Rhoeo Dwarf - Tradescantia spathacea - Moses in the Cradle - Statement Plants

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Rhoeo Dwarf - Tradescantia spathacea - Moses in the Cradle

With two-tone green and purple leaves, the Rhoeo Dwarf makes a great addition to your garden or indoor living space.


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Rhoeo Dwarf (Tradescantia spathacea) is an attractive clumping plant. Its strappy, sword-shaped leaves are a deep green on the top side and a rich purple on the underside. It grows to 20-40cm in height and forms clumps. It works very well in mass plantings or as a low border. It can also be grown indoors in filtered light and works very well as a potted plant.

Rhoeos have small, white flowers that bloom mostly in spring to summer, although they can flower all year. The flowers are encased in small boat-shaped bracts. It is the shape of the bracts that gave the plant its common names Boat Lily and Moses in the Cradle / Moses in a Boat.

Tradescatia spathacea likes a position in full sun to part shade in freely draining organic mix. It is mostly drought tolerant in the garden once established. Water regularly until then. These plants can tolerate short periods of low temperatures, as long as they are not too wet. They are not generally frost tolerant, although may survive the occasional light frost.

Looking for a different colour Rhoeo? Have a look at the gorgous yellow-gold leaves of the Rhoeo Gold or the stunning striped Rhoeo Pinky.

Plant Details

Habit Clumping
Height 20cm to 50cm
Spread 20cm to 1m (clumps)
Position Full sun to part shade
Soil Free draining, organic
Foliage Two tone leaves with a dark green upper side and rich purple underside
Flowers White, small, in boat shaped bracts.
Flowering Time Spring to Autumn
Drought Tolerant Yes, once established
Frost Tolerant No. but may tolerate light frost once established. Does not like to be cold and wet.
Also Known As Rhoeo, Moses in the Cradle, Moses-in-the-Cradle, Boat Lily, boatlily, Moses in a Basket, Oyster Plant
Rhoeo spathacea
Toxicity Irritant if ingested

Plants posted potted. Plant sizes may vary.

Plants are shipped on Mondays (except public holidays). See our shipping page for detailed shipping information.

Ships to all states except

  • WA
  • NT