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Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea'
  • RHS AGM

purple spiderwort

A trailing evergreen perennial to 20cm in height, the purple stems with narrowly elliptic, purplish glaucous green leaves 8-15cm in length, bright purple beneath, and terminal bright pink, 3-petalled flowers 2-3cm in width

Synonyms
Tradescantia 'Purple Sabre'
Tradescantia pallida 'Purple Heart'
see moreSetcreasea tampicana
Setcreasea purpurea
Tradescantia purpurea
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Green Purple
Summer Pink Blue Green Purple
Autumn Blue Green Purple
Winter Blue Green Purple
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Commelinaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Trailing
Potentially harmful
Skin allergen. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Tradescantia can be trailing or tufted perennials with usually fleshy, evergreen foliage and distinctive, 3-petalled flowers

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow as bedding, in containers that can be moved indoors over winter, or as a houseplant. Plant in moist but well-drained soil or loam-based potting compost, and position in part shade or bright filtered light; direct sun may scorch the leaves. Water moderately when in active growth, and sparingly in winter. See houseplant cultivation for more advice

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings using stem tips in spring or summer, rooting in cutting compost or water then pot up into loam-based potting compost (JI No.1)

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Bedding
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

Pinch growing tips to encourage bushiness

Pests

May be susceptible to red spider mite, mealybugs, aphids, vine weevil and thrips

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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