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Inch plant care: Grow your inch plant with Keiki Paste

May 06, 2021 2 min read

Inch Plant - keiki tutorial

This three-step tutorial shows how to boost Inch Plant growth using Keiki Paste. Keiki paste contains plant hormone cytokinin to encourage cell division that enables new stems to form on your plant.

Inch Plant (Tradescantia Zebrina)

Also known as Tradescantia Zebrina, Inch Plants are among the easiest plants to propagate. Inch plants are popular for their stunning foliage marked with green, silver, and purple stripes. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, growing in wetlands, rainforests, and along riverbanks.

Their trailing habit makes them ideal hanging basket plants. Their tendency to root readily means that they are ideal for growing in water. Mine is growing happily in a glass vase filled with water and a few drops of fertilizer. They are so vigorous that in South Africa they are classed as an invasive species. Given the right conditions, this plant will easily reward you with masses of striking foliage.  

With the help of Keiki paste, you can grow new shoots and leaves on your Inch Plant. Read on to find out how.

Step 1: Find nodes

First, select ‘nodes’ to apply the Keiki paste to. Nodes are parts of the plant where new leaves emerge from. Keiki paste contains growth hormones that give dormant buds a boost.

Inch Plant nodes are easy to find. Here is a closeup of two Inch Plant nodes. They show up as small bumps on the stem.

Inch Plant nodes

Step 2: Apply Keiki paste to nodes

Score the nodes slightly with a needle or pin, making sure not to sever the stem. Scoring the stem will expose the plant better to the hormones contained in the Keiki paste. Dip a cotton bud in the Keiki paste and dab the paste onto the scored nodes. You only need a tiny amount. 

Step 3: Wait

The Keiki paste can take up to a month to work. During this time, place the plant in optimal light conditions. The inch plant does best in very bright filtered light. The purple queen variety loves full direct sun.

Inch plants prefer humid air. This is especially important after you've applied Keiki paste. Place in a bright bathroom, mist regularly with a bottle spray, or place on a tray containing gravel or pebbles with water up to half the depth of the gravel or pebbles.

As for watering, try to keep the soil evenly moist at all times though not waterlogged.  

Add a dose of fertilizer right after you use the paste to help the plant push out new growth. In winter, add only a very dilute dose as the plant needs very little food during its dormant period.

Soon, you will see new shoots and leaves emerging from the nodes you applied the paste to. 

Inch plant new stems



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