Propagating the Stunning Bubblegum Tradescantia Plant

Propagating the Stunning Bubblegum Tradescantia Plant

The bubblegum tradescantia is a gorgeous houseplant known for its bright pink foliage that looks like bubblegum. This striking plant is gaining popularity among houseplant enthusiasts for its colorful leaves and trailing vines that look beautiful, spilling over containers.

Propagating the traditional bubblegum is an easy and rewarding way to make new plants. You can use a few different methods to propagate this wandering jewel plant. In this article, we’ll explore the techniques for propagating tradescantia bubblegum and tips for caring for the new plants.

An Overview of Tradescantia Bubblegum

Before we get into propagation, let’s look at this eye-catching plant.

Bubblegum tradescantia goes by a few familiar names, including pink spiderwort, pink blush, and blushing bride. It’s a tender perennial in the spiderwort family native to Eastern Mexico.

The bubblegum plant is prized for its striking leaves that emerge pink from dark red stems. The leaves have a distinct purple underside. As the leaves mature, the pink fades to green, but the new growth remains bright pink. This plant remains compact and bushy, growing to about 1 foot tall and 1 foot wide.

Tradescantia bubblegum thrives in bright, indirect light. Too much direct sun can fade the pink colors. The plant enjoys lightly moist soil that drains well—water when the top few inches of soil become dry. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Average room temperatures between 65-80°F suit it best.

Let’s look at the different techniques for propagating this beautiful plant.

Propagating Tradescantia Bubblegum from Stem Cuttings

Propagating Tradescantia Bubblegum from Stem Cuttings

Taking stem cuttings is the most common way to propagate traditional bubblegum. This method allows you to produce identical clones of the parent plant.

Follow these simple steps:

Select Healthy Stem Cuttings

  • Look for stems that are a few inches long with healthy leaves. The stems should be pink and fleshy, not thin or mushy.
  • Use sterilized pruning shears to cut the stems below a leaf node carefully.
  • Remove the bottom leaves, leaving just a few leaves at the top.

Dip Cutting in Rooting Hormone

  • Apply a rooting hormone powder to the cut end of the stem. The hormone helps stimulate faster root growth.
  • Gently tap off any excess powder.

Plant in Soil or Water

  • You can root the cuttings directly in potting soil or propagate in water first.
  • For soil, plant the cuttings a few inches deep in a pot with a well-draining potting mix.
  • Place the cut end in a vase or jar of water at room temperature for water propagation.

Provide Warmth and Bright Indirect Light

  • Place the potted cuttings or water vase in a spot with temperatures around 70-80°F. Warmth encourages faster rooting.
  • Indirect bright sunlight is ideal. Avoid direct hot sun, which can scorch tender new cuttings.

Keep Soil Moist and Change Water Weekly

  • For potted cuttings, keep the soil lightly moist but not saturated.
  • For water propagation, change the water weekly to prevent rot.

Transplant Rooted Cuttings

  • Check for root development in 2-4 weeks. Gently tug on cuttings to see if roots have formed.
  • Once rooted, cuttings propagated in water can be transplanted into pots with drainage holes filled with regular potting mix.

Stem cuttings provide an easy and fast way to multiply your traditional bubblegum. Taking cuttings helps maintain the colorful variegation as the new plants are identical clones.

Propagating Tradescantia Bubblegum Through Division

Mature bubblegum tradescantia plants can be divided to create more plants. This propagation method involves splitting the root system and is best done in early spring.

Follow these tips for dividing traditional bubblegum:

Prepare For Division

  • Water the plant well a day before dividing so the soil is moist.
  • Have pots and potting soil ready for the split sections.

Remove The Plant from Its Pot

  • Turn the pot on its side and gently slide the plant out. Loosen roots if the plant doesn’t slide out freely.
  • Gently loosen any tangled or circled roots with your hands.

Divide The Root System

  • Divide the root mass into sections using your hands or a sharp, clean knife.
  • Each section should have 3-5 stems and an established root system.

Plant Divided Sections

  • Plant each section immediately into its pot with drainage holes.
  • Fill pots with regular potting mix, covering roots with soil.

Water Well

  • Water newly planted divisions thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.
  • Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.

They divide overgrown tradescantia when repotting, which is an easy way to gain more plants. Divisions mature faster than cuttings and maintain the plant’s size and leaf coloration.

Propagating Tradescantia Bubblegum in Water by Plantlets

Tradescantia bubblegum produces tiny plantlets on short stolons off of the mother plant. These plantlets can be removed and propagated in water like African violet leaves.

Here’s how to propagate bubblegum tradescantia through plantlets:

Identify Plantlets on Runners

  • Check for plantlets growing on short stolons attached to the main plant.
  • Look for round leaves sprouting roots from the nodes.

Detach the Plantlets

  • Use clean, sharp scissors or pruners to snip the plantlets off the stolons.
  • Try to keep some roots attached if possible.

Propagate in Water

  • Place the plantlets in small jars or vases filled with water at room temperature.
  • Suspend them with toothpicks so the roots dangle into the water.

Provide Bright Indirect Light

  • Situate the jars or vases of plantlets in a spot near a window with bright indirect sunlight.

Change Water Weekly

  • Dump out the water and refill weekly to prevent rotting.
  • Add a pinch of fertilizer to the water every few weeks.

Once the plantlets have developed an extensive root system and new leaves, they can be planted in regular houseplant soil. The plantlets will grow into complete bubblegum tradescantia plants. Harvesting the plantlets allows you to gain more plants without taking cuttings from the mother plant.

Tips for Caring for Newly Propagated Tradescantia Bubblegum

Tips for Caring for Newly Propagated Tradescantia Bubblegum

Once you’ve propagated new bubblegum tradescantia plants through cuttings, division, or plantlets, provide good care to help the new plants thrive.

Here are some tips:

  • Acclimate new plants gradually to brighter light over a week or two to avoid sun scorch. The pink colors will be most colorful in bright, indirect light.
  • Water newly potted plants sparingly initially until roots are established. Then water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil become dry.
  • Drainage is essential to prevent soggy soil. Add extra perlite to the potting mix if needed to improve drainage.
  • Feed every 2-3 weeks in spring and summer with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer or compost tea.
  • Remove faded leaves and stems regularly to encourage new, colorful growth.
  • Increase humidity around the plant by misting daily or using a pebble tray.
  • Pinch back leggy stems to make the plant more compact and bushy.
  • Propagate more plants to fill out pots and containers. Tradescantia bubblegum looks beautiful, cascading over the edges.

With the proper care, propagating and nurturing traditional bubblegum is easy and rewarding. Your plants will produce endless vivid pink foliage.


With its brilliant pink and purple foliage, bubblegum tradescantia provides a unique visual appeal to indoor spaces. Propagating this striking plant is simple, using stem cuttings, division, or plantlets. Provide bright indirect light, warm temperatures, and consistent moisture to help new plants thrive. You’ll have beautiful pink plants to enjoy or share with fellow plant lovers in no time. Tradescantia bubblegum will surely add color and vitality to any home or office.

Common Questions

How long does it take for traditional bubblegum cuttings to root?

Most stem cuttings will root in 2-4 weeks. Keep the soil moist and provide warmth to encourage faster root development.

What causes leaf drop on newly propagated cuttings?

Sudden leaf drop is usually due to dry soil, cool temperatures, or transplant shock. Acclimate plants slowly, provide warmth and bright indirect light, and keep the soil consistently moist but not wet.

Why do propagated tradescantia bubblegum plants lose their pink color?

The plant likely needs more light if the pink fade from vibrant to dull green. Slowly move it to a brighter location over a week or two. Avoid intense direct sunlight, which can burn leaves.

How can I make propagated traditional bubblegum fuller?

Pinch off stem tips to encourage bushier growth. Propagate more plants from cuttings and plant them closely together. Remove any faded leaves and check regularly.

Is it better to propagate tradescantia bubblegum in water or soil?

Both methods work well. Water propagation allows you to monitor root development easily. But soil rooting results in less transplant shock. Use whichever method best suits your care routine.

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