Callisia Navicularis
Plant Care

Callisia Navicularis

Welcome to our care and propagation guide to the Callisia Navicularis, the key to caring for it is to give it loads of light and let the soil dry out before watering again.

Callisia Navicularis Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Check weekly, water if soil is dry all the way down.
Fertilizer:A cactus and succulent feed.
Soil:A cactus and succulent mix.
Humidity:No special humidity requirements.
Temperature:10°C to 25°C (50-77°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Chain plant, tradescantia navicularis.
Common issues:Overwatering.


The callisia navicularis aka chain plant aka tradescantia navicularis is known for its long chains of angular leaves. It makes a great trailing plant as it grows out with it’s beautiful vines. They are native to Mexico, but will grow well in most homes around the world

See also: Crassula Campfire, Tigers Jaw Succulent, Sansevieria Black Coral, Senecio Vitalis, Philodendron Pink Princess Care, Monstera Dubia, Cebu Blue Pothos.

Callisia Navicularis Light Needs

This is a succulent, so give it as much indirect sunlight as you can. They grow ok further back from the window, but I would give them lot of light. A south facing window is ideal.

Tip: they can get leggy, move closer to the light if you aren’t getting that characteristic compact growing form.

How Often to Water

Check the soil each week with your finger and water it only if the soil is dry from the time before. They do not want to be over watered. You’ll notice they do not need very much in the winter. A lot of succulents die from overwatering when the weather gets cold as they grow less and need much less water, so be careful to check the soil is dry first. If you are unsure, leave it a few days!


You do not need to feed this plant, but it may grow quicker if you do. If so, use a dedicated cactus and succulent feed, or one low in nitrogen.

Callisia Navicularis Soil

Use a cactus and succulent mix, this plant needs plenty of drainage. We made a guide to buying and/or making your own succulent mix here: Succulent Soil.

Tip: they need plenty of drainage and like a coarse medium, so a cactus and succulent soil is ideal for them.

When To Repot

Check them each Spring and repot if the the roots are crowded. They do not grow fast, but they don’t want to enter the growing season pot bound.


They do not need any special humidity requirements. Normal household humidity is fine.


10°C to 25°C (50-77°F) is an ideal range. They’ll be fine in most homes.

Propagating Callisia Navicularis

To propagate a callisia navicularis:

  1. Cut a section of stem that has a few nodes and leaves.
  2. Strip the leaves from the bottom node
  3. Let the cutting callous over for 2 days, so that the wounds heal. This reduces the chance of rot.
  4. Then plant the cuttings in a pot of cactus soil.
  5. Cover the cuttings in a plastic bag to keep them humid. And put them somewhere with indirect sunlight.
  6. They should root in two months time. You’ll know when they have rooted as they’ll start to grow from the top of the plant.

You can water prop these too, or use moss. Soil is easy enough as they tend to take well.

Is It Toxic to Cats?

It can be toxic to cats if eat, contact a vet immediately if you think your cat has eaten any.

callisia navicularis USDA Zone

Zones 9a-11b.

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.

Other Names

Chain plant, tradescantia navicularis.

Callisia Navicularis FAQs and Common Problems

Over watering is a common issue, especially when the temperature drops, so do not water if the soil is still wet.

Additional Resources


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Hope you found this guide useful, you might also like our other articles: Philodendron Pink Princess Care, Philodendron White Knight. Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight, Jessenia Pothos, Hoya Linearis, Philodendron Camposportoanum Care.

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