Black Tradescantia aka “Dark Desire” which is also known as “Red Gem” can turn from black purple to a dark burgundy red color. People like them in hanging baskets and as the sun shines through the leaves in summer they have an appearance of red glow.
Tradescantia ‘Dark Desire’ is a hybrid cultivar of the Tradescantia species of houseplants, known for its dark purple, almost black leaves. It is a low-maintenance plant that can be grown in a variety of lighting conditions, but prefers bright, indirect light.
It is also relatively easy to care for, but can be sensitive to overwatering. Regular watering and high humidity will keep the leaves vibrant. This plant is often grown in pots or hanging baskets, and can be propagated by stem cuttings.
This wandering jew is very much sought after because its unique color and contrast different than your normal green houseplants.
The Tradescantia Dark Desire is an easy growing plant that trails down shimmering deep burgandy purple leaves with a pale green stripe that darkens with mature leaves.
It is very easy care for and grow liking a bright position and does not like to be wet. Broken stems can be put directly back into the pot to root and grow.
How To Care For Your Dark Desire Tradescantia Plant
- Find a bright location. Even direct sunlight helps in assisting to make the leaves darker
- Tradescantia Dark Desire prefers the top soil to dry out before the next watering. Periods of intermittent water and direct sunlight help the leaves to blacken.
- Pruning is necessary in older plants to help make them look fuller and fill in as they naturally are trailing and vining plants. They are excellent in hanging baskets for this reason alone.
- Little fertilizer is needed. You can use a balanced fertilizer in the Spring and continue to feed every 2-4 weeks for superior growth. Although, just like most Tradescantias, they really do not need much. They are superior growers with little care needed.
- Plant cuttings can be placed back into the soil to fill in bald spots. Place at least one node into the soil, this is where the roots will take off from in 1-2 weeks.
Caring For Dark Desire Indoors
how to care for Tradescantia ‘Dark Desire’ indoors:
Light: This plant prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.
Water: Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot.
Humidity: Tradescantia ‘Dark Desire’ likes high humidity, so you may want to place a tray of water near the plant or use a humidifier.
Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix. Regular houseplant potting mix will work fine.
Temperature: This plant prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C), but can tolerate slightly lower or higher temperatures.
Fertilizer: Feed the plant monthly with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season (spring to fall).
Pruning: Prune back any leggy stems to encourage bushier growth.
Propagation: Tradescantia ‘Dark Desire’ can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. Simply cut a stem, remove the bottom leaves, and place it in a glass of water until roots have formed, then pot it up in soil.