Houseplants forum: Callisia repens 'Bolivia Jew'

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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
Jul 21, 2015 12:58 PM CST
Edit - Drat! Look at the title &*%!!$. That should be Callisia, not Callisian! How'd that 'n' get there.

This is a new plant for me this year and I'm really liking its behavior and look. I hope it overwinters respectably and ends up where I can start it up again for next summer.


Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jul 21, 2015 1:01 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 21, 2015 3:37 PM CST
I have had Bolivian Jew for 2 seasons now. They need winter protection. The ones in the garage did not fare well. But the one in the Greenhouse didn't know winter even happened. I used to have them in the shade. But mine is about 2 feet long now in full sun. Go figure.
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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
Jul 21, 2015 4:04 PM CST
Does your garage have any natural light coming in? A lot of things that get put in the garage go in and out depending on the weather. There's a lot of back and forth during the months that can have frost. Depends on the plant. Some can tolerate temps just below freezing, others have that as a definite cutoff. I'd expect Callisia repens to be very frost sensitive not tolerating any below 33F temps. Some plants do well as long I adhere to what I know they can tolerate in the way of cold temps, but some look rough at the end of winter no matter what. I have a glass front porch and for plants I don't intend to haul in and out all the time get put there, but some don't love that either. And it's narrow, so if they have just grown too large it has to be the garage. The garage is unheated, but so far it has never fallen below the mid 30s. I have set up a work light and plugged in a small electric heater on occasions of really cold spells that have a long duration, but not too often. I'm thinking the Callisia is a candidate for the porch.
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
Jul 21, 2015 7:21 PM CST
Yes, they seem to like the light and some warmth in the winter even when they are resting. And your covered porch sounds good. Our garage is dark except for the very front and that was saved for the very sun-needy. Thankful I have the greenhouse now. I just hope I can get everything back in this winter. Not only have I acquired a new plant or 10, but my others have grown and doubled in size! But the Bolivian Jew gets seniority rights and will have a safe place for sure.
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
Jul 22, 2015 7:43 AM CST
Donald, I'm a zone warmer but that stuff is hardy in the ground here. But I've had it as a house plant for decades, as ground cover in many pots.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 22, 2015 8:26 AM CST
Very nice Donald!

Back in the mid 1970's I had a few hanging baskets of C. repens hanging in backyard trees. When the vines reached the ground or if pieces were broken off and hit the ground they took root and turned into a very pretty ground cover. We had it growing in areas of both in full shade and full sun ... prettier in my opinion in bright shade.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jul 22, 2015 10:11 AM CST
I put a few *tiny* sprigs here in March. Time to pull it up from this spot, starting to grow over the other plants. Will move to a new spot where it can have more room. Even where not hardy, it can be used to decorate the landscape, as well as making a fine potted plant or accent.
Thumb of 2015-07-22/purpleinopp/59fa94

Ground covers that aren't hardy are easier to deal with anyway, IMVHO. No concern about it running too wild or boredom.
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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
Jul 22, 2015 10:28 AM CST
purpleinopp said:Ground covers that aren't hardy are easier to deal with anyway, IMVHO. No concern about it running too wild or boredom.

Well they work at least some of the time. I have some variegated Chlorophytum that is working as a ground cover now. I didn't really plan that, it just happened. It froze to the ground last winter, but then grew back from the roots. Though outside, it did get a natural mulch of oak leaves and it's against the east side of the garage. That gave it some protection. I think some winters it will get killed completely. In the meantime it looks so much better than the container that provided all the little spider plants to start it.

Donald
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jul 22, 2015 12:03 PM CST
No doubt! My Mom put some in the ground a few yrs ago (4-5 little babies) & it did look great. So great, I stopped keeping any in a pot. But then, a few yrs later, it was a pretty big patch of maximum size plants. The stolons that the babies are on stay connected between mama & baby for a surprisingly long time & are just strong enough to trip people. I ended up digging all of this out before it jumped in size again.

Thumb of 2015-07-22/purpleinopp/e85e5f
Wouldn't you just love to crawl into this clump on a hot afternoon if you're a snake? Yikes!

It was a clump of great-looking specimens, but not what I like in a ground cover. Way too tall & too successful at tripping people. ...and I'm still finding the occasional baby sometimes, probably from seeds. I did have a moment of weakness and put one of them in a pot. But it's hiding behind the house where nobody can see my "weed in a pot." After having it around for about 30 yrs, it's just sentimental I guess.

Edited to add:
I did it, the Callisia is gone from that area, and so is Tradescantia fluminensis & zebrina.
Thumb of 2015-07-22/purpleinopp/255af5

Here's the pile after I was finished pulling it. I also snapped off the T. pallida stems to start more elsewhere, but left the roots/stumps there go regrow:
Thumb of 2015-07-22/purpleinopp/595862
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jul 22, 2015 2:45 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
Jul 22, 2015 8:55 PM CST
THANKS to the moderator for correcting the subject line!! I appreciate it so much.
Donald
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2015 9:04 PM CST
Tiffany,
There are no photos of Tradescantia flumeniensis in the database. I'm trying to figure out what to look for here Smiling I know zebrina, but not flumeniensis. I'm not sure the bed looks better, but those plants are sure going to get more air circulation! And the T. pallida will grow back in short order filling up some space.
Donald
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jul 23, 2015 6:51 AM CST
Donald ... here ya go White-Flowered Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis)
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Jul 23, 2015 8:01 AM CST
I agree & prefer the way it was with all of the creepers, but there are some tiny plants there that just couldn't compete. A little Aglaonema, Alocasia & Homalomena that I got as cuttings last summer, that barely survived being inside for winter, and were put in ground to recover over summer. That's working well, and I want to be able to see them. I also totally forgot that's where I'd put a puny little piece of Ludisia, to either finish dying or perk up. Probably needs some light if I hope for perking.

The horrible vine grass in that area is also still trying to creep back in, with a vengeance. I think it's St. Augustine grass, but not sure. About once a week, I'm having to pull the bricks up, pull the grass stolons out. Sometimes a piece 3-4 feet long comes up from behind me. Hiding under the Trads & Callisias were several new grass sprouts too. That spot is not yet fit to be unable to see the ground. I may have to install a sunken border there if I don't want to keep chasing grass out from under the bricks. There's about 15 kinds of grass (and countless other kinds of plants) in our lawn, but that particular one is a serious nightmare, for trying to garden near it. I've not had grass so determined to go under bricks before.

This spring, there was nowhere else to put creepers except around other plants. I've been pulling the grass out from under this tree to have a place where they can creep to their hearts' content, but I left the spiderworts since the only requirement I have for a plant in that area is to be a member of Commelinaceae family. As I pull creepers up from "flower beds," it's getting moved to this area. Next year the beds might be able to have ground covers, but there's too many grass & other sprouts this year. I found quite a few Phyllanthus sprouts under the clumps of Tradescantia, got to make sure all of those get pulled before they drop any more seeds. There was nothing but grass in my yard until this spring (moved last year.)
Thumb of 2015-07-23/purpleinopp/148cc8

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lignumki
Sep 5, 2015 1:17 PM CST
Anyone know if it can be trained to climb? I have one of these lovely babies on my desk and I really want to try to get it to grow UP, rather than out.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Sep 5, 2015 1:34 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP. I think it's just a creeper and trailer. I don't think the mechanics for climbing are there.
Donald
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Sep 5, 2015 2:44 PM CST
It won't twine, use a tendril, or attach with aerial roots, but could be manipulated up a trellis. You would occasionally weave or wind it as it grows. Some type of ladder/lattice would be best so it's easy for it to stay on there without having to be tied. Stems do not lignify with age.

(The horrible vine grass I mentioned above seems to be torpedograss. It's a real bugger!)

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