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Callisia Repens Pink Care Guide

Also called Sweet Bubbles, Pink Lady, Pink Panther, Pink Turtle, Bianca, Tangle and Tricolour... the Callisia repens 'Pink Bubbles' is a pretty-in-pink, variegated babe that's super easy care in the right conditions. So easy that she'll grow like mad and you'll be chopping and propping with glee, giving away baby bubbles to delighted friends and family. Extremely easy to propagate. We give her a 3 out of 5 LTLC rating. Find out more below.

Temperature & Light 

You might not know it by looking at her, but this girl is a succulent! So don't be stingy on the light or she'll punish you by going green and leggy. Direct sunlight, or bright indirect light, is the way to go to keep this girl pretty pink and pale cream, with variegated green leaves and bushy, dense growth when kept indoors. She'll thrive in full sun in winter, but move her to bright indirect light in summer to avoid those delicate leaves burning. Callisia repens are very hardy in the right conditions. Warmer temperatures preferred, ideally above 16 degrees but my girls routinely sleep through nights 10 or lower and cope fine. If yours have to put up with lower temperatures, do your best to get all the rest of the conditions the way she likes it and she should be fine.

 

Water & Soil

Callisia repens prefer being lightly moist, won't mind drying out a bit between watering again, but really dislike having wet feet. No soggy soil for this sweetheart, but just because she's a succulent does not mean extended periods with bone dry soil is okay either. We recommend only potting into a planter with a drainage hole, or removing the cover pot when watering so you avoid her sitting in water.

She'll grow for you all year round in the right conditions, but if you want to give her a boost save fertilising for the summer months. We use Groconut at 1/2 the dose the pack says with great results. A well-draining soil, about 50/50 potting soil and something free draining like perlite or succulent mix will do the job. If you're not the best at remembering to water, then go for a 3/4 potting mix and 1/4 free-draining mix to retain a bit more moisture. 

 

Callisia repens pro tips & problem solving

Leggy growth

Two usual reasons for leggy growth (where you're getting longer lengths of stem between the leaves). One is not enough light, causing the plant to stretch, the other is not pruning. Regularly pinch those tips and she'll double up on the growth further down the stem closer to the root. Voila! Lovely and bushy again. To keep that cute rounded bubble shape, don't let her trail. Totally up to you on what look you like as she'll readily trail down the sides of her pot if you let her. You can regularly trim and re-pot back in to the same pot if she gets any bald patches on top.

 

Too much green, losing the pink and variegated leaves

Regularly trim those solid green stems short so she focuses her growth on the pink, cream and variegated stems. Even if regularly trimmed, without enough light she could still revert to green, so check she's getting the light she needs. I give our Callisia girls direct sunlight in winter, and bright indirect light in summer (as the hotter summer sun can cause leaf burn otherwise). Whatever's caused it for you, trim back to where the stem is variegated to encourage new variegated, pink and cream growth, and regularly trim those solid green stems back to variegated growth. 

 

Spots on her pink bits! 

If you notice her pink and cream leaves starting to yellow or get freckles and spots, back off a bit on the light. You're seeing some early sunburn, and although she's a succulent, too much or too strong light can burn her more delicate, lighter leaves. Listen to those leaves and change her light.  

 

Small or dull coloured leaves

Both small leaves and dull, yellowing or browning leaves are signs of under-watering or leaf burn. You'll probably know which the likely cause is between the two, but if in doubt, try both watering less and changing her light situation. 

 

How to propagate Callisia repens Pink Bubbles

Honestly, so easy to propagate it seems like cheating. Chop off a stem worth keeping. Pick one with at least some green leaves on it (a fully pink or cream stem is highly unlikely to root). Strip off the bottom 2 or 3 leaves and then shove the bare stem in soil up to where the leaves start - done! I don't even pop her in a mini glasshouse, or put a bag over her, nothing fancy. Just chuck the pot full of cuttings back on the windowsill with the others.

I use a mix of potting soil and perlite. Give the soil a good soaking through (ideally with something yummy like Groconut to encourage that initial root growth), and let all excess water drain out. Then I grab my tweasers, gently hold the bare stem with them, and push it in to the soil.

I pack little 10cm grow pots with a tonne of cuttings so I end up with a new full plant, and within weeks they've rooted and are shooting out new leaves. Transporting them sucks a bit when it's time to pot up though. Try to do it in one clump if you can. Wait longer than you think to pot up, as their roots are annoyingly fine, so the more growth, and more tangled up they are together, the easier it is to repot.

They root so easily you could just prop straight in to the size of pot you'd want them in when big, but that needs a tonne more cuttings to cover the soil. I find the new growth can be unpredictable sometimes, so if I get a lot of green or almost solid green, I just keep trimming and replanting the desirable stems till I get a pot full of frothy pink and variegated gorgeousness!  

 

LTLC Rating (Love That Leaf Care Rating) 

We give the Callisia repens 'Pink Bubbles' a 3 out of 5. So easy care she almost deserves a 2, but only if given the right conditions, so we bumped her up a level. She does need that regular prune to stop her getting leggy or reverting to green, but given plenty of light, a regular haircut, and light watering, she'll grow like mad for you - and she's crazy easy to propagate too. Win win!

In our totally-made-up-based-on-our-own-experience LTLC Rating scale, we give a String of Pearls a 5 (such a love hate relationship with that plant), a ZZ Plant a 1, and a Peace Lily or African Violet a 2.

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