Tradescantia is a famous evergreen houseplant. The flower has gained its popularity due to unpretentious care and original decorative coloring of motley leaves. The plant owes its name to gardener John Tradescant, a traveler and plant lover who founded the botanical gardens of England in the 17th century.
Under natural conditions (habitat - almost all of America), the plant is a perennial and is characterized by long creeping stems. Tradescantia flower grows well in the tropics and temperate latitudes.
Tradescantia home refers to ampelous species, has straight / creeping shoots with pointed leaves, so in the rooms, on the balconies, the place for the plant is chosen so that the stems can freely descend. Ideal options - hanging vases / pots. Plant pots are placed on shelves or high on furniture. A variety of shades makes it possible to choose a flower for every taste. Useful features of the plant - to clean the air and neutralize electromagnetic radiation.
Types of Tradescantia
This plant has about 70 varieties, of which literally all blooming. Inflorescences grow on the ends of the stems (in the axils of the leaves). Some varieties are grown on summer cottages, but most of the plants growers still love to grow at home. Most popular varieties:
- Zebraine tradescantia is also called hanging. The shoots of the plants spread / hang down and sometimes have a “naked” stem of a reddish color. Leaves of oblong or ovate forms grow up to 6 cm wide, and up to 11 cm long. The plant is interesting for its unusual leaf color: silvery-white stripes along the rim stand out clearly against a green background. And the red color of the underside of the foliage looks very decorative. Zebraine blooms with small flowers of purple / violet hues;
- Tradescantia riverine (myrtle) "spreads" purple-red shoots with greenish leaves. Egg-like smooth leaves are up to 1.4-2 cm wide and 2-2.4 cm long. The foliage shade: the upper side is dark green and the lower side is red-lilac. Typically, growers grow a subspecies with frequent white or beige stripes;
- small-leaf tradescantia is the most tender in its family due to its small dark green leaves (up to 0.5 cm in length). As the plant grows, a spherical form is formed;
- Tradescantia violet (setcrezia) is distinguished by straight, slightly dipped stems with lilac-violet elongated leaves. Delicate three-petal pink-crimson flowers look very elegant.
The varieties of Tradescantia differ in shades and forms not only of foliage, but also of flowers. Non-standard and creative gardening of a balcony, rooms can be created only by tradescantia.
Peculiarities of vegetative propagation of a plant, rules of cultivation
In the natural environment, the plant stems spread along the ground and germinate. Of course, the stems quickly break, but the processes do not take much time to take root. Plants prefer sandy soil. Optimum temperatures for reproduction of tradescantia are 15–25 ° C.
Recommendations for plant breeding
It is very simple to propagate the tradescantia by cuttings at any season of the year: the upper part of the stem is 15–19 cm long. The lower leaves are cut off and the cutting is placed in the water. When the roots appear, the plant can be planted in the ground.
For breeding and cultivation of room tradescantia it is better to choose bulk pots. After planting in a permanent place, plants tend to grow roots quickly and acquire their unique and luxurious appearance in a month and a half.
Tradescantia: home care
In principle, to grow and care for Tradescantia at home is quite simple. For generous flowering and the formation of bright bright foliage, it is desirable to put a flower on a bright area, but without prolonged exposure to sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, leaf burns may occur, followed by death. Suitable locations are window sills facing west, east, and north. Southern windows in the summer period is required to dim. In the summertime, the Tradescantia will perfectly decorate the balcony. The place should be chosen protected from wind and bright sunlight.
A distinctive feature of the plant - to adapt to different conditions of the content. Tradescantia can be considered shade tolerant. However, if the flower will stand in a rather dark place for a long time, the leaves will become pale. And lost such a stylish and unusual decoration.
Houseplant requires regular watering. During the spring-summer period, it is advisable to do abundant watering (but avoid stagnant water). The following irrigations are carried out after the topsoil has dried. In winter, the plant is watered for 2-3 days after the soil dries. It is also impossible to prevent the accumulation of fluid in the pan. Excess water from the pan is drained, and it is wiped dry. For irrigation take the distilled water at room temperature. If the flower is kept in a cool place (air temperature is about 10-15 ° C), then it is watered less often. However, a special drying of the soil does not allow, since such a drought weakens the plant.
Humidity does not matter, but sometimes the ends of the leaves begin to dry. Spraying the flower will help fix this situation. In the summer, the spraying procedure is desirable to make regular.
When feeding the plant, it is important not to bend the stick, otherwise variegated varieties will lose their unique charm and become green. Also, overfeeding with fertilizers can lead to lethargy of the leaves, so it is better to stick to the schedule of fertilizer with additives of organic and mineral origin: twice a month, in spring and summer. How to care in the autumn and winter pores? It is definitely worth refraining from top dressing.
Tradescantia at home can quickly get old. This is manifested in the loss of decorative coloring of leaves, drying of stems, exposure of shoots. Rejuvenation procedures are simple. The main requirements are that the shoots are cut / pinned shortly every year and the soil is renewed (or the plant is replaced in spring).
Using the plant's ability to multiply easily, it is possible to form a decorative green screen from flowers. To do this, in a long pot with Tradescantia install U-shaped support with horizontal slats. To create a picturesque screen, it remains only to tie up the stems. To plant the bush, shoot tops pinned.
Diseases and pests
Tradescantia room, fortunately, is not affected by serious ailments. The main reasons for the change in the color of foliage are unstable watering and feeding.
When the base of the stems darkens and softens, there is a chance that the water stagnates in the pot. The best variant of the problem is to cut the plant and transplant it.
Of the pests, significant damage is caused by:
- spider mite - occurs when the arid mode of plant growth. The leaves of the Tradescantia fade and fall off. The stems are covered with cobwebs. Method of struggle: the plant is first treated with soapy water, and then rinsed. Similar procedures are carried out regularly until the pest disappears;
- scytivka / pseudo-sash sucks the juice from the plant. This leads to drying and leaf fall. On the plant (leaves, trunks) appear plaques of dark gray or dark brown shades. Way of fight: the plant is cleared of a wrecker by means of soap solution. The flower is treated with an insecticide ("Aktellik" or "Fitoverm").
To general preventive measures to combat diseases / pests include regular inspection of plants, the elimination of stagnant moisture on the soil.
Sometimes plants with decorative foliage look more spectacular if there are no other colors nearby, but a well-composed composition will definitely decorate the room and the balcony. To create flower ensembles, flowers are selected that require the same care and maintenance. If you properly group the plants, they begin to grow better.
Combining decorative foliage houseplants into harmonious compositions requires some experience. However, a flowering plant will definitely give charm to any green group. Moreover, flowers can organically emphasize the color of the leaves or act as a contrasting element of the composition. Tradescantia with wide silver leaves in combination with bright pahistachim and shiny dark green aglaonema leaves will look very exotic.
Tradescantia, undoubtedly, will bring variety to any home flower garden. Simple care will make growing a plant a pleasant and easy task.