Purple Heart Plant
Guitarist: Carlinhos Patriolino
Tradescantia pallida is a species of spiderwort more commonly known as Purple Heart, purple secretia, purple queen, wandering jew or walking jew. It is native to the Gulf Coast region of eastern Mexico. This plant is widely used as an ornamental plant in gardens, borders, ground cover or as a hanging plant. In colder climates where it cannot survive the winter season, it can also be used indoors as a houseplant. The deep purple hue may also turn more greenish when indoors.
The purple foliage with hardy perennial long trailing stems and rambling vines grow like a weed. The stems grow long and form 3 petal fuchsia blossoms. Start with a few strands and watch it thrive outdoors in the heat with indirect sunlight or up to 2-3 hours of direct sunlight. Some say the sun helps with color development. Plants growing in the shade may tend to get more green than purple so it's best to have at least a few hours of sun. Make sure to keep the soil moist during the hot summer days watering at least every other day. Purple Hearts are easily propagated by cuttings and the stems are visibly segmented and then the roots will frequently grow from the joints. Also, by pinching the plants it promotes more compact growth. Sometimes the stems may get very long and twiggy. You can keep them long or prune them during the fall/summer months and repot in other places or within the same pot to get it thicker.
During the winter months the tops may get killed by moderate frosts, but will often sprout back from roots. I bring most of my plants into my sunroom or garage during the really cold winter days/nights if possible. If not, covering them with a sheet during frosty nights may help. Once the heat and sun makes it way again, bring them back outside for the new season and start the cycle all over again.
Good luck with your planting venture! May the purple foliage bless you. If interested if purchasing any plants, E-mail Me
Photos by Celisse Elaine