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How to Propagate Tradescantia in water

Want to propagate a Tradescantia plant? Here’s how easy it is to root in water and turn into lots of new plants to share!

I recently grabbed a plant at my local plant swap (at the House of Brews if anyone is local in Charleston!) It was labeled as a Baby Bunny Bellies which goole taught me is a common name for Tradescantia or Wandering Dude or inch plant.

As I do with most plants with soft green stems, I took a cutting.

And, I was shocked that it grew roots in just a couple of days. No rooting hormone needed!

Tradescantia is so easy to propagate in water and that makes me love it even more.

Plus, it’s so pretty with the purple underside of the leaves. It’s a great trailing house plant for hanging planters. Unique and interesting!

I’m excited to root a bunch of thee cuttings to share with friends and swap in my local plant swap group for more cuttings. Hooray for plant propagation!

how to propagate a Tradescantia cutting in water

How to Propagate Tradescantia

Tradescantia is a beautiful trailing plant with purple heart leaves that is easy to propagate with stem cuttings! Here’s how!

STEP 1: Identify the node

Nodes are the bumps that leaves grow out of! Find one closest to where you want to make your cutting. I like 2-4 leaves ABOVE the node I cut.

identify the node on a Tradescantia

STEP 2: Cut just below a node

Use clean sharp scissors to cut just below the node. Roots will grow just where leaves are out of that node!

cut the stem below a node on a Tradescantia

STEP 3: Remove leaves on that bottom node (leave only the top 4 or less leaves on the cutting)

Remove the bottom leaves from the cut node and any other nodes that will fall under water.

remove lower leaves

STEP 4: Place in water in indirect sunlight

Set in a jar or cup of water. This is the test tube propagation station that we built.

Tradescantia cutting in water

STEP 5: Wait for roots to form

We had roots form in less than a week! Wait at least 2 weeks or until your roots are 2 inches or so long.

Tradescantia cutting with roots

STEP 6: Plant in soil and enjoy your new baby plant!

Plant your new baby plant in moist potting mix and place in a sunny window.


Can you put cuttings straight into soil?

Sure, you can propagate in moist soil. I find water easier for these but if you use moist soil, loosely cover it with a plastic bag to help keep it moist.

How do you encourage the roots to grow from cuttings?

You can dip cuttings in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. However, I found that Tradescantia rooted easily and quickly in water, no hormone needed.

how to propagate a Tradescantia cutting in water

Do cuttings need light to root?

Yes – light is an important part of rooting. You don’t need to put them in direct sunny light – that can burn them up – but go for a sunny window or bright indirect light!

Video demonstration

Check out my video showing how easy it is to propagate a Tradescantia!

how to propagate tradescantia in water video thumbnail

Any questions about how to propagate baby bunny bellies?

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    Wednesday 11th of August 2021

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing this beautiful idea. I love the look of this plant.