Houseplants forum: Tradescantia spathacea

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 21, 2015 1:23 PM CST
I think it's probably 'variegata', but it was sold simply as 'Rhoeo' - no other description. It's the first time I've grown this plant. For a member of the Tradescantia family it is growing really, really slowly. It's growing and looks nice and healthy, but the rate of growth is really different from other Tradescantias in my growing experience. I thought it might turn a darker purple once it was potted and in place, but the color has been stable and it's been out about 6-7 weeks now and all the new growth is staying the same as the older growth.
Thumb of 2015-06-21/needrain/e39b1f

Donald
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 21, 2015 5:36 PM CST
Donald I love that plant. I have a collection of them I love it so much. When ever I see it I buy it because each one seems to be different in growth and stiffness of the leaves.

I started a discussion about it last year here.....
The thread "Let's discuss/compare" in Houseplants forum
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 22, 2015 7:54 AM CST
@Cinta I went back and read the thread you referenced. I find T. pallida variable in appearance depending on the growing conditions. The same plant can look really different. It needs some room to spread out to look its best so I have it in a broad, relatively shallow container. I'd probably prefer it in the ground, but it has simply looked yucky where I've tried and then it's not reliably hardy through winters here. We have the occasional winter that just is too cold. I think T. spathacea may be variable in the same way. The plants remind me of each other in the general shape and both have brittle leaves that break easily. I guess if it lives long enough for me, I'll find out if spathacea is variable in appearance depending on growing conditions.
Donald
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 22, 2015 11:27 AM CST
No the thing about the T. spathacea that I have are grown in the same pot same soil same conditions. What may have happened is where they were originally grown but after I get them they are getting the same conditions.

The one really does grow similar to a spider plant with long thin leave the other the leaves are very thick. The one I picked up off the ground on a business trip. I think it was Puerto Rico is different from the two I purchased. So that is three different types that I am growing in the same condition and environment.

I do think there are two T. pallida because I did see a few years back that Glasshouse Works was selling one that they called wide leaf T pallida. I do not know if they are still selling.

Wait let me go see if they are still selling the wide leaf.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 22, 2015 11:32 AM CST
Yep they still have it.......

Setcreasea [tradescantia] pallida Biltmore Bimbo Purple Heart
"Giant Purple Heart" A very broad leaved form of the traditional standby, considered somewhat hardy in the South. This new fabulous form is a great dramatic basket plant as well as a showy summertime bedding plant.

http://www.glasshouseworks.com/setcreasea-tradescantia-palli...


Check this out too.
http://www.glasshouseworks.com/index.php?route=product/searc...
[Last edited by Cinta - Jun 22, 2015 11:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 22, 2015 1:12 PM CST
The website lists 5 different Rhoeo varieties. Some photos being shown of specific varieties show variable appearance. All my life I heard T. pallidas called 'Moses in the Cradle' as a common name. Apparently that name may be more properly applied to Rhoes, but in my locale it referenced purple pallidas. Since T. pallida is a common pass along plant, I doubt that any I've ever grown could have a cultivar name applied to them. I've never bought T. pallida; they've just been given to me. The one I have now came out of a compost pile where a piece got raked up with the leaves and then started growing Smiling . However, the one sold as Rhoeo isn't common in my circles. I'm really not familiar with it. I've never known or seen anyone growing it. Other Tradescantias, but not those.
Donald

Plantomaniac08
Jun 22, 2015 5:00 PM CST
Donald,
I've seen the common name for Rhoeos as 'Moses in the Cradle' (because the shape of their blooms), but not for T. pallida.

Not my image, but this is where I think the reference comes from (for Rhoeo).

Thumb of 2015-06-22/Plantomaniac08/03b5f4

The only cultivar name I know of for T. pallida is the purple one, it is known as 'Purple Heart. But, I don't know of a "common name" for them as a whole. There's T. zebrina, 'Wandering Jew,' but that's a different species.

Planto

[Last edited by Plantomaniac08 - Jun 22, 2015 5:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 22, 2015 5:15 PM CST
Plantomaniac08 said:Donald,
I've seen the common name for Rhoeos as 'Moses in the Cradle' (because the shape of their blooms), but not for T. pallida.

Not my image, but this is where I think the reference comes from (for Rhoeo).

Thumb of 2015-06-22/Plantomaniac08/03b5f4

The only cultivar name I know of for T. pallida is the purple one, it is known as 'Purple Heart.

Planto

Yes, that's the trouble with common names. How many 'Hen and Chicks' are there? T. pallida has the same structure for holding its bloom as the one in the photo. I don't know how large a geographic area it might cover, but that's the common name given to T. pallida here. I think different plants have the same common name in different areas. At least that has been my experience. It would be nice if the real botanical name was easier to pronounce, easier to remember and was more stable. Big Grin



Donald
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 22, 2015 5:21 PM CST
Here are mine given to me last winter from an awesome ATP member. It almost seems didn't make it as they don't seem to like our cold temps. I've always called them , "Oyster Plants" and love the color combination. Learn by doing tells me to really protect them in the winter. These will go into a decorative pot real soon!
Thumb of 2015-06-22/ShadyGreenThumb/00a329

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Plantomaniac08
Jun 22, 2015 5:43 PM CST
Donald,
Hmm, you have a point about the blooms on T. pallida. Granted, I don't think T. pallida has flowers exactly like that of Rhoeo (Rhoeo seems to "carry" them closer to the plant), but they are indeed cupped.

I didn't think about common names being a regional thing, but that is probably the case (which adds to the confusion). I don't know lf anyone else here that has grown Rhoeo, but my Mother knows them as 'Moses in the Cradle' too. But, I don't know where she picked up on the name. She is originally from Kansas, but I can't say if that was something she picked up in Kansas or something she heard here. Confused

Oh yeah, I've also heard of Rhoeo being called 'Oyster Plant' too. Boy.

Transcendentia IS a mouthful. Hilarious!

Planto
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 22, 2015 5:44 PM CST
Well, Cheryl, that tells me to make sure and have them inside before a frost hits. Kingwood doesn't have the cold temps as I have here. I just have to pay attention to the weather temperature. Most Tradescantias are really sensitive to frost in my experience. The underground root system of T. pallida is an exception.
Donald

Plantomaniac08
Jun 22, 2015 5:50 PM CST
Donald,
Not to change the subject, but what's the weather like where you are? I'm not enjoying our 100+ temperatures. Sad

Planto
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jun 22, 2015 6:02 PM CST
The weather here this year is unusual. At this minute it is 90F with 41% humidity. That is both cooler and more humid than we usually have this time of year. We have received so much more rain this year that we have humidity that people are unaccustomed in this area. The plants love it. Mosquitoes are abundant and hungry. Normally we would have higher heat with considerably less humidity, though we'd still have some hungry mosquitoes! We tend to stay on the dry side and I'm continually wishing for rain. I think our average annual rainfall runs from 20-24" - maybe less. I believe I heard where our rainfall for 2015 has already exceeded what we received for all of 2014. We have, at least in my location, not had the usual constant wind. Frankly, I'm loving the rain and don't mind the humidity. I tend to not enjoy overly dry heat. Every time we get rain, I'm wondering how long it will be 'til the next one. The last few years have been miserably dry. Enough that the vegetation has visibly been altered. Enough old growth trees have died in the dry years that I think there has been a permanent change. 100+ is never enjoyable, but I think it would be more typical for us than what we've had so far. I'm sure it will heat up before fall.
Donald

Plantomaniac08
Jun 22, 2015 6:17 PM CST
Donald,
Maybe we got your heat. Hilarious! It usually doesn't heat up like this (we had record temperatures like this a few years ago) and when it does get hot, it's not generally until mid-July at the earliest (August is our hottest moth of the year... I'm afraid already!).

The mosquitos seem to be hungry here regardless of the humidity and temperatures too. Hilarious!

I'd be interested in seeing what your weather is like next year. We had record temperatures one summer and a monsoon (weeks of rain) the next. One winter, it snowed and iced (both odd for our location), the next, it was so mild the annuals didn't die back. Confused

I also like the rain, but with the combination of heat, it's too humid for my liking though. I don't know what dry heat is like though.

That's interesting that your climate has changed so much that the vegetation has... "evolved"?

Hopefully it stays as it is for you guys. Cooler temperatures than normal and the rain, that is. Although, I'd appreciate it if someone took our heat. Rolling on the floor laughing

Planto
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jun 23, 2015 3:04 PM CST
I have had a miserable hot and humid 3 weeks. This time of year it is usually 80s and low humidity. So much rain and humidity my succulents are not doing well. Especially since I am so stubborn and refuse to put drainage holes in my pots. Hilarious! My Mom use to say "A hard head makes a soft behind". I think she should have said "A hard head makes a soft succulent".

Sheryl, I bring my plant in every winter and it still struggles to survive. It stays alive just enough to make a good size plant when I put it out for the summer. I often wonder if it does not naturally shed its leaves in the winter regardless of where it sits for the winter. But as I said I am a bad plant mommy it could be my no/or little watering indoor plant habit.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jun 23, 2015 8:22 PM CST
No, @cinta, you are not a bad plant mommy. You're here at ATP, aren't you? That there says enough. Thumbs up I lose mine in the ground so I keep put them back into the pot come winter. It gets transplant shock and can't recover in the cold weather and die. The ones in the picture almost croaked but managed to respond to my greenhouse music, and love and care. Even though we are not that cold, these plants can't take it. Soooo, this year, they are going into a pot and staying in the pot when brought in for winter. They will be the closest to the heat source in the greenhouse to boot! Picky! Picky! Picky! I love them still. I do what I have to do to keep plants that don't thrive in my Zone healthy.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jun 24, 2015 7:22 AM CST
Tradescantia pallidas (purple heart/purple queen):
http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=tradescantia+pall...
The entry for 'Purple Heart' shouldn't be punctuated as a cultivar. There's no record of a that name being a cultivar that I've been able to find, just the most common common name for it.
'Pale Puma' looks like T. cerinthoides to me.
Inch Plant (Tradescantia cerinthoides)

T. spathacea (oyster plant) used to be called Rhoeo spathacea, the name has been changed. It has some cultivars:
http://garden.org/plants/search/text/?q=tradescantia+spathac...

I haven't experimented with oyster plant but purple heart, WJ (T. zebrina,) plain green WJ (T. fluminensis,) and T. cerinthoides are hardy here. Somewhere around Z7/8 border is prob the limit for them, where the ground starts to freeze. Bummin' to hear about Cheryl's lack of success with trying, 'cuz oyster plant isn't happy when brought inside my house for winter either. But, it's not been that enjoyable to have around in general, never recovering its' former glory after I removed & shared a bunch of side branches in 2012 or 13.

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 24, 2015 7:40 AM CST
That doesn't bode well for overwintering it. I bring in the pallida and keep it in the garage. Even with a mulch covering it, sometimes winters here just have a cold spell that's too cold. That's in ground. In a container it would always be killed. It generally looks awful by the time I get it back outside in the spring. Most of the growth is allowed to weather and sunburn for a couple of days and then cut off each year. It grows back rapidly and looks good again. Spathacea will have to manage the same way. I don't have a greenhouse and I'm very neglectful of inside plants. Winter is tough unless the plant goes dormant.
Donald

Plantomaniac08
Jun 24, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Tiff,
Interesting!

Planto

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