Tradescantia pallida - Purple Heart Plant

Botanical Name: Tradescantia pallida

If you've never grown Purple Heart Plant, you may want to add it to your collection. It's a relative of the Wandering Jew plant, and you'll find it's just as easy to grow.

Bunches of rich purple, lance-shaped leaves make this a beautiful house plant year-round. Pot it in a small decorative container for an eye-catching table accent. Or, hang it in a basket and let the long, sprawling stems cascade over the side.

In summer, you can expect small, pink 3-petaled flowers to bloom. They grow in the leaf axils, making a stunning contrast to the dark foliage.

Growing Tradescantia pallida Indoors

tradescantia pallida, purple heart plant

Let the sun shine in. Grow your plant in bright light year-round for good foliage color. It will grow in lower light, but the leaves will be more green than purple. Give it some direct sun, but shade it from noonday sun in summer to avoid scorching its leaves.

Pinch your plant. Pinching off new stem tips will promote branching and keep Tradescantia pallida compact. Don't toss out those cuttings -- you can easily propagate them for more plants.

Repot in spring. Move up to a pot only 1 size larger to give it a little room to grow. Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil, which leads to root rot.

Purple Heart Plant Care Tips

tradescantia pallida, purple heart plant

Origin: Mexico

Height: Trails to 2 ft (60 cm)

Light: Bright light. Some direct sun is fine, but keep your plant shaded from strong summer sun.

Water: Water thoroughly, then allow the top 1 in (2.5 cm) to dry out between waterings.

Humidity: Average room humidity.

Temperature: Average to warm room temperatures (65-80°F/18-27°C) suit this plant year-round. Purple heart tolerates varying temperatures with a minimum of 50°F/10°C in winter.

Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly in spring and summer with a balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Take 4 in (10 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring or early summer. They'll root easily in moist potting mix.


Green Thumb Tip

You can keep your plant indoors year-round. But, if you move it outdoors for the summer, keep it shaded from direct sun during the hottest part of the day.

Also, check the soil every couple days so that it doesn't dry out.

purple heart plant, tradescantia pallida

Buying Tip

Tradescantia pallida is also known as Setcreasea purpurea and is sometimes sold under that name.


tradescantia pallida, purple heart plant