This easily grown callisia is related to tradescantia and is similar in appearance. It produces trailing stems up to 2ft/60cm long, which start erect but droop as they mature. The stems are densely clothed in small, rounded, rather fleshy bright green leaves.
Callisia elegans (syn. Setcreasea striata), the striped inch plant or wandering Jew, has leaves striped with white down their length. The undersides of the leaves, which are visible because of the plant’s trailing habit, are purple.
Like many plants that are easy to grow and to propagate, these plants are often treated with disdain, but a well-grown specimen makes an attractive subject for a hanging basket.
Set three or four plants around the edge of a pot to make a well-filled basket. After two or three years, plants begin to look jaded and straggly and are best replaced; new plants are easily raised from cuttings.
ORIGIN South and Central America; USA (Texas).
HEIGHT To about 4in/10cm; stems trail to 2ft/60cm.
POTTING MIX Either peat-moss-based or soil-based.
REPOTTING Generally unnecessary.
PROPAGATION Take 2-in/5 -cm stem cuttings in spring and summer.
KEEPING PLANTS Pinch off stem tips regularly to keep the plant compact. Replace the plant with a rooted cutting when it becomes leggy—usually after about 2 years.
Callisia Repens Commelinaceae CALLISIA Indoor PLANT CARE
- Bright indirect light with several hours of direct sun daily.
- Moderately warm rooms, with a minimum winter temperature of 60°F/16°C.
- Keep the soil moist during the growing season, but allow the surface to dry out between waterings in the winter rest period.
- Mist the foliage occasionally.
- Liquid fertilizer every 10 to 14 days in summer helps to keep the foliage dense and the growth compact.
- Excessively dry conditions may cause brown marks on the foliage. Mist the plants to increase humidity.
- Red spider mites are sometimes attracted to the tips of the stems, where their fine webbing can be seen. Increase humidity to combat this pest.
- Bright light with direct sun helps to prevent plants from becoming straggly.