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Commeline family. The genus includes more than 70 species - herbaceous perennial plants. Homeland Central, South America and North America (from Argentina to Canada), climatic zones from 9 to 12. Some species are considered endangered and protected (for example, Tradescantia occidentalis). The genus Tradescant is named after the English naturalist, gardener and collector John Tradescant the elder. He was the main royal gardener, traveled a lot and brought from each trip seeds, cuttings or bulbs of the rarest exotic plants, and also collected rare specimens through the American colonists.
Tradescantia is a very famous and unpretentious plant. It grows in both warm and cool rooms; in well-lit and shaded places, but in poor light, the leaves lose their brightness. It propagates very easily by cuttings in spring, autumn or summer. Cuttings are planted in several pieces in a pot, watered moderately, but often sprayed. Used as ampelous plants. Tradescantia has one drawback - it grows quickly, i.e. after a year or two, the plant loses its decorative effect if the conditions are not good enough for it. Therefore, if this happens, it is better to update the plant by throwing out the old one and planting new cuttings taken from it, 8-9 cuttings in one pot.
Tradescantia Zebrina or striped Tradescantia Zebrina is the native land of Mexico, distributed naturally to Florida, grows in moist deciduous forests. Creeping shoots 60-80cm long, leaves are alternate, oval-shaped, pointed at the end, up to 7cm long. The stems and the underside of the leaves are violet (purple), the upper side is bicolor - wide dark green and silvery stripes, with a silky sheen. The flowers are three-petal, lilac.
Tradescantia spathacea (multicolored) Tradescantia spathacea is the new name of Rheo (Rhoeo discolor or Rhoeo spathacea). Previously, Rheo was isolated into a separate genus, now it is a species of the genus Tradescantia. See details
Tradescantia striped Tradescantia zebrina cultivar 'Violet Hill'
Tradescantia multicolored Tradescantia spathacea
Tradescantia multicolored Tradescantia spathacea cultivar 'Sitara'
Tradescantia crassula Tradescantia crassula - native to Brazil. Differs in thick, succulent, creeping stems, 60-80cm long. The leaves are alternate, oblong or elliptical, narrowed at the end, up to 15 cm long, the sheath of the leaf tightly covers the stem, internodes are short. This species loves high air humidity, with moderate dry soil, shade-tolerant.
Riverside Tradescantia fluminensis - native to the tropical forests of Southeast Brazil, riverine named for its habitat - in the coastal zone, near water bodies. Stems 60-90cm long, semi-succulent, juicy, fragile. Leaves are oval, pointed at the end, 2.5 to 7 cm long and 1.5 to 4 cm wide, green on top, gray-silver on the back. Leaves are petiolate, the base of the leaf tightly covers the stem. The flowers are white, with three petals, 7-10mm in diameter. Varieties with dark green leaves are extremely shade-tolerant, variegated varieties require bright diffused lighting. Usually it does not present difficulties in cultivation, in its homeland - in Brazil and Argentina it is considered a weed, easily spreads over cultivated fields and infests cultivated plantings.
Tradescantia crassula Tradescantia crassula
Tradescantia is a hybrid of fluminensis and Tradescantia crassula 'Quicksilver'
Tradescantia riverine Tradescantia fluminensis
Currently, there is a lot of confusion in the classification of Tradescantia, description and name of varieties. Firstly, White-flowered Tradescantia albiflora - previously stood out as a separate species, now it is an outdated synonym, the correct name is Tradescantia fluminensis. This decision is based on the identity of the cellular structure, the structure of flowers.
Secondly, there are several variegated varieties, all are distinguished by a beautiful, almost mirror-like sheen of the leaves, although they have short hairs on the leaves, almost invisible. Most of these varieties are classified as Tradescantia fluminensis, which is not entirely true. European botanists and collectors speculate that some cultivars are derived from the hybridization of Tradescantia fluminensis and Tradescantia crassula, such as 'Quicksilver'. It is incorrect to attribute it to Tradescantia tolstyankova or exclusively riverside. Doubts exist about other varieties, but the infusion of blood from Tradescantia Tolstyanka is determined by the juicy succulent stem.
Tradescantia fluminensis 'Variegata' - the stems and the back of the leaves are medium green, the upper side of the leaves is white with green stripes.
Tradescantia hybrid fluminensis x crassula Variety 'Quicksilver' - the stems and leaves on the back are gray-green, on the upper surface are silvery narrow stripes. It is not entirely correct to call it a variety of riverine Tradescantia, since it is presumably a hybrid of variegated riverine Tradescantia and Tolstyankova tradescantia.
Tradescantia fluminensis 'Maiden's Blush' has a very original variegation: young leaves are pink, or almost white, the leaves are lower - white-pink at the base to the middle, and green at the ends.
Tradescantia hybrid fluminensis x zebrina 'Rainbow Hill' - a quadricolor variation (tricolor), a hybrid of two species - the stems and the underside of the leaves are lilac, lilac, the upper side of the leaves is green with wide white stripes, the flowers are white or lilac.
Tradescantia fluminensis 'Yellow Hill' - The stems and underside are medium green, the underside is green with wide creamy, white and yellowish stripes.
Riverside Tradescantia fluminensis 'Yellow Hill'
Riverside Tradescantia fluminensis Quadricolor variety, 'Rainbow Hill'
Riverside Tradescantia fluminensis 'Variegata'
Temperature: Moderate, optimally 24-26 ° C. The winter minimum is 10-12 ° C, although in their historical homeland the temperatures drop even lower, almost to 2-4 ° C, tradescantia winter well in normal home conditions. True, in this case, spring pruning and rooting of the tops of the shoots that have stretched out over the winter and have lost their decorative appearance are added to the usual care of Tradescantia.
Lighting: Tradescantia is considered undemanding to light, but this only applies to plants with dark green leaves. All variegated varieties and varieties are photophilous, it is desirable for them to receive a certain amount of direct sunlight (east or west window).
Watering: Quite abundant from spring to autumn - the soil should be slightly damp all the time, without excessive dampness, in winter, when the temperature drops, watering is more moderate. The soil must be loosened periodically to avoid rotting.
Fertilizer: From March to August, they are fed with fertilizer for indoor decorative leafy plants every two to three weeks.
Humidity: Tradescantia historically comes from very humid habitats, the name "riverside" speaks for itself. They like very humid air, optimally about 60%. Unfortunately, they often try to compensate for the lack of high humidity with abundant frequent watering, which is completely wrong. In nature, Tradescantia is a ground cover plant with an extremely shallow root system. The ground is covered with forest litter, leaf litter, which is very loose and breathable, so the roots do not rot. In apartments, Tradescantia suffer especially during the winter heating season.
Transfer: The soil for tradescantia should be well-drained and nutritious, neutral or slightly acidic. A mixture of 2 parts of forest land, 1 part of humus, 1 part of coarse river sand is perfect. You can buy a universal soil in the store, add 1 part vermiculite to 3 parts of it. At the bottom of the plastic pot, be sure to pour a layer of drainage about 2 cm. Choose pots that are wide, but not deep, with holes in the bottom.
Reproduction of tradescantia
Tradescantia is easily propagated by stem cuttings at any time of the year, in water. Roots emerge within a week or two, in winter if there is little light for longer, but still Tradescantia, undeniably, has an incredible thirst for life. When the roots in a glass of water grow 4-5 cm, you can plant the plants in pots in the ground as for adult plants. To make the bush lush, plant several cuttings in one pot.
With age, most Tradescantia tend to become naked and lose their originally healthy appearance and dense foliage, this is due genetically - in nature, Tradescantia is a creeping plant, it does not need to have a lush bush, it creeps and re-rooted in a new place. Because of their rapid growth, annual rejuvenation by cuttings is recommended. In the spring, all branches are cut off, rooted in water and re-planted in fresh soil, you can plant all the cuttings in one pot, as they grew, you can divide. In any case, the plants quickly gain strength and become thicker and more beautiful than they were. You should also remember to feed Tradescantia one month after transplantation.
Brown dry tips of leaves - with too dry indoor air, especially in winter, during the heating season.
Sluggish stems, dry brown tips on the leaves with yellowness - if the ground is very dry. When watering with cold water.
The stems stretch out, the leaves shrink, the plant loses its decorative attractiveness - with an acute lack of light, or a lack of nutrients in the soil.
Variegated forms lose their color - with a lack of lighting.
The stems at the base are soft and acquire a brownish tint - stem decay due to waterlogging of the soil, especially if the temperature is low. You can cut off the healthy part, they will easily take root even in winter.