All About The Fascinating Moses In The Cradle Plant

Don’t confuse Moses in the cradle plant to be some heavenly incarnation because of the name as the reality is that it is just a simple plant with an interesting name due to its extraordinary morphological features. If it has intrigued you enough, continue to read for more interesting facts and a growing guide about the plant.


Moses in the cradle

There may be nothing pious or heavenly about the plant as the name may lead you to think but the looks of the plant are captivating without being over the top. The plant can act as the most suitable filler for your house spaces or those boundaries of your garden or gateway due to the bushier structure it has. Having traveled from its native lands in Central America, West Indies, and Mexico, the plant has become popular all over the world for decorative purposes and is widely cultivated commercially in regions like Hawaii, Texas, Florida, and similar other island areas.

There are so many names of this shrub plant-like Moses in the cradle, Boat Lily, Cradle Lily, Rhoeo, Oyster, Moses In The Bulrushes, Moses In A Boat, etc. and all of these aren’t derived from any mythological relation that the plant may have but because of the unique structure of the different parts of this plant that is also similar to the Wandering Jew plant in some aspects. The botanical name of this plant is Tradescantia spathacea and shares affiliations with the plant family called Commelinaceae and the genus named Tradescantia.

The plant is not safe for children and pets to be around as it contains poisonous substances in different parts that can cause health issues like oral infection, mouth burns, etc. if consumed. The sap of this plant can cause skin burns and irritation if touched accidentally and you must handle the plant only with hand gloves on.

Species of the plant

A variety of the Moses plant is the cultivar called Variegata or Rhoeo discolor which has recently gotten huge popularity because of its sensational color. It is the foliage of this variety that displays a combination of shades like cream, green, pink, and burgundy in striped form over one single blade of leaves that looks marvelous. This species is being highly used as a decorative table plant or side decoration piece.

Physical characteristics of the Moses in a cradle plant

The flowers of this plant are a major attraction and the prime reason behind the names given to the plant. The unique flowers of Moses have three petals of white color resting over the leaf axil in a bract that has a boat shape.

The foliage or leaves of the plant is another great thing about it and everything about them is noticeable. From the waxy texture to glossy shine on the surface, these leaves flaunt so many other things like rich purple hues on the underside, emerald shiny green color on the upper surface, and a sword-like shape.

The plant grows up to a height of one to two feet and can expand to about 3 inches.

Growing the Moses in a cradle plant

If you have been hesitant to grow this plant because of the bushier appearance, thinking that it might need a lot of care and maintenance then you keep all the doubts aside and get ready to grow it for your house. Moses in the bulrushes plant is very easy to grow and care plant and you just have to put in the right efforts as per the guide we are going to give you down below.

Basic requirements of the plant

The plant doesn’t ask for much and here is all that you need to give it:

  • Sun is the best friend of this plant and it must get direct sunlight for an ample amount of time, nearly 6-8 hours every day. Keep them in suitable places if you are having this plant indoors.
  • The ideal temperature range of this plant is 60-85 degrees F which indicated that they prefer warmer conditions more. However, they like to be in slightly cooler conditions during the night time. Ensure their safety from sudden temperature fluctuations too.
  • Any standard potting soil mix can do well for starting this plant and you only have to ensure that it is well-draining but moisture-retentive too. This must be done to save the roots from rotting.
  • The plant also prefers humid conditions of medium to a high degree and you must ensure them with DIY pebble trays or humidifiers.

Method of propagating this plant

The best way to start the Moses plant is via stem divisions that can be taken from the base of a mature plant. Cut an offshoot that has some roots growing on it and then insert it directly into a prepared pot. Do this in the spring season for a boosted start and the plant will bloom very soon as it grows rapidly.

Caring for Moses in a cradle plant

Moses in the cradle

Here are some of the best tips that will make the task of maintaining the Moses easier:

  • Watering this plant is only feasible when the topsoil layer has completely dried out. Fill water in the pot till it starts flowing out from the base and then wait for the soil to dry out again. Cut down the watering frequency during winters.
  • Repotting the Moses in the boat plant is an essential step that you must carry out carefully. Spring season is the ideal time to go ahead with changing pots and choose one size bigger container than the previous one for allowing the required space to the expanding roots. They don’t like to be bounded and bigger space allows for faster moisture evaporation that is good for their health.
  • Any balanced fertilizer, liquid or granular, is good enough for feeding this plant twice a year during the spring and summer. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer strength by half before the application. It is very important to feed it during the initial growth phase.
  • Some of the minor insects like mealybugs and spider mites may create problems for this plant that can be treated with any mild insecticide spray. Diseases like leaf spotting and root rotting are the two other common problems that may occur and that can be dealt with by maintaining the right humidity and moisture levels in the soil.
  • Pruning the plant must be done carefree as that will keep the shape and expansion of the plant under control. It also makes the plant bushier and fuller by encouraging new growths in place of older ones that get removed. Do so during spring as the growth is in full swing that time and you can remove all that you want in one go.
  • This plant is also invasive and thus, mustn’t be left unattended in the garden beds as it can damage other exotic species nearby.


So, if you want this amazing Moses in the cradle houseplant blooming in your house and adding a peculiar dimension to space, then all you have to do is follow the guide. The results will be very promising we assure and if you manage to get the different cultivar and grow it, then it will be a bonus treat for you.

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