How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea ‘Moses in the Cradle’ (2023)

If you are thinking to grow Moses in the Cradle to plant in your house you need to know some important information about them as the scientific name of Moses in the Cradle first was Rhoeo discolor then it was named Rhoeo spathacea. The plant does come from the tradescantia species. You will love to grow them as outdoor plants and indoor plants as well because of their vibrant purple, cream-pink, golden, and green leaves. They are commonly also named as  Oyster plant, Boat Lily, Moses-in-a-Boat, Cradle Lily, and Moses-in-the-Bullrushes. In this article, I have shared my experience on how to grow and care for Tradescantia Spathacea ‘Moses in the Cradle’.

Key takeaways:

  • People love to grow them indoors as dwarf types grow and reach the height of  6”-12.”.
  • The Moses in the Cradle does have a rosette of long lance-shaped, waxy leaves with vibrant, purple undersides.  
  • People love the plant varieties having leaves that are green, or a mixture of green, white, and purple stripes. 
  • The most attractive varieties that come under Moses in the Cradle are Golden Oyster and the “Tricolor”.

The following  table describes some important points for growing and caring the Moses in the Cradle:


Scientific NameWater if the top inch of soil is dry
Common NameWater if the top inch of soil is dry
LightBright indirect sunlight
WateringWater if top inch of soil is dry
Temperature65 to 86ºF (18 to 30ºC)
Hardiness Zone9 to 12
Soil TypeRich, quick-draining, loamy
Soil pH5 to 6 (acidic)
FertilizingA balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
RepottingEvery 2 years
PruningBeginning of the growing season
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Bloom TimeAll year
Mature Size6 to 12 inches as a houseplant
PropagationDivision or stem cuttings

How to Grow Tradescantia Spathacea “Moses in the Cradle”?

Generally, people love to grow Moses in the Cradle because of the vibrant color of the leaves which have small in size and consist of three-petaled, and white flowers. For growing the Moses in the Cradle in the house you can follow two common methods. 

Seeding method:

  • Firstly you need to have a pot having a hole at the bottom for draining water.
  • Fill the pot with a preferred soil mix and fertilizer that has a good moisture level and is well draining.
  • Insert the seed of the plant in the soil mix.
  • Filled the pot with water unless the excess water drains out of the drainage holes.
  • Remember to maintain the temperature, humidity, watering, and potting & repotting of the plant according to the plant need that I have explained in detail below.
How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea 'Moses in the Cradle’

Propagation method:

  • You can grow the Moses in the Cradle by cutting off the mother plant.
  • The first step is to take a pot that consists of enough drainage holes or you can also make a hole at the bottom for draining the excess water out of the pot.
  • For planting take the cutting of Moses in the Cradle and keep the cutting in the water until the roots come out and then plant the stem cutting in the pot.
  • You need to plant them in a big pot as they leave so the Moses in the Cradle tends to spread.
  • After planting them in the pot fill the pot with the Moses in the Cradle fertilizer, mud, and water the entire mixture thoroughly.
  • Keep the soil moist so that the plant grows quickly and avoid overwatering the plant.
  • You need to take care of the plant after potting them in the pot carefully.

How to Care for Tradescantia Spathacea ‘Moses in the Cradle’

As Moses in the Cradle generally originated in an environment having hot and humid rainforests so you need to maintain the environment for growing them big and beautiful. The  following are some caring tips that are required to maintain growing Moses in the Cradle such as:

  • Light
  • Watering 
  • Temperature 
  • Humidity 
  • Soil 
  • Fertilizer 
  • Potting & Repotting 
  • Pruning 


  • As per the rainforest origination the sunlight that helps them to grow is being filtered which is hot and bright.
  • For growing Moses in the Cradle the house needs to provide them a light that is bright but indirect light that ranges between 10,000 and 20,000 lux.  
  • For meeting the best light requirement you can place the pot on an east or north-facing window ledge.
  •  In case you can place the pot in a room with a south or west exposure you need to keep them way away from direct rays of sunlight which will damage the plant.
How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea 'Moses in the Cradle’


  • In the case of watering Moses in the Cradle whenever you find that the top inch of the soil dries out you need to water the plant.this case you will find in spring, summer, and fall seasons.
  • You need to change the watering schedule in winter because in winter the actively growing of the plant and the soil drying out is more so you need to manage the watering at that time.
  • Avoid Overwatering the plant because it does increase the risk of developing root rot.
How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea 'Moses in the Cradle’


  • The temperature you will find out in the rainforest in the daytime ranges from 84 to 91ºF (29 to 33ºC) and goes as low as 68 to 79ºF (20 to 26ºC).
  •  In the case of planting them in your home, you may not be able to maintain the temperature in the same way but during in hot season, you can place the pot outside in a shady spot and bring it inside and avoid exposure to cold temperature.


  • The ideal humidity for growing Moses in the Cradle is around 70%.
  • In case you find out the brown tips on the leaves of the plant then it indicates to create a moist microclimate for growing  Moses in the Cradle.
  • For maintaining the humidity you can also place the plant in a bathroom or you can also place the pots on the wet pebble trays that will keep the plant moisture maintained.
  • Avoid getting the foliage wet. 


  • The soil required for growing  Moses in the Cradle should drain well and make the roots breathe.
  • The ph level of the soil for plant  Moses in the Cradle should range from 5 to 6.
  • You can also make your own soil mix bet adding equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil or compost for a good soil mix that will help in healthy growing.
How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea 'Moses in the Cradle’


  • The perfect ratio of adding fertilizer is 10-10-10.
  • You can also the fertilizer by diluting it to half the strength and then pouring slowly all over the soil surface of the plant. make sure to water the plant after pouring fertilizer.
  • You need to apply fertilizer in the spring and summer seasons because that is the growing period of a plant.

Potting & Repotting:

You need to repot the plant due to many reasons such as:

  • If you find the plant is outgrowing of the pot then it’s high time for Moses in the cradle to be repot.
  • If the roots of the plant are growing out of the drainage hole then you need to repot the plant in another pot that is bigger than the current size of the pot.
  • If you want to replace the potting soil due to compacting of the soil and the soil is not able to drain well then you need to repot the plant.
How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea 'Moses in the Cradle’


  • The pruning of Moses in the Cradle is done to trim off dead or damaged leaves.
  • The good season for pruning the plant is in every spring so that it has a bushier space.
  • Avoid removing more than a tenth of the foliage.
  • Use sharp sterilized shears to cut the plant that will prevent the spreading of the disease.


For growing Moses in the Cradle you need to follow the above-mentioned requirement for caring for the plant carefully so that they grow in a healthy and beautiful way.  

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including: Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at, where gardening dreams bloom!

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