Rhoeo Plants: Low Maintenance house plant with attractive foliage

Rhoeo Plants: Low Maintenance house plant with attractive foliage
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Image Source: Mokkie / CC BY-SA (Cropped)

Rhoeo plants are evergreen plants grown for their attractive foliage. The thick fleshy leaves can survive hot conditions. They are easy to grow and require very little maintenance. They are excellent ground cover for gardens and can grow and spread fast. The white-colored flowers are formed at the center of the rosette of leaves.

Quick Details of Rhoeo Plants

Other Common NamesRhoeo tricolor, Moses in the cradle, Moses in the basket, Boat lily, Oyster plant
TypeIndoor/outdoor plant
FloweringThroughout the year
LightLow to moderate bright indirect sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.
WaterWhen the soil is dry. Do not overwater.
TemperatureWarm humid conditions
SoilWell drained sandy soil
FertilizerAny liquid houseplant fertilizer
HabitatMexico, Central America
ToxicityToxic to animals.
Common DiseasesSpider mites, yellowing of leaf tips
Scientific nameTradescantia spathacea

Rhoeo Plants Buying Instructions

  • Buy green or colorful leaf plants as per your need.
  • The plant should look healthy.
  • Damaged and leaves should be minimum

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Overview of Rhoeo Plants

They are herbaceous plants belonging to the family Commelinaceae. They have rhizomes from which thick fleshy leaves arise. The leaves are long and thick and have a purple tint underside arranged in a rosette. They can grow up to an average height of 30 -50 cm and can live up to a life span of 3-4 years. The leaves can be toxic to pets and can cause irritation to the skin. They are evergreen perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. These plants are an excellent choice to be grown as a ground cover, as hanging plants, and also as an indoor ornamental plant.

Usage and Advantage of Rhoeo Plants

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • Used for ground cover in landscaping.

General Care for Rhoeo Plants

Soil: They prefer well-drained sandy soil. A mixture of sand, peat, and garden soil can be best for their growth.

Water: They do not like stagnant water or excess moisture in the soil. The plants can be watered once in three days during summer, once a week during the rainy season, and once in 10-15 days during winter. The dryness of the soil should be checked before watering them.

Light: They prefer bright indirect light. The plants can also get adapted to shady regions. The leaves do not get enough color and the stems become lean when there is not enough light supply

Humidity and temperature: They prefer warm humid conditions. The plants can survive harsh summers but are not adapted to winters. During winter, the plants should be shifted to warmer areas inside the house. The plants can also survive dry air but they thrive best when there Is enough humidity. Spraying the leaves with water can help in maintaining humidity during dry conditions.

Pruning: The plants can be re-potted in 2 or 3 years. The older plants can be replaced with younger ones. The mature plants can be transplanted in 3 to 4 years and the young ones in a year. The leaves can be wiped off of excess moisture and dust. The dead and yellowing leaves can be removed.

Fertilizer: The plants can be fed with any liquid fertilizer once or twice a month during spring and summer.

Pests and other problems for Rhoeo Plants

The plants are not prone to many diseases. However, they can be attacked by spider mites. They can be prevented by hose spraying the plant with water. The spider mites do not survive in humid conditions.

Excess light can cause the leaves to turn yellow. Lack of water causes the stems to stretch.

The tips become yellow or brown when the conditions are too hot or dry or if there is insufficient watering and can droop when the temperature is too low. The leaf base turns brown when the water enters the sockets.

The young leaves become pale and yellow with a lack of nutrition.

Propagation of Rhoeo Plants

The propagation can be done through apical cutting, rhizome division, and separation of shoots. The apical cutting is done when the plants are overgrown. The upper(apical) portion of the plant can be cut and planted into the soil.

The division of the rhizome can be done during transplantation. The part of the rhizome with a new shoot emergence can be carefully cut and planted separately.

The plants can also be propagated by separating the shoot system with roots. This can be planted and grown as a new plant. These plantlets are present surrounding the parent plant.

The plants can also be propagated by seeds. Viable seeds can be selected and sown in a potting mixture. They are watered regularly to maintain moisture. The seeds germinate in 3-4 weeks.


Is Rhoeo plant air purifier?

Yes, the Rhoeo plant is considered an air-purifying plant. 

Is Rhoeo plant poisonous?

Yes, the Rhoeo plant is kept under the poisonous plant category. Infestation of any part of the plant can cause irritation and stomach issues. It should be kept away from children and pets.

Is Rheo an indoor plant?

The Rhoeo plant is not a completely indoor plant, it required bright direct indirect sunlight but can do well indoors if it gets bright indirect sunlight. 

Do Rhoeo plants need sunlight?

Yes, like all the other plants, the Roheo plant also needs sunlight. It can survive some time in shade but ultimately for better growth, the Rhoeo plant needs bright direct or indirect sunlight.

How do you take care of a Rheo plant?

Have well drainage soil and keep the Rhoeo plant in direct or indirect bright sunlight. If possible avoid too much sunlight and too cold weather for the plant. Both extreme conditions are not favorable to the plant.

Are Rhoeo plants poisonous to dogs?

Yes, the Rhoeo plant is poisonous to dogs and other pet animals. If your pet has consumed the plant leaves or any other part of the plant in quantity and showing some unusual symptoms, please visit your veterinary doctor as soon as possible.



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