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Purple Heart Wandering Jew Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart'

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Tradescantia pallida
Description

A tender perennial commonly used as a houseplant or an annual.   S. pallida has trailing purple stems with violet-purple leaves and pink flowers that appear in the summer.  It is generally an annual but may come back in protected areas or in mild winters. To plant outdoors find a location with full sun to partial shade and well-drained high organic matter soil that stays evenly moist.   It works well in borders, rock gardens, or as an edging plant, use in containers or hanging baskets. Pinch back to encourage bushiness. Desired for it's colorful and distinguishing purple foliage and stems and fast growth, commonly grown indoors in a hanging basket or in interiorscapes as a groundcover; each flower only lasts for 1 day; recently grown outdoors as a decorative ground cover or bedding plant, becomes invasive in beds and survives longer than most bedding plants

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems, though outdoor plants can be munched on by caterpillars, slugs and snails.

Quick ID

  • Leaf front and back and stems are PURPLE
  • Plant looks like a giant, purple wandering jew
  • Flowers are at ends of stems, are usually pink
Profile Video:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#houseplant#annual#drought tolerant#foliage#container plant#easy to grow#salt tolerant#interiorscape#low maintenance#accent plant#interesting leaves#hanging baskets#ncemgva2018#edging#deer resistant#groundcover#easy to propagate#rock gardens#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#houseplant#annual#drought tolerant#foliage#container plant#easy to grow#salt tolerant#interiorscape#low maintenance#accent plant#interesting leaves#hanging baskets#ncemgva2018#edging#deer resistant#groundcover#easy to propagate#rock gardens#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Setcreasea
    Species:
    pallida
    Family:
    Commelinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is somewhat resistant to damage by deer and is moderately salt and drought tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are pink or pink with a white midline (rarely white), terminal, about 1 inch, with 3 equal petals and 3 sepals, subtended by a pair of ovate-acuminate bracts, 7 cm; peduncles 6-11 cm.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Slippery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, and oblong-elliptic to oblong-lanceolate. They are acute, blade sessile with a closed sheath, margins inrolled to give trough-shape, reddish-purple above and below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are ascending, decumbent or trailing, purple, rooting at nodes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt