Spotlight on: Tradescantia sillamontana “White Velvet Variegated”

We are introducing a new concept: Plant Lady’s Plant of The Week, where each Wednesday we will highlight a plant available in our store and why we love it, plus some care tips!

This week we are highlighting the unusual Tradescantia sillamontana “White Velvet Variegated”

This is not your average Tradescantia!  Tradescantia sillamontana “White Velvet Variegated” is one of the more unusual varieties we’ve come across. It features a generous layer of fuzz/fur that’s as soft as it looks (and it welcomes being petted). If that weren't enough, it’s also variegated, with leaves that are striped with yellow and green in various capacities. 

Interesting fact: this plant’s fuzz is actually made up of many hair-like structures called a trichomes. Many plants have trichomes, and they can come in various forms, which are responsible for leaf textures or lack thereof.  (You're probably familiar with the fuzzy way a tomato vine feels - that's also the work of trichomes!) Trichomes exist to protect a plant in hot weather, or to grab moisture from the air in dry climates. 

Tradescantia are easy growers as long as they get enough sun! They like bright light, so placing them directly in an eastern, southern, or protected western window is best. When truly given the light they want, you can keep them evenly moistened. HOWEVER most people grow them in slightly less light than is ideal, and if you're in that category, it's best to allow the plants to dry between waterings. 

Additionally, in this case and with many fuzzy/furry plants, they would prefer to not get their foliage wet, as the fuz can trap moisture against the leaf and, if that water doesn't evaporate, it can cause bacteria to develop on the leaf. Best watering methods for these include bottom watering and careful top watering for this reason.  (Note: outdoors this is not an issue, as the wind will help evaporate water off of the leaves quickly! Just another example of how we need to think differently about our indoor and outdoor plants.) 

Like all tradescantia, these look wonderful in a hanging basket, and can mature to a long bushy specimen that benefits from occasional trimming and thinning for more robust growth.

We have a few in stock right now that are waiting to be adopted! Come on in and treat yourself to a fuzzy plant for spring! 

Have questions about tradescantia care? Want to suggest a plant for us to spotlight? Leave a comment below! 

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