If you have just purchased a plant that can withstand whatever adversity it is subjected to, then it is probably a plant belonging to the Tradescantia genus, which includes as many as seventy-five types of plants.
The Tradescantia owes its name to John Tradescant the Younger, a Dutch Huguenot naturalist who had the role of gardener in the royal court of Charles I of England.
After going to the English colony in America called Virginia, he was able to export numerous plants and crops to Europe, including the Tradescantia, which was very successful not only for its beauty, but also for its high resistance to bad weather. so much so that it took the name of “herb of misery”, precisely because of the few care it needed, even if an eye towards her was never bad.
One of the many varieties of this plant is the pallida, coming from Mexico and, to date, it is possible to find it in Southern Italy, although the entire family of plants is native to North America, Central America and the northernmost part of South America. .
The pale Tradescantia has a very particular appearance and varies according to the types, such as the “Purple Heart”, with leaves of a very dark shade of purple and bright pink flowers or the “Variegated Purple Heart”, with streaked purple leaves and lilac flowers, in addition to “Ocampo White”, with white flowers and leaves of the same color as those of grapes.
First of all, it is good to create a soil suitable for Tradescantia, that is, one in which the water is able to drain well during watering. A mix of peat, coarse sand and normal garden soil is excellent; the whole is preferable to be placed in terracotta pots, given the fact that they are particularly known for their porosity.
After creating the growing base, it is good to know how to water the pale Tradescantia: The ideal would be to give it more water in the warmer seasons, while its use in autumn and winter should be strictly limited, simply by ensuring that the soil remains a little wet.
As for the seasons, it is good that the plant always remains well lit, but must remain away from direct sunlight, which is not tolerated, as well as cold air, which could damage it in winter. Better to grow Tradescantia pallida in areas where the temperature does not drop below 10 ° Celsius.
Once the plant has been cultivated properly, then you can be ready to make it reproduce by using cuttings, ie fragments of the plant itself adequately cut in the summer months and deprived of leaves in the lower part; only at this point can they be planted in groups of three in a pot with moist soil. Once you have obtained your colorful bushes, it is also good to think about reinforcing them and making them even more luxuriant with adequate summer fertilization. In particular, it is necessary to use a very rich fertilizer, in which magnesium, copper, iron, boron and zinc are present.
Diseases and treatments
The resistance of this plant also concerns diseases, since it is rarely scratched by parasites such as cochineal, but its roots can be affected by fungal growths that can damage it if they are watered excessively, so it is good not to overdo it.
If you notice leaves becoming small, deformed and discolored, then it is very likely that your Tradescantia needs more light exposure, while if there are whitish animals it is likely that you are in the presence of lice; with these or with cochineal it is always good to use specific pesticides.
That said, it is definitely a great plant for both indoors and outdoors even if you don’t have too much time to take care of it.