Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’

Family: Commelinaceae

Countries: Americas, Mexico, North America

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ is a tender herbaceous perennial that’s a popular houseplant.  With its maroon and silvery-grey coloured foliage, this plant is really quite striking and it’s easy to grow, too!

This is a super choice of plant to grow in an indoor hanging basket.  It’s also a great plant to cultivate as a container plant, to adorn a medium height or high shelf, where your Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ plant’s trailing stems can drape themselves decoratively around the planter, to enhance the space.

When potting up Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ plants, for the best results use a free-draining, peat-free growing medium and ensure the container you’re using has drainage holes at the base to allow water to run over the plant’s roots and out of the pot.  Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ will grow in almost any peat-free compost, including: coir compost, a blend that incorporates spent compost or garden soil mixed with homemade compost; or instead use a soil or loam-based compost.  Whatever compost you use, double check that it is peat-free.

If you plan to grow Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’, it’s important to remember that these plants favour moist, but well-drained soil or peat-free compost.  This plant will not flourish in wet or boggy conditions.  Allow your plant’s compost to dry out before you consider watering your Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ plant again.  Before you water, touch the compost and poke your finger into the soil to more accurately determine the moisture levels and help you decide whether or not to water – if in doubt leave it another day or two before watering.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ thrives in the warm conditions inside our homes.  This plant flourishes when it’s grown in a place where the plant will enjoy bright, but indirect light.  If your room is very shaded, try growing Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ nearer to the window.  If your room is dimly lit with very low light levels, consider growing a green-leaved cultivar instead.  Whereas if you have a particularly bright room, you could grow your plant in a position that’s further away from the window, but you might also be surprised to find that Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ will flourish in bright sunlight.

Plants grow to around 15cm (6 inches) tall and naturally display a creeping habit, rooting all along the stem – especially where the plant’s stems are scampering over the compost in a large container or indoor window box.  While Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ will spread to cover an area around 50cm (20 inches) wide (or indefinitely if the plant is grown in a wide planter where it can expand and grow along the compost, rooting as it spreads).  If you’re growing Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ as a trailing plant, to keep your plant in optimum health, remember to take cuttings every few months (using your plant’s healthiest stems and shoots as propagation material), as fresh new growth creates the best looking plants.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’ is a tender plant that should be grown in a room where the minimum night-time temperatures won’t ever dip below 13C (55F) on the coldest nights in wintertime.

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