How to Care for Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) Indoors

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Purple Heart Plant, Tradescantia pallida

Botanical name: Tradescantia pallida
Synonym: Setcreasea purpurea, Setcreasea pallida
Family: Commelinaceae
Common names: Purple Heart Plant, Purple Queen

Purple Heart Plant Description

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) also called Purple Queen bears leaves which are elongated, pointed, slightly hairy, glaucous green, fringed with red or purple.

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) also goes by the botanical names, Setcreasea purpurea and Setcreasea pallida

The Purple Heart flowers are small, sterile, three-petaled and are white, pink or purple. The stems are clearly segmented and roots easily grow from the joints.

Purple Heart Plant is an easy to grow plant and readily adapts to indoor growing conditions. It is also known for its air cleaning properties.

Purple Heart Plant Origin

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) is native to the Gulf Coast of eastern Mexico.

Buy beautiful and healthy Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) from Etsy.

Purple Heart Plant, Tradescantia pallida

Photo Credit: Shopee Philippines

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) Care Indoors

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) grows best under bright, indirect light and moderately moist soil. It requires warm, humid conditions inorder to thrive.

The best soil for growing Purple Heart Plant should be loose, free-draining and rich in organic matter. Continue reading for more on the best growing conditions for Purple Heart Plant.

Purple Heart Plant Light Requirements

Purple Heart Plant grows best in bright, indirect light. It can also grow under a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

Keep Purple Heart Plant 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 Purple Heart Plant

Water Purple Heart Plant thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Reduce watering your Purple Heart Plant during the 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 Purple Heart Plant

Average warmth with a minimum 130C is ideal for your Purple Heart Plant. A 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 Purple Heart Plant

Purple Heart Plant has no need for high humidity. Moderate (average) air humidity is ideal for this Plant.

However, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier where the temperatures are too high to raise humidity for Purple Heart Plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Purple Heart Plant

Feed Purple Heart Plant with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Purple Heart Plant 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 Purple Heart Plant

Repot Purple Heart Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one and 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 Purple Heart Plant

The best soil for Purple Heart Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Cactus and Succulents are ideal for Purple Heart Plant. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your Purple Heart Plant from Etsy.

How to Prune Purple Heart Plant

Pruning Purple Heart Plant involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To control the growth of your Purple Heart Plant and encourage bushyness, pinch the growing tips. Cut back leggy stems of your Purple Heart Plant at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) Propagation

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) can be propagated during the growing period by plant divison or from stem-cuttings. Continue reading on these two methods of Purple Heart Plant propagation.

How to propagate Purple Heart Plant by plant division

Water the Purple Heart Plant thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Take out your Purple Heart Plant from its pot and carefully divide it into sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves.

Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the pot with cactus and succulents soil and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Purple Heart Plant section.

Place the Purple Heart Plant section in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base while taking care not to bury it too deep; maintain the section at the same soil level it was in the previous pot.

Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place until the new plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Purple Heart Plant from stem cuttings

Purple Heart Plant stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone. Take a stem cutting from a healthy Purple Heart Plant of about 4-6 in. and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves.

Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of your Purple Heart Plant cuttings to prevent rotting.

Fill your rooting container with cactus and succulents soil 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 Purple Heart Plant cutting.

Once callused, insert your Purple Heart Plant cutting in the hole made previously to a depth of about 3 in.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Purple Heart Plant to be well established before transplanting to individual pots after which you can begin routine care.

Purple Heart Plant, Tradescantia pallida

Photo Credit: Shopee Philippines

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) Problems Indoors

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults like improper watering, improper feeding, humidity issues and inadequate light. Read on for remedies and solutions to these problems.

Purple Heart Plant dull leaves

Dull leaves in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) are due to inadequate light (too little light).

Move your Purple Heart Plant to a brighter spot, as it grows best in bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Purple Heart Plant leggy growth (elongated stems)

There are three possible causes of leggy growth in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida). One possible cause of leggy growth in your Purple Heart Plant is too little light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot as it needs bright, indirect light to thrive or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

The second cause of leggy growth in your Purple Heart Plant is underwatering resulting too little moisture in the soil and thus the plant does not get enough water and nutrients necessary for growth.

Water the plant thoroughly to maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third cause of leggy growth in your Purple Heart Plant is inadequate feeding (underfeeding). Feed the Plant every 2 weeks with a balanced, liquid fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) dying

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) dying is caused by root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Also, reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and thus the plant does not require a lot of water.

Purple Heart Plant brown, shrivelled leaf tips

Brown, shrivelled leaf tips in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) is due to too dry air especially where the temperatures are too high.

Mist the leaves of your Purple Heart Plant more regularly or set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Purple Heart Plant limp stems, yellow leaves

Limp stems and yellow leaves in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) are due to underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly to maintain the soil moist at all times and do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) diseases

Common diseases in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) 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.

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) pests

Common pests in Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) 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 Purple Heart Plant invasive as a weed?

Purple Heart Plants (Tradescantia pallida) are invasive and noxious weeds in many places. Purple Heart Plant will successfully grow anywhere and will smoother ground level plants and prevent the natural regeneration of taller species.

Avoid planting Purple Heart Plants in the ground and dispose only after complete destruction (even an inch of these plants will sprout if not completely destroyed).

Is Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) toxic?

Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida) is mildly toxic to humans and pets.

If Purple Heart Plant 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 Purple Heart Plant.

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