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Avatar for Cocoa
Jun 2, 2018 6:54 PM CST
New Jersey
Hi! I just found this site today while looking for help for my favorite plant. Ive had this guy for over 6 years now. It barely makes it through the winter but then perks up when i put it out for the summer. This year though it looks very thin, weak and straggly. I dont even know what it is or what to do for it but i just love it so and I'm hoping i can find out how to care for it. Thank you for any help and advice.
Thumb of 2018-06-03/Cocoa/604f5e
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Jun 2, 2018 6:59 PM CST
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
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Hi! You have aTradescantia Purple Heart
Avatar for MindiHammerstone
Jun 2, 2018 7:27 PM CST
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
Hi there and welcome Welcome! ,

I love that plant!! No idea how to care for it but Iam interested!!

Glad you have found us, this place is fun!!

😀

Mindi
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Jun 2, 2018 7:48 PM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Hi Cocoa! Welcome!

Tara is correct on her plant ID. Thumbs up Here in my zone Purple Heart grows extremely well and would be considered invasive. The reason I said that is because its tendency is to really grow fast and spread. I think it is root bound and needing a bigger pot. Another solution to keep it in its current container would be to divide it. Then you have multiple plants to keep or share with family or friends. I grow it in a container here to keep it contained. It is very easy to propagate. Let it lay over another pot, put something on it to make it stay in contact with the soil. It will root before you know it.

May you be blessed with a spectacular summer!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.
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Jun 2, 2018 8:22 PM CST
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
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I agree And I find that they really love full sun! Even where I am in fl they thrive and get a really dark purple, blooming profusely in bright, full sun.
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Jun 2, 2018 8:26 PM CST
Name: Tara
NE. FL. (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Dragonflies
Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Foliage Fan
I'd give you a link to this plant in our database, but haven't been able to figure how to do that from my phone. *Blush* You can type in the name in the database and get all the pertinent info.
Avatar for Cocoa
Jun 2, 2018 9:27 PM CST
New Jersey
Thank you all so much! It is very tight in its pot so i think i will try to repot it as soon as this crazy nj weather gets nice. I'm going to try growing new plants the way that was suggested too. Thanks again!
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Jun 2, 2018 9:32 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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I have it in the blazing hot Arizona sun next to a pool. It does fine even when the temperature is 120. Rabbits do like to nibble on it but it grows so well that it really doesn't matter that they snack on it.
Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida 'Purple Heart')
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Avatar for MindiHammerstone
Jun 2, 2018 10:27 PM CST
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
My gosh, 120 and I complain when it gets 100 and is windy. Wow super hot 😮!!!

😀

Mindi
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Jun 2, 2018 10:31 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
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The worst I remember was 122. It's been getting worse every summer, so I have a feeling they'll be seeing that again one of these days.
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Jun 2, 2018 10:56 PM CST
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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Taking cuttings will rejuvinate your plant and also act as insurance against losing your original one.

Cut off stem tips about 3-6 inches long below a node. They will root in compost or water but keep them slightly shaded at this time.
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Jun 2, 2018 10:59 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
Greenhouse Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
That's a good idea, Sue. They root very easily either way.
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Avatar for Cocoa
Jun 2, 2018 11:15 PM CST
New Jersey
So just so I'm ckear, the long straggly ones should be cut back and the pieces that i cut off are what i will root?
Avatar for Monetwwqi
Jun 3, 2018 2:07 AM CST
Name: Tamara
Fresno County, California (Zone 9b)
You should have no trouble at all rooting the pieces that you cut off. In the 60s and 70s it seemed that nearly every house in California had wandering Jew growing somewhere (either the purple or the plain green variety). The plant in my neighbors yard was used as a border. They pruned it like a short privet bush. It must have been at least 1 1/2 foot tall by 3 feet wide by 15 - 20 foot long. It was huge.
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Jun 3, 2018 2:35 AM CST
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Amaryllis Region: United Kingdom Houseplants Frogs and Toads Foliage Fan I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Yes Tamara you can cut off a stem right back to the level of the pot. Above a node will mean it will grow again from that point (the main plant). With the long cutting you can cut that into pieces about 4 inches long, cutting below the nodes, and that way you will rejuvinate the main plant, making it bushier and also have a number of new plants which will form roots.
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Jun 3, 2018 6:51 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
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Dittoing, to kniphophia, sort of, I would take cuttings, start as many smaller new ones as you want, and discard the old root ball. It would look brighter, more purple, more leaves and less 'viney', even bloom, if it gets all the light it likes.
Plant it and they will come.
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Jun 3, 2018 8:38 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
I agree with Sue. All it needs is a good pruning to get it back to looking decent again. It doesn't need a new pot, but it will need regular watering especially if you keep it outside in the sun.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Jun 9, 2018 12:16 PM CST
Name: Lori
Chicago (Zone 5b)
You should fertilize the plant once every month while it's actively growing. You can apply a general-purpose dry or liquid fertilizer according to the fertilizer's instructions. Water immediately after applying fertilizer. Good luck!
Avatar for Suriah387
Jun 9, 2018 1:29 PM CST
Name: Suri
Denver, Colorado (Zone 5b)
Region: Colorado
I got excited when I saw your comment's title, I just had a feeling you had a Bob, too.

I spent years wondering what Bob was, but he moved all around town with me. And when I left the state I took little Bob cuttings with me to start new Bobs. The main plant stayed with my parents for a few years.
When I moved back to Denver he was getting scraggly, with some of those long thin stems like you described. Last August I repotted him into a pretty new container and gave him a haircut (funny thing: I actually found his original pot tag with the old name and info! It had been there the whole time, just buried!) . He is now growing with renewed vigor in my new house Hurray!

Bob is pretty much the reason I became obsessed with houseplants. I love giving friends stems, either for water or in little pots. I usually have a few decorative stems growing around the house in small containers. The more sun, the better, but he can't stay outside here. He also doesn't really flower here, although I actually saw a few flowers on a new Bob when I lived in New York. I assume it is the humidity?

I'm so glad you were able to get info from the helpful people here! I'm sure your Bob will appreciate a little TLC and be happy again! Hurray!
Avatar for Cocoa
Aug 12, 2018 9:54 AM CST
New Jersey
Update!! Thank you all so much for your help and advice. This is my guy now, after a good trim. I was too afraid to repot him tho, but the soil seems very hard. So far so good tho!
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