Shortlisted for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2023, Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm’ is a cerebral treat! It has bigger and more profuse flowers than the Tradescantias that came before it – plus a super long flowering season.
How to grow Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm’
Flowering time: June to November
Location: Borders in cottage or exotic gardens
Soil: Moist, but well-drained, fertile soil
Light: Sun or semi shade
Water: Water while establishing, then when the soil is dry throughout the growing season
Care: Cut back spent flower stems to encourage reblooming and fresh new growth
Size: 50cm (H) x 40cm (W)
What’s different about this plant?
Have you ever seen a Tradescantia with such big, profuse blooms? If you have, it was probably ‘JS Brainstorm’! This plant features unforgettable magenta-purple flowers and dark-green to grey-green foliage. It’s the Daphne Blake (of Scooby Doo fame) of the plant world!
Not only are those blooms big and beautiful, they also last and last. From June through to November, this plant will colour your garden pretty, out-flowering almost every other plant in its vicinity.
If that weren’t enough to sell you on Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm’, this plant is low-care (simply deadhead if you want to encourage even more blooms), climate proof (no need to worry about hosepipe bans) and hardy down to -30C.
How was this plant created?
Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm’ was created by breeder Jan Spruyt of Spruyt Select, who said that it ‘brought a brainstorm’ to his head upon seeing it for the first time.
After planting Tradescantia ‘Concord Grape’ within a prairie setting in his private garden, he noticed that a spontaneous seedling was blooming more profusely and for longer than its parent. However, what was even more noticeable to him was the colour of the leaves – the closer to the flower bud, the more the leaves began to match the hue of the flower head.
Jan considered that, in an unfertilised prairie garden, the colours of the leaves are always more intense than in an over fertilised location. However, he also noticed that the plant was not as tall as ‘Concorde Grape’ .
He favours ‘JS Brainstorm’ because of its colour, height, health and resistance to both drought and wetness. In his own words, he is “not always looking for ‘bigger and lower’ but for better and more natural”.
Where can you plant Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm?
Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm’ makes an ideal mid-border plant in exotic and cottage gardens. At 50cm in height, it won’t tower over other plants; instead, it will make a great impact with its striking appearance!
Where can you buy Tradescantia ‘JS Brainstorm?
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Images courtesy of Plantipp.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.