The perfect italian terrace plant?

08/03/2010 - 17:32

Looking at a courtyard in Umbria I saw a tradescanthia plant, the one sometimes non-pc called wandering Jew. Got hold of a couple and potted up on my terrace in Lazio and lo and behold they thrive mightily. Don't mind overwatering, neglect, and drought and if given a bit of feed and regular water really do well and hardy here. Quite a lot to choose from, tho not much in the way of flowers. Try them - put our struggling house plnts in UK to shame. Anybody else succeded with these?



Tradescanthia or wandering jew is a very reliable plant everywhere. I started growing some from cuttings in Australia almost 40 years ago and I have also done it in Europe with excellent results. In Bagni di Lucca, New Guinea impatiens do extremely well in terraces and gardens and flower profusely over a long period. Kalanchoes and begonias do very well and also geraniums and pelargoniums. These can provide the flower "touch" that you need. A favourite of mine is lantana, very tough, grows well in pots and there are plenty of varieties with beautiful colours which should enhance any terrace. Happy gardening!

They are very useful, and surprisingly (though not fully, with me)  hardy. I bought a gorgeous one with deep purple flowers, and the grower advised me it really couldn't stand full sun, but it is coping very well (in a pot, in almost full building shade). I think it'd be happier with about four hours of sunlight. The more common white flowered version is less particular about shade. Something else which in Britain we tend to think of as a house plant, but which will happily go rampant over the summer in Italy even in open ground is the 'spider plant'. Consider a very simple 'cutting' as an instant 'annual' bit of greenery.

Thanks for the interest folks and I am right with you re spider plants. bought 2 at a church fete in uk and now rampant and healthy on the terrace. As for nasturtiums the ones without the spur not v good but the usual one v good provided all seeds and faded leaves removed! Any other suggestions for Italian winter hardy plants as sure-fire winners?