Being new to plant care, I'm wondering if someone can help diagnose what's occurring with my (I think) Tradescantia Spathacea. When the plant was purchased, it had exclusively wide green and purple leaves. Since then, the plant has been re-potted (in larger vessel), and two things have occurred:

1.) The original leaves are proceeding to brown from the tips. This continues in spite of trimming and trying different quantities/frequencies of watering. The plant is kept away from direct sunlight and is not particularly close to a window, but gets some indirect sunlight on occasion.

2.) New stems/leaves are sprouting like mad--which appear to be much thinner and longer than the original leaves, which has changed the shape and appearance of the plant significantly.

Here are some pictures: enter image description here

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Thank you for any recommendations you might have!

  • 1
    what did you use when you repotted your plant - new potting soil, or something else? Are there drainage holes in the pot? How far away from a source of daylight is it?
    – Bamboo
    Jul 22, 2019 at 12:33
  • We used new potting soil (which had fertilizer included) to repot. The new pot has drainage holes, though the old one didn't (part of the reason we repotted). It was originally about 6 feet from the window, but since replanting, is now about 20 feet from it, and near no other natural light sources.
    – Ontic
    Jul 22, 2019 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Thanks for the extra information. Your plant looks etiolated, so the problem appears to be insufficient light. This particular plant colours up better if it gets some sun (preferably late afternoon or early morning, not the middle of the day through a window), but whether you manage to find a sunny spot or not, it definitely needs to be moved much nearer to a window to a brightly lit spot.

If you can move it quickly to a better situation, it may not be necessary to cut off the long, abnormally thin growth; otherwise, cut it back to normal leaves and wait for new growth.

  • Thank you so much!
    – Ontic
    Jul 22, 2019 at 18:35

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