Tradescantia, Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew 'Purewell Giant'

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)
Cultivar: Purewell Giant




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:

Birmingham, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Irvington, Alabama

Toney, Alabama

Glendale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Garden Grove, California

Brooksville, Florida

Crawfordville, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Blakely, Georgia

Braselton, Georgia

Kennesaw, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Madison, Georgia

Chillicothe, Illinois

Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana(2 reports)

Richmond, Maine

Easton, Maryland

Columbus, Mississippi

Edgewood, New Mexico

Huntington Station, New York

Thomasville, North Carolina

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Fort Mill, South Carolina

Gramling, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Piedmont, South Carolina

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Carrollton, Texas(2 reports)

Deer Park, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Houston, Texas

Katy, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Sterling, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Spangle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 9, 2013, huckaby from Madison, GA wrote:

I have always loved this plant,I work at a nursery and people a
re always wanting this plant. I used to have alot of it and it will take over thankfully its not a vine, if any body wants to get rid of some I'll take it


On Feb 6, 2008, Neuling from Carrollton, TX wrote:

I first encountered this plant after it had apparently dominated a quaint apartment complex for nearly thirty years. These plants were literally in every flowerbed,and hugging around the underside of hedges and trees. It made for a lovely accent against the peach stones.

We had a bare spot out front where the previous tenants had removed some flowers, so I took a few cuttings from the nearby Purple Queens and within weeks I had several small plants dotting the bare spot. In less than three months they were deep purple and thriving very well. By six months they were intwined and slowly fighting for sunlight.

I took some more cuttings and found the plant did well indoors too. However, the low light didn't encourage the deep purple. Instead they were a pale gr... read more


On Oct 15, 2007, blugld from Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Have had around a flowerbed for at least 7 yrs and it comes back every year. I don't feed or water it and in the awful drought we are having this year, it's still growing. Morning shade and hot afternoon sun.


On Sep 20, 2007, Kittylover from Carrollton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew 'Purewell Giant' Tradescantia pallida
This is the upright deep purple purple heart - beautiful mounding plant- will spread from a small plant to a big bush - I tried some of the other listed above it -
It did not compare - more of a weed stems laying on top of one another in a tangled mess and the color is more a muted burgundy - no wonder there are so many mixed reviews


On Feb 2, 2006, JanetS from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is hardy in my zone. I have had it for four to five years and have used offshoots (that root easily in water or soil) in hanging baskets as well as to start new accent beds. Have also shared with neighbors that stop to ask about where to find it. Spreads readily and blooms its little heart out all season. Great goundcover for added color.


On Sep 13, 2005, JD948 from Crawfordville, FL wrote:

I love this plant. I used to have it years ago in the Panama Canal Zone. It does very well in north Florida (8b). I use it as a border with Blue Plumbago's in between my lawn & road. I bought 14 plants for an area about 70'x8' knowing how easily the rest of the area can be filled in.


On Aug 31, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

if this is what I think it is... larger, wider leaves, slighly fuzzier, but otherwise the same plant. Seems slower growing, and mine has resented hot blazing sun, which the regular form does not.