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Callisia repens (Creeping Inch Plant) – Growth And Care Guide

The Callisia Repens plant goes by many names. It is called the creeping inching plant or pink lady plant. It is a low-growing plant that can sometimes be used as ground cover. When grown in pots, they make excellent ornamental plants.

Callisia repens (Creeping Inch Plant) - The definitive growth and care guide

It is a tropical plant from central and south America. It features beautiful bright green leaves with slim pink stripes. These stripes have earned it the name pink lady plant. The exotic foliage is carried by Viney stems with a creeping growth.

They can be grown in hanging baskets while indoors. And they are not toxic, so you can grow them at home with ease.

Botanical NameCallisia Repens
Common NamesCreeping inch plant, pink lady plant, Bianca plant, Tradescantia Callisia, Bolivian Inch Plant
OriginCentral and South America 
Plant TypeLow-growing, herbaceous perennial 
Full SizeRanges from 10cm to 15 cm tall
Sun ExposureBright but filtered sunlight 
Soil TypeWell-draining, acidic soil 
ToxicityNon-toxic to both pets and people 

Callisia Repens Care 

The Tradescantia Bianca plant can be easy to care for. But, they do have specific lighting and watering requirements. By meeting them, you ensure proper plant growth. Potting also matters with the plant. Get one with enough drainage holes. 

Callisia Repens Lighting Requirements

Light intensity should be kept at moderate levels for the plant. This would mean enough exposure to bright but indirect sunlight. 

Some levels of direct sunlight can be tolerated. But over time, they can lose their pink variegation. Scorched leaves can also be suffered by Callisia.  Too little sunlight does limit plant growth and leads to low variegation. 

They are best kept in a room with an east-facing window. There they can get access to the morning sun. And still, get some protection from the harsh sun. If you can’t relocate the plant, consider a light curtain. This would help filter the harsh sun rays.

Callisia Repens Watering Requirements 

Callisia Repens Watering Requirements 

Watering should be kept at a moderate frequency. Once a week should be fine for the plant. The aim of watering should be moist soil and not soggy one. 

When you overwater, you risk exposing the roots to rot. They can also suffer dehydration, so underwatering is bad for the plant species. 

Before watering, check the top part of the soil for excess moisture. Use a moisture meter or try feeling the soil with your finger. If it feels dry, then proceed to watering. You can also try lifting the pot. If it feels heavy do not water it. Otherwise, proceed to watering. 

The water used must be tepid and free from chlorine. Rainwater is most advised, but you can filter tap water to get rid of the chlorine. 

Callisia Repens Soil Requirements

Use a well-draining potting mix with good moisture-retaining ability. It should be rich and a little acidic in nature.

Try mixing a regular succulent potting mix with peat moss. Add some perlite and coco coir to it. Organic compost should be added to make it rich.  The pH should be left between 5.6 to 6.7.

Callisia Repens Temperature and Humidity Requirements   

Humidity and temperature levels should be average. This means, keeping humidity from 40% to 50%. They are tropical plants, so avoid dry areas. Instead, try misting them often if you grow them in a dry environment. You could also consider using a humidifier.

Temperature should be kept between 59 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They aren’t frost hardy so protect them from excess cold. During the winter season, they should be kept away from windows. Grow them indoors instead. 

Callisia Repens Fertilizer Requirements 

Callisia Repens Fertilizer Requirements 
Pumpkin Beth

Fertilizing is important to the turtle vine plant care. They should be fertilized during the summer season. This is when they are most active. Do this once in 2 weeks with a liquid fertilizer.

Ensure you dilute fertilizer to 50% before using it. In winter, do not fertilize the Callisia repens plant. It should be dormant by then. 

Callisia Repens Propagation

You can propagate the turtle vine plant in two methods;

  •  Through seeds 
  • Through stem cuttings

Propagating through stem cuttings is faster than with seeds. Always ensure you sterilize the tools for cutting before use. 

Common Health Problems of Callisia Repens 

  • Powdery mildew
  • Root rot
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips
  • Aphids 
  • Whiteflies
  • Scale

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Callisia repens fast growing?

No, they are slow growers, which makes them great ground covers. 

How do you keep Callisia pink?

To keep them variegated, provide enough sunlight. It should be bright and filtered. 

Is Callisia a succulent?

Yes, the Turtle vine plant is a succulent. Its vines are fleshy.

Why is my Callisia purple?

This might be caused by dormancy. The callisia goes dormant in the winter season and purple leaves are a sign.

How many types of Callisia repens are there?

There are over 20 species of the Callisia repens.  They all have slight differences in appearance.