How To Care For Tradescantia Nanouk Plant

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Tradescantia Nanouk® (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh NAN-uhk) is also known as Fantasy Venice and Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’ (al-BIH-flor-uh). This Nanouk Tradescantia plant is a new cultivar developed by cross-pollinating two selected seedlings of Tradescantia albiflora. It is a patented plant with the United States Patent number, PP29711. 

Tradescantia Nanouk wandering JewPin

This trendy plant was developed in the Netherlands in 2012 through a planned breeding program focused on creating a more compact type of Tradescantia with impressive flowers and highly dependable performance.

Although Tradescantia plants originated in Mexico, South America, and Central America, it can truly be said that this plant originated in Sappemeer, The Netherlands. 

All Tradescantia plants are herbaceous perennials and are members of the plant family, Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-eye). 

“Summary of Invention” For Tradescantia Nanouk® as filed with US Patent Office March 28, 2017

The following traits have been repeatedly observed and are determined to be the unique characteristics of ‘Nanouk’. These characteristics in combination distinguish ‘Nanouk’ as a new and distinct Tradescantia plant:

  • Compact and upright to broadly spreading plant habit.
  • Strong and healthy leaves.
  • Light purple, green and greyed green-colored leaves.
  • Good interiorscape performance.

Plants of the new Tradescantia and the parent selections differ primarily in leaf color as plants of the parent selections have white and green-colored leaves.

Plants of the new Tradescantia can be compared to plants of the Tradescantia spathacea ‘Tricolor’, not patented. In side-by-side comparisons, plants of the new Tradescantia and ‘Tricolor’ differ primarily in leaf shape as plants of new Tradescantia have shorter and more rounded leaves than plants of ‘Tricolor’.

Plants of the new Tradescantia can also be compared to plants of the Tradescantia albiflora ‘Albovittata’, not patented. In side-by-side comparisons, plants of the new Tradescantia and ‘Albovittata’ differ primarily in leaf color as plants of ‘Albovittata’ have white and green-colored leaves. [source]

Tradescantia Nanouk Care

Size & Growth

Nanouk Tradescantia has a very compact and upright growth habit and spreads freely. It is considered a fast grower. The plant typically reaches a height and width of just under three-and-a-half inches.

The plants’ stems are thick, and the leaves are smooth on the top and a bit furry on the underside.

The variegated leaves of Tradescantia Nanouk are impressively healthy, strong, and rather plump. Leaf coloration is quite lovely in shades of green, light purple, grayish green, pink, and cream. 

Flowering & Fragrance

Flowers may be either pink or white and appear continuously throughout the plants’ growing season, which is spring through early autumn. When kept indoors, Tradescantia Nanouk may also bloom through the winter months.

Nanouk Plant Care: Light & Temperature

Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’ does well in bright indirect sunlight or in full sun. Indirect bright light leads to greater flower production. Too little light will cause the foliage to fade.

The ideal daytime temperatures for the Nanouk Tradescantia cultivar is between 55° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit. Outdoors, this Tradescantia is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12.

Watering & Feeding

As with most houseplants, overwatering is far more problematic than under watering. Allow the soil to become almost dry and then water thoroughly. 

Generally speaking, Tradescantia Nanouk will do well with a weekly watering. Never allow the plant to stand in water.

As with most Tradescantia, this cultivar does not really need fertilizer. Over-feeding can lead to brown leaf tips. If you do want to fertilize your plant, give it a half strength solution of a good quality liquid houseplant fertilizer. 

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Alternately, give the plant a top dressing of vermicompost first thing in the spring.

Soil & Transplanting

Good drainage is a must. If your soil tends to be a bit heavy, add some perlite or coarse sand to lighten it up.

When kept as a potted plant, Nanouk Tradescantia does well in any high quality potting soil mix or container mix. You can improve the quality of the soil by adding organic matter such as compost, mulch, or peat moss.

When kept outdoors as a landscape plant, all of these caveats apply. Be sure that your soil is amended properly so that it supplies nourishment, holds the right amount of moisture and allows excess moisture to drain away.

Grooming & Maintenance

Even though Tradescantia Nanouk is bred to be compact, it still has some of the sprawling and wandering habits of its cousins. Keep the plant pinched back to encourage bushier growth.

If your plant begins to sprawl and looks a little bit thin at the top, trim off leggy cuttings and simply poke them into the soil in the center of the pot. They will quickly take root and fill out your plant.

How To Propagate Tradescantia Nanouk

As with all Tradescantia, propagation is a breeze. Just trim off cuttings and start them in soil or in water.

Taking Stem Cuttings – Propagating Tradescantia

Tradescantia Nanouk Pests or Diseases

Excessive watering is the main problem for all Tradescantia. Too much water can cause root rot and fungal infections. This may lead to trouble with fungus gnats. 

Anytime your Tradescantia Nanouk plant seems to be less than healthy and happy, the first thing you should do is check to see if the soil is soggy. If it is, allow the plant to dry out completely before watering again. 

Trim away any stems and/or leaves that seem to be damaged or rotten. You may also wish to take healthy cuttings at this time just in case root rot causes the demise of your main plant.

On the flipside, if you allow your Tradescantia Nanouk plant becomes too dry you may experience trouble with spider mites. These can be avoided by maintaining a correct watering schedule and by increasing humidity levels around your plants. 

You can do this by misting and/or by placing your plants on a pebble tray with a bit of water. Be sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. It is intended to evaporate around the plants and increase humidity.

Spider mite infestation can be addressed by giving your plant a vigorous showering with fresh water. Follow-up by misting the plant with a 50-50 solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. You may need to repeat the misting several times to kill off all the spider mites and their eggs.

Is Nanouk Considered Toxic or Poisonous to People, Kids, Pets?

The sap of all Tradescantia can be irritating to the skin and may cause gastric distress if ingested. Wear gloves when handling your plant and/or wash up immediately after you finish trimming.

Have you ever wondered: Is Wandering Jew Poisonous?

Keep pets away from Tradescantia plants as the sap can cause stomach upset if ingested and may cause dermatitis if it comes in contact with the animal skin.

Is Nanouk Considered Invasive?

Tradescantia of all sorts are considered invasive plants in the state of Florida. This type of plant naturalizes and spreads easily in any tropical environment.

Suggested Tradescantia Nanouk Uses

Tradescantia Nanouk can be used as a groundcover in tropical areas, but it was really developed to be kept as a houseplant. Its pretty colors and hardy leaves make it a good choice as a tabletop or desktop plant.

It can do well in hanging baskets as it creates a fuller and more controlled appearance than other types of Tradescantia.

This pretty, colorful plant also does very well in mixed planters. The Tradescantia Nanouk plant is a perfect addition to and houseplant collection.

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