Plant Care Moses-in-the-Cradle


4.5 out of 5 (52 experiences)

Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Survivor plant personality Survivor

About Moses-in-the-Cradle

Tradescantia spathacea, also known as the White Velvet plant, is an exceptionally easy plant to care for and rewards growers with delightful purple blossoms. They are extremely easy to propagate by stem and one plant can give rise to dozens of new ones, which makes them great for sharing. 🤝 As houseplants they often trail, but will also creep along the ground if grown outdoors. Their succulent leaves make them sensitive to frost, so be sure to bring them indoors if your winter temperatures dip below freezing. ❄️


Tradescantia spathacea

Also known as

Boatlily, Tradescantia Silver and 'Oyster Plant'

How to care for Moses-in-the-Cradle

💦 Water

How often to water your Moses-in-the-Cradle

Water needs for Moses-in-the-Cradle
0.5 cups
every 9

Moses-in-the-Cradle needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Moses-in-the-Cradle

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Moses-in-the-Cradle in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Moses-in-the-Cradle: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Moses-in-the-Cradle may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Moses-in-the-Cradle in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Moses-in-the-Cradle

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Moses-in-the-Cradle: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Moses-in-the-Cradle after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Moses-in-the-Cradle is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Common Moses-in-the-Cradle Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Moses-in-the-Cradle prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Moses-in-the-Cradle Water Frequency →

Moses-in-the-Cradle Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Moses-in-the-Cradle may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Moses-in-the-Cradle Light Requirements →

Moses-in-the-Cradle Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Moses-in-the-Cradle is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.

💨 Humidity

Moses-in-the-Cradle doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.

Moses-in-the-Cradle Humidity Needs →

🪴 Soil

Moses-in-the-Cradle does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Moses-in-the-Cradle →

When and How to Successfully Repot Moses-in-the-Cradle →

💩 Fertilizer

Moses-in-the-Cradle should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Moses-in-the-Cradle →

❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Moses-in-the-Cradle to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.

🌎 Native Region

Moses-in-the-Cradle is native to the Americas.

🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Moses-in-the-Cradle bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Moses-in-the-Cradle is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.

How and When to Prune Moses-in-the-Cradle →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Moses-in-the-Cradle can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9a-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Moses-in-the-Cradle Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

Moses-in-the-Cradle can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

How to Propagate Moses-in-the-Cradle →

🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.

Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Moses-in-the-Cradle, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

Care Summary for Moses-in-the-Cradle



Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 9 days


< 3ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 30
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 24
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 14
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 13
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 9
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 4
Moses-in-the-Cradle has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 1
@ToasterCar avatar
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 1,256 XP

This plant is easy to care for and doesn’t require much work!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Morgs avatar
leaf-1 19 Plants
xp 1,019 XP
globe Chicago, IL

Such a beautiful plant! Not hard to keep up with or keep alive. One thing is to make sure to clean leaves.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
@AshinByAlex avatar
leaf-1 66 Plants
xp 4,630 XP
globe Vallejo, CA

Bought hims bc he’a purple. Kept him in a low lit area but then i moved him to a window with lots of light and he grew twice the size!!

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@bursill96 avatar
leaf-1 27 Plants
xp 619 XP
globe Peterborough, England

Beautiful coloured leaves. This is my favourite house plant to date, grows super fast in bright indirect light, have found I don’t need much humidity is happy in my lounge window in an East facing window.

Fast grower Fast grower
Erika avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 66 XP
globe Kennewick, WA

I bought this guy for the purple leaves. It was one lil stick with a few leaves nothing too exciting. I stuck it in my big window facing South. I kinda forgot to pay attention and watered it every other Monday with my other plants. Now it’s got 3 stocks with leaves galore! He went crazy and I didn’t notice!
From my experience I keep it watered about every 14 days. My apartment is rather humid even though I live in the desert. He gets direct sunshine about an hour at the very most and hangs it in the window seal. I think he is fabulous.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Jill avatar
leaf-1 15 Plants
xp 485 XP

beautiful baby

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@Sweetpea25 avatar
leaf-1 25 Plants
xp 1,217 XP
globe Bay City, MI

Did very well with little sunlight for a few months. Now that it’s in full sun, it’s shot up and seems very happy!

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@kbadgerwitchystuff avatar
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 211 XP

I got this plant as a “rescue”. She is quite fussy. She only likes the west facing window, with bright, indirect sunlight. Minimal watering- I wait until the soil is nearly dry. Initially, all of her leaves browned and died. But since I put her in the west facing window and mostly ignored her, she has been thriving.

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@growwithme avatar
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 3,022 XP
globe San Francisco, CA

Needs A LOT of humidity to avoid browning tips.

Anny avatar
leaf-1 7 Plants
xp 215 XP
globe Mississauga, Ontario


@GatherandGrow avatar
leaf-1 167 Plants
xp 109,711 XP
globe Lincoln, NE

I am just not sure while will make her happy!
I have brought her from home to the office but she keeps browning up and losing leaves. 😢

Browns easily Browns easily
@meghanfoley11 avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 237 XP
globe Peterborough, Ontario

Doesn’t like the sun:(

Browns easily Browns easily
Blooms easily Blooms easily
@riversong avatar
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 1,278 XP

This plant is just.........ugly? Out of all my plants it’s the one that I don’t like looking at and wish would die but it just doesn’t. It’s just leggy and weird looking no matter what I do.

@Greg avatar
leaf-1 35 Plants
xp 4,225 XP
globe South San Francisco, CA

The color is so nice - it doesn’t feel real although I know it is real!!! 💜 it’s also easy to care for 😊🌿

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate

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