Tradescantia pallida plant care & how to grow easily

Tradescantia pallida plant care & how to grow easily



Tradescantia pallida is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant. The plant has made its place in home gardens and indoors for the beautiful colour and fascinating structure of leaves and stems. In this article, we discuss, how to take easy care of Tradescantia pallida plants to fast grow.


Tradescantia pallida’ is a tender evergreen, perennial plant commonly known as “Purple Heart”. This plant is a species of spiderwort and belongs to the Commelinaceae family. Its Latin name is the epithet pallida, meaning pale. Although it is a weedy plant, this deep purple colour plant adds a different level of vibrancy to home gardens and interiors.    

Tradescantia pallida plants flower           

Tradescantia pallida is an evergreen perennial of the Gulf of Mexico coast of northeastern Mexico. The main attractions of this plant are the purple leaves and three-petaled pink flowers. In tropical and subtropical regions, the purple heart is a very popular plant for cascading, indoor decoration, garden enhancement or ground cover. and selected as boundary-indicating plants.

Purple heart stems are covered with purple V-shaped leaves. The stems and leaves of the plant are brittle and succulent. Stems are usually slender and 12-18 inches tall. New branches and leaves are slightly hairy but fall off as they mature. Another attraction of this plant is the small three-petalled and pink flowers. The flowers are odorless and borne in clusters at the tips of branches for almost every month except in winter. The flowering period is only one day.

Tradescantia pallida short Facts :

Common Name: Purple heart, Purple Queen, Purple Spiderwort, Wandering jew
Duration: Perennial
Botanical Name:  Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’
Genus: Tradescantia
Species: Pallida
Family: Commelinaceae (Spiderwort family)
Native: East Mexico’s coastal region
USDA Zone: 8 to 11
Sun Exposure:  Bright partial shade
Soil Type: Loamy, Sandy (Moist, well-drained)
Soil pH Require: 6 to 8
Water: Medium
Height: 1 to 1.5 Feet
Leaf Colour: Purple
Flower Colour:  Pink
Flower blooming: All year round exceptional winter
Propagation Methods: From stem cuttings
Landscape Use: Gardens, Balcony, Cascading
Maintenance: Low
Drought-tolerant:  Yes

How to Recognize pallida purple heart plant?

The easiest way to recognize this plant is the purplish-green stems covered with purple long V-shaped and slightly hairy leaves. Three-petaled pink flowers are seen at the top of the stem.

Tradescantia pallida plants

Tradescantia pallida plant care:

Tradescantia pallida or purple plant care is very easy. A few simple rules can keep this plant healthy and attractive.


A bright environment with shade is ideal for this plant. Place the plant in a location that receives three to four hours of the day’s first sunlight. They can tolerate full sun but too much direct sunlight can cause leaves to dull and burn. Again, if it is placed in a shaded area, the plant leaves may turn green.


Loam, lightly clay and sandy soils are suitable for Tradescantia pallida plants. But the soil must be moist and must have good drainage. And a pH between 6-8 is ideal for optimal growth.  Prepare the soil by mixing any compost with garden soil in a ratio of 3/1. But the inclusion of perlite, and peat moss brings different levels of soil quality.


Tradescantia pallida plant soil should always be kept lightly moist. Neither excessively wet nor dry. Although the plant is drought-tolerant, do not allow it to dry out for long periods of time. Because plants can become weak due to a lack of excess water. which can affect plant growth. Especially in new plants. During the winter, the purple heart plant goes dormant. During this time, water the plant regularly on a weekly basis to keep it healthy. Pay particular attention to water retention and good drainage.


Tradescantia pallida is ideal for plant USDA zones 8-11. It is advisable to keep this plant away from extreme heat in the outdoor garden. Purple heart plants are more comfortable in temperatures between 80°F and 50°F. This plant should be kept indoors where temperatures stay at or below 45°F. Cold drafts or frost will kill your pallida plant.


Purple heart plants require a balanced diet for growth. Apply any balanced liquid N P K (e.g. 10:10:10) fertilizer diluted twice a month as per fertility from early spring to early autumn. For small plants, once a month is sufficient. No need to fertilize in winter. Do not apply dry fertilizer to purple heart plants directly. You can prepare the solution and mix with water and apply it. And soak the soil with water before applying any fertilizer. Because applying fertilizer on dry soil can burn the plant’s base and roots.


Tradescantia Pallida is a fast-growing perennial plant. This plant does not take a long time to mature. Pinch the bush to encourage growth as the plant grows. Cut the stems to encourage bushier growth with a sharp scissor or knife. Prune the stems again after flowering. Can propagate by cuttings. Be careful while caring for the plant. The discharged sap of the Tradescantia plant can cause skin irritation and burns. There is a need to be very careful about this. Use gloves if necessary.


Tradescantia pallida is a temporarily poisonous plant. If the sap of this plant is takes to any part of the body, it can cause irritation or itching. So treat with caution. Stay away from the sap or use gloves if you have allergies. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap after tending to the plant.

Disease & Insects problem:

Tradescantia pallida is a hardy plant, so not much disease prone. But initially, some problems may arise in this plant.

  1. Root rot problem: Root rot is a common of this plant disease. This disease occurs due to overwater in the plant or poor drainage system or lack of oxygen. If the soil around the base of the plant is always too wet, fungal diseases can also spread through the soil. Root rot is caused by fungi. And the plant becomes dull and eventually dies.

As a remedy, avoid overwatering in the plant. Remove and treat infected areas if plant root rot occurs. and transferred to new soil.  If the soil is hard at the base of the plant, loosen it to eliminate the cause of lack of oxygen. Above all, keep an eye on the drainage system.

  1. Green leaves: The main reason for the green leaves of plants is not getting enough sunlight. Place the plant in the rising sun for 3 to 4 hours. And keep it in a bright shaded place for the rest of the day.
  2. Brown leaves: The main cause of the browning of leaves is a lack of moisture. It can also be caused by direct intense sunlight. So focus on filling the lack of moisture.
  3. Pest problem: Mealybugs, weevils, scales, aphids, caterpillars and snails are infested on Tradescantia pallida plants. To avoid caterpillar and snail infestations, you can place gravel around the base of the plant and keep distance from other nearby plants. And can apply neem or eucalyptus oil to avoid insect infestation of mealybugs, weevils, scale, and aphids.

Special care for purple heart plants:

  1. You select this plant for the home garden. Then make a bed for the plant. This will enhance the beauty of your garden.
  2. Choose a large plant or Wall for the bed. Because large trees or wall bases will help provide shade and moisture to purple heart plants.
  3. Always use wide pots of medium height for purple heart plants. Due to the pot being of medium height, there will be no problem of excess water accumulation in the pot and due to being wide the plants will be bushier and the beauty of the plants will increase.
  4. Try grouping purple heart plants. If these plants are grouped together, moisture problems will disappear.
  5. Spray mist at least once a day to protect from excessive heat.
  6. New plant growth requires additional moisture. So try to give extra moisture to new plants.
  7. Purple Heart Fragile Plant Keep the plant away from strong winds.

    8. Keep protected from frost and snow in winter.

  1. Do not throw away the branches of the tree that are damaged for any reason. You can grow a new plant from the damaged part without discarding it.


Propagation of Tradescantia pallida

Propagation of Tradescantia pallida is by stem cuttings. Although it can also be propagated from seeds. Pallida is easy to propagate by stem cuttings. So most gardeners adopt this method.

Tradescantia pallida Propagation

Propagation with soil:

Step 1. Cut about 4-5 inches from the mother plant, leaving a half inch just below the nodes.

Step 2. Apply the hormone powder to the fast growth. the lower part of the cut stems.

Step 3. Plant the stems evenly spaced in a pot filled with sandy soil.

Step 4. Place the pot containing the cutting in a pot full of water and wait until the pot has absorbed enough water.

Step 5. Place the container in a bright shaded place after absorbing enough water.

Step 6. Water the soil thoroughly until new growth emerges. You can also place the cutting pot in a container of water if you wish.

Step 7. New growth will be observed within 10-15 days if the entire process is completed properly.

Step 8. Allow the plant to grow 4-5 inches. For better root and stem growth.

Step 9. After certain growth, transplant the plant into the pot of your choice. And keep it in full shade for 3-4 days.

Propagation with water:

Tradescantia pallida have another quick way to propagate besides soil. You can propagate this plant in water.

Step 1. Make cuttings by looking at the healthy stem and remove the lower leaves.

Step 2. Place the cuttings in a glass bowl with water. And place the bowl in a bright and shady place.

Step 3. Change the water regularly. And wait for 10-15 days.

Step 4. Within 10-15 days, nodes will begin to emerge from the base of the cutting. The emerging nodes will take the form of roots.

Step 5. Wait for the roots to grow to about two to two and a half inches.

Step 6. When the roots are two to two-and-a-half inches large, the stem and root consistency will form a baby plant.

Step 7. Transplant the baby plants into well-drained soil.

To repot your Purple Heart plant:

At first, it is better to state before discussing the steps. Purple Heart is a very frail plant. So repot with caution.

Step 1. Fast, dry the soil a little while the plant is in the old pot. It is convenient to separate the plant from the pots if the soil is dry.

Step 2: Carefully lift the plant out of the old pot. And remove old soil from the base of the plant. You can remove half the soil if you want.

Step 3: Cut away the dry, unnecessary stems and roots of the plant to give it the beautiful look of your choice.

Step 4: Make a solution by mixing hydrogen peroxide with water in the specified ratio. And purify the plant by keeping it in the solution for 15-20 minutes. To eliminate fungal problems.

Step 5: Take a clean pot a little bigger than before. Check the drainage holes of the pot, if necessary, the holes can be enlarged or increased in number. Fill 1/4 of the pot with some rock pieces and sand on top. Then remove air by shaking lightly and then squeezing well by hand.

Step 6: Fill the remaining half of the pot with soil prepared for repotting and again squeeze by hand to out the air.

Step 7: Place the plant in the centre of the pot and cover the roots with soil from all sides and press the soil well with your hands.

Step 8: Place the pot in the water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. After the potting soil has absorbed enough water, lift the pot and leave it in a cool and bright shaded place for 7-10 days. And keep monitoring the plant regularly.

Tradescantia pallida uses and benefits

Tradescantia Pallida is an unparalleled addition to any garden and interior beauty. Purple heard plants are perfect for beautiful cascading (hanging baskets) on balconies and Excellent in the pot. And it can be used as a groundcover, rock garden, borders fronts, or wall planting to add a rich texture to the garden.

Tradescantia Pallida helps improve indoor air quality by purifying volatile organic compounds.

The plant has anti-oxidant, anti-toxic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory or anti-toxic supplement.

It is also specially used to treat cancer, venereal diseases, wounds, gastrointestinal and mucosal infection disorders.



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