Tradescantia Tricolor Care Infographic PlantAmerica

Tradescantia tricolor of the Commelinaceae family, also known as the inch plant or wandering Jew, a versatile houseplant that doesn’t require much attention.

This beautiful Tradescantia genus plant can thrive in a variety of settings, making it perfect for any home, and it adds a pop of color that is sure to brighten up any room.

Want to learn more? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Tradescantia tricolor!

Tradescantia Tricolor Care

Tradescantia tricolor is succulent, meaning it stores water in its leaves and can go long periods without being watered. It’s an ideal plant for beginners or those with busy schedules. Let’s look at how to look after this purple heart plant!

WaterWater Requirements

When it comes to watering, Tradescantia tricolor is pretty drought-tolerant. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering, and never let the plant sit in water. You can tell when it’s time to water by checking the leaves; if they’re starting to look wilted, it’s time to give your Tradescantia tricolor a drink.

If you see brown, crispy leaves on your Tradescantia tricolor, that’s a sign of overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out completely and cut back on watering frequency.

Water your plant regularly. Tradescantia Tricolor plants are drought-tolerant, so you don’t have to water them often. However, if you let them dry out completely, they will only last a few days. 

Avoid overwatering. Too much water can kill a Tradescantia Tricolor plant. Make sure the soil is dry to the touch before watering again.

TemperatureTemperature Requirements

Tradescantia Tricolor requires warm temperatures to thrive because this plant is known to be from South America, where the temperature is warmer.

Temperature for Tricolor PlantAmerica

That is why it is important that you should remember to keep in an area that receives indirect sunlight and has daytime temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, at night, the temperature can drop to 60 degrees Fahrenheit without causing harm to the plant.

LightLight Requirements

Tradescantia tricolor prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels. If the light is too low, the leaves will pale, and the plant will become leggy. 

Place your plant in a bright spot. The more light it gets, the longer it will last. That’s a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough light; move it to a brighter spot! Tradescantia Tricolor can be grown in full sun or partial shade.

Tradescantia fluminensis can thrive in direct sunlight. This plant is native to Brazil and is known for its ability to tolerate full sun exposure. It is important to note that this plant will require more water when grown in direct sunlight. However, it is very important to note that you have to be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Move your plant outdoors in the summer. Tradescantia Tricolor plants love the sun and heat. If you live in a cold climate, move your plant outdoors for a few months during the summer.

SoilSoil Requirements

This plant prefers to grow in moist, well-drained soil. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH levels but prefers slightly acidic soils, knowing that this plant originates from Southern America. This plant is also tolerant of poor soil fertility. However, it will produce more flowers if grown in fertile soil. This plant does not like waterlogged, so make sure the soil drains well.

Once you have found a healthy plant, you will need to dig a hole that is twice the size of the plant’s root ball. After planting the Tradescantia Tricolor, you need to water it well and moisten the soil.

FertilizingFertilizer Requirements

No fertilizer is necessary for Tradescantia tricolor, but you can give it a light feeding in the spring and summer if you’d like. Keep in mind that if you are fertilizing it, the frequency of the fertilizer shouldn’t be more than once a month.

Fertilizing Tricolor Plants PlantAmerica

Just be sure to use a succulent-specific fertilizer and follow the directions on the package. Your Tradescantia Tricolor will thrive and add much-needed color to any space with proper fertilizer requirements.

HumidityHumidity Requirements

The humidity of this plant should be between 30 to 40 percent, which means it doesn’t require a heavy amount of humidity like most tropical plants would. 

Furthermore, keep in mind that if the humidity percentage increases more than 50 percent, the plant might start growing molds. Which means keeping it between 30 to 40 percent is ideal


Pruning your Tradescantia Tricolor is an important part of plant grooming, prune your plant regularly. By doing so, you can help keep your plant healthy and looking its best. When pruning your Tradescantia Tricolor, it’s essential to do so with caution.

Pruning Tricolor Plants PlantAmerica

This plant can be sensitive to too much or too little light, and its leaves are delicate. When it comes to pruning care, the action of pruning properly should be done in the early spring before new growth begins.

To prune, begin by removing any dead or diseased leaves. Keep in mind to cut these leaves off at the stem, careful not to damage the healthy leaves around them. After this, trim back any long or leggy stems.

In this case, you have to cut these stems back to a length of about six inches, to secure the growth of the plant even further. Finally, shape the plant by trimming back any stray branches. When finished, your Tradescantia Tricolor should have a tidy, compact appearance.

This plan is keen on pruning because the dead leaves and stems can make a Tradescantia Tricolor plant look unhealthy and cause it to die prematurely. Prune your plant every few weeks to keep it looking its best.


You can propagate Tradescantia Tricolor through more than one method. Here’s a detail of the three most common ways:

– Division Method

The division is the most effective method used to propagate the Tradescantia tricolor. It is a simple process that can be done, although spring is generally the best time. Here are those easy steps:

  • Start by finding a healthy plant that you wish to divide. Carefully dig it up, being sure to get as much of the root system as possible.
  • Once you have dug up the plant, gently shake off any excess dirt.
  • Using a sharp knife or garden shears, divide the plant into several pieces, making sure that each piece has at least one healthy leaf.
  • Plant the divisions in well-drained soil, and water them well, this step is necessary because it will help the plant thrive and find its way into the new environment.
  • Place the potted plants in a bright, sunny location, and keep the soil moist. Within a few weeks, you should see new growth beginning to emerge.

– Stem Cutting

Another common method to propagate your Tradescantia Tricolor is stem cutting because this system is common and most popular one. Here’s how:

Stem Cutting of Tricolor PlantAmerica

  1. First, you’ll need to take a stem cutting from your plant. Make sure the cutting has at least two to three leaves on it.
  2. After that, remove the bottom leaves from the cutting to leave you with just a bare stem.
  3. Dip the bottom of the stem into some rooting hormone. This will help encourage root growth.
  4. Finally, plant the stem cutting in a pot filled with moistened potting mix. Keep the soil moist and warm, and in a few weeks, you should see new growth!

– Leaf Cutting

Leaf cuttings can also be taken from Tradescantia tricolor, although this method is even less successful than stem cuttings. Have a look at the method:

  1. Start with a healthy plant that has at least two leaves. Trim off any dead or damaged leaves.
  2. Cut a leaf in half lengthwise using a sharp knife or scissors.
  3. Place the cut side of the leaf down on moistened potting soil.
  4. Enclose the leaf with a plastic bag or clear container to create a humid environment.
  5. Keep the soil moist and wait for new plants to sprout from the leaf cuttings.
  6. Once the new plants are established, you can transplant them into individual pots or in the garden.

– Seed Propagating

If you want to grow Tradescantia Tricolor yourself, you might even want to start with seeds and plant the seed. You can purchase seeds from a nursery or online plant retailer. Once you have your seeds, you need to plant them in well-draining soil and keep them moist.

Tricolor Seed Propagating PlantAmerica

When the seedlings have sprouted, you need to thin them out to space about 12 inches apart. Tradescantia Tricolor can be grown in full sun or partial shade.


The Tradescantia Tricolor, or Wandering Jew, is a common houseplant known for its low maintenance and beautiful colors. However, even this hardy plant can experience problems from time to time. Here are some of the most common issues with Tradescantia Tricolor plants:

– Brown Or Yellow Leaves

The browning and the yellowing of the leaves will be common if you have left them under bright light for too long. This is usually a sign of too much sun exposure. Move the plant to a shadier spot and cut back on watering to prevent the leaves from further scorching.

– Leggy Growth

If your Tradescantia Tricolor begins to stretch out and get “leggy,” it is probably not getting enough light, hence you should take into consideration that your plant is not growing in a healthy enviornment.

What you should do is move it to a brighter location and trim back the longest stems to encourage bushier growth. By doing so, your plant will be slowly but surely find its way back to a healthy life and thrive in its beautiful colors. The proper care will help it so much into rising again.

– Pest Problems

Spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids are all common pests that can attack Tradescantia Tricolor plants. If you see any signs of pests, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticide or bring it to a professional for help.

Pest Problems on Tricolor PlantAmerica

– Root Rot

This is a severe problem that can kill Tradescantia Tricolor plants. It is usually caused by overwatering, so let the soil dry out completely between waterings. If you see any signs of root rot, such as yellowing leaves or mushy roots, remove the affected parts of the plant and repot it in fresh, dry soil.

With proper care and treatment, Tradescantia Tricolor plants can thrive for many years. By being aware of the common problems that can affect them, you can help keep your plant healthy and beautiful.

Final note:

Yes, both are the same plant. Both of these names are simply different common names for the plant. The scientific name for this plant is Tradescantia fluminensis. Whether you call it Tradescantia Zebrina, Tradescantia Tricolor, or even Tradescantia Nanouk, you’re referring to the same plant.

There is some debate over whether or not Tradescantia Pallida and Tradescantia Tricolor are the same plants. While they may share some similarities, there are also some key differences. Tradescantia Pallida typically has purple flowers, while Tradescantia Tricolor usually has white flowers.

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