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Rhoeo Tricolor

Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ | Tradescantia Spathacea Care & Propagation

Tradescantia Spathacea, also known as Rhoeo Tricolor or Oyster Plant is a visually stunning plant that elevates the aesthetics of any indoor space. With its vibrant foliage and minimal care requirements, this plant has become a preferred choice for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. Let’s delve into the comprehensive guide on how to care for and propagate the captivating Rhoeo ‘Tricolor.’

About Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’

Botanical Name: Tradescantia Spathacea 

Common Name: Moses in the Cradle, Oyster Plant, Rhoeo Tricolor

Family: Commelinaceae

Origin: Belize, Guatemala, Southern Mexico

Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ belongs to the Commelinaceae family and is native to Central America. Its appeal lies in the mix of colors—green, pink, and cream—that adorn its variegated leaves. This indoor plant brings a unique charm to homes and offices, making it a sought-after addition to plant collections.

Rhoeo Tricolor
Rhoeo Tricolor

Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ Light Requirements

Plant Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ in a well-draining substrate and position it in an area that receives bright indirect light for the majority of the day. East-facing windows are an ideal location for these plants.

While the plant can tolerate some direct sunlight, prolonged exposure may result in leaf burn. Adequate light is essential for maintaining the vibrant colors of its foliage.

Soil and Potting

Ensure the plant is potted in soil that promotes good drainage. A blend of potting soil and perlite or sand is ideal to prevent waterlogging, which could lead to root rot. 

Repot the plant every 1-2 years as it outgrows its container. Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ is a vigorous grower when given the right amount of light.


Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering. Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ prefers slightly moist conditions but is susceptible to root rot if overwatered.

Adjust the watering frequency based on the humidity and temperature of your environment. Given average indoor conditions, this means watering thoroughly about once every 10 to 14 days.

Temperature and Humidity

Maintain a warm and humid environment for optimal growth. Rhoeo Tricolor thrives in temperatures between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). The tropical plant also prefers a humid environment.  

In dry climates, consider misting the plant or placing a tray of water nearby to increase humidity. If you have a bright bathroom or kitchen window, these make ideal homes for this plant.

Rhoeo Tricolor
Rhoeo Tricolor


Feed Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). 

Follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer packaging and reduce or stop fertilizing during the dormant winter months.


Regularly prune dead or yellowing leaves using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to encourage new growth and maintain the plant’s shape. 

If you notice the plant getting too leggy I would suggest giving it a good trimming and then placing it in a brighter spot to promote a tighter growing pattern.

Propagation of Rhoeo ‘Tricolor:


During repotting, carefully separate the offsets or young plants that have formed around the base of the mature Rhoeo ‘Tricolor.’ Ensure each division has roots before planting it in a new container.


Propagate through stem cuttings by taking a healthy stem with at least a couple of leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone or cinnamon, if desired, and plant it in well-draining soil. 

Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop.


Detach offshoots from the parent plant once they have developed roots and are a reasonable size. Transplant them into their own containers for continued growth.

Rhoeo Tricolor
Rhoeo Tricolor

Common Issues and Troubleshooting:

Yellowing Leaves

Sign of overwatering; allow the soil to dry out before the next watering and adjust the schedule accordingly.


Monitor for pests like spider mites or aphids. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil if detected.

Leggy Growth

Insufficient light may result in leggy growth. Move the plant to a brighter location for compact, bushy growth.

Additional Tips for Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’:

Container Choice

Select a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Terracotta pots are ideal, as they allow excess moisture to evaporate, reducing the risk of root rot.


Wipe the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and enhance the plant’s appearance. This also allows better light absorption, promoting healthier growth.

Pest Prevention

To prevent pest infestations, inspect your Rhoeo ‘Tricolor’ regularly. Quarantine any new plants before introducing them to your collection, reducing the risk of spreading pests.

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