Thinking of planting the purple tradescantia pallida plant, are you? You’re going to have to know how to take care of it. A little insight into how I personally look after purple tradescantia pallida will help you out in this regard.
Tradescantia plants are prized for their attractive flowers that grow atop equally attractive foliage of pointed purple leaves. They aren’t very demanding, and pair well with a wide variety of common garden plants.
Whether you are looking for some distinct wildflower species for your lawn or are already fixated on growing the purple tradescantia pallida, you have certainly come to the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, I will be talking about how I personally look after purple tradescantia pallida.
The information given below on how I personally look after purple tradescantia pallida will hopefully help you grow and care for this gorgeous plant in your own home garden. But first, a little about the origin and genus of the purple tradescantia pallida.
Purple Tradescantia Pallida
Purple tradescantia pallida is a species of perennial wildflowers in the Tradescantia genus. The genus itself contains more than 70 different types of herbaceous plants in the Commelinaceae family.
Purple tradescantia pallida is native to the New World, comprising of regions between southern Canada and northern Argentina along with the West Indies.
It is commonly known as the Wandering Jew or the Walking Jew, after the mythical man of medieval origin whose legend rose to popularity during the 13th Century.
Other names for the purple tradescantia pallida include Purple Secretia, Purple Queen, Tradescantia Purpurea, Purple Spiderwort, and the more widely used, Purple Heart.
Purple Heart is an evergreen shrub that grows low and wide. It is distinguished by its narrow, pointed leaves that are purple for the most part, but also contain a deep tint of red and dark bluish-green hues.
Usually, the tips remain red or green while the rest of the leaf turns purple. The underside of the leaves is a shade lighter than the top side. This combination of soft violet and deep purple tones is what makes the shrub a stunner.
In the summer season, the plant produces small, three-petaled flowers in white, pink, or purple shades. They grow in clusters and offer a stark contrast to the bright foliage with their relatively soft hues.
The leaves are roughly 2 to 5 inches long, whereas the flowers are a maximum of 1 inch wide. On average, Purple Heart reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches with an almost similar spread.
How to Grow Purple Spiderwort
Purple Heart is quite a resilient plant and will grow with little to no difficulty in most home gardens. I use loamy soil that is slightly acidic in nature, and the plants perform well to this day. You can use moist soil with a pH of around 5 to 6.
As to where you should plant the Purple Spiderwort, I would suggest picking a spot that receives an adequate amount of sunlight each day. These wildflowers do best in partial shade, but you can also plant them in well-lit areas if you cannot find a shaded spot. Just make sure that you water them properly and keep the soil moist at all times; otherwise, the plant can wilt easily under bright light.
I first came across purple tradescantia pallida at a friend’s house, who generously gave me a cutting so I could plant it at my own place as well.
So, if you want to grow this stunning wildflower species in your garden, obtain stem cuttings from your local garden center or see if one of your friends might have it too.
If you cannot find tradescantia cuttings, there’s no need to worry. You can use seeds as well, although it will require a bit more time and effort to grow the spiderwort as compared to propagating it through division.
When planted indoors, Purple Heart seeds can take as little as ten days or as long as two months to germinate. The best time to plant Purple Heart is at the end of winter or in early spring. Whether propagated through division or seeds, tradescantia must be planted at least 5 inches deep and 10 to 12 inches apart.
Stem cuttings can be sown in fall or summer, and they won’t have any trouble rooting.
How to Care for the Purple Spiderwort
Watering and Feeding
Spiderworts are somewhat water-loving plants. So, keep the soil moist by watering them at regular intervals but avoid overwatering as it can kill the plant completely.
There’s a risk of overwatering, especially when they are planted in containers or under partial shade. To ensure that your Purple Queen stays in the best of health, make sure that there is proper water drainage.
Note that their water needs decrease significantly in the cold season. Generally, watering the Purple Heart once every week during winters is sufficient to keep it alive.
If it’s possible, allow Purple Heart planted indoors to spend the spring and summer months outside. This increases their lifespan and produces healthy blooms in abundance.
Additionally, you can try feeding the plant for even better results. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season, and it will suffice for the whole year.
This gorgeous purple plant is a vigorous grower. However, owing to its fancy foliage, it won’t give your garden an unkempt look even if you don’t trim it from time to time.
In fact, many homeowners opt for this plant in their front yards because they can leave it untouched for months, and it still lends the place a captivating look.
To promote flowering, it would help to cut the plant back once the bloom time has passed. This also prevents re-seeding and guarantees more prolific blooms in the next season. Cut the stems all the way back until they are just a foot above the ground. Moreover, you should consider dividing the plant after about two to three years so that they continue to thrive.
Pest and Diseases
Purple tradescantia pallida is a virtually disease-free plant. It is immune to most of the common diseases that affect garden plants. However, as far as pests are concerned, you need to keep an eye out for attacks.
Aphids and vine weevil love to feed off the Purple Heart. Inspect the plant regularly, focusing on the bottom of the leaves to see you need to spray an insecticide.
Now that you know how I personally care for purple tradescantia pallida, hopefully, you won’t encounter any difficulties when it comes to looking after this beautiful bloomer in your own garden.
Use Purple Heart for an extremely striking groundcover, a decorative hanging, or a fantastic house plant. The options are many. Happy planting!