One variety of spiderwort known as the inch plant has lovely purple and silver-striped foliage. This indoor plant can thrive in any setting and is ideal for those with green thumb aspirations. Here are some instructions for taking care of an inch plant inside.
Table of Contents
What Are Inch Plants?
The name “inch plants” refers to a group of trailing succulent plants descended from the Commelinaceae family. They are indigenous to the Caribbean, South America, and Mexico, and are frequently grown as indoor plants outside of these regions. The group of plants is also known by the common name “spiderwort.”
Although inch plant foliage, which is equal parts leggy and lush, can make a great groundcover in an outdoor garden, its propensity to choke out its neighbors and act like a weed suggests that it would do better as an indoor plant. They make good candidates for hanging baskets due to their long stems. Their growing season begins outside in the early fall, whereas it can start inside at any time of the year.
What Are the Types of Inch Plants?
Inch plants come in a variety of varieties, most of which differ primarily in color. Consider these four types:
Tradescantia fluminensis: This inch-long plant occasionally bears white flowers. It also comes in many different varieties, some with tricolor sprouts and others with just green leaves.
Tradescantia nanouk: This spiderwort is a lovely hanging basket plant with pink, green, and white hues. Up to two feet in height can be reached by its stems in all directions.
Tradescantia pallida: While inch plants often have green variegated leaves, this type—also known as Tradescantia ‘Due to its purple foliage, Purple Heart’ has earned its moniker.
Tradescantia zebrina: Also known as Zebrina pendula, this inch plant sprouts colorful foliage. Its striped patterns are reminiscent of a zebra’s coat, leading to the “zebrina” in its botanical name.
What is the Basic Inch Plant Care?
Inch plants require bright, indirect light for proper care. The distinct leaf markings will disappear in too little light. Maintain slight moisture in the soil, but refrain from watering the crown directly because this will result in an unsightly rot. The plant shouldn’t become overly dry, especially during the winter. frequent misting of inch plants Use a half-strength liquid fertilizer to feed your plant once a month. Pinchback of the lengthy, vining tendrils is a crucial step in inch plant growth. Pinch back the plant by about a fourth to promote branching and boost fullness.
Inch plants age poorly and live relatively short lives. No matter how carefully you tend to your inch plant, eventually, the leaves at the base will fall off while the long legs continue to develop. This indicates that it’s time to take cuttings and root them in order to renew your plant. If your inch plants require renewal around once a year, don’t be shocked.
What Are the Easy Care Tips for Inch Plants?
To make these plants flourish, not much is necessary. Keep these inch plant care tips in mind as you foster your spiderworts:
Add water occasionally. Although you should never overwater a plant, whether it’s new or old, inch plants benefit from routine misting and watering. Refrain from flooding or sopping the soil to prevent root rot. Simply replenish the moisture whenever you notice that it is beginning to get a little dry.
Give them enough light. If at all possible, place your inch plants in an area with some shade and indirect light. The foliage can become scorched by too much direct sunlight, but you still need to provide the plants with enough bright light throughout the day to keep them healthy. If you’re keeping them indoors, put them by a window with some shade to lessen the effects of full sun exposure. If you’re growing them outdoors, make sure they’re shaded by other plants.
Consider your local climate. USDA Hardiness Zones 9–12 allow inch plants to survive a winter. In other words, your plant will struggle to survive if the temperature ever drops below twenty degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. If you keep them indoors as houseplants, they will grow all year long, regardless of how hot or cold it is.
Prepare for propagation. Maintain regular pruning of these lanky plants to keep them from becoming too awkward. This is the perfect time to take some stem cuttings for a do-it-yourself propagation project. After repotting, provide water, light, and a quick dose of fertilizer to the cut ends to encourage them to begin developing into new-inch plants of their own.
Try out fertilizer. Although inch plants don’t necessarily need fertilizer, providing the proper kind won’t harm them. Really, all you need to encourage new growth in houseplants is half-strength liquid fertilizer. Every few months, you might want to reapply.
Manage pest problems. Spiderworts occasionally experience pest infestations, just like many other plants. The most prevalent offenders include aphids and spider mites. Try your best to catch them as soon as possible because if you don’t, they could cause serious harm to your inch plants. If necessary, use neem oil or another kind of insecticide to get rid of the pests.
Use the right potting soil. Your inch plants will thrive in moist, well-draining soil. A perlite potting mix is recommended, though the specific type doesn’t matter as much. As many drainage holes as possible should be present to allow moisture to escape.
How to Grow Inch Plants from Cuttings?
You can grow or restart an inch plant in your home in three different ways. In my opinion, the first is the most effective. Cut 12 long legs in half, and bury the cut ends in new potting soil. You’ll soon notice new growth if you keep the soil moist. Make sure your soil is always fresh because inch plants can die from salt buildup in old soil.
What Are the Inch Plants Buying Tips?
The common name “Inch Plant” refers to a number of species in the Spiderwort genus. Pick the one you prefer; they are all simple to grow. Furthermore, they are all active growers. If you purchase a small plant, it won’t take long for those lush, trailing stems to overflow the sides of a container.
Tradescantia albiflora is one of the most common. The leaves of the cultivars “Variegata” and “Quicksilver” are green with creamy white variegation.
Tradescantia nanouk sports stunning green and pink stripes, with dark pink undersides.
Tradescantia zebrina (shown here) has gorgeous green-and-purple foliage, glistening with bands of silver. ‘Green, silver, purple, and pink stripes can be seen on Quadricolor’s leaves.
Why Do Inch Plants Turn Brown?
If the leaf tips begin to brown over, it could be a sign of too low humidity; either finely mist the foliage weekly or introduce a humidity tray to keep life happy.
Should I Mist My Inch Plant?
While you should always avoid overwatering both old and new plants, inch plants benefit from regular misting and watering. Avoid soaking the soil or waterlogging it to prevent root rot. Every time you notice it beginning to get a little dry, simply replenish the moisture supply.
Is Inch Plant Indoor Or Outdoor?
For this reason, we recommend growing inch plants indoors or keeping them restricted to containers outdoors. The inch plant is not only fast-growing and has trailing stems, but its leaves are also attractive. The common name “inch plant” comes from the fact that the leaf nodes on the stem should be one inch apart.
Do you know more about inch plant care? Inch plant, a type of spiderwort, has lovely purple and silver-striped foliage. For those who aspire to have a green thumb, this indoor plant can flourish in any environment. Here are some guidelines for caring for an inch-tall plant indoors.