Oyster Plant 'Boat Lily - Vitatta'
If you're searching for a vibrant and eye-catching addition to your plant collection, look no further! The Boat Lily Inch Plant (Tradescantia spathacea 'Vitatta' aka. Moses in the Cradle, Moses In a Basket, Oyster Plant and Boat Lily), with its vibrant green and pink foliage and surprisingly purple underside is as easy to care for as it is strikingly beautiful.
Did you know?
Native to Mexico and Central America, Tradescantia spathacea is one of about 75 known species in the Tradescantia Genus. In some cultures, the folding of the leaves is associated with religious significance, symbolizing the embrace of spiritual protection and safety. This plant has also played a role in some traditional medicine, for example the leaves and sap are sometimes used externally to treat minor skin ailments and burns. (Note* We do not recommend the use of houseplants medicinally without the consult of a medical professional.)
Low Growing / Ground Cover - Given horizontal space this plant will grow outwards and take up space putting down roots as it grows. If left unsupported vines will grow approximately 6-10" tall and then fall down into a crawling habit. The weight of this plant's foliage makes it difficult for this plant to be a trailing plant. If grown in optimal lighting conditions the weight of the plant can eventually lead to breakage. We recommend pruning regularly to maintain bushy compact growth. Though if grown in lower light settings the etiolated growth can be light enough to grow as a trailing plant.
Tip* it has been a popular choice in our shop to mount Inch Plants on trellises - it helps keep growth even and full while reducing the risk of the weight of the plant pulling the root system out of the soil or breaking the stems.
Tradescantia spathacea is an eager bloomer that can flower any time of year. Small, white, 3-petaled flowers grow in the leaf axils, nestled in boat-shaped bracts, giving this plant its common names, Moses in the Cradle, Moses in a Boat and Boat Lily.
Care Requirements for your Boat Lily
Light and Temperature:
Tradescantia spathacea thrives in bright, indirect light but can tolerate living in a medium indirect exposure as well.
Place it in a location near a window or grow light where it can receive filtered sunlight throughout the day. Your can also tolerate lower light conditions, but its vibrant colors will be most pronounced in brighter environments. As for temperature, this plant is adaptable and can thrive in average room temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C).
When it comes to watering, Tradescantia prefer to be kept between evenly moist and slightly dry. Water the plant when the top 1/4 - 3/4 of soil feels slightly dry. Root decay is a common issue for these plants so the right soil blend is important and avoid watering so often that the soil stays wet or saturated. This will help prevent root and stem decay.
Tradescantia spathacea can tolerate average indoor humidity levels like a champ! It also appreciates slightly higher humidity if you can provide it. If you would really like to treat your Nanouk special consider using a humidifier or housing it in a terrarium or plant cabinet. But if that's not your thing, don't worry - it will be just fine in most normal household humidity too.
Soil and Fertilizer:
Use a well-draining potting mix that retains some moisture. We recommend our Strings of Things or Pray For Us blends for optimal growth. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite would also do. Fertilize your tradescantia with a beneficial bacterial fertilizer or light all purpose plant fertilizer about once a month. Avoid using overly strong fertilizers, as it can cause leaf burn.
Pruning and Propagation:
Regular pruning helps maintain a compact shape of your Tradescantia. The growth habit of your Boat Lily will be influenced by a number of conditions in your space including light distribution, soil, temperature and physical contact with furniture or the other living beings in your space. If your Boat Lily becomes leggy you can trim or pinch off unwanted tissue to encourage bushier growth and maintain a neat appearance. This variety is also very easy to propagate. Simply take stem cuttings, place them in water or moist soil, and watch as they develop roots in no time.
This listing is for the plant only. Planters and accessories not included.
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