Tradescantia - Oyster Plant
- Botanical Name: Tradescantia Spathacea
- Origins: West Indies
- Light: Medium Light
- Watering: Every 2 to 7 Days
- Growth Speed: Fast
- Grower: Novice
- Style: Table Top, Hanging
- Home Decor: Casual
- Variety Code: 306
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Product Description - Oyster Plant
Tradescantia spathacea, Rhoeo spathacea, and Tradescantia discolor is known under the common names Boat Lily, Rheo, Oyster Plant, or Moses-In-The-Boat. Tradescantia is named after John Tradescant Sr. (died 1638), gardener to Charles I, who collected the first Tradescantia from Virginia. Spathacea refers to the spatula-like leaves of this variety. Tradescantia is a rather succulent herb with a dense cluster of sturdy 6 to 12 inch sword-shaped leaves arising from a trunk like stem up to 8 inches tall. The leaves are a dark teal-tinged forest green on top and vivid violet underneath. The small white three-petaled flowers are hidden in boat-shaped purple bracts nestled in the leaf axils. Flowers and seeds are produced all year. In many parts of the world where it grows outside (West Indies, Mexico, and Central America and China) it is very invasive, as it roots from any small, broken piece of plant. However its flowers are used medicinally in South China to treat ailments such as dysentery. It is found commonly around the ancient Mayan sites in Guatemala, Yucatan and Belize. It was probably cultivated for use as a cosmetic, as the reddening effect of the irritating juice has been used for cheek coloring.The plant has escaped cultivation and became established in Florida and Louisiana. The plant is primarily grown for bedding, rock gardens, and tropical effects, or as a houseplant. The plant can be used to make a dense groundcover.
Tradescantia seems relatively tolerant of the allelopathic chemicals (compounds that prevent other plants from growing) put out by Australian pine. If your yard is shaded by these trees and you are having trouble getting anything to grow underneath, try an Oyster plant. The variety Green Wandering Jew is a trailing groundcover plant with succulent stems. The glossy forest-green to parrot-green parallel-veined leaves are oblong to ovate with pointed tips. They are generally 1 to 2.5 inches (2.5-6.4 cm) long and 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5-2.8 cm) wide. The small white three-petaled flowers appear in clusters at the stem tips from spring through fall. The three part capsules contain pitted black seeds. Green Wandering Jew is native to subtropical regions of Brazil and Argentina where it is regarded as an agricultural pest.
It has naturalized in Florida from the central peninsula to the central Panhandle, where it spreads most rapidly in floodplain forests and similar moist, semi-shady bottomlands. This is an extremely invasive species! It has become a serious pest in urban natural areas in Australia and New Zealand and it is beginning to cause similar problems in Florida, where it is listed as a Category I invasive exotic species by the Exotic Pest Plant Council. This tough, fast growing plant is an excellent choice for creating a lush tropical effect in atrium gardens, where it can be encouraged to form a living curtain spilling over a grotto entrance or waterfall ledge. It is ideal for hanging baskets and pots. Some Tradescantias may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals, but this species has not been singled out as a problem. Dogs kept in yards with a groundcover of Wandering Jew have developed rashes.
Plant CareAlthough it likes soil with substantial organic matter, Tradescantia will grow in sand or even coral rock. It transplants easily, and broken pieces re-sprout readily. Tradescantia seems to prefer partial shade, but it grows well in bright sun as well as in fairly dim light. It appreciates moist soil, but tolerates drought well. It will do well in high humidity, especially during its growing season in summer. New plants may be started from cuttings taken in the spring and rooted in light sandy soil or by re-potting offsets. Start plants from seeds by crumbling an old blossom cluster and placing it on the soil.
Wandering Jews do best in bright indirect or curtain-filtered sunlight. In lower light the plants survive, but the leaves of variegated types turn almost all green and non variegated types develop elongated internodes and dull foliage. Night temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees and day temperatures of 68 to 72 degrees are ideal. Wandering Jew prefers rich organic soil, but it will root directly into bark mulch or survive in poor sandy soil if watered sufficiently. Let the soil become moderately dry between thorough waterings. Feed established plants every two months with standard house-plant fertilizer diluted to half the minimum strength recommended on the label; wait three or four months before feeding newly purchased or potted plants. If the plants are grown in plain water, add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every month or so. Repot overcrowded plants at any season, using packaged general-purpose potting soil. Propagate at any season from stem cuttings. This species is sensitive to air pollution; plants may slowly develop tip burn in response to atmospheric fluoride. There are no pest problems to note. Wandering Jew is sometimes affected by a leaf spot disease which can be controlled by picking off the affected leaves.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 18:10 |
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Sunday, 30 September 2012 16:40 |
posted by Denise
I have this one..just got it. I hope it turns out as this was a plant left to dye...I hope my green thumb can save it.
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