During their visit the other day, both Leslie and her aunt Elaine commented on the Purple Heart spilling out of my cobalt-blue pot in the driveway garden. Elaine had asked about its flowers... and wouldn't you know, it was covered in buds that day, but none of them were open!
Today, the first few finally made their appearance:
The Purple Heart (setcreasea pallida, syn. setcreasea purpurea, syn. tradescantia pallida) blooms off and on throughout the year for me, both indoors and out. It's pretty drought tolerant--although you can see that I had just finished watering it, by the droplets that remain on the leaves--but we get along best when it's placed in a mostly shady spot with just under 3 hours of afternoon sun in my garden. (In full sun here, it wants more water--and I'm stingy.)
Brought indoors for the winter, it usually lives on the shady end of my large plant table in front of the east-facing window. I'm going to try to get a few of these cascading stems to root in the ground, however, and see if they make a comeback next spring. A few different posters have reported on its Davesgarden listing that it comes back in zone 6a. So maybe I'll get lucky here in 6b, too? We'll see!
Side note to Elaine: Multiple sites report that this plant is usually very deer-resistant. Let me know if you want to try a division of mine next year!