How to Care for Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) Indoors

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Small-leaf Spiderwort Care, Tradescantia fluminensis Care

Botanical name: Tradescantia fluminensis
Synonmy name: Tradescantia albiflora
Family: Commelinaceae
Common names: Small-leaf Spiderwort, Wandering Trad, Inch Plant, River Spiderwort, Wandering Willie

Small-leaf Spiderwort Description

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) also called Wandering Trad, Inch Plant, River Spiderwort or Wandering Willie is one of the most popular of the hanging Tradescantia plants which is fast growing and is easy to grow even for a beginner.

The leaves, about 2-4 in. long, tightly clasp the creeping or trailing stems of the Small-leaf Spiderwort. The undersides of leaves are pale purple (mauve) and it produces pale purple sap.

Small-leaf Spiderwort Flower

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) may occasionally flower indoors but the blooms are generally insignificant. The flowers are white with three petals.

Small-leaf Spiderwort Origin

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) is native to the New World from southern Canada to northern Argentina, including West Indies where it occurs individually or in clumps in wooded areas or open fields.

Small-leaf Spiderwort Varieties

Tradescantia fluminensis has many varieties like variegata with cream striped leaves, Quicksilver with white striped leaves and tricolor whose leaves are striped with cream and purple, among others.

Small-leaf Spiderwort for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Tradescantia fluminensis (Small-leaf Spiderwort) from Etsy.

Small-leaf Spiderwort Care, Tradescantia fluminensis Care

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) Care Indoors

Small-leaf Spiderwort Light Requirements

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) grows best in bright indirect light. Keep it away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Small-leaf Spiderwort

Water Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Reduce watering your Small-leaf Spiderwort in cold weather to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.


Temperature for Small-leaf Spiderwort

Average warmth with a minimum 130C is ideal for Small-leaf Spiderwort. Room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

Protect the plant from draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Small-leaf Spiderwort

Small-leaf Spiderwort has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant.

However, mist the leaves or set the pot on a wet pebble tray where the temperatures are too high to raise humudity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Small-leaf Spiderwort

Feed Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Small-leaf Spiderwort during the cold season as the growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Small-leaf Spiderwort

Repot Small-leaf Spiderwort during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.

Soil for Small-leaf Spiderwort

The best soil for Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Small-leaf Spiderwort.

Buy quality Potting Mix for your Small-leaf Spiderwort from Etsy.

How to prune Small-leaf Spiderwort

Pruning Small-leaf Spiderwort involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To control the growth of your Small-leaf Spiderwort and encourage bushyness, pinch the growing tips.

Cut back leggy stems of your Small-leaf Spiderwort at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) Propagation

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) propagation can be done during the growing period by plants divison or from stem-cuttings.

How to propagate Small-leaf Spiderwort by plant division

Take out your Small-leaf Spiderwort from its pot and carefully divide it into sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves.

Pot up the Small-leaf Spiderwort sections in individual pots in free-draining soil.

Place the set up in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Small-leaf Spiderworts to be well established before transplanting after which routine care begin.

How to propagate Small-leaf Spiderwort from stem cuttings

Small-leaf Spiderwort stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone.

Take a stem cutting from a healthy Small-leaf Spiderwort of about 4-6 in. and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves.

Fill your rooting container with free-draining rooting mix to a depth of about 4 in. Lightly moisten the soil.

With a pencil or similar object make a hole that is wider than the diameter of the Small-leaf Spiderwort cutting.

Carefully insert your Small-leaf Spiderwort cutting in the hole made previously to a depth of about 3 in.

Place the set up in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Small-leaf Spiderwort to be well established before transplanting to individual pots after which routine care begin.

Small-leaf Spiderwort Care, Tradescantia fluminensis Care

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) Problems Indoors

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults like improper watering, improper feeding, low humidity and inadequate light. Read on for remedies and solutions to these problems.

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) loss of leaf color

Loss of leaf color in Small-leaf Spiderwort is caused by inadequate light (too little light).

Move Small-leaf Spiderwort to a brighter spot, as it grows best in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunshine. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) leggy growth (elongated stems)

There are three possible causes of leggy growth in Small-leaf Spiderwort.

One possible cause of leggy growth in your Small-leaf Spiderwort is too little light.

Move your Small-leaf Spiderwort to a brighter spot as it needs bright, indirect light to thrive.

The second cause of leggy growth in your Small-leaf Spiderwort Tradescantia is underwatering resulting too little moisture in the soil and thus the plant does not get enough water and nutrients necessary for growth.

Maintain the soil moist at all times for your Small-leaf Spiderwort and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third cause of leggy growth in your Small-leaf Spiderwort is inadequate feeding (underfeeding).

Feed your Small-leaf Spiderwort once a month with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) limp stems, yellow leaves

Limp stems and yellow leaves in Small-leaf Spiderwort are due to underwatering.

Maintain the soil moist at all times for your Small-leaf Spiderwort and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) brown and shrivelled leaf tips

Brown and shrivelled leaf tips in Small-leaf Spiderwort are due to too dry air especially where the temperatures are too high.

Mist the leaves of your Small-leaf Spiderwort more regularly or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Check out techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Small-leaf Spiderwort diseases

Common diseases in Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) are root-rot disease and leaf spot.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat the plant appropriately for the disease.

Small-leaf Spiderwort pests

Common pests in Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) are Mealy Bugs, Aphids and Scale Insects.

Isolate the affected plant and treat appropriately. Mist the leaves regularly to reduce infestation by these pests.

Is Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) invasive as a weed?

Small-leaf Spiderworts (Tradescantia fluminensis) are invasive and noxious weeds in many places. They successfully grow anywhere and will smoother ground level plants and prevent the natural regeneration of taller species.

Avoid planting Small-leaf Spiderwort in the ground and dispose only after complete destruction (even an inch of these plants will sprout if not completely destroyed).

Is Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) toxic?

Small-leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) is mildly toxic to humans and pets.

If Small-leaf Spiderwort is ingested the plant sap can cause burning in the mouth, tongue and throat.

The sap may also cause skin irritation in sensitive skin; always wear gloves when handling Small-leaf Spiderwort.

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