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I recently was given this plant and apparently it has a pretty bad history. First it was left outside and infested by snails and then it was accidentally mowed over. When I got the plant it was in a very small plastic pot with some horrible clay-like soil. I have now re-potted it into a slightly too big clay pot witch decent soil and better drainage.

The plant was left out during the summer in eastern europe, so it was able to survive around 10 degrees Celsius.

What is this plant and how do I care for it? Should I remove all the messed up leaves that are cut and have holes in them?

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It is one of the spiderworts - hard to be certain which because growth habit is difficult to tell at this stage, given the damage your plant has suffered, but most likely it's Rhoeo spathacea tricolor https://nurserylive.com/buy-annual-flowers-plants-online-in-india/rhoeo-spathacea-tricolor-rhoeo-variegated-plants-in-india or one of the many Tradescantia varieties such as T. zebrina. The difference between them is growth habit - Tradescantia usually has long, trailing growths, and the whole plant trails, whereas Rhoeo forms upright rosettes of leaves.

As a houseplant, both need sunlight to maintain their colour, so find a sunny spot indoors, away from heat sources such as radiators. Water when the surface of the soil is just about dry to the touch, and water thoroughly, emptying out any outer pot or tray after 30 minutes so the plant is not left sitting in water.

Cut out all damaged leaves - there are new ones growing already, visible in the pictures, but take care not to damage any small, new leaves while doing so.

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  • thanks, does it want direct or indirect sunlight? – Mihkel Sep 23 '18 at 18:10
  • direct - as much as possible too during winter – Bamboo Sep 23 '18 at 18:30
  • ok, great. Same in the summer? – Mihkel Sep 23 '18 at 18:42
  • Assuming its behind glass (on a windowsill indoors), little less if you have very hot summers, not sure where you live or what your summers are like – Bamboo Sep 23 '18 at 18:59
  • Eastern europe, so yeah ill probably just keep it on a window sill all year round. – Mihkel Sep 23 '18 at 19:30
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This is indeed Tradescantia spathacea ‘Tri-color’. It does not need constant moisture, so allow to completely dry between watering. It tends to rot when cold & wet. It can grow in all different levels of sunlight, but it will affect the growth habit. It can get very leggy in low light conditions. And can get sunburn if moved from low light to high light exposure quickly. As long as you acclimate to high sun, it will thrive.

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