Skip to content

How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia Nanouk

Tradescantia Nanouk with pink, green, and white leaves in gray pot in white macrame hanger against white background

You’ve probably spotted this trendy plant on your Instagram feed. Tradescantia Nanouk (Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’), also known as Fantasy Venice, is a special type of spiderwort plant that’s become a must-have for plant lovers. Pink, white, purple, and green stripes pattern its lush leaves on upright stems. Under the right conditions, it can grow as a long trailing ivy, and you’ll even find small white and yellow flowers emerging from its pink buds during the growing season. Tradescantia Nanouk grows quickly and vigorously.

This plant was specifically designed to be colorful, attractive, and easy to grow. Unlike other plants in the Tradescantia and Zebrina genera, Tradescantia Nanouk is unique in that it’s a patented plant, developed in the Netherlands in 2012. It originated in a program aiming to create a more vigorous, hardy Tradescantia with showier blooms.

  • Botanical Name: Tradescantia albiflora ‘Nanouk’
  • Common Name: Tradescantia Nanouk, Fantasy Venice
  • Plant Type: Perennial, trailing vine
  • Mature Size: 3–6 inches high, 12–24 inches long (trailing)
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix, optional vermiculite or peat moss
  • Soil pH: 5.0–6.5
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs
plant and books

Getty Images

Plant Care

Tradescantia Nanouk grows best in bright, indirect light, so a north- or east-facing window is best. Water your plant when the top inch or so of the soil is dry, and take care not to let it completely dry out. North-facing windows will provide less light, so your plant will need less water there than in an east-facing window.

Because Tradescantia Nanouk thrives in a humid environment, it’s a great plant to keep in a bathroom window since the steam from your shower or tub will keep the air moist. You can also create a humid environment by grouping your Tradescantia Nanouk closely with other humidity-loving plants and running a humidifier nearby. Another option is to create a humidifying tray beneath your plant.

Tradescantia Nanouk is such a hardy grower that it doesn’t require fertilizing. If you’d like to fertilize your plant, feed it with a standard houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength every two to four weeks during the spring and summer growing seasons.

When cutting back your Tradescantia Nanouk, save the stem cuttings, and use them to propagate new plants. 

Best Growing Conditions for Tradescantia Nanouk

Tradescantia Nanouk grows well in daytime temperatures up to 75 degrees, with night temperatures ideally in the mid-50s. If you notice yellowing leaves and rotting roots, you're likely overwatering. Wilted leaves, on the other hand, may mean you're underwatering.

Use a standard, well-draining houseplant soil when potting your Tradescantia Nanouk. To enhance drainage, it’s a good idea to add a few handfuls of perlite, orchid bark, or coarse sand to the mix. Be sure to use a pot or container with a hole in the bottom and a drainage tray to protect household surfaces.

Under the right conditions, your Tradescantia Nanouk will flower during the growing season (roughly spring through autumn). Its flowers are small and star-shaped and typically have white, yellow, and pink accents.

Types of Tradescantia Nanouk

The Tradescantia and Zebrina genera include many different variants similar to the Tradescantia Nanouk. Perhaps the most common is the wandering Jew (T. zebrina), a spiderwort often grown indoors and in gardens. Another popular variation is the inch plant (T. cerinthoides), earning its name for its tendency to ‘‘inch along’’ as it grows along the ground or trails downward from a hanging planter.

The boat lily (T. spathacea) features similar colors to Tradescantia Nanouk but grows in long, pointed leaves from an upward bunch rather than along vine-like stems. Even T. sillamontana, known as cobweb spiderwort and bearing little resemblance to its relatives in the genus, is part of the same family. However, with its fuzzy, geometric-shaped leaves and bright purple flowers, you may not recognize it as being related at first glance.

T. fluminensis—sometimes called small-leaf spiderwort and commonly grown indoors or as a ground cover—may be the most similar in appearance to Tradescantia Nanouk. This trailing variant bears the same pink, white, and green colors but typically has white flowers and more prominent green areas on its leaves.

Closeup of a Tradescantia Nanouk blossom with green, pink, and white leaves; pink buds; and a white flower

Johann Jaducana / Getty Images

How to Propagate Tradescantia Nanouk

Like its fellow Tradescantia and Zebrina species, Tradescantia Nanouk is very easy to propagate from tip and stem cuttings. Propagating in soil works well, but starting cuttings in water allows you to monitor root growth. Tradescantia Nanouk can be propagated through several methods. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select stems on the mother plant with a few sets of leaves. These cuttings are ideal for growing new plants.

Step 2: With clean, sterilized pruners, make a diagonal cut on the stem near the plant’s base. Snip off the bottom leaves from the cutting, ensuring a few sets of leaves remain. 

Step 3: Fill a few jars halfway with water. Place the cuttings in separate jars, and fill them with water just below the leaves. To propagate with soil, simply use a small pot with soil in place of water during this step.

Step 4: Place the cuttings in a warm spot with bright, indirect light, but make sure they're out of direct sunlight. Over the next few weeks, roots should grow from the submerged leaf nodes. Add more water as necessary. 

Step 5: When the roots are at least 2 inches long, the cuttings are ready to plant. To create a full-looking adult plant, fill a pot with soil, and plant four cuttings around the edge of the pot, with a fifth cutting in the center. 

Step 6: Care for your new Tradescantia Nanouk as usual.

Common Growing Problems With Tradescantia Nanouk

Although Tradescantia Nanouk was bred to be an easy-growing plant, it’s prone to common growing problems, like root rot and loss of leaf color.

Root Rot

It’s ideal to water the soil directly so that you avoid getting the area between the leaves wet, which can cause the plant to rot. Be consistent with waterings, ensuring the soil stays moist and doesn't ever become completely dry.

Loss of Leaf Color

Choose a place with bright, indirect light. Leggy Tradescantia Nanouk plants are likely not receiving enough sun. If your plant is in a north-facing window, try switching it to the east side of your house. A sunny bathroom window is usually a great place to bring unhappy plants back to their lush state. While this plant can survive with less light, its colors and variegation will fade, and it may grow pale as leaves droop. 

Potting and Repotting Tradescantia Nanouk

Since this species is so vigorous, it’s a good idea to repot your plant once a year or so. Use a container one size larger than the previous pot, and fill it with fresh potting soil. Pinching new growth or cutting back your Tradescantia Nanouk will encourage it to grow fuller and bushier. Since this plant hates having soggy roots, make sure you choose a new container with holes for drainage.


Are Tradescantia Nanouk Easy to Care For?

Yes, Tradescantia Nanouk is an easy-growing plant, however, you'll need to watch out for root rot (avoid getting the area between the leaves wet) and loss of leaf color (choose a growing spot with bright, indirect light).

How Fast Does Tradescantia Nanouk Grow?

With the right growing conditions, Tradescantia Nanouk is very fast-growing and vigorous. You'll want to repot once a year on average.

Can Tradescantia Nanouk Grow Indoors?

Yes. A humid environment is ideal so Tradescantia Nanouk thrives near bathroom windows or near a humidifier.

Article Sources
MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Tradescantia 'Nanouk' United States Plant Patent Application Publication. United States Patent and Trademark Office. October 4, 2018