How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia Nanouk (Pink Wandering Jew)

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Tradescantia Nanouk, also known as Fantasy Venice, Nanouk plant or the Pink Wandering Jew plant, is a stunning and vibrant trailing plant that adds color to any indoor space. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with essential care tips to ensure your Tradescantia Nanouk thrives and brings joy to your home.

A member of the Commelinaceae family, this trending plant features lush, bright green leaves with a unique combination of pink, purple, and white stripes. The leaves have a slightly fuzzy-ish texture and grow on chunky stems which provide a sturdy structure for the foliage to cascade and trail. This combination creates a visually captivating display, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets or as a cascading element in mixed plant arrangements

Tradescantia plants are native to Central America, Mexico, and South America, but the Pink Nanouk originated in Sappemeer, The Netherlands, grown by cross-pollinating two selected seedlings of Tradescantia albiflora. With its unique, multicolored foliage and easy-care requirements, Tradescantia Nanouk is a perfect choice for plant enthusiasts of all levels.

Size and Growth

Tradescantia Nanouk has a trailing growth habit, making it perfect for hanging baskets or cascading over the edges of containers. It can reach a height of 3-6 inches and trail up to 12-24 inches long (when mature and with enough light)!

In a healthy environment, it can grow over a foot each year. A fast grower, the Pink Nanouk will begin to trail as it grows, making it a stunning addition to a shelf or trailing pot. Its compact and upright growth habit, together with the dense clusters of stems allows it to spread freely, creating a dense and bushy appearance, giving the plant a lush and vibrant look.

Flowering and bloom time

Under the right conditions, Tradescantia Nanouk will produce small, star-shaped flowers during the growing season, which typically spans from spring through autumn. The flowers have white, yellow, and pink accents, adding an extra touch of beauty to the plant.

The flowers of the Nanouk are similar in appearance to those of other Tradescantia varieties, such as Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor. However, due to its larger leaves, the flowers of Tradescantia Nanouk are also slightly bigger.

This plant can produce flowers multiple times during the growing season, though the exact frequency may vary depending on factors such as light intensity, maturity, and overall health.

Tradescantia Nanouk Care

Despite its beauty, it’s not a difficult plant to look after, which makes it a great choice for beginners! Here are some care instructions you can follow to ensure the overall health and beauty of your plant.

Light

Tradescantia Nanouk grows best in bright indirect sunlight or in full sun. Indirect bright light leads to greater flower production. Too little light will cause the leaves to fade. Also, Direct light can burn your plant’s leaves, causing them to become discolored.

So, Indirect light is ideal for this Tradescantia as they can tolerate lower light conditions. Keep it in a north-facing window for ideal light. Alternatively, you can place your plant in the center of a bright room.

Watering

Water your Tradescantia Nanouk thoroughly, allowing the top inch of the well-draining soil to dry out before watering again. It’s important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Aim to keep the soil slightly moist but not waterlogged. If in doubt, it’s better to go underwater than overwater.

Temperature and Humidity

Nanouk can adapt to a normal room but will thrive in higher humidity. Tradescantia Nanouk thrives in a humid environment. You can also create a humid environment by grouping your Tradescantia Nanouk closely with other humidity-loving plants and running a humidifier nearby. 

The ideal temperature for this Tradescantia cultivar is between 55° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit. Although, They are adaptable to average indoor temperatures, generally prefer the warmer side.

Substrate

Use standard, well-draining houseplant soil when potting your Tradescantia Nanouk. To enhance drainage, it’s a good idea to add a few handfuls of perlite, orchid bark, or coarse sand to the mix. Be sure to use a pot or planter with a hole in the bottom and a drainage tray to protect household surfaces.

Don’t forget to pour out any excess water collected in the drainage tray or cachepot.

Fertilizing

Feed your Tradescantia Nanouk once a month during the growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to nutrient burn. During the dormant season, reduce or stop fertilization.

Tradescantia Nanouk Propagation

Like other Tradescantia varieties, the Pink Nanouk may need to be replaced after a year or two as they reach the end of their natural lifespan. Propagation is a great way to keep the same plant going by placing stem cuttings in the “mother pot” or starting new propagation pots

Simply take a cutting with at least two nodes, remove the lower leaves, and place it in a container with moist potting soil or water. Keep the cutting in a warm and bright location, and roots should develop within a few weeks.

Repotting Tradescantia Nanouk

The optimal time to repot your Tradescantia Nanouk is at the beginning of the growing season, which is typically in spring. Avoid repotting during the plant’s dormancy period, as it may not recover well from the transfer and could develop root rot.

Roots poking out of the drainage holes or slowed down growth are signals that your plant needs more space and a larger pot. Consider a pot 1-2 inches wider and deeper than the current one with drainage holes that doesn’t retain too much moisture

To repot, first water your plant thoroughly to help separate the roots without damaging them. Then gently pull the vines to one side and tap the pot on a soft surface to loosen the topsoil and roots. If needed, use your gloved hand to gently go around the pot’s edges to release the roots.

Once the plant is removed, untangle the rootball gently, being careful not to cause unnecessary damage. Fill the bottom of the new pot with well-draining soil and place the plant in the middle, filling in the sides. The soil line should be ½ to 1 inch below the brim of the container.

The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant too deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot.

Also, use a well-draining potting mix, and be sure to disturb the roots when transplanting. We recommend adding a slow-release fertilizer to the new potting mix. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the container. Keep in mind that this new potting mix will retain more moisture than the previous container, so watering in the beginning should be less frequent.

Tradescantia Nanouk pruning

Pruning or cutting back your Nanouk plant is a great way to keep it looking its best. We recommend giving it a trim every now and then to prevent leggy or overgrown stems (particularly in winter), and to promote bushier growth.

You can also propagate cuttings from the pruned stems to create new plants. Simply place them back into the plant’s soil and they’ll start rooting.

Pests and Diseases

Tradescantia Nanouk is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can occasionally be affected by spider mites or aphids. If you notice any signs of infestation, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or neem oil. Regularly inspect the leaves for any signs of damage or discoloration.

Is Tradescantia Nanouk toxic?

Tradescantia Nanouk is mildly to humans and pets. Consider wearing gardening gloves to protect your hands from the plant’s irritating sap, especially when pruning or propagating. It is also a good practice to wash your hands after handling any plant, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, there is no evidence to support claims that it can cause dermatitis or any other adverse reactions in humans.

FAQs

How big do Nanouk plants get?

Tradescantia Nanouk plants typically exhibit a trailing or spreading growth habit, and their size can vary based on environmental factors and care conditions. In optimal conditions, they can reach lengths of several feet, creating lush and visually appealing cascades. Regular pruning can help control their size and shape, promoting a more compact and bushy appearance.

What is the common name for Tradescantia Nanouk?

The commonly used name for Tradescantia Nanouk is “Fantasy Venice.” This name reflects the plant’s whimsical and enchanting qualities, capturing the imagination of those who appreciate its distinctive charm. Other names include the Nanouk plant and the Pink Wandering Jew plant.

How do I get my Tradescantia Nanouk to flower?

Creating favorable conditions for blooming involves optimizing light exposure, ensuring the plant receives the appropriate amount of water, and utilizing well-draining soil.

Adequate sunlight is crucial, and a balance in watering (neither too much nor too little) supports the plant’s overall well-being and encourages the development of flowers.

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