Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting


If you’re clicking this, it probably means you’ve hit a few snags while caring for your Tradescantia. These plants are pretty flexible but have their limits! How can you troubleshoot your Mini Tradescantia’s issues? Here are a few of the most common problems and fixes!


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Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting Issue #1: The Inward Curl

  • What it looks like: a taco shell.

  • What it means: dehydration.

If your Mini Tradescantia ‘Lilac’ is curling inward, it’s time to check the soil. Likely, it’s bone dry. This symptom is usually accompanied by limp, saggy “arms” and a faded appearance.


Now that you’ve troubleshot the issue, how can you fix your Mini Tradescantia? If your soil is extremely dry, rehydrate it by bottom watering your plant. Why? Overly dry dirt becomes “hydrophobic,” which means it repels water instead of absorbing it. Are you new to bottom watering? Here’s how to do it:


The goal is to place your plant, pot-and-all in a bowl of water that will cover ½ the pot’s depth. (FYI: Make sure your pot has drainage!) After 20 minutes of soaking, remove your Tradescantia from the water. The soil should be dark and consistently moist!


After this bottom-watering rescue mission, resume a healthy watering routine, using your favorite method. Since your Tradescantia is Mini, you should only allow the first inch of soil to dry out before rewatering.


Consistently underwatering your plant will slow its growth and can potentially kill it. If you’re forgetful, set reminders on your phone to check the soil’s moisture levels.



Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting Issue #2: The Outward Curl

  • What it looks like: an upside-down taco.

  • What it means: low light or overwatering.

Low light and overwatering go hand-in-hand. Why? Light naturally evaporates moisture. Low light = low moisture evaporation. This deadly duo means that you can overwater your plant without ever picking up the watering can!


First thing’s first: Analyse the light around your plant. Your Mini Tradescantia should be in bright, indirect light. What does that mean? Likely, it’s the brightest light you can find in your home, without placing your Tradescantia in the direct sun. See room for improvement? Place your plant closer to the window and allow the soil to partially dry before rewatering.


So, what if there’s not an issue with your Tradescantia’s location? Well, that means it’s time to reanalyze your watering routine! You should allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry out on your Mini Tradescantia before rewatering. If you have a larger plant, let half of the soil dry out completely.



Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting Issue #3: Faded Leaves

  • What it looks like dull, discolored leaves.

  • What it means: lighting issues.

Unattractive leaves can result from either direct sunlight or very little sunlight. How can you tell the difference?

  • The direct sun scorches the leaves, leaving them with a grey, burnt appearance. Other tell-tale signs? Stems are likely still perky, and the soil will dry out frequently. How can you fix it? Move your plant away from the direct sun! Afternoon rays are especially harsh.

  • Insufficient light gives the leaves an overall sickly, yellowish, dull appearance. Looking for more evidence? Your plant will be leggy, the soil will retain moisture, have a fragrant (musty) smell, and you’ll likely have some fungus gnats buzzing around. The fix? Move your plant closer to a bright window.

Once you troubleshoot the issue, move your Mini Tradescantia to an appropriate location. As noted, your plant needs bright indirect light; nothing more, nothing less!



Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting Issue #4: Yellow Leaves

  • What it looks like: several yellowing leaves.

  • What it means: overwatering, stem rot, or root burn

If you read Troubleshooting Point #2, you already know that lighting can affect your Mini Tradescantia’s moisture levels. So, let’s get that out of the way: Guarantee that your plant is in a bright location.


Beyond that, ensure that you are allowing the first inch of your Mini Tradescantia’s soil to dry out before rewatering. When in doubt: Wait a day or two before you water.


What about these other causes? “Stem Rot” can result from overhead watering. What causes it? Watering your plant at night. Or placing your Tradescantia in an environment with low light or insufficient ventilation. In a nutshell: Moisture isn’t evaporating quickly enough, which results in a rotting stem. What are some solutions?

  1. Overhead water your plant in the morning, which gives the moisture time (and light) to evaporate.

  2. Start bottom watering your plant or water the soil only with a long-spouted watering can.

  3. Ensure that your Tradescantia is in its ideal environment.

What about “Root Burn”? Root burn results when you fail to pre moisten your soil when fertilizing. The solution? Water your plant thoroughly before you fertilize!



Mini Tradescantia Troubleshooting Issue #5: Brown Tips

  • What it looks like: several leaf tips are brown and crusty.

  • What it means: low humidity or inconsistent watering.

How can you tell the cause? If your Mini Tradescantia is low on humidity, it will develop brown tips with a yellow halo. How can you solve the issue? Average household humidity is usually acceptable to these little purple planties; so, make sure you don’t have your Tradescantia near a heating or air vent.


If that checks out, give your plant a humidity boost by grouping it with other plants or placing it near a humidifier. Misting your plant can encourage stem rot, so if you choose to do so, make it an early morning priority!


Let’s be real: All plant parents struggle with their watering routine, and you’ll likely never do it perfectly. So, check the soil’s moisture more regularly, but ultimately, some brown tips just happen! If your Mini Tradescantia has brown, crusty tips (without any yellow), this is a symptom of inconsistent watering.


Now that you have a few troubleshooting techniques under your belt, caring for your Mini Tradescantia will be a breeze! And if you caught this article a little too late, we have you covered for your next-generation Tradescantia! Happy growing.




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