Pink Spiderwort (Tradescantia Albiflora ‘Nanouk’) is an eye-catching tropical houseplant with incredible leaves. Its leaves are long and colorful, with different shades of green and cream while the underside of the leaves are intensely purple.
This exotic plant is native to South America, but this specific Nanouk variety was cultivated in the Netherlands. Sometimes it’s also called Fantasy Venice and is a patented plant.
Tradescantia plants were commonly called Wandering Jew plants, although it’s not that common anymore. Obsolete terminology for Tradescantia Nanouk would be ‘Pink Wandering Jew‘.
Tradescantia ‘Nanouk’ was specifically designed to be an easy-to-grow plant with attractive blooms and foliage. However, the plant is still toxic to pets, like other Tradescantia plants.
How to Grow & Care
Even though this plant is easy-to-grow, it is good to know what a perfect growing environment consists of. Tradescantia Nanouk thrives in high-humidity environments, with bright indirect light, and prefers to have well-draining soil.
It is easy to overwater this plant. Tradescantia ‘Nanouk’ is susceptible to root rot, because it has shallow roots. Overall the soil should be kept moderately moist, and watered thoroughly about once a week.
Use a container that has drainage holes. Water the plant once the top of the soil has dried out for about 1-2 inches. Wilting leaves is the first indication that you are not giving the plant enough water.
Soil & Fertilizer
This tropical plant prefers acidic soil (pH 5.0-6.5) but can tolerate neutral soil. It is a good idea to have well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Make your own soil out of houseplant mix, sand, vermite or perlite and add a little peat for acidity.
Feeding Tradescantia ‘Nanouk’ fertilizer is not necessary, but it might grow a little fast when you do. Use a standard all-purpose houseplant fertilizer diluted with water by half, about once a month.
Tropical plants usually prefer high humidity (40-80) %, this plant is no different. If you happen to live in colder regions with district heating, it may become a problem. There are two solutions to raise humidity indoors for this plant.
- #1 Place the plant near a humidifier
- #2 Place the pot/container on a tray of pebbles, and add water to the tray
Tradescantia nanouk is often grown indoors but can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness zones 10-12. Ensure temperatures do not drop below 55 °F (13 °C), that’s when the plant may start dropping leaves. Bring the plant indoors when temperatures start dropping below that level.
The plant thrives in temperatures 65 to 80 °F (18-26) °C.
This variation of small spiderwort plant is sensitive to light conditions. It is recommended to put the plant in a location where it receives 6-8 hours of bright indirect light.
When grown in direct sunlight, the plant may not bloom. On the other hand when the plant does not receive enough sunlight, its foliage will not be as colorful.
To prune Tradescantia nanouk, pinch or cut the plant just above a node. If you want the plant to grow leggy stems over the container edge, you might not want to prune. The plant does grow more vigorously if pruned.
It is easy to propagate Tradescantia nanouk but remember it is a patented plant. Making profit out of propagations is not legal. Below you will find a short step-by-step propagation guide.
- #1 Use a sharp tool to take a stem cutting below a node
- #2 Place the cutting in a glass of water
- #3 Ensure the plant has enough light
- #4 Roots will form in about a week
- #5 Replant into a container with moist soil
Fungal infection is the most common disease for this plant. The first indication of this disease is brown spots on the leaves, after that leaves start to wilt and may drop. Reduce watering and improve air circulation, if that does not help use fungicides on the foliage.
Spider mites will enjoy building nests on and around Tradescantia nanouk. When you see yellow or brown spots on the foliage and little webs, it’s time to give the plant a gentle shower. Be careful not to waterlog the soil, which can cause root rot.
Another solution would be to spray isopropyl alcohol or insecticidal soap on the plant if the infestation is already out of hand.
Fungus gnats can also cause problems, but it’s mainly caused by overwatering. Give your plant just enough water and you will prevent this problem.
Tradescantia Nanouk was designed to be a stunning, easy-to-grow houseplant, and that’s exactly how I would describe it! Be mindful about watering it too much and give it a nice spot in your home with enough light to grow. It is very rewarding to grow this plant.