Gardening Know How -

Growing Inch Plants – How To Grow Inch Plants

Years ago, before raising plants for profit became a business, everyone with houseplants knew how to grow inch plants (Tradescantia zebrina). Gardeners would share cuttings from their inch plant houseplants with neighbors and friends, and the plants would travel from place to place.

Basic Inch Plant Care

Inch plant care requires bright, indirect light. If the light is too dim, the distinctive leaf markings will fade. Keep the soil slightly moist, but don’t water directly into the crown as this will cause an unsightly rot [1]. Care should be taken, particularly in winter, that the plant doesn’t become too dry. Mist inch plants frequently. Feed your plant monthly with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.

An important part of growing inch plants is pinching back the long, vining tendrils. Pinch back [2] about a fourth of the plant to encourage branching and increase fullness.

Inch plants have a relatively short lifespan, and do not age well. No matter how attentive your inch plant care is, before long it will lose its leaves at the base, while its long legs keep growing. This means it’s time to renew your plant by taking cuttings and rooting them. Don’t be surprised if your inch plants need to be renewed once a year or so.

How to Grow Inch Plants from Cuttings

There are three ways to restart or grow an inch plant houseplant.

The first is, to me, is the most efficient. Cut off a dozen long legs and bury the cut ends in fresh potting soil. Keep the soil moist and within a few weeks, you’ll see new growth. Always make sure your soil is fresh, as the salt build up [3] in old soil is lethal to inch plants.

Even though these plants hate soggy feet in their pots, they love rooting in water. A dozen shoots placed in a glass of water in a sunny window will produce roots in no time.

The last way to re-root your inch plant is to lay your cuttings [4] right on top of the moist soil. Make sure each ‘joint’ makes contact with the soil. Roots will form at each joint and from each a new inch plant houseplant will grow.

Article printed from Gardening Know How:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] rot:

[2] Pinch back:

[3] salt build up:

[4] cuttings:

Have any questions about this topic? Visit us at to ask your questions and get friendly answers from gardening experts.

You can also find us at:
'Like' us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter: - @gardenknowhow
Follow us on Pinterest:

Copyright © 2022 Gardening Know How. All rights reserved.