Tradescantia, commonly known as spiderwort, is a versatile and charming plant that has gained popularity among gardeners and indoor plant enthusiasts alike. With its striking foliage and delicate flowers, Tradescantia adds a touch of natural beauty to any space. This resilient plant belongs to the Commelinaceae family and is native to the Americas.
It is characterized by its vibrant leaves, often in shades of green, purple, or variegated patterns, which create an eye-catching display. Whether grown as a ground cover, hanging plant, or potted specimen, Tradescantia is cherished for its easy care requirements and its ability to thrive in various conditions.
Let’s delve into the fascinating world of the Tradescantia plant and explore its unique features and care tips.
Geo-distribution: A native plant found in the warmer regions of the tropical Americas, the tradescantia has become a popular ornamental around the world.
Botanical description: A creeping, herbaceous perennial plant with alternate, variegated leaves of purple and silver tones. The flowers are small and nestled in leaf bracts of pastel purple.
Medicinal Uses: This plant has been used as an ornamental, but few people know of its medicinal properties. The fresh juice is used to combat hemorrhages of cuts and wounds. It has also been used as an analgesic to calm the palm of bruises and facial neuralgia. It is used to increase the production of milk in nursing mothers and has been reported to be useful in the treatment of colitis and diabetes.
Preparation: The leaves are macerated to extract the juice, which can be applied to bleeding cuts or painful areas as a poultice. The leaves are also used in an aqueous solution. A handful of leaves are diced and soaked in pure water overnighter a handful of leaves are steeped in a liter of hot water. The solution or tea can be taken throughout the day.
Notes: Tradescantia is one of the easiest plants to grow in the home garden. This notably pest-free plant can be used as an outdoor ground cover for shady areas or as a hanging porch plant. Propagation is done by simple stem cuttings, which are planted in pots or directly in the soil.
Although this plant grows on a wide range of soil types, soils fortified with organic compost increase growth and vitality of the plants. They should be watered frequently until well established, and later, watered infrequently.
Tradescantia can be fertilized occasionally with soluble fertilizers to keep them growing well. Remember to avoid locating these plants in sunny areas, which can cause wilting and poor growth. The trailing ends of the plants can be pruned for medicinal uses.