Purple Plant ID - Knowledgebase Question

Kill Devil Hills, NC
Question by Yota1
November 5, 1998
I have a plant that has relatively thick elongated leaves, and a little tiny lavender flower on the end.
Someone told me that it is called "purple heart". What is it, and will it live outside in the winter?

Answer from NGA
November 5, 1998


I think you are referring to Tradescantia pallida, also called Setcreasea pallida. This plant is native to Mexico, and thrives in tropical climates, so would not fare well outdoors in North Carolina. Though it's not very common as a houseplant, you may have good luck by providing it with conditions similar to its native habitat. Give it plenty of sun, and a well-drained soil. Pinching back the growing tips should yield a bushier plant. From the photograph I have, it sure is a strikingly beautiful color!

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