With the growing popularity of container gardening, the range of plants suitable for growing in hanging baskets, balcony boxes and flowerpots is growing. At the beginning of last season, I saw a very interesting plant on sale. The characteristic appearance gave out a tradescantia in an unusual flower, but very miniature in shape. Tradescantia are extremely popular indoor plants, many of which are also grown outdoors. So this tiny tradescantia named “gibasis” is primarily used for landscaping adjacent areas as an ampelous plant. What are the features of this plant and how easy is it in culture?
Tradescantia gibasis – “white veil” for flower beds, containers and window sills. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Field + Canvas
Gibasis – plant description
In fact, gibasis can be called “Tradescantia” very conditionally. Although both plants belong to the same Kommelinaceae family and have much in common, they do not belong to the same genus. In Latin, their names also sound different. Tradescantia is ‘tradescantia’ and gibasis is ‘gibasis’.
In particular, the view that interested me is cranked hibasis (Gibasis geniculata). In the West, this flower has popular names. “Wedding Veil” or “Tahitian veil” (Tahitian Bridal Veil). They took root because almost all year round the plant is strewn with tiny white flowers on thin openwork peduncles, forming a lace veil against the background of dark foliage.
Note: according to other sources, the plant belongs to the species trypogandra multifloral (Tripogandra multiflora). It is often called and tradescantia multifloral. Therefore, by and large, gibasis can be called tradescantia.
Gibasis is distinguished by small, narrow leaves 2-5 centimeters long and one centimeter wide. The color of the leaves is two-colored: on top it is olive green, and on the reverse side it is purple-violet. Tiny snow-white flowers are collected in airy paniculate inflorescences. Their diameter is less than one centimeter (0,7 mm), and the shape is typical for tradescantia, since the calyx consists of three petals.
Each flower blooms for only one day, but hundreds of new ones bloom to replace the faded ones, so the plant is in bloom most of the year. The most massive flowering can be observed from early summer to autumn. In winter, hibasis can only dissolve individual flowers or temporarily stop flowering.
Conditions and care for gibasis
This plant is not only very beautiful, but also quite easy to care for. However, while this Tradescantia is a hardy crop, it also needs to be conditioned to achieve the best results.
The optimal location for gibasis in terms of illumination is partial shade or even shade. Therefore, it is better to plant Tradescantia in protected places where it will not receive too much direct sunlight. It is best for the plant to be illuminated by the sun in the morning and evening, and arrive in the shade at noon.
Gibasis loves moist soil and high humidity. However, the substrate should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings. Waterlogging, as well as excessive dryness of the root ball, are not permissible. Drying out of the soil can lead to dropping of the buds, and excessive moisture will cause root rot.
A tropical guest can be kept at room temperature all year round. The plant continues to grow actively in the range from + 15 ° С to + 30 ° С. At temperatures below +10 ° C, all metabolic processes in the plant stop, that is, this indicator is critical. It is not necessary for the hibasis to artificially create a dormant period, so the plant can easily tolerate the temperature conditions of a city apartment in winter.
Tradescantia gibasis is very easy to propagate by growing new plants from cuttings. For propagation of gibasis, you can use pieces of the stem that have at least two leaves. You can cut cuttings for rooting almost all year round.
For planting hibasis, you will need a fertile substrate with a high level of moisture capacity. Typically, this Tradescantia will grow and thrive in ready-made mixes for indoor plants, flowers, or vegetables. Given the ampelous nature of the growth of gibasis, wide low bowls or hanging pots are best suited for it.
In room culture, hibasis can be planted and transplanted in autumn or spring. And if you use a flower for garden design, then planting this tradescantia in open ground is possible only when the threat of frost has passed – mid-end of May.
Before planting, dig a hole twice the width of the container the plant was previously in. Remove the seedling from the container and place it in the hole, while trying to keep the soil level the same as in the previous container. The first time of tradescantia will require shading and more abundant watering.
If the plant is grown as an indoor plant, then in the first year when planting in fresh fertile soil, it does not need to be fertilized. And in subsequent years, for more active growth, it will need feeding every 4-8 weeks – from April to September. When growing gibasis in container compositions on the street, you can apply long-acting fertilizers (sticks or granules) during planting.
Read also our article The Best Indoor Plants for Container Garden Arrangements.
My experience with growing gibasis
I grew Tradescantia gibasis as part of a tub composition of annual plants. A young, well-developed seedling was purchased at the end of May and planted in a specialized soil for flowering plants based on deoxidized peat and vermicompost. For additional plant nutrition, I also added long-acting complex fertilizer granules.
Tradescantia’s neighbors are ampelous petunia and kochia (summer cypress) in the center of the composition. Gibasis grew surprisingly quickly and soon literally before our eyes turned into a very lush bush, covered most of the surface of the tub and could even compete with a powerful climbing petunia.
The container with plants was placed in the depths of the balcony facing west, that is, it was actually in partial shade. Tradescantia received regular watering in hot weather and feeding with liquid mineral fertilizers, which were intended mainly for petunias.
Gibasis proved to be a very unpretentious plant, which over the whole summer did not give me any problems: it developed well, was constantly in bloom, was not affected by pests, and even the ubiquitous spider mite bypassed it.
Some types of tradescantia (for example, Virginia tradescantia) can winter in the middle lane, while gibasis is a tropical plant that belongs to the 9-11 zone of frost resistance. That is, in winter it can only be kept as a houseplant.
In fact, a mother plant growing in a bowl can be brought into the room as a whole for the winter. But since my plant was in a tub and was a very voluminous bush, to save space on the windowsill, I decided to leave the rooted cuttings for the winter. For this, cuttings were carried out in September.
Theoretically, one twig will be enough to propagate Tradescantia. But the stalks of hibasis are so thin and intertwined that it turned out to be much more convenient to cut the cuttings in a small bunch. As with conventional Tradescantia, you can put the cut stems in water and wait for the roots to form, then plant them in the ground. But you can root cuttings directly in the ground.
I used the second option and after cutting, having powdered the stems with “Kornevin”, put a bunch of stems in a half-liter glass, covered with ready-made purchased soil for flowers, and watered abundantly. There was no need to arrange additional greenhouses from a plastic bag or other things. The cuttings did not wither at all, and after a while young leaves began to form on them, which indicated that the plant had successfully rooted.
Thus, my hibasis proved to be a very worthy and absolutely unpretentious flower that can decorate any container arrangement in the garden or on the balcony.
Gibasis in design
Gibasis is a charming, hardy ampel, suitable for both indoor cultivation and outdoor gardening in hanging baskets or pots. Also, hibasis is attractive as a ground cover plant, and can be planted in open ground directly on a flower bed during the summer.
The dense texture and delicate flowers lend a special charm to the suspended gardens on terraces and balconies. Gibasis can even be used to form a green wall to create more privacy in recreation areas.
This is a completely self-sufficient plant. Solo hibasis will look modern, strict and stylish. But nevertheless, it will be much more interesting to find partners for this Tradescantia, who will revive its darkish foliage with bright flowering and create a contrast to small flowers.
When choosing companions for Tradescantia, it is important to consider two points: first, do not forget about its ability to grow very quickly and strongly. Having purchased a small stalk, it is important to give it enough space to grow and not plant it too close to other plants, otherwise the hibasis will become too strong competition for them.
It is important not to plant undersized and slowly growing plants next to it, otherwise its thin, but very numerous lashes will simply hide the neighboring flowers under them and prevent them from fully developing.
The best partners for gibasis will be flowers with large bushes of an upright type of growth. Moreover, it is better that they have large leaves or flowers. Also, it is preferable to plant plants in a company for Tradescantia not one by one, but in groups.
The second important condition: the preference for hibasis to grow in partial shade. This means that the partners for this tradescantia must have similar lighting requirements. Otherwise, too light-loving plants will not be able to reveal their full potential.
Considering all of the above, the best partners for gibasis can be: Waller’s balsam, New Guinea balsam, coleus, begonia and some other shade-tolerant flowers. Plant Tradescantia as close to the edge as possible, so that most of its green mass hangs outside the container and does not interfere with neighboring plants.