Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pretty picture: Tradescantia zebrina flower

If all goes well, today will be the last day of plant-watering for this particular cycle, after which point I will be able to write for the blog again. I'm hoping to get the Phalaenopsis profile up relatively soon (UPDATE: Done!), though I will have to write a lot of it first, unfortunately: I had only barely begun on it when the plants started going dry. I have 42 posts sitting in Blogger right now as drafts, waiting for me to get to them, and instead all I do is water. Clearly I've made a bad life decision or two, somewhere along the way. (Looked around the house at some point last week and was like, holy crap, how did all these plants get in here?)

But anyway. One of the Tradescantia zebrinas has been trying to bloom off and on for the last month or so. It's not the most fascinating flower. Very similar to the Cyanotis kewensis flowers, actually, just a little less fuzzy and pink instead of blue-purple. But I think it still qualifies as pretty.

I was occasionally asked, at work, how to convince a wandering Jew to bloom, and I never had a particularly good answer, because I've never been able to discern a pattern to it. Bright light seems to be necessary, though not enough by itself. It doesn't appear to be related to day length or temperature that much either, because the ones at work flowered at all times of the year. Fertilizer, maybe? It wouldn't surprise me if fertilizer was the key to flowers. Googling yielded no answers. Clearly more experimentation is in order.


Liza said...

If you find out how to make one bloom, please update us! I've never seen a zebrina flower. So far all I've ever tried is willing it to flower.

Happy Hermit (happilyhiddenhermit@gmail.com) said...

I have 3 different types of wandering jew (fluminensis , pallida and zebrini a) all of them flowered prolifically besides the pure purple one (Pallida ), from my personal experiences they seem to thrive on not being watered till dry then watered with fertilizer. That always makes em bloom for me. Also they stop flowering during high heat but seem to flower wonderfully at a cozy 75 - 80 , even with low light.

They are my favorites. When I lived in TX they were grown as a ground cover , here , they just remind me of texas all year long. LOL :)

The Pallida is the only touchy one I have , it needs a bit LESS fertilizer to flower.

Anonymous said...

That's a very pretty flower!

I'm going to have to try giving mine some fertilizer. It's a weird one - I can't seem to nail the exact species down with any certainty - but it'd be fun to see if its flowers are purple, even if the rest of it isn't.

Anonymous said...

I just moved mine and it started flowering within a couple of weeks of being moved. I've never fertilised it.
Hard to say what's so different about the new position - probably less humid, more even temperatures between day and night, definitely more night time light (lights on in this room).
I can definitely say I let it dry out between waterings, but then that hasn't really changed. I may actually be watering it a bit more recently than before.