How to Grow Moses in the Cradle | Tradescantia Spathacea Care

Last Updated: 11.03.2024

Discover the secrets to growing the enchanting Moses in the Cradle plant and transform your space into a stunning oasis.

Moses in the Cradle is a beautiful and eye-catching plant that can bring life and color to any indoor or outdoor space. Its vibrant green leaves and purple-blue flowers make it stand out among other plants. In this blog post, we’ll explore the secrets to growing this stunning plant and share some tips on how to care for it.

About Moses in the Cradle

Moses in the Cradle is a popular indoor plant famous for its vibrant foliage. It is native to Mexico and Central America. The plant gets its common name from the way its leaves fold up, resembling the biblical Moses in the Cradle. The plant features lance-shaped leaves that are typically dark green on top and purple underneath. The leaves grow in a rosette formation, creating an attractive display.

Moses in the Cradle is a relatively low-growing plant, usually reaching a height of about 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) and spreading up to 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) in width. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, Moses in the Cradle can help improve indoor air quality by filtering out toxins from the surrounding environment.

This Plant is considered mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingesting the leaves may cause stomach discomfort, so it’s advisable to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Botanical Name: Tradescantia spathacea

Common Names: Boat Lily, Oyster Plant, Cradle Lily, Moses in His Cradle, Moses on a Raft, Moses in the Bulrushes, Men in a Boat

Moses in the Cradle is known by various common names in different Indian languages:

Hindi: बच्चों की बेड (Bacchon Ki Bed) or अनराय गोबी (Anray Gobi)
Bengali: বাচ্চা বাচ্চা গাছ (Baccha Baccha Gachh)
Telugu: బచ్చలు గంట (Bacchaloo Ganta)
Tamil: குழந்தை கிரட்டான் (Kuzhandhai Krittāṉ)
Kannada: ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಗಂಟು (Makkala Gantu)
Malayalam: കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങളുടെ വട്ടം (Kuññuṅṅaḷuṭe vaṭṭaṁ)
Marathi: मुलांचं घर (Mulān̄caṁ Ghara)
Gujarati: બાળકોનો કુંડો (Bālakōnō kuṇḍō)
Punjabi: ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਪਾਲ (Bacchī’āṁ dā pāla)
Odia: ଶିଶୁଗଣ ଖଡ଼ା (Śiśugaṇa khaṛā)

Learn How to Grow Ochna Integerrima here

How to Propagate Moses in the Cradle?


To propagate Moses in the Cradle you can follow these steps:

Propagation by Stem Cuttings:

  1. Select a healthy stem of Moses in the Cradle, and using a sharp, clean knife or scissors, cut a section of the stem that is at least 4-6 inches long.
  2. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the cutting to expose the nodes where the roots will develop.
  3. Optionally, dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone to promote root formation.
  4. Plant the stem cutting in a well-draining potting mix or a mix of perlite and peat moss.
  5. Water the cutting sparingly to keep the soil lightly moist, but not waterlogged.
  6. Place the cutting in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
  7. After a few weeks, the cutting should develop roots and show signs of new growth. At this point, you can transfer Moses in the Cradle to a larger pot or its permanent location.

Explore List of Plants that Grow from Stem Cuttings in India here

Requirements to Grow Moses in the Cradle



Moses in the Cradle thrives in bright, indirect light. It prefers locations with partial shade or filtered sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, especially during the intense afternoon hours, as it can scorch the leaves. A well-lit spot near a window with indirect sunlight is ideal.


This plant prefers well-draining soil that retains some moisture but doesn’t become waterlogged. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and regular potting soil can create a suitable growing medium. Additionally, adding organic matter like compost or leaf mold can help improve the soil’s moisture retention and nutrient content.


Moses in the Cradle prefers moderately moist soil. Water the plant when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Ensure that excess water drains properly from the pot to prevent waterlogging. Additionally, adjust the frequency of watering based on the climate and the moisture needs of the plant.

Check out Watering Hacks for Mini Succulents here

Temperature and Humidity

This plant thrives in average to warm temperatures, ideally between 15-27°C. In India, where the climate varies across regions, the plant should be kept in a temperature range suitable for its growth. Avoid exposing Moses in the Cradle to cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.

This plant appreciates moderate humidity levels. In India, where humidity can be relatively high in many regions, this plant can often adapt well. However, if you live in an arid or dry region, you can increase humidity around the plant by using a humidifier, placing a tray filled with water near the plant, or misting the leaves with water occasionally.

Moses in the Cradle Care



Moses in the Cradle benefits from regular feeding with a balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing season. You can use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength and apply it every 2-4 weeks.

Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the appropriate dosage. During the dormant season, reduce or suspend fertilization as the plant’s growth slows down.

Explore Why Adding Manure and Fertilizers to the Plants is Beneficial here


Remove dead or yellow leaves at the base to maintain appearance and prevent diseases. Additionally, shape the Moses in the Cradle by pruning back stems above a leaf node to stimulate bushier growth.

Propagate new plants by using the pruned cuttings; remove lower leaves and place in soil or water. Regular pruning helps maintain the plant’s form and encourages new growth.

Pest and Diseases

Monitor the plant for common pests like mealybugs and spider mites, and take prompt action if detected. Wipe affected leaves with a damp cloth or use insecticidal soap to control pests. Prevent diseases like leaf spots and fungal issues by avoiding overwatering and ensuring good air circulation.

If necessary, treat diseases with a suitable fungicide according to the product instructions. Regularly inspect the plant, practice good cultural practices, and address any pest or disease issues promptly to maintain the health and vitality of your Moses in the Cradle.

Learn Money Plant Diseases and Pests: How to Identify and Treat Them here

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend