How to Grow & Care for Tradescantia Spathacea ‘Moses in the Cradle’ (2024)

If you are thinking of growing Moses in the Cradle plants in your house but don’t know where to start or how to grow them, there is good news for you. Are you curious to know what it is? I suggest you read the guide completely.

In this guide, I have explained all my implemented methods for growing Tradescantia Spathacea ‘Moses in the Cradle’, which will help you grow them in your house. One interesting fact is that you can grow them as outdoor plants and indoor plants as well. If you follow all the requirements, you will get to see their vibrant purple, cream-pink, golden, and green leaves.

What are you waiting for? Let’s learn what they need to thrive best.

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”?

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. They are commonly also named Oyster plant, Boat Lily, Moses-in-a-Boat, Cradle Lily, and Moses-in-the-Bullrushes.

Generally, people love to grow Moses in the Cradle because of the vibrant color of the leaves which are 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.
  • Fill 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 needs 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 make a hole at the bottom to drain 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 plants 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 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 temperatures.


  • 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 in creation of 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 it 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 for 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.  

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