How to Care for Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) Indoors

Some links in this post may be affiliate links

Silver Inch Plant, Tradescantia zebrina

Botanical name: Tradescantia zebrina
Synonyms: Zebrina pendula, Tradescantia pendula
Family: Commelinaceae

Silver Inch Plant Description

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) bears glistened leaves which are multicolored above where the surface color is bluish-green, banded with silver and edged in purple.

The Silver Inch Plant leaves are ovate, pointed towards the tips and rounded to the base. The flowers are pink to purplish.

Silver Inch Plant Origin

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) is native to Mexico, Central America, Columbia and some Caribbean Islands. The plant has been naturalized in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and various oceanic islands.

In its native habitat, Silver Inch Plant grows in thickets in the wetlands and rainforest, often on stones in shady and open areas or on riverbanks.

Silver Inch Plant Varieties

Some common varieties of Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) are Zebrina purpusii (Bronze Inch Plant) whose leaf surface is purplish-green with a purple underside.

Another variety of Silver Inch Plant is Zebrina pendula quadricolor which is more showy with green, silver, pink and red leaf surface with a purple underside.

Buy beautiful and healthy Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) from Etsy.

Silver Inch Plant, Tradescantia zebrina

Photo Credit: Garden Tags

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) Care Indoors

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) grows best under bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil. It thrives in a warm room temperatures and has no need for high humidity.

The best soil for Silver Inch Plant should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Continue reading for more on the growing conditions for Silver Inch Plant.

Silver Inch Plant Light Requirements

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) prefers bright, indirect light. It can also grow under a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

Keep Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant

Water Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Reduce watering your Silver Inch Plant 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 Silver Inch Plant

Average warmth with a minimum 130C is ideal for Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina). 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 Silver Inch Plant

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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 the plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Silver Inch Plant

Feed Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant

Repot Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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 Silver Inch Plant

The best soil for Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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 Silver Inch Plant. Buy quality Potting Mix for your Silver Inch Plant from Etsy.

How to Prune Silver Inch Plant

Pruning Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

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

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) Propagation

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

How to propagate Silver Inch Plant by plant division

Water the Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch 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 loose, free-draining soil and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Silver Inch Plant section.

Place the Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant from stem cuttings

Silver Inch Plant stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone. Take a stem cutting from a healthy Silver Inch 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 the Silver Inch cuttings to prevent rotting.

Fill your rooting container with loose, free-draining 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 Silver Inch Plant cutting. Carefully insert the Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant to be well established before transplanting to individual pots after which you can begin routine care.

Silver Inch Plant, Tradescantia zebrina

Photo Credit: World of Succulents

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) Problems Indoors

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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.

Silver Inch Plant dull leaves

Dull leaves in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) are due to inadequate light (too little light).

Move your Silver Inch 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.

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) dropping leaves

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) will readily drop its leaves if the light is inadequate (too little).

Ensure to place your Silver Inch Plant in a brightly lit place while protecting it from direct hot sunshine to avoid scorching of the leaves or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

Silver Inch Plant leggy growth (elongated stems)

There are three possible causes of leggy growth in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina).One possible cause of leggy growth in your Silver Inch Plant is too little light.

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

The second cause of leggy growth in your Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant is inadequate feeding (underfeeding). Feed your Silver Inch Plant every 4 weeks with a balanced, liquid fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) dying

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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.

Silver Inch Plant brown and shrivelled leaf tips

Brown and shrivelled leaf tips in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) is caused by too dry air especially where the temperatures are too high.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your Silver Inch Plant. Check out techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Silver Inch Plant limp stems, yellow leaves

Limp stems and yellow leaves in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) are due to underwatering. Water the plant thoroughly to maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) diseases

Common diseases in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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.

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) pests

Common pests in Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) 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 Silver Inch Plant invasiveness

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) are invasive and noxious weeds in many places. Silvery Inch Plant will successfully grow anywhere and will smoother ground level plants and prevent the natural regeneration of taller species.

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

Is Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) toxic?

Silver Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina) is mildly toxic to humans and pets.

If Silver Inch 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 Silver Inch Plant.

You liked it? Share on social media.

On the Blog

You liked it? Share on social media.