Rod Tradescantia (Tradescantia) totals about 70 species of plants from the family of commeline (Commelinaceae) These are perennial evergreen herbaceous plants. The natural range of the tradescantia is located in the tropical and temperate zones of America and stretches from northern Argentina to southern Canada. The name "tradescantia" appeared in the XVIII century and came from the name of the gardener of the English king Charles I who described this plant - John Tradescant (elder). Tradescantia is popularly known as "gossip of women" (however, like saxifrage). Perfectly cleans the air in the room.
Description of tradescantia
The shoots at the Tradescantia are creeping or straight. Leaves are elliptical, ovate, lanceolate, alternate. Inflorescences are axillary, located in the axils of the upper leaves and apical.
Tradescantia are one of the most common and easiest indoor ampel plants to care for. Thick greens of plant shoots are quite easy to obtain by pinching, which enhances branching.
Tradescantia should be placed in rooms so that its long creeping shoots can hang freely. They are placed in hanging vases, flower pots or put on shelves, high furniture. Tradescantia blooms well in room conditions. Bluish or blue-violet flowers appear at the ends of long stems. Varieties of tradescantes of Anderson and Virgin are used for open ground in central Russia.
Tradescantia contains a complex of nutrients and medicinal substances. Aquarists put a pot with a young tradescantia on glass lying on the sides of the aquarium, and the growing stems of the plant soon sink into the water and form a beautiful green rug on its surface.
Tradescantia purifies and moisturizes the air in the room, neutralizes electromagnetic radiation.
Features of growing tradescantia
Bloom: depending on the species - from spring to autumn.
Shine: bright diffused. It can tolerate direct sunlight (in limited quantities). Green leaf forms tolerate shading.
Temperature: in the spring-summer period in the region of 18-25 ° C. In autumn and winter, prefers cool content (12-16 ° C), however, it can tolerate warmer conditions.
Watering: plentiful, as the top layer of the substrate dries, in spring and summer. In autumn and winter, moderate watering.
Air humidity: does not play a significant role. In the summer, it is recommended to spray.
Top dressing: in spring and summer at least 2 times a month with organic and complex mineral fertilizers. Variegated forms should not be fed with organic fertilizers. In autumn and winter - without top dressing.
Pruning: the stems of tradescantia are prone to exposure, so their timely pruning and pinching helps to form the desired plant shape.
Rest period: not expressed. Tradescantia Virginia and Tradescantia Anderson have a pronounced dormant period in the autumn-winter period.
Transfer: young plants once a year, adults after 2-3 years, in the spring, combining with pruning of long shoots.
Breeding: seeds, cuttings or division of the bush.
Tradescantia develops better in places with bright diffused light (although they can withstand direct sunlight), but they can also tolerate partial shade. The best places to grow - at windows facing west or east, can grow at the north window, at the south window in summertime shading is required. Variegated forms need more light. In low light, variegated forms lose their color, often turn green, and vice versa - they are painted very intensely and variegated on a sunny window. With an excess of direct sunlight, the leaves of tradescantia can fade. The most shade-tolerant tradescantia is white-flowered.
In the summer, indoor tradescantia can be taken out to a balcony protected from wind and direct sun or planted in the garden (but it must be remembered that tradescantia is very fond of slugs, and aphids can attack it).
Tradescantia grows well both in warm (with an average temperature of 25 ° C) and in cool rooms (where in winter the temperature can fluctuate in the range of 12-16 ° C). The plant normally tolerates a warmer wintering.
Tradescantia needs abundant watering in the spring-summer period, while the water should not stagnate in the pot. It is watered a day or two after the top layer of the earth dries. In winter, the substrate is maintained in a moderately wet state. Watered two to three days after the top layer of the substrate dries. It is necessary to monitor all year so that water does not accumulate in the pan. Half an hour after watering, the unabsorbed water from the pan must be drained, the pan should be wiped dry with a cloth. Watering is done with soft well-defended water.
When kept in a cool place (about 12-16 ° C), tradescantia is rarely watered, only after the soil has dried. Tradescantia can tolerate prolonged drying of an earthen coma, but this weakens the plant. Humidity does not play a significant role, however, plants like spraying, especially in the summer.
During the growing season (spring and summer), organic and complex mineral fertilizers are fed at least 2 times a month. Variegated forms should not be fed with organic fertilizers, this may lose the original color of the leaves. In autumn and winter they do not feed.
A feature of room tradescantia is rapid aging, overgrowth and loss of decorativeness: the leaves at the base of the stems dry out, the shoots are exposed. To rejuvenate the plant, annual short pruning, pinching of shoots and transplanting of the plant into fresh ground are practiced.
Plants are transplanted in spring, young once a year, adults after 2-3 years, combining with pruning long shoots. The substrate is humic, closer to neutral (pH 5.5-6.5). The plant grows well in a mixture of 2 parts of deciduous, 1 part of sod and humus land with a small amount of sand. A ready-made soil for tradescantia is on sale. Good drainage is needed at the bottom of the pot.
Tradescantia easily propagates vegetatively - the bush can be divided from spring to mid-August. It should be borne in mind that when digging up, its powerful root system will inevitably be damaged. When planting, the long roots of the delenka are trimmed to 15 cm. At the same time, the aerial part of the delenka is also trimmed, otherwise it will not take root.
If you divide the bush at the beginning of the season, the plant easily restores the root system and quickly takes root. In July – August, especially in hot weather, rooting pieces should be lowered and even covered for two weeks - with a microparnic or a piece of covering material.
Tradescantia propagates well with stem cuttings with two or three internodes. Covered with a film, they root perfectly in 2-3 weeks and winter in the ground. If there are no severe frosts in autumn and winter, cuttings overgrown even in late August will overwinter.
In the midland of Russia, the tradescantia have time to ripen seeds, often self-sowing. Although varietal traits of plants are not preserved during seed propagation, seedlings with beautiful, variously colored flowers can be obtained.
Types of Tradescantia
Tradescantia Anderson (Tradescantia x andersoniana)
Under this name, complex garden hybrids with the participation of the Tradescantia virginia (Tradescantia virginiana) are combined. Most hybrid forms and varieties cultivated under this name should also be included here.
Plant 30-80 cm tall with erect, branched, angular stems, leafy along the entire length. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, violet-green. The flowers are flat, purple, blue, pink or white, collected in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence. Bloom from June to September. It has many varieties.
The best varieties:
- J. G. Weguelin - flowers are large, bright, sky blue.
- Iris - flowers are deep blue.
- Purewell Giant - Carmine Red Flowers
- Leonora - flowers are violet-blue.
- Osprey - white flowers.
Tradescantia Virginia (Tradescantia virginiana)
The homeland of the plant is the southeastern regions of North America. Perennial plant with erect, branched knotty stems 50-60 cm tall. The leaves are linear-lanceolate up to 20 cm long with a small vagina covering the stem. The flowers are triple-lobed, pink-violet, up to 4 cm in diameter, numerous, collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences at the top of the stems, under which there are two large, keeled bracts. It blooms from early July to August for 60-70 days. The fruit is a box opening with longitudinal sashes. It can be used as a stable soil perennial.
It has varieties:
- Coerulea - blue flowers.
- Rubra - red flowers.
- Atrorubra - bloody red flowers.
- Rosea - pink flowers.
Most of the forms and varieties indicated in the catalogs under the name Tradescantia virginia are correctly attributed to Tradescantia Anderson (Tradescantia x andersoniana).
White-flowered tradescantia (Tradescantia albiflora)
Synonyms: in the literature it is referred to as Tradescantia tricolor (Tradescantia tricolor C.B. Clarke), Tradescantia uridis (Tradescantia uiridis hort.).
The birthplace of the plant is Tropical South America. Creeping shoots. The leaves are oblong-wide-egg-shaped, 4-6 cm long and 2-2.5 cm wide, pointed at the apex, glabrous on both sides, green or silver-motley, glossy. Inflorescences are apical, sometimes axillary. The flowers are small, white; bracts are white.
There are several varieties and varieties in the culture:
- Albovittata - with white stripes on the leaves.
- Tricolor - with white and pink-purple stripes on the leaves.
- Aurea - with green stripes on yellow leaves.
- Aureovittata - leaves on top with longitudinal golden yellow stripes.
Tradescantia of Blossfeld (Tradescantia blossfeldiana)
The birthplace of the plant is Argentina. Perennial herbaceous semi-succulent plant with creeping and rising greenish-red stems. The leaves are alternate, sessile, with tubular sheaths, oblong or elliptical, with a sharp or pointed tip, 4-8 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, dark green above with a slight reddish tint, violet underneath. Leaves from below, leaf sheaths and stems under the nodes are densely pubescent with long white spaced hairs.
Flowers on long, densely pubescent pedicels in paired curls at the ends of shoots and in the axils of the upper leaves. Inflorescences below are surrounded by two leaf-shaped, bracts of unequal size. 3 sepals, they are free, purple, densely pubescent. 3 petals, free, white in the lower half, bright pink at the top. Filaments in the lower third are covered with long white hairs.
If there are a wide few yellow stripes on the leaves, and two adjacent right leaves will have similar patterns (the neighboring left ones will have the same pattern, although they differ from the right ones in the picture), then this is the Variegata form. With insufficient lighting, inept cuttings or pruning, beautiful stripes on the leaves may disappear.
Tradescantia hairy (Tradescantia pilosa)
Tradescantia hairy - characterized by erect stems and elongated leaves with thick white pubescence. The flowers are lilac-pink.
Zebra-like tradescantia (Tradescantia zebrina)
Synonym: Tradescantius hanging (Tradescantia pendula) Zebrina hanging (Zebrina pendula) Shoots creeping or drooping, bare, often reddish. The leaves are oblong-ovate, 8-10 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, the upper surface is green with two silver-white stripes along the sheet. The lower part of the sheet is red in color. The flowers are small, purple or purple.
Scaphoid scaphoid (Tradescantia navicularis)
The birthplace of the plant is Mexico, Peru. Succulent plants with creeping bare shoots. The leaves are ovate, boat-shaped, small, 4-2 cm long and up to 1 cm wide, thick, pointed, keeled below, densely dotted with lilac dots, ciliated at the edges. The inflorescence is apical. Flowers with pink petals. Highly decorative ampel plant.
Tradescantia mottled (Tradescantia multicolor)
Tradescantia mottled has dense, small, green leaves with white and pink stripes. Very decorative, densely growing appearance.
Tradescantia is riverine, or myrtolithic (Tradescantia fluminensis)
The birthplace of the plant is Brazil. Creeping shoots, purple-red, with green spots. The leaves are ovoid, 2-2.5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm wide, dark green above, lilac-red below, smooth on both sides; petiole is short.
Its forms of Variegata (i.e. mottled) with frequent creamy strips and Quicksilver with white stripes are usually grown.
Precautions: the whole plant is tradescantia pale (Tradescantia pallida) slightly toxic and may cause skin inflammation.
Diseases and pests of tradescantia
Tradescantia pests love. It can be affected by aphids, whiteflies, thrips, spider mites, mealybugs.
A spider mite appears under too dry conditions. The leaves wither and eventually fall off, a spider web is visible on the stem. The plant must be treated with soapy water, rinsed with warm water. Spray regularly.
A scabbard or a false scabbard sucks out the cell sap from the plant, the leaves turn pale, dry, and fall off. Dark gray or dark brown plaques are visible on the leaves and trunks. First, it is necessary to mechanically clean the pests using a soap solution, then treat with an insecticide such as Actellik or Phytoverm.
If the plant has small, pale, and elongated leaves, it may be time to rejuvenate the plant, or the plant is too dark. Move it closer to the light.
If the tips of the leaves are brown and dry, this means that the air in the room is too dry. Regular spraying should be carried out and the plant should be kept away from heaters and radiators. Or maybe the plant is watered a little. Increase watering.
The faded color of variegated species is most likely the consequences of a lack of light, move the tradescantia to a brighter place.
If the shoots at the base are softened and darkened, then perhaps the water is stagnating in the pot, the stem has begun to rot. Cut it and root.
Tradescantia is able to surprise anyone with its unpretentiousness and beauty!