Tradescantia Quadricolor: How to Care for this Unique Plant

Tradescantia quadricolor, also known as the purple heart plant, is a beautiful and unique plant that can add some flair to any home.

Although it is native to Mexico, it can be found in many parts of the world. If you are thinking about adding one of these plants to your collection, here is what you need to know about Tradescantia quadricolor care.

Overview of Tradescantia Quadricolor

Tradescantia Quadricolor
Tradescantia Quadricolor | Image Credit: Fangblatt

Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor‘ is an evergreen perennial plant with lovely multicolored leaves. It produces little, graceful, rosy-purple, 3-petaled blooms with vividly colored foliage.

This plant, which is commonly kept inside as a houseplant, requires strong, indirect light, frequent trimming, and is sensitive to cold temperatures.

To conserve energy, their blooms open one at a time, usually in the morning, and close with the afternoon light. On overcast days, they may remain open.

It must be handled with caution since it might trigger an allergic reaction in certain pets if consumed.

7 Tips for Growing Tradescantia Quadricolor

  • Avoid overwatering your Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor
  • Keep soil moist but well-drained
  • Ensure that your plant is in a bright spot, it does not enjoy the dark
  • Do not place in direct sunlight
  • Does not enjoy very dry or very humid conditions
  • Fertilize during the growing season with organic mixtures
  • Trim from time to time if it becomes scraggly

How to Propagate Your Tradescantia Quadricolor

Propagation of Tradescantia zebrina quadricolor is simple. This plant grows quickly and propagates quickly as well! You only need a few cuttings and you’ll have a lovely plant.

Propagating Tradescantia Quadricolor in Water

Tradescantia zebrina cuttings in a jar full of roots

Water propagation is a reliable method of growing new plants. And Tradescantia plants establish roots swiftly in water.

Replace the water on a regular basis and wait for the roots to develop a few inches. The cuttings can then be transferred to a tiny container with soil.

  • Pour water into a transparent vase, tall glass, or container.
  • Dip the cutting in water.
  • Make sure it’s shallow enough so the leafy part is visible above the waterline.
  • A slim glass is ideal since the leaves will rest on the top rim.
  • In around 1 to 2 weeks, fine roots will appear.
  • Wait for the roots to reach a length of 1 to 2 inches.
  • Plant in a pot according to the instructions.

Propagating Tradescantia quadricolor in Soil

Propagating Tradescantia quadricolor in Soil

Another method for propagating Tradescantia is to skip the water rooting and just plant the cuttings in the soil.

You may speed up the process by using a rooting hormone.

  • Fill a container halfway with dirt, grit, and organic fertilizer.
  • Water thoroughly but sparingly.
  • Push your finger into the earth to make a 2-inch deep hole.
  • Plant the offcut in the soil and compact it to keep it solid.
  • Place the planter in a location that receives plenty of light but not direct sunlight.
  • Keep a good supply of water over the following three weeks.

Propagating Tradescantia Quadricolor from Cuttings

Propagating Tradescantia Quadricolor from Cuttings
Propagating Tradescantia Quadricolor from Cuttings
  • This is best done throughout the growing season, from early spring to late summer.
  • Use a sterilized sharp knife, scissors, or cutter to cut the food.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sap, which can irritate the skin.
  • Choose a stem that appears to be in good health and has a few sets of leaves.
  • Cut the stem at the base, where it connects to another stem, using care.
  • Snip off the lowest leaves to leave a clean stem at the bottom.
  • You now have two possibilities for propagation: soil or water.

How to Care for Your Tradescantia Quadricolor

How to Care for Your Tradescantia Quadricolor
How to Care for Your Tradescantia Quadricolor| Image Credit: Gardening Know How

Give your Tradescantia Quadricolor well-draining soil that will dry out between waterings for the best results.

Mix a considerable amount of peat, compost, mulch or humus, bark, pumice, or perlite into your fertilizer. Temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C) are ideal for it.

The temperature should not go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

The Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor prefers bright but not direct sunshine. It’s best if it’s near a window that faces south.

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Adequate Light

The optimum circumstances for Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor are bright, indirect sunshine.

The leaves will burn if they are exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

When there isn’t enough sunshine, the leaves fade and don’t produce those gorgeous rosy colors.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, position your plant on a side table or high shelf approximately 3 feet away from a south-facing window.

It receives brilliant light but not direct sunlight in this manner. In most cases, 45 minutes of direct sunshine will be enough.

If you must stand it on a window sill, use a sun filter to shade the window. You may also utilize your decorating abilities to make it fit in.

If you want to grow your Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor outside, choose a location that gets plenty of light but not too much direct sunshine.

If your plant isn’t exhibiting healthy indicators of variegated development, such as gorgeous various pink tones, it’s probably getting too little light.

Watering Tradescantia Quadricolor

Watering It’s important to keep your Tradescantia Quadricolor soil wet when it comes to watering. It’s important to strike a balance between saturated and bone dry.

During the summer, watering once a week is sufficient. Reduce watering to once every two weeks in the winter.

Use lukewarm water while watering in the winter; no plant likes an ice blast! I’ve noticed that my Wandering Jew may get practically droopy at times. Within 24 hours, a good watering puts it back to life.

Suitable Soil

Tradescantia Quadricolor thrives best in wet soil. It must not, however, be soaked or allowed to dry entirely.

Plant it in sandy soil that drains well. This may be accomplished by adding perlite into standard potting soil. Make a perlite-and-potting-soil mix using 40% perlite and 60% potting soil.

Make sure the bottom of your pot has drainage holes. This allows excess water to drain and prevents the roots from becoming saturated and drowning.

Using commonplace items such as pumice or broken bark, sterile garden compost, mulch, or organic manure, you can create rich, nourishing soil for your Wandering Jew to thrive on.

The Tradescantia Quadricolor isn’t picky about PH levels but aims to keep it around 7.0.


Humidity isn’t a big problem for your Tradescantia Quadricolor. Because it is neither a desert nor a tropical plant, a home’s normal house humidity of 30 to 45 percent should suffice.

Running heaters and air conditioners in the winter may dry out the air and modify the humidity, so be careful of this.

If the humidity level in your house is too high, above 50%, mold and bacteria can thrive, giving your home a musty odor. Using a dehumidifier will assist in resolving the situation.

It operates as a natural rain shower, saturating all the leaves and washing away dust and vermin, despite the fact that it does not raise humidity.

Before bringing the plant back inside, make sure you do it outside and let it dry.

Temperature Requirements

Temperatures in the 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) range are ideal for Tradescantia species. They can endure greater temperatures if necessary. The leaves will suffer if the temperature falls below 50°F (10° C).

It can withstand short-term exposure to freezing temperatures, but it does not thrive in the cold. Consider growing your outside Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor in a container if you live in a chilly location.

During the winter, you may then bring it inside. In USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12, all Tradescantia species are winter hardy.

The plant is native to South America and does not require tropical conditions to grow. It is fairly hardy, and you should be good as long as it is not exposed to frost.

Fertilizer Requirements

During the growth months of Spring through early October, Tradescantia Quadricolor, like many other potted indoor plants, benefits from slightly extra fertilizer.

I am a strong proponent of environmentally responsible living, which includes the plant fertilizers I use. When possible, I avoid using chemical fertilizers.

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Buying or making my own natural organic fertilizer is my number one care hack for Tradescantia fluminensis. If you have a liquid fertilizer, dilute it and apply it once a month to your plants.

Peat, pumice, perlite, mulch, coco husks, and crushed bark may all be used to make natural organic fertilizers.

A little composting kit makes good use of fallen leaves, dead flowers, and grass clippings and is a wonderful addition to any garden.

How to Find the Perfect Spot for Your Tradescantia Quadricolor

The Tradescantia Quadricolor, also known as the Wandering Jew, is a beautiful and unique plant that can add color and life to any home.

But where should you put it? Here are a few tips on finding the perfect spot for your Tradescantia Quadricolor: A window with an east or west orientation is optimal.

This provides sufficient light in the early and late afternoon, as well as lots of brilliant indirect light throughout the day.

A grow lamp can help your plant if it needs more light than you can offer.

If you are just starting out, you will probably want to put your Tradescantia zebrina Quadricolor in an indoor pot on a table or shelf.

They do great in a hanging basket and don’t mind being near other plants.

How to grow Tradescantia plant from cutting branch very easy

How often Should You Water Tradescantia Quadricolor

The soil of Tradescantias does not like to remain entirely dry for lengthy periods of time.

As a result, make it a habit to water at least once a day. Maintain a consistent level of moisture in the soil. They’re a little picky at times.

They also don’t want to spend too much time in very damp soil. This needs quick-draining soil and a drainage-holed container.

When the soil’s surface is dry, water liberally. Read up on How and When to Water Houseplants if you’re in need of a refresher.

Instead of watering on top of the plant, try watering directly into the soil. Wet crowns are bad for Tradescantia plants.

You can water from the bottom instead of the top if you want to be extra cautious.

What Amount of Light Does a Tradescantia require?

The optimal light for wandering jew plants is bright yet indirect light. To retain your plant’s color and blossom, make sure it gets adequate light.

Excessive direct light should be avoided. When exposed to too much sunlight, its fragile leaves can quickly burn.

A window with an east or west orientation is optimal. This provides sufficient light in the early and late afternoon, as well as lots of brilliant indirect light throughout the day.

A grow lamp can help your plant if it needs more light than you can offer.

How Often to Fertilize Your Tradescantia Quadricolor

Fertilizing your Tradescantia isn’t completely required, but if you do, they’ll reward you with more growth.

Fertilize with a half-strength liquid fertilizer or a controlled-release fertilizer only in the spring and summer.

How to Prune a Tradescantia

How to Prune a Tradescantia Tree
How to Prune a Tradescantia | Image credit: Gardener’s Path

When your plant begins to stray, it may rapidly become lanky and sprout long stems all over the place.

Pruning your plant should be a frequent component of your houseplant maintenance routine.

Pruning your plant will not only remove the lanky stems but will also make it grow more compact and bushy.

The plant will sprout two new shoots from the pinched-off area when you trim and pinch off stem tips. As a result, your plant will be fuller.

Do a general clean-up while you’re at it. Remove any damaged leaves and pinch off any possible thin, weak growth.

The Best soil for Tradescantia Quadricolor

Tradescantia does not have a preference for soil and will thrive in any type. Because they want to keep damp, you can try adding a moisture retainer to the soil, such as vermiculite or peat moss.

Tradescantia Quadricolor most common issues and how to deal with them


Quadricolor Giving your plant a nice shower and washing them off is a simple approach to get rid of them. If they persist, sprinkle them with an insecticidal soap solution.

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For pest control on Tradescantia Quadricolor , make your own insecticidal soap. Instead of detergent, use all-natural soap.

To 1 gallon of cooled, boiling water, add 5 teaspoons. To make the solution stick, add 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

A teaspoon of garlic can also be added. Fill a clean garden sprayer with water and spray the plant with a fine spray setting.

The leaves appear to be burnt.

Your plant is getting too much direct sunlight if its leaves are becoming brown or burnt. If feasible, move it to a more appropriate location or use sunscreen to protect it.

Roots Rottening

This is a symptom that there is too much water in the system. Drenched soil does not suit Tradescantia Quadricolor.

Make sure your container has drainage holes and that the dirt has had a chance to dry up.

The plant appears unkempt and scraggly.

Tradescantia Quadricolor is a fast-growing and spreading plant. Trim it every now and again to maintain it in shape.

Remove any dead leaves and stems. Re-shape into the clean form you desire.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tradescantia Quadricolor

Why are my Tradescantia’s Leaves Dull and Fading?

What caused the leaves to become dingy and faded? It usually has something to do with the amount of light your plant receives.

It might be receiving too much light, but it’s more probable that it’s not getting enough.

Is Tradescantia Quadricolor an invasive species?

Tradescantia Quadricolor is invasive in various regions. This is due to the fact that it spreads quickly outside and can become invasive.

In woodland environments, it forms dense mats that block off light for other ground plants.

Is it possible to grow Tradescantia Quadricolor indoors?

Yes, in a stylish pot, it makes a really appealing indoor plant. It looks great in a hanging basket or on a high shelf where the long stems may flow freely.

What is causing my Tradescantia to get leggy?

Long, leggy stems detract from the appearance of your otherwise lush and full plant. Pinch off the lanky growth for a quick repair. However, this is only a temporary solution.

You must determine what is causing the slow growth in the first place. This is a common occurrence during the winter period.

It’s frequently an indication that your plant isn’t getting enough light or humidity.

Is Tradescantia Quadricolor a simple plant to look after?

Yes, this is a good plant to start with. It is resilient and vigorous and requires very little upkeep.

You don’t want to lose your first plant to discouragement. The Tradescantia Quadricolor thrives in a sunny, shady location away from direct sunshine.

Are Tradescantia Quadricolor Plants Harmful to Animals?

If the sap from Tradescantia comes into direct touch with the skin, it can cause irritation.

Ingesting the leaves may also induce stomach upset in cats. Keep it out of the reach of pets and children.

What are the best places to buy Tradescantia Plants?

The simplest method is to obtain wayward cuttings from a friend who already has a healthy plant.

Otherwise, go to your local garden center or plant nursery. In the hanging plant’s department, you may frequently find nice-sized wandering jew plants for sale.

If you can’t get to a plant store, there are a number of excellent plant growers offering Tradescantia plants on Etsy.

Final Thoughts: Tradescantia Quadricolor

Looking for a plant that will add some flair to your home? Look no further than the Tradescantia Quadricolor, also known as the Tradescantia fluminensis. This beautiful and unique plant produces little, graceful, rosy-purple, 3-petaled blooms with vividly colored foliage. If you’re thinking about adding one of these plants to your collection, here’s what you need to know about how to care for this unique plant.

See Also: Why Is My Magnolia Tree Blooming In September?

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