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Tradescantia ‘Nanouk’, a gorgeous and easy-to-grow houseplant

Tradescantia nanouk

Tradescantia Nanouk: a magnificent plant with shades of green and pink foliage.

Key Tradescantia Nanouk facts

Name: Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’
Family: Commelinaceae
Type: perennial plant

Shape: upright, compact
Height: 8 inches to 3 feet (20 cm to 1 m)
Exposure: bright (no direct sun)
Watering: consistent and moderate
Repotting: spring

Foliage: evergreen – Blooming: summer (tiny flowers, though)

It’s particularly easy to grow and care for, and propagates successfully from cuttings.

Planting and repotting

Planting Tradescantia nanoukGrow your tradescantia nanouk in spaces enjoying temperatures above 50-55°F (above 12°C), but never exceeding 100°F (37°C).

This grass-related plant doesn’t like the cold: keep it away from temperatures below 41°F (below 5°C).

To get even more lively-colored leaves, T. Nanouk needs a lot of natural light. In low light, you might end up with regular, duller-looking leaves. But in all cases, try to avoid direct, harsh afternoon sun: it’s likely to burn the leaves and dry them out from the edges.

→ See it growing on an indoor plant wall.

Soil mix

Tradescantia roots well in draining soil mix. Mix up garden soil with coarse sand, compost, or manure, nothing more is needed.

→ Warning: Tradescantia sap contains harmful chemicals. Skin gets irritated when touched. Gastro issues when ingested. Keep pets and toddlers away.

Caring for Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’


Nanouk tradescantia careYour tradescantia nanouk can’t stand too much water. Wait until soil dries before watering again. A weekly splash works like a charm. Remember to always empty the saucer under your pot.


Similarly, over-fertilizing might cause leaf tip burns. Every 6 to 8 weeks, treat your tradescantia to some diluted liquid fertilizer – just make sure it’s half-strength.


For a fuller plant, pinch longer stems now and then. Don’t hesitate to trim stems that spread out too much.


Repot your Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’ in spring if it starts outgrowing its pot and threatens to tip it over.


How to propagate T. nanoukPropagating T. ‘Nanouk’ through cuttings is quite simple. Here’s how:

  1. Cut a 6-inch (15 cm) stem section right below a node.
  2. Remove lower leaves.
  3. Dip the cutting’s end in rooting hormone.
  4. Stick it in a new pot.

You can also root your cuttings in water, provided it’s chlorine-free and the cutting enjoys bright, indirect light. Once roots emerge, plant it in soil or let it thrive in water.

Pests and diseases

Over-watering can lead to fungal infections and tradescantia root rot. So, never let soil get too soggy. Conversely, a dry plant becomes a magnet for spider mites.

Tradescantia nanouk Description

Common Name: Tradescantia nanouk, Fantasy Venice, Wandering Jew, Dayflower
Origin: North and South America

Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’ boasts a compact perennial form. It stands proud at first, but eventually cascades to all sides and overflows from its pot.

The ‘Nanouk’ gives a striking impression at first glance, with thick stems and leathery, broad, lance-shaped leaves that curve slightly. These leaves are dressed in gray-green with light pink and cream-white stripes. Flip them over, and you’ll see shades of pink and violet.

Tradescantia flowerBlooming fact: Most tradescantias bloom in spring or summer. But blink, and you might miss it. Their flowers last just a day. Hence, Dayflower isn’t just a pretty name—it’s spot-on!

The Tradescantia genus spans 75 perennial varieties native to the Americas. T. ‘Nanouk’ is a new variety, born in the Netherlands in 2012 from the cross-breeding of two Tradescantia albiflora species.

Images: adobestock: Fabrizio; iStock: Sonia Bonet; Pixabay: Hartono Subagio, sharkolot

Written by Solenne Ricard | An art graduate who is passionate about botany, Solenne elects to channel her acute connection to the environment through gardening and writing about plants. From patch to plate, this lover of good food relies on permaculture and her own harvests to prepare healthy, organic meals for her family – every day! Expert writer, avid reader of great literary works, and awestruck by all things beautiful, she also whips out her easel at every chance.
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