Baby Bunny Bellies are highly sought-after plants for their fuzzy foliage and velvety green leaves with a deep, purplish color. The best part is that you don’t need a green thumb to look after this wonderful trailing plant. It’s easy to grow in mixed patio containers and propagate. Keep reading for in-depth instructions.
What are Baby Bunny Bellies?
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The Baby Bunny Bellies (Tradescantia chrysophylla) are famous for their unique foliage that has soft downy purple undersides that feels like a baby rabbit’s belly. Part of the Commelinaceae family, these tropical plants thrive in their native environment and are widely considered to be very beginner-friendly. If you follow basic plant care practices, you will see beautiful and healthy growth.
Here’s how you can make this easy care houseplant thrive.
For maximum yields, you should mimic the plant’s native habitat found in the Americas. Baby bunny bellies thrive in well draining organic soil that is free draining. For the most part, you can choose any soil type for Baby bunny bellies, and they will grow really well.
Baby bunny bellies prefer soil that is slightly acidic with a pH value of between 6.0 to 7.5. Try not to decrease the pH too much because this will prevent the plant from absorbing food from the soil. The pH value is important because it affects the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Make sure that the plants have a neutral pH (or slightly acidic) at all times. It is common for some gardeners to confuse high acidity or alkalinity with mineral deficiency due to overlapping symptoms.
As a result, they may add more fertilizer to the soil because they think that their baby bunny bellies are starving. However, the addition of more fertilizer does little to improve the pH value and, if anything, could lead to fertilizer burn. This is why you should monitor the soil acidity regularly using a pH meter.
Like most houseplants from tropical rainforests, the Baby bunny belly thrives in a moist environment. Your goal is to keep the soil slightly moist to mimic the conditions found in the plant’s native habitat.
Although it is recommended to water the plant once every 1 to 2 weeks, you should make sure that the topsoil has dried out before a watering session. Use the finger test to determine if the plant needs water. Insert your finger two inches into the soil. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water the plants.
Do not water the plant if the soil feels moist. Overwatering can deal a lot of damage to your Baby bunny bellies and may lead to root rot.
Note: Don’t water directly into the crown because it could lead to rot in your Baby bunny bellies.
Baby bunny bellies are tropical houseplants that thrive in temperatures in the range of 65 and 75°F. Like most tropical houseplants, Baby Bunny Bellies don’t respond well to extreme swings in the ambient temperature. The plants should be isolated from heat sources and drafty windows.
As the temperature falls below 50°F, the plant enters a dormant state and becomes increasingly vulnerable to cold damage. Frost, in particular, is deadly to Baby bunny bellies and will not only stunt their growth but also kill them without timely intervention. This is why you should bring your Baby bunny bellies indoors during winter, especially when you expect frost.
Baby bunny bellies do not require high humidity levels because they are adept at absorbing water from their root system. This is why watering the soil is the best way to improve their moisture level. With that said, if the ambient environment has very low moisture levels at around 30%, you may want to increase the humidity by misting your Baby Bunny Bellies.
Doing so will ensure that your houseplants maintain their stunning, eye-catching foliage. Droopy and yellowing leaves clearly indicate that your plants need additional moisture. However, don’t increase the humidity past a certain level because it could lead to mold growth.
Baby bunny bellies can grow fast and need all the nutrients they can get. Try feeding them a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks in the growing season. Introduce fertilizer once during the growing season to ensure that the plants are well-fed. Reduce the amount of fertilizer and its frequency in the winter months when the plant enters a state of dormancy.
It also helps to use slow-release fertilizers. Don’t forget to dilute them to prevent fertilizer burn. Use the manufacturer’s given directions to dilute liquid fertilizers.
Baby Bunny Belly is a climbing or trailing plant that will thrive indoors with sufficient lighting. You can achieve maximum growth rates by providing it with bright indirect light. You may also use a grow light to speed up the growth of your baby bunny bellies and keep them healthy.
They can reach a height of up to 8 inches in full or partial sun. Gardeners have seen excellent results by keeping the plant three feet from a south-facing window. Failing to provide adequate lighting will cause the leaf markings to fade and lose their bright foliage.
Baby bunny bellies are fast growers and may require repotting. This means you may have to repot the plant once every year to replenish its soil. You can also perform a visual inspection to determine if it’s time to repot the plants. Make sure to only go up one pot size or a few inches when repotting the plant.
Although Baby Bunny Bellies are resilient plants but susceptible to pests and diseases. Common pests include mealy bugs, scale insects, and aphids. Common diseases include root rot and leaf spot. In both cases, you should quarantine the plant to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
Use a combination of neem oil and insecticidal soap to eliminate pests.
Ease of Propagation
Baby bunny bellies are easily propagated in the growing period with the help of stem cuttings. Make sure to water the plants at least one day before making stem cuttings. This will prevent shock to the plant and reduce the time it takes to develop a root system.
There you have it, a complete care guide to Baby Bunny Bellies. As you can tell, they are fairly low maintenance and extremely forgiving if you ever forget to water them. Watch out for root rot and diseases to maintain that silky texture and gorgeous foliage!