Tradescantia Nanouk Complete Care Guide

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Tradescantia Nanouk is a stunning plant with vibrant colors that draw people in. This plant is easy to care for once you know the basic care it needs. Once you’ve got that down, watch this baby grow quick.

The Nanouk will thrive in your home with these basic caring tips.

  1. Water. Tradescantia Nanouk does not like to completely dry out so it’s best to water the plant when the top inch or two dries out. Don’t get the leaves wet. If the leaves get water on them, they turn brown.
  2. Light. This plant prefers to be in bright indirect light and can even grow in direct sunlight. A south, east, or west facing window is a great location for this plant.
  3. Fertilizer. Fertilizer during growing season and pause during the dormant (winter) months. I fertilize every watering (so about once a week) but you can fertilize bi-weekly or once a month.
  4. Humidity. This plant lives in normal household humidity and doesn’t have any special requirements.

 Tradescantia Nanouk

Tradescantia Nanouk thrive with these care tips.


Tradescantia Nanouk thrive in bright indirect sunlight. You can even put this plant in direct sunlight and this stunner will thrive.

My Nanouk is sitting on a southwest facing windowsill. It’s getting direct sunlight just like all of my other cacti and succulents.

If you do not give this plant enough light, you’ll notice the vibrant foliage start to fade and even revert back to green leaves. When this happens, put your plant in a sunnier spot so the leaves return to the original vibrant pink color.

If you don’t have sufficient lighting in the home for this plant, a great option is plant grow lights. I use T5 Barrina plant grow lights and have them on a timer running for 13 hours each day.


Tradescantia Nanouk’s want water when the top inch or two of the plants soil is dry. Check the soil by placing 2 inches of your pointy finger in the soil or by using a moisture meter.

Some people say to keep this soil moist, but I’ve found that’s not necessarily the case. I wait to water mine once the top two inches are dried out.

Your watering needs depend on how much sun your plant is getting. If you’re placing a Nanouk in bright direct sunlight, give the plant more water. If putting your Nanouk in a space with less sun, water less often. This goes for any houseplant.

If you have trouble figuring out when to water your plant, use a moisture meter. This is a handy tool that lets you know when the soil is dry, moist, or wet.


Tradescantia Nanouk prefer a soil mixture common to other houseplants. They prefer well-draining and well-aerated soil as the roots are very delicate and prone to root rot if overwatered.

A high quality pre-made mix is Fox Farm Ocean Forest. This potting mix contains a blend of ingredients perfect for any houseplant. Included in the mix is a blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss and more.

Whichever potting mix you use, it’s important that there’s proper aeration and movement through the soil. This is so oxygen can easily flow around the roots. Dense, compact soil is not great for houseplants and often leads to root rot.


Tradescantia Nanouk do well in any home that is between temperatures of 60°F to 90°F (15°C to 32°C). Some people put this plant outside and that’s an option if you live a hardiness zone of 10-12.


Fertilize your Tradescantia Nanouk in growing months, which is typically in the spring and summer. Stop fertilizing during the winter season or when you notice your plant no longer growing. This means it’s going into its dormant season.

I use a slow release granule fertilizer that I sprinkle over my plants once a month. This makes taking care of my houseplants easy. I follow the fertilizer instructions and sprinkle the correct amount onto each plant.

Slow release granulates aren’t harsh like other fertilizers so I don’t have to worry about the fertilizer hurting my plants.

If you are using a non-organic, synthetic fertilizer, it’s always recommended to dilute the recipe in half because of how strong the N-P-K ratios are. If you are using an organic fertilizer, you typically do not have to worry about diluting the recipe because the N-P-K ratio is so low.

Like most houseplants, pause fertilizing in the winter months when the plant is not actively growing. Where I live, my houseplants are growing year-round so I feed my plants fertilizer year-round.


Tradescantia Nanouk do not need high humidity and are pretty easy going when it comes to humidity needs. You’ll notice the end of the leaves get brown and crispy if it’s too dry which is definitely happening to my plant pictured below.


Propagate a Tradescantia Nanouk by taking a stem cutting that is a few inches long. Remove the bottom leaves and place in water. If you do not remove the bottom leaves, you’ll notice the leaves at the bottom of the stem start to rot because of the water.

This plant propagates quickly. I’ve propagated all kinds of Tradescantia’s and they are my quickest rooters.  Once your Nanouk has some good roots of 2+ inches, you can repot into the original plant or start a new plant.

Tradescantia Nanouk Common Questions

Are Tradescantia Nanouk rare?

Tradescantia Nanouk are available in-person and online almost anywhere that sells plants. You can find a small 4 inch pot for roughly $10.

You can purchase this plant on Etsy and other popular plant stores. I bought my Tradescantia from an online seller from Facebook Marketplace for $7.

How much is a Tradescantia Nanouk?

Depending on the size and maturity of the plant, Tradescantia Nanouk cost $5-$35.

I’ve seen small 4 inch pots go far $7 and large Nanouk’s going for $35. This is a stunning plant that works for someone on a lower budget.

How do you care for Tradescantia Nanouk?

To make sure your Tradescantia Nanouk thrives, place it in bright indirect or direct sunlight. I have mine in a southwest facing window getting direct sunlight and it’s thriving.

Give it a water when the pot feels light or when you stick a finger in the soil and it feels dry. You can also use a moisture meter to check the soil.

How do you make a Tradescantia Nanouk bushy?

Place cuttings of the plant back into the pot to create a fuller look. It’s really that simple. This plant grows quick so in about two months time you’ll have a much bushier plant.

Is Tradescantia Nanouk a succulent?

There are a lot of different opinions on this. Some people say it is and others highly disagree and say it is not.

How do I know if my Tradescantia Nanouk is healthy?

If your Nanouk is keeping its vibrant pink color, growing rapidly (it is known as the inch plant after all), and doesn’t have yellow or brown spots, it’s healthy.

Should you mist Tradescantia Nanouk?

No. This plant doesn’t like to get wet. You’ll know when you accidentally get t wet because the leaves will get brown spots. I recently had to cut off a couple of leaves because I got this plant wet and the brown spots were quite ugly.

Do Tradescantia Nanouk prefer to climb or hang?

I have never seen a climbing Nanouk, but often see them as hanging plants. They love to trail along the ground and make great hanging plants.

Can Tradescantia Nanouk grow outside?

Yes and no depending on where you live. Your plant can live outside if you live in hardiness zones of 10-12. I live in a sardines zone of 9B so I could not put this plant outside.

Do Tradescantia Nanouk need trimming?

You can definitely trim your plant if you desire and put the cutting back into the same pot for a fuller look or start a new plant. To start a new plant, stick the stem cutting in water or soil.

Can I grow Tradescantia Nanouk in leca?

Yes, but people have mixed results. Some indoor gardeners are able to successfully grow Nanouk in leca while others fail miserably. I have not tried it yet and I don’t think I will since my Nanouk is so happy in soil.

 Tradescantia Nanouk

Is Tradescantia Nanouk easy to care for?

Give your plant bright indirect or direct sunlight, water when the plant is feeling light and on the dryer side, and your plant will thrive.

Is Tradescantia Nanouk a fast grower?

This plant is in the Tradescantia family and they are known for their nickname “inch plants”. This is because they are fast growers.

How big do Tradescantia Nanouk get?

Nanouk’s are called inch plants for a reason. Look at your Nanouk one week and you’ll probably see a difference in just a week or two. I’ve seen plenty of Nanouk’s in large 6-8 inch pots overflowing the pot and taking over.

Can Tradescantia Nanouk take full sun?

Yes and you may find them easier to care for because they are getting the sun they need.

How do I make my Tradescantia Nanouk larger?

To make your Nanouk larger and bushier, take cuttings of the stems and place them back into the same pot.

How do you propagate Tradescantia Nanouk?

Tradescantia are incredibly easy to propagate. You can propagate Nanouk in water, leca, or right back into soil. Take a cutting of a stem with a few leaves at the top, but make sure you don’t have any leaves at the bottom as they will quickly rot in the water. You should see delicate hair-like roots forming in a week or two.

Also, any time I bring a new plant home, I cut off a stem and propagate it in case the main plant dies on me. This may be something you want to do if you don’t want to spend money on new plants all the time.

Below is a photo of a Tradescantia Lilac I am currently propagating. This is basically the sister of the Nanouk. This has been in this bottle for about a month and the roots are growing like crazy.

How long does it take to propagate Tradescantia Nanouk?

Tradescantia Nanouk’s propagate faster than most plants. To put things in perspective, I propagated ten different plant varieties at the same time and the Tradescantia’s were the first to root. I would estimate it takes 2-3 weeks.

Can you put Tradescantia Nanouk cuttings directly into soil?

Yes. They root quite easily and quickly and this will create a look of a fuller plant. Some indoor gardeners say it’s easier to propagate Nanouk’s when you put them straight back into soil due to their delicate roots.

Why is my Tradescantia Nanouk turning green?

Tradescantia Nanouk’s revert back to a green color if they are not getting enough sun. Move your plant to a spot that is getting more sunlight, even direct sunlight and you will notice the plant looking much happier.

Why is my Tradescantia Nanouk turning yellow?

If your Nanouk is turning yellow, you may be overwatering your plant. When you water your plant, make sure not to let the plant sit in any excess water.

Why is my Tradescantia Nanouk turning brown?

If you find your Tradescantia Nanouk is getting brown spots, this is because you’re getting water on your plant. This plant is quite dramatic when it gets wet and it doesn’t want even a drop of water to touch the leaves.

How do you save a dying in Tradescantia?

If you notice your Nanouk is sad, you may want to give it a good pruning. Cut any stems that are brown back down to the base of the plant. Your plant will eventually grow back.

What is the difference between Tradescantia Nanouk and Lilac?

The Tradescantia Nanouk is much brighter than the Lilac and has much thicker leaves. Below is a photo of my Tradescantia Lilac. As you can see the Nanouk and Lilac are quite different, but both equally as stunning.

Tradescantia Nanouk

Is Tradescantia Nanouk a perennial?

Yes. The entire Tradescantia family are perennials.

Why is my Tradescantia Nanouk crispy?

If you notice your Nanouk getting crispy, this may be because it’s not getting enough water or it’s getting too much sun.

How do I make my Tradescantia Tricolour more pink?

Keep your plant in a sunny spot that gets a ton of sun and your plant will keep its beautiful vibrant pink color.

Does Tradescantia Nanouk like to be root bound?

If your Nanouk is root-bound, it’s time to repot your plant. These delicate roots need room. Most people repot their Nanouk’s once a year.

When should I repot Tradescantia Nanouk?

If you notice the Nanouk’s roots circling around the bottom of the planter, it’s time to repot your plant in a planter 1-2 inches bigger.

Do Tradescantia Nanouk like terracotta pots?

Terracotta pots wick moisture out of the soil and that is why people choose terracotta over glazed or plastic of certain plants.

I have my Nanouk in a plastic pot and it’s doing great. I don’t think it necessarily matters what kind of pot you put a Nanouk in. You’ll see a lot of advice online saying to keep your Nanouk moist, but that has not been the case for me.

Can I water my Tradescantia Nanouk using tap water?

I recommend using filtered water when watering your Tradescantia Nanouk. I do not use tap water on my houseplants because our tap water is filled with minerals and properties that hurt our houseplants.

We instead use a reverse osmosis system and water our houseplants using that system.You can also let tap water sit out for 12 hours before using it. Depending on where you live, your tap water may be just fine.

Is Tradescantia Nanouk toxic to pets?

Yes, this plant is toxic to pets.  You can get more information on toxic and pet-friendly plants at ASPCA here.

Common pests

Some of the most common pests for this plant include spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Pests are annoying and take over quite quickly. This is why prevention and maintenance of your plants is crucial. If you see pests on your plants, don’t freak out. This is natural as we are bringing the outdoors into our home.

To help prevent any pest infestations on your plant, here’s what to do.

  • Inspect your plant before purchasing at the plant store. Quarantine your plant away from other plants for two weeks.
  • If you’re buying a plant online, inspect your plant away from your other plants.
  • Regularly check your plants for pests. This is also a great time to clean your plants.
  • Cut off dead leaves.

If you find a plant that has pests on it, quarantine the plant away from your houseplants and clean the plant with an organic or nonorganic insecticide. I use Bonide Systemic on my plants as a preventative and Captain Jacks to kill pests. I spray the plant and wipe down the leaves and stems twice a week for a month until I know the infestation is gone. Make sure to check all of your other plants as it is easy for pests to spread.

Bonide Systemic Granules are a great way to get rid of unwanted pests.

Common issues

Brown spots or tips: If your Tradescantia Nanouk has brown spots or tips that you’re either getting water on your leaves or your plant needs a little more humidity.

Yellowing leaves: If your Tradescantia Nanouk has yellow leaves, this can be due to the soil getting too dry or too wet. Use a moisture meter and check your soil before watering.

Leaves reverting back to green: Plant is not getting enough sunlight and needs more sun.

Key Points To Remember

Keep your Tradescantia Nanouk in bright indirect or direct sunlight. This plant loves direct sunlight, so a south facing window is best. Don’t worry about humidity as this plant can live in normal household humidity.

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