Growing White Velvet: How To Care For Tradescantia Sillamontana

Tradescantia sillamontana (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh see-yuh-MON-tah-nuh) is a species of the genus Tradescantia. This species is one of the most beautiful and succulent of the entire genus.

This species used to be called Tradescantia pexata, so some gardeners use the names interchangeably.

Growing Tradescantia SillamontanaPin

In the Commelinaceae family, the tradescantia sillamontana is native to Mexico, specifically the drier regions. Although usually classified as a tropical perennial, you can also plant it as an annual outdoors in cooler climates.

It is a groundcover plant that is low-growing and easy to grow. The plants also thrive in containers with the perfect soil and lighting.

Its unique appearance is due to the white-ish hairs that densely cover the leaves. Then, small pink-purple flowers bloom for about a month in the summer.

The plant also won the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The Tradescantia Sillamontana is also known as:

  • White Velvet
  • Cobweb Spiderwort
  • White Gossamer Plant

Quick Facts On Tradescantia Sillamontana

  • Family: Commelinaceae
  • Light: Sun or partial shade
  • Temperature: Moderate; cold hardy in zones 10b through 11a
  • Water: Water moderately
  • Fertilizer: Diluted liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season
  • Propagation: Leaf cuttings
  • Common Problems: Aphids, scale, spider mites, root rot

Tradescantia Sillamontana Care

What Does The White Velvet Plant Look Like, and How Big Does It Grow?

The plant is usually a low-growing groundcover that blooms for a month in the summertime.

The leaves are known for their dense white hairs, giving the plant the common name White Velvet.

The White Velvet plant will have more dense white hairs if grown outside than plants grown inside.

It’s a low-growing plant that usually grows up to one foot tall and roughly 1 ½’ feet wide. If this plant is outside and gets more sun and less water, it will stay more compact

When Does White Velvet Plant Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The Tradescantia Sillamontana plant blooms for about a month in the summertime. The blooms are pinkish-purple and are usually in tiny clusters.

Although the blooms are attractive to pollinators, they don’t have any particular scent.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Since the plant is native to Mexico’s dry regions, it is comfortable in hot and dry conditions. However, it seems to do better in a partial shade setting with no direct afternoon sun.

The plant thrives in temperatures between 60° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal as a houseplant. However, the plant is cold and hardy in zones 10b through 11a.

If you live in a cooler climate, you can treat this plant as an annual. However, if you want to keep it as a perennial, put it in a container and bring it inside during the winter. 

How And When To Water And Fertilize Tradescantia Sillamontana?

If you have this plant in a container, it’s best to water it from below if possible, as water on the leaves can cause them to burn.

A soaker hose is a good option if your plant is used as a groundcover outside. You can run the water slowly on the ground surrounding the plant.

In addition, it might be helpful to layer the top of the soil with mulch to retain moisture.

For all uses of this plant, water thoroughly and let the soil dry before watering again.

In addition, only water during the growing season, as the plant doesn’t need any water in winter.

Fertilizing isn’t necessary for your plant, but it will encourage the best growth and hopefully prolific blooms.

You may want to feed using a diluted liquid fertilizer. During the growing season, feed your plant monthly.

What Is The Best Soil For Tradescantia Plant, And When Should You Transplant?

While your Tradescantia plant doesn’t require particular soil, it’s best to use a soil mixture with peat moss or vermiculite.

These additions will help your plant retain moisture.

Repotting your plant is a good idea once it doubles in size. Every year is a good start if you have a hard time figuring out when to repot.

Repotting your plant with new potting soil gives your plant all the nutrients it craves.

Does Tradescantia Plant Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

The Tradescantia plant may get slightly out of hand if you don’t prune or trim. Therefore, you can manage the plant’s shape and size to your liking. 

In addition, it’s important to pinch the growing tips to encourage growth.

Sometimes you can get a second bloom of flowers if you cut the stems back about 8″ inches right after flowering stops.

How To Propagate White Velvet?

Thankfully, propagating your white velvet plans is easy to keep a steady supply of the plant for years.

Stem cuttings are the most common way to reproduce.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Select a 3″ inches minimum stem that has a few leaves.
  • Cut with scissors or a knife.
  • Let the stem dry out for three to five days.
  • Dip the cutting in rooting hormone.
  • Prepare a small pot with proper well-draining potting soil.
  • Place the cutting in the soil.
  • Cover the small pot with plastic to keep the plant moist.
  • Within a few weeks, your cutting will germinate.
  • Remove the plastic covering.

Enjoy your baby plant!

Cobweb Spiderwort Pests And Diseases

Cobweb Spiderwort plants are susceptible to the usual pests such as:

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Scale

However, if you catch them early enough, you can usually use a wet cloth to wipe them off the plant.

If that doesn’t work, you may want to try an insecticide or neem oil, depending on the issue.

Root rot is another common problem with this plant due to overwatering or not using well-draining soil.

Suggested White Gossamer Uses

In a hot, dry, sunny environment, the White Gossamer plant is an excellent groundcover.

It can also be cultivated as a trailing pot plant and is a fantastic addition to rock gardens. 

In addition, this plant can be grown as an annual plant in cold climates or kept as a houseplant all year.