantia can tolerate some neglect, too much will cause the leaves to yellow and brown. To avoid this, make sure you check the soil and water your plant when the top few centimetres of soil have dried out; approximately once every 7 to 10 days.

We hope that this blog has told you everything you need to know to get you started with your Tradescantia Zebrina and you’ll soon have this wild beauty incorporated fabulously in your indoor jungle. Of course, if you still have questions, please do get in touch at [email protected]. Until next time plant tribe.

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