Tradescantia Species, Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Purple Secretia, Wandering Jew

Tradescantia pallida

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: pallida (PAL-lid-duh) (Info)
Synonym:Setcreasea pallida
Synonym:Setcreasea lanceolata
Synonym:Setcreasea pallida
Synonym:Setcreasea purpurea
Synonym:Tradescantia purpurea
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From leaf cuttings

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

By tip layering

By serpentine layering

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Foley, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Monticello, Arkansas

Searcy, Arkansas

Brea, California

Citrus Heights, California

Glen Avon, California

Le Grand, California

Merced, California

Pedley, California

Rubidoux, California

Sunnyslope, California

Woodlake, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Key Largo, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida(2 reports)

Sebastian, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Williston, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Kennesaw, Georgia

Waverly, Georgia

Canton, Illinois

Falmouth, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana

Slaughter, Louisiana

ST THOMAS, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

West Plains, Missouri

Las Vegas, Nevada

Lucama, North Carolina

Duncan, Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma

Jay, Oklahoma

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Norway, South Carolina

Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Cleveland, Texas

Denton, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Midlothian, Texas

Orange, Texas

Plano, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

Tomball, Texas

St Thomas, Virgin Islands

Quilcene, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 22, 2019, thephoenix from Kelowna,
Canada wrote:

I love this plant! Very easy to propagate and care for, beautiful in the sunlight; the contrast between the purple established growth and the bright green new is just stunning. I'm looking forward to this one taking over my home. I plan to make or buy a waterfall-type planter and have this plant with a burro's tail cascading down it. It's a creeping vine and can spread very fast and survive a number of warmer climates year-round so be careful planting one of these outside.


On Oct 5, 2014, kathy__bee from Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Super easy! Super tough! Drought tolerant once established! Takes full sun, Texas heat and bounces back with a vengeance in spring after single digit temps in winter! As my best friend (an apathetic black thumb) says, "just throw it on the ground and walk away. It will grow."


On Apr 1, 2013, Linus32 from Falmouth, KY wrote:

I planted this plant as a bedding plant in zone 6 northern KY. I didn't cover it with mulch or anything and it survived the winter. I think the rating of zone 8 needs to be reconsidered. I've also heard of other gardeners in KY with the same experience.


On Oct 7, 2012, Southernbell421 from Ocala, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I really like this plant. Living here in the South we can sometimes get really cold weather and this plant seems not to mind it. It may die back from the cold, but come Spring it starts up again. Ours like the partial shade with only morning sun. We recently created a growing area on the east side of our house and placed alot of the oak leaves on the ground to help keep the ground moist for the plants we are putting in. The first purple queen we planted did very well (getting only morning sun and partial shade) so we added more of these plants and they too are thriving! The soil is mostly sand so if it doesn't rain we water the area at least once a day and the plants just keeps spreading wider and wider.
It adds some really nice color to the area. And you can't really hurt the... read more


On Feb 6, 2012, lisaadrina from Kudus,
Indonesia wrote:

I live in Indonesia, and I have this plant growing itself (without any treatment, you can call it, grow wildly) in my back yard. You can see the pict here:


On Jul 8, 2009, kitty_mom from Waverly, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a beautiful, long lived plant. A friend gave this to me well over ten years ago. I have divided this many times- all you have to do is break off a piece (it needs frequent haircuts), stick it in some dirt, keep it moist and voila! It needs little water and can grow in sun or partial shade. Right now, I have three pots of it on the porch in the sun, and the leaves close up when it gets very hot, but open up again. I can't imagine not having some spiderwort around.