The Oyster Plant is a common, lovely, and compact houseplant that may also be cultivated outside in warm areas. It is also commonly known as Tradescantia Spathecea.
Long, lance-shaped, dark green leaves with a glossy, purple underside make up its foliage. Tiny, pink or white flowers that resemble the blooms of spiderwort.
The color of the foliage varies across species, with some leaves having variegation and others being solid. Early spring is the optimum time to plant this plant because of its rather quick pace of development.
The Oyster plant, Moses-in-the-cradle, Boat lily plant are all members of the Commelinaceae family. It was originally described in 1788. Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico are its native countries.
It is native to Hawaii, Florida, Texas and other offshore islands and is commonly planted as an ornamental. They can grow to be 76 mm broad and 0.30 m long. It is a deciduous plant that grows up to around 0.30 meters in height.
They may be cultivated as decorative houseplants and are hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11. The Oyster Plants often thrive in the shadow of tall plants in the warm, humid parts of Central America where they are native.
Oyster Plant Overview
- Botanical Name: Tradescantia Spathacea
- Common Name: Boat lily, Moses-in-the-cradle
- Family: Commelinaceae
- Plant Type: Herbaceous, perennial
- Mature Size: 6–12 in. tall, 12–24 in. wide
- Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
- Soil Type: Loamy, Rocky, Well-drained
- Soil pH: Acidic, Neutral
- Bloom Time: Seasonal
- Flower Color: White, Pink
- Hardiness Zones: 9–11 (USDA)
- Native Area: Central America
Oyster Plant Species
The Oyster plants come in a variety of species with various appearances. Find out more about its unique variants.
T. S. ‘Vittata’: The distinctive foliage of this kind has stripes of yellow and green.
T. S ‘Stripe-Me-Pink’: This cultivar’s leaf includes pink, cream, and green stripes.
T. S ‘Star Gold’: This type has copper-gold leaves with burgundy undertones.
How To Grow Oyster Plant
The Oyster plants are generally easy to grow. It grows well in containers and in the garden. It makes an excellent choice for new growing houseplants. The oyster plant that can also be grown outdoors in warmer areas. This plant should be planted in early spring as it grows quickly.
Choose a spot in the garden that is partially sheltered, has filtered sun and well-draining soil. Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertilizer can improve soil. It is recommended to dig the planting hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball.
Cut off any twisted or knotted roots after removing the plant from the container and gently pinching the roots. Place the plant in the hole then gently tamp the soil down. Create a vertical ring around the plant.
Place organic mulch around the base, such as bark chips, sugarcane or pea husks, to keep it away from the trunk. Yates Thrive Rose & Flowers Liquid Plant Food should be fed every one to two weeks.
The Oyster plants require little trimming. Trimming the plant requires only removing dead or dying leaves. Using a spike and a spade, cut the leaf at its base.
Cleaning the blades of his pruning tools with alcohol can prevent the spread of any unwanted diseases or pests to the plant.
The Oyster plants can be propagated by stem cuttings, division or from seed. The three techniques for propagating it are described below.
Stem Cuttings: There are stems on oyster plants. You ought should be able to locate a good spot to make the incision in it. Use a clean knife or pair of scissors to accomplish this. The cutting may then be rooted in soil or water.
Division: The oyster plant should already be repotted for this to work optimally. You can readily distinguish between the different offsets after you get it out of the ground. You may plant each offset in a separate container. As the offsets already have their own root systems, they ought to keep growing healthily.
From seed: Oyster plants thrive indoors. As the bloom dies, a seed capsule develops and if it is fertile, the seeds can be collected. Just place it in some damp cocoa coir and set the whole structure under a moist dome. In a few days or weeks, the seedlings will begin to emerge.
Oyster Plant Care
The Oyster plants generally require little maintenance. It grows and thrives well in pots, making it the perfect houseplant for beginners. No significant pest or disease problems. It does not require any special accessories.
A suitable temperature is chosen for oyster plants. Keep it away from heating and cooling systems, bad windows and doors. While they don’t need much water, they shouldn’t be left to dry out completely.
Soil And Fertilizer
This plant favors reasonably rich well-drained soil that ranges from slightly acidic to neutral in pH. The best soil is sandy loam, but rocky soil can also work. The houseplant potting mix specific to container plants should be sufficient.
Generally speaking Oyster Plants do not need to be fertilized but can help promote healthy growth. During the growing season, apply fertilizer only to indoor plants. Overfertilization can cause browning of leaf tips. If this happens, water deeply to loosen the soil.
Light And Water
Oyster plant leaves should be kept in a bright, indirect indoor area to keep their color vibrant. While it can thrive in full light, it will need some shade from the blazing afternoon sun.
The leaves won’t be as bright and the plant will droop more in the shade, but it can still thrive. Oyster plants can withstand drought once established. They also like to drink water regularly.
Overwatering can cause the plant to rot and die. At any time from spring to fall, the top 2 inches of water should keep the soil dry. When plants are dormant in winter, stop watering them. Watering should be adequate every two weeks.
Temperature and Humidity
Oyster plants require moderate to high humidity to maintain healthy-looking leaves. You don’t need to be a climate expert to provide a humid environment for oyster plants. Just to increase the humidity, use an electric humidifier.
You can grow oyster plants in your bathroom if the lighting is right because frequent use of water in the space creates a humid environment. Temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for oyster plants to thrive. If there is danger of frost, they should be taken indoors.
Pests and Diseases
While mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and scale might occasionally infect the plant, oyster plants do not have severe pest issues. Treatment can help prevent pests from spreading to other indoor plants.
Mealybugs: Mealybugs are white, cottony-looking masses that typically grow in leaf sheaths and feed on the sap of oyster plants.
Whiteflies: Whiteflies are another sap-sucking bug that, if left untreated, can swiftly harm or destroy your oyster plant.
Spider mites: Spider mites are another sap-sucking pest that swiftly kills or harms untreated oyster plants. On plants, white, spider-like insects create delicate webs.
Scale: The oyster plant’s sap is also sucked by scale insects. The insect is encased in an armor-like shell and comes in a range of colors.