Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ is a striking plant with variegated leaves that look as if they have been artistically painted in complementary shades of ivory, green, and pink. Each Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ plant’s variegation will vary according to the lighting and growing conditions the plant experiences. A Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ plant grown in more shaded conditions than the plant would wish for will soon start to produce leaves that have more green in their pigmentation. If the lighting remains too low consistently, a plant’s foliage colouring can become entirely green and stop showing any signs of variegation; however the new foliage can develop variegation once the lighting and growing conditions improve. If you want to maintain your plant’s variegation; grow Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ in bright but indirect light – avoid harsh or intense sunlight, which could scorch your Tradescantia’s foliage.
Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ should be grown in very bright, but indirect light. I’m growing my plant on an East-facing window sill in my brightest room. I have a sheer net curtain I use to protect the foliage of my window ledge plants from the intensity of the summer sun’s rays. At the end of summer, I remove the net curtain to give my plants brighter light through the autumn and winter months when the sun’s light is naturally softer.
There’s no need to use a peat-based compost to grow Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’. This plant will flourish potted in a free-draining, peat-free compost – in fact it will grow in almost anything! Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ can be propagated by simply popping a stem in a vase of water; alternatively, you could use coir compost, garden soil, homemade compost, or ideally use a mix of spent compost mixed with homemade compost or whatever peat-free compost you have. When potting up your plant, make sure to choose a container with holes at the base, as this will allow any excess water to run through the compost and out the bottom of the pot, and it will also help to facilitate the movement of air around the plant’s roots.
When watering Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’, before you water, poke your finger into the compost and see what it feels like. If the compost around your plant’s roots is wet or damp, there is no need to water. Wait until the compost is on its way to drying out, but isn’t yet completely baked or dried out, before you water your plant again. Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ doesn’t want to be overwatered and these plants have no desire to sit in wet compost at any time of year, especially over the autumn and winter months.
To keep your Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ plant in top quality condition, take regular cuttings; ensuring that you always reserve a spare plant for yourself and refresh your stock plants regularly. The healthiest looking leaf growth is produced by younger plants, so do keep propagating your plants and creating a steady stream of fresh new plants in rotation. It’s important to take cuttings regularly, using your best quality plant material to propagate from.
Tradescantia cerinthoides ‘Nanouk’ is a tender plant that flourishes in a warm room where temperatures won’t ever fall below 13C (55F) at night on the coldest nights in wintertime.
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