Tradescantias are very easy house-plants to grow in hanging baskets or wall brackets. There are many varieties with different kind of colours and growth habits. Some varieties have small pinkish purple flowers, but one of the best is the Quicksilver whose leaves are striped green and white and the flowers are white with 3 petals.
Water twice a week in Summer, once a week in Winter.
Feed monthly in Spring and Summer with liquid house-plant fertilizer.
Re-pot in Spring in peat-based compost, but replace older plants regularly with newly rooted cuttings.
Propagate by cuttings 2 inches long, from late Spring to late Summer. Insert around 5 cuttings in a pot of seed and cutting compost. They can also be rooted in water at any time of year. Cover a jar of water with kitchen foil and insert cuttings through the holes. They will be ready for potting up in about a week.
Tradescantias should always be kept in good light to preserve their variegated appearance, but avoid strong sunlight. They withstand some draughts, although they prefer warmth. Very dry atmosphere may turn their leaves brown at the tips. Darker-leaved forms prefer half shade.
Old plants can be cut back to 1 inch in Spring to encourage new shoots.
A 4 inches or 6 inches pot is the largest size needed for any of the tradescantias plants. Nip out the growing tips of most tradescantias regularly to encourage bushy growth.
Spray with tepid water every 14 days or stand pot on tray of pebbles almost covered with water but do not let base touch water or roots will be waterlogged.
The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.