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A Complete Guide to Wandering Jew Plant Care

Last Updated: June 12, 2024 Fact Checked

  • Potting Your Plant
  • Caring for Your Plant

Preventing Pests & Disease

Expert q&a, things you'll need.

This article was co-authored by Chai Saechao and by wikiHow staff writer, Dev Murphy, MA . Chai Saechao is the Founder and Owner of Plant Therapy, an indoor-plant store founded in 2018 based in San Francisco, California. As a self-described plant doctor, he believes in the therapeutic power of plants, hoping to keep sharing his love of plants with anyone willing to listen and learn. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 649,138 times.

Wandering Jews are beautiful vining plants known for their solid or variegated leaves. These hardy perennials thrive outdoors as groundcover or in pots that allow their tendrils to cascade. They’re relatively easy to care for and incredibly simple to propagate, making them great houseplants! Keep reading for an easy step-by-step guide to Wandering Jew maintenance, from planting to watering to pruning.

Things You Should Know

  • Keep your Wandering Jew in a warm spot (around 50–80 °F (10–27 °C)) with lots of bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Pot your plant in well-draining potting soil in a container with drainage holes. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet.
  • Pinch or prune the leaves when the plant gets leggy to promote bushiness, or when any leaves or vines begin to brown or rot.

Potting Your Wandering Jew Plant

Step 1 Choose a spot for your plant that's 50–80 °F (10–27 °C) year round.

  • Refer to this map to see if your area's temperatures are warm enough to support a Wandering Jew plant, if you're planning on keeping it outside. According to the USDA, the Wandering Jew plant grows best in zones 9-11.
  • If you don’t live in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, keep in mind that you may not be able to keep your plant outside during the winter. You may want to grow it inside instead.

Step 2 Choose a pot about 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) bigger than the root ball, with holes.

  • If you use a hanging basket, remember to turn it daily so it gets equal amounts of sunlight.
  • If you’re hanging your plant, choose a lightweight or plastic pot so it won’t fall. This also makes it easier to move inside in case of frost.

Step 3 Pot your Wandering Jew plant.

  • Be careful not to use soil that’s too heavy, as Wandering Jews need light soil that drains well. [3] X Research source
  • Buy well-draining soil, or, if you already have heavier soil, mix equal parts soil with compost, or equal parts soil, compost, and peat.
  • Purchase a Wandering Jew plant at a gardening or home improvement center, or propagate cuttings from established plants . Wandering Jew cuttings grow very quickly.

Watering, Fertilizing & Pruning Your Plant

Step 1 Keep your plant in a spot that gets bright but indirect or filtered sunlight.

  • If you’re growing your plant indoors, an eastern facing windowsill is a good spot. The plant will receive bright indirect light throughout the day, but watch to make sure the space doesn't become too hot in the afternoon. If so, move the pot a few feet away or use a curtain to filter the light. [5] X Research source
  • If the plant primarily remains outside, find a spot that receives indirect sunlight. This could be on a porch that gets morning sun for several hours. Just make sure that it's not sitting in direct sunlight without any shade for most of the day.

Step 2 Keep the soil moist, but not too wet.

  • If you've set your pot on a saucer, empty the saucer when it fills.
  • The plant's growth will slow in the winter months, meaning it needs to be watered less often. Simply let it remain a little dry for a bit longer before watering.
  • Some people find it convenient to put self-watering aqua globes in their plant pots; however, these glass globes require cleaning and regular filling. You'll still need to monitor your plant's moisture if you choose to use them.

Step 3 Fertilize your plant biweekly during the growing season (spring to early fall).

  • Read the container's instructions carefully before fertilizing, as some liquid fertilizers may actually be powders requiring you to mix in water.

Step 4 Prune your plant to promote growth when it gets leggy.

  • The best time to prune is during the spring and summer months, when the plant is putting on the most growth. After you've pruned, give the plant a chance to put on new shoots and fill in.
  • If you find your plant is too dense and bushy, you'll need to prune around the base so that the plant can get adequate circulation and sunlight.

Step 5 Pluck or cut off any diseased, rotted, and dead leaves.

  • Generally, expect to repot your plant annually, but keep an eye out for signs your plant has outgrown its container within that time frame: once you see roots creeping out from under the plant through the drainage holes, or popping up through the soil, it’s time to repot. [10] X Trustworthy Source Penn State Extension Educational organization dedicated to delivering science-based information to people, businesses, and communities Go to source

Step 1 Remove stems with aphid infestations.

  • Try to use distilled or bottled water when misting the leaves for the best results.
  • Brown leaves can also be a sign that your plant is getting too much sunlight. In this case, make sure your plant is not directly in the sun by moving the pot or placing a filter, such as a curtain, in between the plant and the window.

Step 3 Restore faded leaves by giving your plant more sun.

  • Root rot can spread very quickly, so act fast when you see signs of it. It can be heartbreaking to cut away a large chunk of your plant, but if you wait too long, you could lose the whole plant. [13] X Research source
  • Other signs of root rot include spongy, black roots.

Katie Gohmann

  • Though "Wandering Jew" is the most common name for this plant, some people may find this term offensive. Consider using "wandering dude" or "inch plant" instead. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 2
  • "Wandering Jew" doesn't refer to just one plant: it refers to a variety of Tradescantia species, the 3 most common of which include Tradescantia fluminensis ("Quicksilver"), Tradescantia pallida ("Purple Heart"), and Tradescantia zebrina ("Tricolor"). Care is the same for all 3. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1

wandering jew sun exposure

  • Be careful when pinching or pruning your plant. Wandering Jew sap can cause skin irritation in some people and allergic reactions in dogs. To be safe, wear gardening gloves when pruning your Wandering Jew. [14] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Wandering Jew cuttings or a plant
  • Well-draining potting soil
  • Pot or hanging basket
  • 10-10-10- fertilizer
  • Aqua globes (optional)
  • Pruning shears (optional)
  • Gardening gloves

You Might Also Like

Take Care of Plants

  • ↑ https://houseplantcentral.com/tradescantia-zebrina-care-info/
  • ↑ https://www.almanac.com/plant/inch-plants
  • ↑ https://getbusygardening.com/wandering-jew-plant-care/
  • ↑ https://www.weekand.com/home-garden/article/indirect-light-plants-18005506.php
  • ↑ https://www.almanac.com/plant/wandering-jew
  • ↑ https://www.weekand.com/home-garden/article/use-101010-fertilizer-garden-18057536.php
  • ↑ https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/wandering-jew/growing-wandering-jew-plants.htm
  • ↑ https://extension.psu.edu/repotting-houseplants
  • ↑ https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/treating-root-rot-gardening-tips-for-housplants.htm
  • ↑ https://www.wildinteriors.com/blog/2019/10/30/treating-root-rot-and-soft-rot-in-houseplants
  • ↑ https://www.weekand.com/home-garden/article/wandering-jew-plants-dangerous-dogs-18063157.php

About This Article

Chai Saechao

To take care of your Wandering Jew plant, place it by an east-facing window so that it gets a combination of direct and indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked, and water the soil instead of the top of the plant to avoid rot. You should also fertilize the Wandering Jew plant every two weeks with a liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer. To keep the plant from getting leggy, trim back the stems in the spring and summer. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Wandering Jew Plants Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Tradescantia zebrina”

Hollie Carter

It might surprise you to learn that “the wandering Jew” isn’t a single plant, its name used to describe a collection of plants in the Tradescantia genus.

Many countries around the world view the wandering Jew as an invasive species. Therefore, you won’t find many of them as regular additions to gardens . However, the vine makes for an excellent indoor plant .

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

Wandering jew plant varieties.

The wandering Jew refers to three different plants in the Tradescantia genus. The three varieties are the zebrina, fluminensis, and the pallida.

Tradescantia Zebrina

The zebrina is the most common of the three species, and it features dark-green foliage that contrasts against the brilliant-white three-petal flowers the plant produces.

As you can imagine, the plant also gets part of its name from the zebra-like foliage. The center of the leaf id has a creamy-white color, and the outer trimming of the leaves has a silver lining.

Tradescantia zebrina

Tradescantia Fluminensis

This wandering Jew species features white flowers, and it’s a trendy indoor plant around the world. The species originates from the southeastern region of Brazil. It’s an evergreen perennial plant that flowers all-year-round and lasts for many years if the owner takes care of it correctly.

The oval-shaped foliage of the Fluminensis is green in color and has a glossy look. The leaves attach to fleshy stems, and the stem nodes quickly put roots down into the soil, allowing for the rapid spread and growth of the plant in ideal growing conditions.

When the plant flowers , it produces a set of flowers with three white petals. The flowers don’t bear any seeds, and they might also emerge in clusters. There are various sub-species of this plant as well, and some types, such as variegate, feature different leaf colors, such as yellow or cream streaks in the leaves.

The plant does best in USDA zones 9 to 12, as it loves the additional humidity in these regions as well. The wandering Jew doesn’t do well in colder climates, so stick to planting in the southern states.

The wandering Jew also prefers full sunlight during the day, and you’ll need to feed it a reasonable amount of water throughout the week. The plant doesn’t enjoy being dry for long periods.

Tradescantia Pallida

This variety originates in Mexico, and it’s the most attractive of the three Tradescantia genus. This wandering Jew produces long, pointy leaves that can reach lengths of 7-inches. The leaf will eventually turn a purple color, but the tips might remain red or green during the color transition.

There are visible segmentations on the stem of this wandering Jew, and it’s for this reason that many countries classify this plant as invasive.

The segments break easily, but they root readily, evolving into two plants with little care. Fortunately, for fans of the plant, it also makes it easy to grow the plants for cuttings as well.

Tradescantia pallida don’t like the cold, and it will die back in colder environments in the Northern states, especially if it grows outside. This wandering Jew produces small flowers that bloom in colors of pink, lavender, and white. The flowers feature three petals, and while they aren’t show-stopping, then do add a beautiful aesthetic to the plant.

9 Purple Wandering Jew Cuttings for Planting Indoor, 4 Inc to 6 Inc Tall, Tradescantia Zebrina Plant, Inc Plant, No Root

  • shipped in inproved box to save the plant

Purple Wandering Jew Live Plant Cuttings - (9) Cuttings - Tradescantia Zebrina Live Plant for Growing Indoor - No Root

  • Purple Wandering Jew Live Plant Cuttings - (9) Cuttings - Tradescantia Zebrina Live Plant for Growing Indoor - No Root

Last update on 2024-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Natural Air Cleaners

One of the reasons why the wandering Jew is such a popular house plant is its natural air-cleaning properties. The wandering Jew is an excellent “air scrubber,” and it removes bacteria and VOCs from the air inside your home, exchanging it for fresh air that enhances your home.

Some research also shows that the wandering Jew can assist in soil remediation, as well. The plant can remove heavy metals from the soil, helping restore the root health of other plants in the same flowerbed or pot.

Caring for Your Wandering Jew Plant

All varieties of the wandering Jew are easy to care for, provided that you grow them in the right climate and conditions. As long as the plant receives regular watering and pruning, it will thrive, and you’ll also manage to control the growth as well.

If you plant in a sunny spot in your home, then you can expect your tradescantia to last for many seasons. It’s also important to note that the plant might not flower it in its first season. However, by the third year, you should see plenty of flowers that emerge in the summer months.

Spiderwort Plant

As mentioned, the wandering Jew prefers sunny planting locations. The plant prefers later afternoon sun to morning sun, but it does well in any sunny area around the home. The more light you give the plant, the more flowers it produces in the flowering season.

If your wandering Jew does not get sufficient sunlight, you’ll notice that the color of the leaves starts to fade. Move the plant to a sunny spot, and it should recover in less than a week.

The wandering Jew enjoys a balanced moisture level in its soil . Don’t let the earth get too dry, as it might cause burning in the tips of the leaves. Likewise, the wandering Jew does not enjoy excessively wet soil either. The plant is susceptible to forming root rot if you “keep its feet wet.”

To check if it’s time to water your wandering Jew, push your finger about 1-inch into the soil. If it feels dry, then give your plant some water.

You must ensure you use a rich, loamy soil that drains well when planting your wandering Jew. When planting in a pot, make sure you add a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot to enhance drainage. Add perlite to the soil to assist with drainage as well.

You can get away with using a standard potting mix when planting indoors , and other soil enhancements we recommend you add are the following.

  • Coarse sand and perlite for drainage
  • Humus or peat
  • A light dusting of lime
  • A few handfuls of rich organic compost

You want the soil to retain water but still allow optimal drainage.

During the growing season, fertilize your wandering Jew plant using a liquid-based fertilizer product. Make sure that you dilute the fertilizer to 50-percent strength.

Strong concentrations can result in burning in the tips of the leaves of the plant. You can also add a granular slow-release fertilizer to the soil once a year at the start of spring.

The wandering Jew grows quickly, and it might take over its pot in one or two seasons, depending on the size of the container. Therefore, you’ll need to pull up the plant and divide it from year-to-year, depending on its growth rate.

If you choose to re-pot your plant, make sure you use a pot that’s at least 50-percent larger than the old one. Line the pot with potting soil and a few handfuls of rich organic compost. Dig around the edges of the existing container to loosen the root ball. After loosening, pull the base of the plant to release it from the pot.

Move the plant to its new pot, and then fill with potting mix to cover the roots — Pat down the soil, and then water lightly.

Wandering Jew plants require regular pruning . The plant grows quickly, and if you don’t prune, then it can overtake the pot fast. Pruning also helps the stem, from getting “leggy,” meaning that the plant starts to look bare at the base. Pruning keeps the plant healthy and growing at an optimal rate.

All; you need to do is prune back any stems and pinch the stem tips. The wandering Jew will then send out two new shoots from the pinched top, helping your plant spread out into a bush-like appearance.

Propagation

The wandering Jew is easy to propagate . This plant grows quickly in a variety of conditions, which is one of the reasons why most countries list it as invasive. You can propagate your cuttings after your pruning session, without much effort.

Remove all of the leaves but the top set after pruning the stem. Place the cutting in another smaller pot with moist potting soil . Leave the container in the sun, and you should find that the cutting roots in a month.

Propagation

Being an indoor plant , the wandering Jew does not get much attention from pests. However, spider mites can be a problem for your plant if you don’t take care of it and watch for the presence of pests.

Spider mites are tiny spider-like bugs that form a web around the inside of the leaves of the plant. If left unmanaged and untreated, they might start to cause yellow spots in the foliage. The wandering Jew might also fail to flower in the summer months as well.

Over-watering your wandering Jew plant can result in the onset of diseases like root rot. Ensure that you have a well-draining soil mix before planting your wandering Jew. Provided that you do everything you can to ensure your soil drains well, you should never have a problem with root rot in your wandering Jew plant.

Wandering Jew Plants FAQS

What is the best way to grow a wandering jew plant.

The best way to grow a Wandering Jew plant involves placing it in a location that gets plenty of sunlight, preferably late afternoon sun. You should use well-draining, loamy soil to plant it, and ensure a balanced moisture level by watering it regularly but not excessively. The plant also appreciates humidity and occasional fertilizing with a liquid-based fertilizer diluted to 50% strength during the growing season. Pruning should be done regularly to manage its growth.

Is Wandering Jew easy to grow?

A: Yes, Wandering Jew plants are generally easy to grow. They adapt well to various conditions and are fast-growing. They can be propagated easily from cuttings and require minimal maintenance beyond regular watering, pruning, and an occasional application of fertilizer. However, they do not tolerate cold climates very well.

Does wandering Jew like full sun or shade?

Wandering Jew plants prefer locations with full sunlight. They can tolerate some shade but too much shade can cause the color of the leaves to fade. More sunlight exposure generally leads to more flowers during the flowering season.

How often do you water Wandering Jew?

Wandering Jew plants should be watered regularly to maintain a balanced moisture level in the soil. However, the soil should not be allowed to become too dry or too wet. Overwatering can lead to root rot. A good way to check if it’s time to water is to push your finger about 1-inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water the plant.

Is Tradescantia Zebrina easy to grow?

Yes, Tradescantia Zebrina, a variety of Wandering Jew, is easy to grow. It requires similar care to other Wandering Jew varieties and is known for its adaptability and quick growth.

Does Tradescantia Zebrina need full sun?

Tradescantia Zebrina does best in a location with full sunlight. While it can tolerate some shade, insufficient sunlight can cause the leaves to lose their vibrant color. Like other Wandering Jew plants, the more light it gets, the more flowers it produces during its flowering season.

Hollie Carter

Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at [email protected] or follow on twitter https://twitter.com/greenholliec

Pampas Grass Guide: How to Plant & Care for “Cortaderia Selloana”

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma guide: how to grow & care for “mini monstera”, corn plant guide: how to grow & care for “dracaena fragrans”.

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under the photo “easy to propagate”, that is not a wandering jew-its a peperomia “rosso!”

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My wandering jew plants leafs are getting dried. Why is that?

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It’s not getting enough humidity

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Could you elaborate on “rich organic compost”? What should it be made of, exactly? Can I use compost accelerator in the soil mix?

Worm castings are great, or worm tea, egg shell tea is another.

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What month does the jew break ground to start growing?

All depends on your specific areas weather pattern and seasons.

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Do NOT BUY ANY OF THIS SPECIES if you have a dog because dogs are very allergic to these plants & come out in bad rashes if they wander through them!

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wandering jew sun exposure

How To Care For A Wandering Jew Plant (Your Complete Guide)

When it comes to houseplants able to brighten up indoor spaces, it doesn’t get much more colorful than the variegated foliage of a Wandering Jew plant ( Tradescantia zebrina ). With their hardy nature and ease of care, they are a perfect choice for those feeling they kill everything they bring indoors. We’ve listed a quick summary of their care below.

How To Care For A Wandering Jew Plant: Grow your Wandering Jew in well-drained soil, kept moist but not soggy through regular watering. Create humidity, keep indoor temperatures between 50°F (10°C) to 85°F (29°C) and fertilize monthly.

Continue reading because we’ve taken all the guesswork out of caring for your Wandering Jew and keeping it healthy and happy for years to come.

How To Care For A Wandering Jew Plant

Wandering Jew plants belong in the Commelinaceae family, which includes around 652 different species. The family is made up of herbs, climbers and several epiphytes, with some used as outdoor and indoor ornamentals like Wandering Jew.

There are three different plants commonly known as Wandering Jews; Tradescantia fluminensis , Tradescantia pallida , and Tradescantia zebrina. Of the three, Tradescantia zebrina is the most common one grown and has the most eye-catching and colorful foliage. All three have the same requirements for care and good growth.

Native to Mexico and Guatemala, Wandering Jew is classified as a tender evergreen perennial that performs well planted outdoors in frost-free regions. Those living in cooler environments can easily grow it as an indoor plant planted either in containers or in hanging baskets. Outdoors it’s typically used as a quick-growing groundcover.

Although a common name shared with several very different plants, Wandering Jew is often called Inch Plant , due to the leaf margins being spaced about an inch apart. You may also find Wandering Jew listed as Zebrina Pendula , but is synonymous with Tradescantia zebrina and is the same plant.

how to care for a wandering jew plant tradescantia zebrina

When it comes to Wandering Jew plants, it’s all about the attention-grabbing foliage. The succulent stems give way to leaves that are a deep purple on their undersides with the upper portion striped in silvery-gray and greenish-blue. The oval leaves grow to about 2.5 inches long and the stems grow about 2 feet long. It makes a beautiful plant used in hanging baskets, with the long stems cascading over the side.

Even grown indoors, Wandering Jews have a fast rate of growth and before you know it, the plants will be spilling over your container’s or hanging basket’s sides. Whereas some indoor plants seem to take forever to fill out, this isn’t a problem with properly cared for Wandering Jew plants.

There are several other cultivars (varieties) of Wandering Jew, which include:

  • ‘Purpusii’ has unstriped, hairy foliage that is either solid red or reddish-green.
  • ‘Quadricolor’ produces metallic-green foliage striped in red, white and green.

Wandering Jew plants are the ideal candidates for beginner houseplant gardeners due to their hardiness and robust growth. Below we’ve outlined all the basics of their proper care, as well as identifying and preventing any potential problems so you can enjoy your Wandering Jew for years to come. The best indoor plants are those that are happy and healthy.

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Soil Conditions For Wandering Jew Plants

Wandering Jew plants tolerate growing in a wide range of soils provided they drain well. Although they do tolerate and prefer moist conditions, the soil must drain properly to prevent root and stem rot from occurring. Therefore, it is necessary to use a lighter weight soil mixture in your pots rather than heavier soils that don’t provide proper drainage.

Straight potting soils are usually too heavy, retain too much moisture and have a tendency to leave the soil soggy. You can use a heavier potting soil in your soil mixture, just be sure to incorporate a lighter soil mix to provide the Wandering Jew the drainage required for healthy growth.

Commercial potting mixes work well and many have a slow-release fertilizer mixed in, which cuts down on the need for frequent feedings. The slow-release blends usually continue to fertilize the Wandering Jew for about three months.

You can also make your own soil by mixing several ingredients together such as:

  • Using equal parts of compost and a potting mix.
  • Mixing equal portions of compost, peat and potting soil or a potting mix.
  • Using equal portions of a course sand, compost and potting soil or a potting mix.

Whatever soil you choose to use, just make sure it drains well and contains a bit of fertility for the best performance of your Wandering Jew plants.

Preferred Light Conditions

Although Wandering Jew plants tolerate lower light conditions than many houseplants, to help retain those striking colors the plant is known for, place the container in a location indoors receiving filtered sunlight. If your plant starts losing some of the color in the foliage, move it to a location that receives a bit more light.

In addition, if the lower portion of the stems start suffering leaf drop, the Wandering Jew isn’t get enough light and needs to be relocated to a brighter area inside the home.

Once the warm weather of spring arrives and if you’d like to give your Wandering Jew a bit of a break from its indoor location, place it in an outdoor spot that receives partial sun to partial shade. Moving it to an outdoor location with too much sun may leave the foliage sunburned.

Indoor Temperature Requirements

In the Wandering Jew’s native environment, temperatures are consistently warm without the threat of frosts or freezes. Generally, if the indoor temperatures inside your home are comfortable for you, they will also be comfortable for your Wandering Jew plant.

Indoor temperatures between 50°F (10°C) to 85°F (29°C) are a good range for your Wandering Jew plants. Plants grown in this temperature range produce the healthiest growth.

If you gave your plants a break from their indoor location, just make sure to bring them back indoors before the cold weather of winter strikes.

Water Requirements

Wandering Jews prefer soils that are regularly kept moist, not soggy, compared to many indoor houseplants. However, this doesn’t mean the soil should be kept so wet they never begin to dry out. Keeping the soil too wet for too long promotes rot to set in and you may end up killing your Wandering Jew plants. Your Wandering Jew is more likely to forgive you if you forget to water over watering too much and too often.

A good rule to follow is if the soil starts to feel like it’s about to become very dry, apply water. It’s easy to know exactly when to water by:

  • Sticking your finger into the soil and if the top inch is starting to feel dry, water until it runs from the container’s bottom drain holes.

During the warm growing season of spring through summer, you can probably expect to water once each week. However, during winter when the Wandering Jew goes into dormancy (its growth slows), you will probably only need to water about every other week.

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Humidity Requirements

Compared to many tropical plants grown indoors, Wandering Jew plants aren’t quite as fussy about humid conditions , but still need some humidity for the best growth and performance. Don’t let the thought of creating a humid environment stress you out because replicating humidity for your indoor plants is relatively easy and basic.

  • Fill a spray bottle with room temperature water and mist the Wandering Jew several times each week.
  • If you’re growing the Wandering Jew in a container and not in a hanging basket, you can set the pot on a tray of pebbles. As you water, the water seeps from the bottom drain holes onto the tray of pebbles and as it evaporates, it creates a humid environment around the plant.
  • If your bathroom gets the appropriate amount of light for the Wandering Jew, you can allow it to grow there. Due to the regular use of water in a bathroom, moisture is created, creating the humidity the Wandering Jew requires.

Fertilizer Needs

Unless the soil mixture contains a slow-release fertilizer blend, which feeds the Wandering Jew for about three months, fertilizing monthly is sufficient for proper growth. You have several choices when it comes to fertilizer you can use for your Wandering Jew plant.

  • Use a houseplant fertilizer applied at half-strength, applied when you do your regular watering.
  • Use an all-purpose, water-soluble blend for outdoor and indoor plants, applied at half-strength and used during your regular watering schedule.
  • If your soil mixture didn’t contain a slow-release fertilizer or it’s been about three months, if one was contained in the soil, you can reapply slow-release fertilizer granules sprinkled over the top of the soil. Follow the package directions on amounts.

When it comes to the appropriate time of year to fertilize the Wandering Jew, only fertilize while it’s actively growing, which is spring throughout summer. In winter, the plant goes through a dormant stage and all growth slows, so there is no need to apply fertilizer. Wait until spring arrives before you resume fertilizing the plant.

The one thing you will need to pay attention to when it comes to fertilizing is the buildup of salts in the soil, which can result in foliage burns. Wandering Jew plants have a low tolerance to salty soils. Preventing any salt buildup is relatively simple:

  • If the plant isn’t too big, you can take the entire pot to your sink or bathtub and allow water to run slowly through the soil for about five minutes, flushing out any salts.
  • If the plant is too big for indoor flushing, take it outside and allow water from the hose to run slowly through the soil for about five minutes. Allow the water to drain and then bring the plant back indoors.

Pruning Requirements

The pruning needs of Wandering Jew plants are low. If you want to control the size of the plant and promote bushier growth, you can pinch off the tips of the stems. To keep the plant always looking its best, you can trim off any broken, dead or damaged stems and leaves throughout the year.

When using pruning tools to trim your Wandering Jew always make sure they are clean so you don’t transfer any diseases or pests to your plant. This is as easy as wiping off the blades with alcohol.

Some people experience skin irritations when handling the cuttings due to the sap , so if you are unsure if you are one of these unlucky gardeners, it might be best to wear gardening gloves when pruning or handling Wandering Jew cuttings.

Potting Needs

If you purchased your Wandering Jew already potted in a hanging basket or 1-gallon container, it should thrive as is for a year or more before it requires repotting. However, if you received rooted cuttings in smaller containers like 4- to 6-inch pots, you most likely need to repot them into something a bit larger so they can grow properly.

This also cuts down on the need for repotting in a month or two as the Wandering Jew begins to outgrow its present pot.

When it comes to the pot’s material, any type works quite well for growing this plant from clay to plastic. However, if you grow your Wandering Jew in a pot made of a porous material like terra cotta, the soil is going to dry quicker than if it was growing in a plastic pot. This means you will need to water more frequently.

Once your Wandering Jew starts getting too big for its present container, it’s time to repot it into one that is around 1- to 2-inches larger. Although the plant likes a moist soil, make sure the pot has bottom drainage to prevent the possibility of rot due to conditions that are too wet.

If you like, you can dress the container up by placing the draining one inside a decorative pot without bottom drain holes, but be sure to empty out any additional water once the inner pot thoroughly drains.

I think a decorative outer pot can add so much to the beauty of your houseplants, so I do this with almost all of my houseplants. Read this article which discusses my favorite decorative planters if you need some inspiration.

Potting and repotting your Wandering Jew is basic:

  • Gently remove the Wandering Jew from its present container, being careful not to break the succulent stems.
  • Fill the new container that drains about a quarter of the way full with a fertile, well-drained potting mix.
  • Check the Wandering Jew’s root system and if it’s growing bunched together and filled the previous pot, gently tease the roots apart with your hands.
  • Place the Wandering Jew into the new container and finish filling it with soil.
  • Water the Wandering Jew until it runs from the bottom drain holes and place in a bright location indoors.

how to care for a wandering jew plant tradescantia zebrina

Propagating New Plants

When it comes to propagating new plants, Wandering Jew is about as easy as it gets. Even if you have never done this before you should have success starting its cuttings. When you trim to control its size, don’t throw those cuttings away but use them to start additional plants.

You have two choices when it comes to rooting your cuttings and both are easy. The first thing you will want to do is obtain your cuttings. Trim off a 4- to 6-inch cutting from the mother plant and you’re ready to start rooting.

Rooting in Soil

  • Fill a 6-inch to 1-gallon container that drains with a rich, well-drained potting mix. Water the soil to settle it.
  • Make about a 2-inch indentation in the soil where you want to place the Wandering Jew cutting.
  • Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting where you will be inserting it into the soil. You can do this by pinching them off with your fingers.
  • Place the cutting into the indentation and firm the soil up around it with your fingers.
  • Water the soil again and place the cutting in the same light conditions where the mother plant was thriving. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Roots should form in about four weeks and after about eight weeks, the Wandering Jew cuttings should form a new root system.

Rooting in Water

  • Fill a glass jar or plastic container with about 3-inches of room temperature water.
  • Pinch off any leaves from the section of the Wandering Jew cutting that will be submerged in the water.
  • Place the cutting in the water and situate the container in a bright indoor location.
  • Change the water in the container about every other week, or when cloudy.

You should start seeing new roots form on the cuttings in several weeks. Once the roots are several inches long, you can repot the cuttings into a draining container filled with fertile, well-drained soil.

Disease Problems

Wandering Jew plants grown indoors are hardy and don’t have major diseases that plague them. However, rot is their biggest enemy and caused by soils that are too heavy and do not drain properly, retaining too much water. Overwatering and planting in pots that don’t drain are other causes of rot problems.

When rot rears its ugly head you’ll notice the bottom stems, as well as the foliage turning black, becoming mushy and the entire plant collapses. If this happens and seems to start affecting the entire Wandering Jew plant, you can trim off healthy, unaffected sections of the stems and repot into fresh, clean soil. Since there is no saving the rot-infected sections, you will have no choice but to discard those portions of the plant.

Steps for preventing problems with rot include:

  • Using lightweight potting mixes that drain well and aren’t too heavy, which leads to the soil remaining too wet for too long. Some types of potting soils have a tendency to be heavy and need mixing with a potting mix, compost, coarse sand or peat.
  • Don’t overwater your Wandering Jew. Although they prefer growing in moist soils, this doesn’t mean constantly soggy soil. Stick your finger into the soil and if the top inch is starting to become dry, apply water until it runs from the bottom of the pot.
  • Make sure the pot you are growing your Wandering Jew in has bottom drainage. If you have placed the pot inside a decorative one that doesn’t drain, make sure to empty all the water from it after you have watered.

Pest Problems

Although indoor Wandering Jew plants are not big candidates for problems with pests, several can cause an infestation and problems. As with any pest problem indoors or outside in the garden, quick control is always the best option to keep your plants healthy. It also assures the pests do not migrate to your other plants causing even bigger problems and headaches.

The pests most likely to infest your indoor Wandering Jew plants are:

  • Aphids: Aphids come in a host of different colors and are tiny, pear-shaped, sap-sucking insects that usually congregate in large masses along the Wandering Jew’s stems. In large infestations, they can kill the plant or severely weaken it. If the infestation is small, you can wipe the pests off the stems with a moist cloth. However, if the infestation is large, you will probably have to spray the plant with an insecticidal soap or Neem, reapplying as suggested on the package.
  • Spider Mites: Spider mites are another sap-sucking pest that if left unchecked can quickly kill or weaken the Wandering Jew. It is easy to tell if you have a spider mite problem as these tiny, white pests spin fine webbing that covers the plant. Spider mites can be the bane of houseplants so quick control is necessary. Use an insecticidal soap or Neem and spray the entire plant, reapplying as suggested on the product label.
  • Whiteflies:   Whiteflies are other sap-sucking pests that can quickly kill or weaken your Wandering Jew if not quickly controlled. They are another easily identifiable pest, as just touching the plant sends the tiny whiteflies from the plant’s foliage and into the air, hovering right above it. Control the problem with an insecticidal soap or Neem, spraying the entire plant and reapplying as suggested on the product’s label.
  • Mealybugs:   Sap-sucking mealybugs show up on the Wandering Jew as cottony masses covering the stems and crotches of the foliage. Control the problem by spraying the entire plant with insecticidal soap or Neem, reapplying as suggested on the product’s label. If the infestation is small, you can also wipe them from the stems and leaves with a damp cloth.

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Is Wandering Jew A Perennial?

Wandering Jew plants are considered a tender, evergreen perennial. Unlike annuals, and if grown in preferred conditions with proper care, Wandering Jews should live and keep on growing for quite a few years, both indoors and outside.

Why Are My Wandering Jew Plant’s Leaves Losing Their Color?

If your Wandering Jew is growing in light conditions that are too low, the leaves will start to lose their color and become duller. When grown indoors and to keep the bright color on the foliage, make sure the Wandering Jew is growing in a location receiving bright light.

Why Are My Wandering Jew’s Leaves Dropping?

Wandering Jew plants grown in light conditions that are too low will start dropping leaves at the base of their stems. Solve the problem by moving the plant to an indoor location that is brighter. For the best leaf color and growth, they prefer an indoor location receiving bright light.

Why Are My Wandering Jew Cuttings Rotting In Soil?

If your Wandering Jew cuttings are rotting in soil it could be one of two things causing the problem. The soil you are growing the cuttings in may be infected with a fungus that is infecting them with rot.

You can solve the problem by planting the cutting in a sterile, well-drained potting mix. Another cause might be the soil is remaining too soggy and the container doesn’t drain.

Make sure you are using a soil that drains well and doesn’t remain soggy, do not overwater and use a container with bottom drainage. Water the cuttings when to top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Can I Root Wandering Jew Cuttings In Water?

Wandering Jew cuttings root quite well in water. Fill a container with several inches of water, remove any leaves that would be submerged and stick the cut end into the water.

Fill the container with fresh, clean water about every other week. You should start seeing root form on the cuttings in several weeks. Once the roots get several inches in length, you can repot the cuttings in a draining container with rich, well-drained soil.

Are Wandering Jew Plants Toxic?

When it comes to humans, Wandering Jew’s sap can cause skin irritation in humans that are allergic to it. Therefore, it’s best to wear gardening gloves when handling or pruning the plant.

The plant is listed as toxic to dogs and cats, due to its tendency to cause skin allergies and dermatitis. To keep your pets and children safe, make sure you situate your indoor Wandering Jew out of the reach of both.

If you’d like some indoor plants that are non-toxic, check out this article which discusses my favorite non-toxic houseplants.

Do Wandering Jew Plants Produce Blooms?

When grown outdoors, Wandering Jews produce small, three-petaled, lavender flowers, but the plant rarely ever blooms grown indoors as a houseplant.

Can I Grow Wandering Jew Outdoors?

Wandering Jew plants grow as perennials planted outdoors in frost-free climates, however, those with cooler weather can plant outdoors and treat it as an annual.

What’s The Growth Rate For Wandering Jew Plants?

When grown in proper conditions with proper care, Wandering Jew plants are considered fast growers.

Many thanks for reading my guide to Wandering Jew care. This really is a great indoor plant for your home. Beautiful and easy to care for, its hard to go wrong.

If you want more help with looking after your indoor plants, check out the rest of my articles , and head over to my resources section , where I have some great recommended resources, books and equipment to help you grow healthier, more beautiful plants.

How to Grow and Care for a Wandering Dude Plant

Here’s how to care for this pretty trailing plant.

how to care for wandering dude

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With its long dangling stems, this plant tends to “wander” all over the place. Today, the plant often is called by its botanical name, Tradescantia, with “zebrina” referring to its silver striping.

It’s sometimes also called silver inch plant, but it can be confused with another plant, commonly called inch plant, Tradescantia fluminensis , which has solid green foliage.

Other varieties of wandering dude have become widely available in recent years, including the very popular nanouk type, which has foliage with pretty pinkish stripes and magenta undersides.

Native to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, the wandering dude usually is grown as a houseplant, but in USDA Hardiness zones 9 to 11 , it can be grown as a low-growing ground cover, too. ( Find your zone here .)

Read more: 15 Common Houseplants to Grow and Brighten Up Your Home

Ahead, learn everything you need to know about how to care for a wandering dude plant:

how to care for wandering dude

Wandering Dude Basic Info:

  • Common Name: Wandering dude
  • Botanical Name: Tradescantia zebrina
  • Plant Family: Commelinaceae
  • Type of Plant: Perennial, grown as houseplant
  • Native Origin: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Mature Size: 6 inches tall by 1 foot wide
  • Toxic to pets: Yes

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I'm a garden writer with more than 15 years of experience growing houseplants, edibles, and landscape plantings. I also regularly trial new plant cultivars for performance and reliability, and test garden products to evaluate practicality and durability.

How Do You Care For a Wandering Dude Plant?

Give wandering dude bright, indirect light. If it doesn’t get sufficient light, this plant tends to get gangly and unattractive. Its purple coloring also may fade in low light, which means you should move it to a more brightly-lit room or use a grow light.

If your wandering dude is starting to get scraggly, simply snip off a few inches from the end of each stem to help stimulate the plant to push new, bushy growth. You can use plant snips or your fingers. You may need to pinch back frequently because wandering dude is a fast grower.

How Do You Water a Wandering Dude Plant?

You should water only when the plant feels mostly dry. Poke your finger in the soil before watering; if soil clings to your finger, wait a few more days and recheck.

If you let it get too soggy, that’s a sure way for it to get mushy and die. Like most houseplants, it’s better to err on the side of too dry, rather than too wet.

If you like, you can feed this plant with any general-purpose houseplant fertilizer, but it’s not entirely necessary.

Miracle-Gro Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, 3 lb

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, 3 lb

Can You Grow Wandering Dude Plant Outdoors?

Yes, it makes a great trailing plant spilling out of containers! Pair it with tall plants such as hibiscus, canna, elephant ears, or other tall, upright tropicals. If it starts to get leggy, just trim it back. Outdoors, it does best in full sun (northern climates) to part shade (southern climates). It may develop tiny pinkish flowers outdoors, though it rarely flowers indoors.

How Do You Propagate a Wandering Dude Plant?

Like pothos , this is a great plant to propagate to share with friends or to make new plants for yourself. Simply take a cutting, say, if it’s getting too long, then place it in a glass of water to root. Keep it in a bright spot in your home (not direct sunlight), and watch for roots to develop within about two weeks. Then plant in regular potting soil, and keep the soil lightly moist while it settles in.

how to care for wandering dude

Is Wandering Dude Toxic to Pets?

According to the ASPCA , this plant is toxic to pets and may cause dermatitis, or irritation of the lips and mouth. But remember that any plant may cause vomiting or GI distress if eaten in large enough quantities, so keep this away from pets who are nibblers. Finally, call your vet ASAP if you suspect your pet has ingested it, even if you’re not sure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

In addition, the plant sap also may cause skin irritation in some people. Wear gloves when handling cuttings if you tend to have sensitive skin.

Read more: 28 Pet- Friendly Houseplants You Can Grow Without Worry

Tradescantia in 11-inch Hanging Basket

Vigoro Tradescantia in 11-inch Hanging Basket

Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Rooted Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Wandering Dude Assortment

BubbleBlooms Wandering Dude Assortment

Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Wayfair Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Headshot of Arricca Elin SanSone

Arricca Elin SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman's Day, and more. She’s passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.

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Wandering Jew

Wandering jew ( tradescantia zebrina ).

Other common names: Silver Inch Plant, 吊竹梅

wandering jew sun exposure

The Wandering Jew is a creeping, herbaceous shrub that can grow up to 15cm tall. It has hairy leaves with silver and purple stripes on its upper side, while the underside is uniformly purple. Its stems are green and have purple shoots.

A perennial plant, the Wandering Jew is a great for indoor plant that is suitable for hanging planters and containers . It can also be used as a living mulch for shady areas.

Sun and soil needs:

wandering jew sun exposure

This plant thrives in 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight , and can tolerate up to 4 hours of direct sun. Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 10cm deep, or in true ground .These plants are vulnerable to root rot , so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe.

wandering jew sun exposure

Too much light will dull the variegation on its leaves while too little light will cause the purple hues to fade. Wandering Jews tend to get fertiliser burn, and should be fertilised only once every 3-4 months with a dilute balanced fertiliser or a slow-release fertiliser . Wandering Jews can become leggy and will need regular pruning to keep it bushy.

As with all potted plants, regular repotting once a year will prevent it from becoming root bound .

Propagation:

Wandering Jew can be propagated by stem cuttings .

Common problems & solutions:

This plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.

Aphids , Mealy Bugs , and Spider Mites often infest the plant if it has underlying problems like repeated wilting from heat stress. Mechanical pest control methods like pruning the infested parts are the best methods for managing these pests in the short term, but resolving the underlying problem will prevent them in the long term.

Plantophiles

Tradescantia Tricolor Care From A to Z

By: Author Daniel

Posted on Last updated: July 15, 2021

Tradescantia Tricolor Care From A to Z

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I have a hide-away in my home that I escape to for some me-time. It is ultra-feminine and all done out in pink.

When I saw this stunning pink Tradescantia Tricolor plant at the nursery, I just had to have it! It offers the most glorious shades of pink transforming into a darker purple, interspersed with green. 

Like all plants, the Tradescantia Tricolor has a difficult Latin Name. This one is Tradescantia fluminensis.

It is also known by other names including the Wandering Jew , Flowering Inch Plant, Wandering Willie, Wandering Gypsy, Purple Queen, Spiderwort, and Tradescantia.

What’s more, Tradescantia is a genus of 75 species of wildflowers. The name comes from John Tradescant, a botanist who lived during the 17th century.

The ‘wandering’ word refers to the fact that it spreads easily, wandering all over your window sill. They are very easy to grow at home. Most are native to South America where they grow as dense mats underneath forest trees. 

To enhance the glorious pink shades, I place my Tradescantia Tricolor next to a Mosaic Plant , Fittonia albivenis. This is a trailing plant with deep pink veins in the green leaves. They make a great pair. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to care for your Tradescantia fluminensis .

Table of Contents

Tradescantia Tricolor Care

For ideal Tradescantia Tricolor care, give it well-draining soil that will partially dry out between waterings. Fertilize with a good mix of peat, compost, mulch or humus, bark, pumice, or perlite. It thrives best in temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Temperatures should not drop below 50°F (10° C). The  Tradescantia Tricolor wants bright light but not direct sunlight. Placing it near to a south-facing window is ideal. 

Lookup your USDA Hardiness Zone By Zip Code

Tradescantia fluminensis enjoys moist soil to thrive best. However, it must not be drenched or allowed to dry out completely.

Plant it in well-draining sandy soil. You can achieve this by mixing perlite into regular potting soil. Use a mix of 40% perlite and 60% potting soil.

Ensure that your pot has drainage holes at the bottom. This allows the excess water to run out and won’t cause the roots to become waterlogged and drown. 

For ideal Tradescantia Tricolor care, I use natural organic additives. Including everyday materials like pumice or crushed bark, sterile garden compost, mulch, or organic manure gives you a rich, fertile soil that makes your Wandering Jew flourish.

Adding in some environmentally friendly coco Husk chips is a great way to introduce extra aeration into the soil. The Tradescantia Tricolor is not fussy about PH levels, try to maintain a neutral PH of around 7.0. 

Tradescantia Tricolor does best in bright conditions with indirect sunlight. Allowing direct sunlight to fall onto the plant for too long causes the leaves to scorch.

Too little sunlight results in the leaves fading and not producing those lovely pinky shades. 

Try to place your plant about 3 feet away from a south-facing window (if you are in the northern hemisphere), on a side table or high shelf. In this way, it gets the benefit of bright light but not direct sunlight. In general, 45 minutes of direct sunlight will be enough. 

If you do need to stand it on a window sill, try to place a sun filter over the window. You can also use your décor skills and get it to nestle under another plant with large leaves, creating a natural umbrella.

If you prefer to plant your Tradescantia Tricolor outdoors, find a spot that gets bright light and limited direct sunlight. 

Care tip for Tradescantia Tricolor: If your plant does not show healthy signs of variegated growth, ie, it is not displaying lovely different pink colors, it is probably getting too little light. 

When it comes to watering care for your Tradescantia Tricolor, it is best to keep the soil moist. You need a balance between drenched and bone dry.

Watering once a week during the summer months is adequate. In winter, reduce watering to once every two weeks.

Because you are not drenching this plant, you should not create too much of a mess indoors. Place a plant saucer under your pot that is large enough to catch any water that may flow out.

When watering in winter, use lukewarm water, no plant responds well to an icy blast! I do notice that my Wandering Jew can get to the point of looking almost droopy. Then a good watering brings it back to life within 24 hours. 

Tradescantia Tricolor care tip: You can also water from the bottom. This technique involves placing your pot into a tub or sink filled with a few inches of water. The drainage holes in your planter allow the water to slowly absorb into the soil without over-saturating it. 

Temperature

Tradescantia species perform best at temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). They can, if necessary, withstand higher temperatures. If the temperature drops below 50°F (10° C), the leaves will suffer. 

It will tolerate short-term exposure to cold weather but generally does not do well in the cold. If you live in a cold climate, consider growing your outdoor Tradescantia Tricolor in a container.

You can then bring it indoors during the winter months. All species of Tradescantia are Winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12. 

Coming from South America, the plant does not require tropical temperatures to thrive. It is quite hardy, and as long as it is not exposed to frost you should be fine. It can even stand on a chillier window sill.

Your Tradescantia Tricolor is not overly fussy about humidity. It is not a desert plant nor a tropical plant, so the average house humidity of 30% to 45% found in a home should do fine.

In winter, running heaters and air-conditioners can dry out the air and change the humidity, so you will need to be aware of this. 

If the humidity in your home is too high, at over 50%, this could result in the growth of mold and bacteria and will give your living space a musty smell. Installing a dehumidifier will help to solve the problem. 

Tradescantia Tricolor care tip: I find that my plant responds well to a lovely soft shower from a watering can.

Although this does not increase humidity, it acts as a natural rain shower, wetting all the leaves and washing away dust and pests.

Make sure you do this outside and allow the plant to dry off before moving it back indoors. 

Fertilizer 

The Inch Plant loves to wander and grows fairly fast, spreading over window sills indoors and rocks outdoors. It does not require a serious fertilizing program.

Like many potted indoor plants, Tradescantia fluminensis does well with some extra fertilizer during the growing months of Spring through early fall.

I am a great supporter of eco-friendly living and that also applies to the plant fertilizers I use. I stay away from chemical fertilizers whenever possible.

My number one care hack for Tradescantia fluminensis is to buy or make my own natural organic fertilizer. If you have a liquid fertilizer, dilute it, and use it once a month. 

Fertilizing plants outside of the growing season is not good. The fertilizer can end up harming the plant by burning the roots. 

Natural organic fertilizers can be made using peat, pumice, perlite, mulch, coco husks, and crushed bark. A small compost making kit is a fun addition to any garden and makes good use of fallen leaves, dead flowers, and grass cuttings. 

Propagation

The easy-to-grow Inch Plant is also easy to propagate. This can be done by simply snipping off a healthy stem, placing it into rich, moist soil, and watering from time to time.

You can also put the stem cutting into a tall vase of water and allow it to grow roots. Place the vase in a bright spot and keep an eye on it.

Roots will appear within a week. Remove the cutting and plant into your terracotta pot or unglazed planter. 

Propagating your own house plants is a fun and rewarding experience, give it a try! 

Tradescantia Tricolor gets its Wandering’ name because it loves to wander. It grows fairly fast and spreads over the edge of pots, along window sills, and over rocks. It also looks great as a ground cover next to pathways and walkways in a garden. 

It has beautiful variegated pink shades, that darken to purple and are interspersed with green. The stems and leaves are soft and hairless.

The leaves are an oval shape with pointed tips. They are shiny and smooth and grow to about 1.25 to 2.5 inches (32 to 64mm) long.

The flowers are white and have 3 petals, about 0.5 to 1 inch (13 to 25mm) in diameter. The flowers appear in Summer in small clusters. 

The best Wandering Jew growing condition is in a bright spot with indirect sunlight and average humidity.

This plant is a ground cover perennial. It does not require heavy pruning, but if it sprawls too much and becomes straggly, you should trim it back to keep it in shape. 

Tradescantia fluminensis care tip: If your plant is producing only green leaves, your light conditions are not ideal.

It does this to conserve energy, as creating variegated leaves uses up more energy. Prune back the green leaves, allow it to recover and produce those glorious pink shades. 

Tradescantia fluminensis is not fussy when it comes to pot size. It will thrive in a small pot for years and will grow happily in a large pot.  

If you do want to repot your Inch Plant, Springtime is the best season to do this. Repot into a mix of fresh soil and perlite to boost growth.

You can add some gritty sand to the potting mix to enhance drainage. Water well but do not drench. Check that the PH of the soil is neutral at around 7.0. 

Care tip: Ensure that your planter has drainage holes so that the water can flow out. You don’t want the roots to rot in stagnant water at the base of the pot. 

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Propagate Tradescantia Tricolor from cuttings

– This is best done in early Spring to late Summer, during the growing period

– Use a sterile sharp knife, scissors, or cutter

– Wear gloves as the sap can irritate the skin

– Select a stem that looks healthy and has a few sets of leaves

– Carefully cut off the stem at the base, where it joins another stem

– Remove the lower leaves by snipping off to leave a clean stem at the base

– You now have 2 options: propagate in soil or propagate in water

Propagating the cuttings in soil

– Prepare a pot with a mix of soil, gritty sand, and organic fertilizer

– Water well but don’t drench

– Push your finger into the soil and create a hole about 2 inches deep

– Place the offcut into the soil and pack the soil back to hold it firm

– Place the planter where it will get bright light but not direct sunlight

– Water well for the next few weeks

Propagating the cuttings in water

– Fill a clear vase, tall glass, or container with water

– Place the cutting into the water

– Keep it shallow enough so that the leafy section is above the waterline

– A slender glass works well as the leaves will balance on the top rim

– Fine roots will start showing in about 1 to 2 weeks

– Wait for the roots to grow to 1 to 2 inches long

– Plant into a pot as described above

Common problems with Tradescantia Tricolor

Pest control.

Like all plants, your Tradescantia Tricolor can be attacked by pests. Common pests that affect the Wandering Jew are spider mites and aphids .

An easy way to get rid of them is to give your plant a good shower and wash them off. If they persist, you can spray with a solution of insecticidal soap. 

Tradescantia Tricolor care tip for pests: Make your own insecticidal soap. Use all-natural soap, not detergent.

Mix 5 tablespoons to 1 gallon of cooled, boiled water. Add in 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon  vegetable oil to get the solution to stick. You can also add a teaspoon of garlic. Pour into a clean garden sprayer that has a fine spray setting and spray the plant.

Leaves don’t have variegated colors

If you notice that your Tradescantia Tricolor is only producing green leaves, this is due to bad lighting. Bad lighting reduces the energy of the plant.

To create the gorgeous colors, it needs energy, so it will conserve energy and only create green leaves. 

Leaves look scorched 

If your leaves are turning brown or look scorched, your plant is getting too much direct sunlight. Move it to a more suitable position, or protect it with sunscreen if possible. 

Plant looks scraggly and untidy

Tradescantia Tricolor grows fast and spreads. You need to keep it in shape by trimming now and then. Remove any dead stems and leaves. Trim back into the neat shape you want. 

Rotting roots 

This is a sign of too much water. Tradescantia Tricolor does not enjoy drenched soil. Ensure that your container has drainage holes and allow the soil to partially dry out. 

Tips to grow Tradescantia Tricolor problem-free

– Avoid overwatering your Tradescantia Tricolor 

– Keep soil moist but well-drained

– Ensure that your plant is in a bright spot, it does not enjoy the dark

– Do not place in direct sunlight 

– Does not enjoy very dry or very humid conditions 

– Fertilize during the growing season with organic mixtures

– Trim from time to time if it becomes scraggly

Frequently asked questions about Tradescantia Tricolor 

Is tradescantia tricolor considered invasive .

In some countries, Tradescantia Tricolor is invasive. This is because it spreads fast outdoors and can become invasive. It grows as thick mats in forest areas, blocking out the light for other ground plants. 

Can Tradescantia Tricolor grow indoors? 

Yes, it makes a very attractive indoor plant in a decorative pot. It looks fabulous in a hanging basket, or on a high shelf where you can let the long stems flow downwards. 

Is Tradescantia Tricolor easy to care for?

Yes, this is a great plant for beginners. It requires very little maintenance and is hardy and strong. You don’t want to be discouraged by losing your first plant. The Tradescantia Tricolor will flourish in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. 

Is Tradescantia Tricolor poisonous?

Do you want a glorious plant with pink tones? The Wandering Jew is eye-catching and easy to care for. It is a great choice for a beginner to create a focal point in a room or on a patio, in a hanging basket. 

Once you are successful in growing your Tradescantia Tricolor, you can add other Tradescantia plants to your collection. Take a look at the lovely Tradescantia occidentalis, Tradescantia zebrina, and the Tradescantia pallida.

Daniel Iseli

Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.

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Home » Lifestyle » Gardening » Tradescantia Pallida: The Purple Wandering Jew Plant

Tradescantia Pallida: The Purple Wandering Jew Plant

wandering jew sun exposure

What is Tradescantia Pallida?

Tradescantia Pallida is a species of spiderwort, a group of 85 species of herbacenous perennial wildflowers of the Commelinaceae family. The name comes from Latin specific epithet pallida meaning pale.

Table of Contents

History of Tradescantia Pallida

Tradescantia Pallida is native to Mexico. The plant was introduced and widely grown for its ornamental purposes as houseplants across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, the species is planted in gardens across the islands. It is starting to escape from cultivated areas into adjacent natural areas.

know about: aphids bugs

Tradescantia Pallida – Description

Tradescantia pallida is an evergreen perennial native of northeast Mexico, grown as an ornamental for its striking purple foliage. The scientific name has been changed from the previous Secretase pallida to Tradescantia pallida . The plant may be treated as a succulent because the leaves, stems and roots are thick. Commonly known as purple hearts, these plants can be used as a ground cover, cascading in baskets, or as a houseplant. In tropical and semi-tropical areas, it is commonly grown outdoors as a popular, albeit weedy, ground cover. It has a trailing habit and features thick but fragile stems clad with pointed, narrow-oblong, V-shaped leaves. The stems can trail to 18” or more. The flower is small, three-petaled and pale lavender or pink in colour. Tradescantia Pallida (Purple heart plant) has distinctive flowers that usually bloom during warm weather emerging from their stem tips. They appear in clusters and do not have a scent.

See also:  Purple fleabane : Physical features, cultivation, uses and toxicity

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

know about: olive tree

Tradescantia Pallida: Facts 

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

Can Tradescantia pallida (Purple heart) grow indoors?

Purple heart is an adaptable plant. It is often used as ground cover to add colour and flowers to the garden landscape. Tradescantia pallida can thrive as a container plant on the patio or in a hanging basket indoors all year round. If you move it outdoors for the summer, keep it shaded from direct sun during the hottest part of the day. Growing purple heart in full sun will help it develop the bright purple colour. When growing it indoors, keep the plant where it can get maximum light (at least 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight or filtered light a day).

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

How to care for Tradescantia pallida?

Tradescantia pallida or Purple Heart Plant care is relatively easy. It is one of the best plants for beginners to grow.

Tradescantia pallida (purple heart) grows best in partial shade but can tolerate full sun areas. It should not receive direct afternoon sunlight for more than an hour or two. The plant can grow in partial shade but its stem is more likely to appear green than purple. Place them indoors in a spot where they will receive bright, indirect light. It is best to keep these plants in brighter conditions over time, however, too much direct sunlight can lead to foliage burn.

Tradescantia pallida plants will grow best in soil that is lightweight, porous and moist. Good drainage is a must. The plant tolerates a wide pH range, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

Tradescantia pallida are considered to be drought-tolerant and would not require a great deal of watering. For best growth, do not let the plant sit dry for long periods. In the winter, Purple Heart will enter its dormancy period, so ensure that it gets just enough water to stay healthy. Younger plants will require more moisture than adults and must be watered weekly. If you grow your Purple Heart in pots or containers, ensure the presence of sufficient drainage holes at the bottom and fill it with soil that offers adequate water retention and good drainage.

Fertili s er

Tradescantia Pallida can be nourished with a diluted liquid balanced fertiliser monthly during the growing season. Dilute the fertiliser to about half its regular strength to avoid leaf burn. The occasional feeding can reinvigorate growth and make the colours more vibrant.

Temperature

Exposure to extreme heat must be avoided in outdoor gardens. This tough plant can thrive in a wide range of temperatures but they prefer normal temperatures, ranging from 60-70°F during the day and 50-55°F at night.

Tradescantia Pallida grows long stems and due to its fast growth rate, it can quickly become leggy. Prune the plant back after flowering in the fall to manage its growth. Yearly grooming encourages bushier growth. Be sure to use sharp scissors and wear gloves as the stem sap can cause skin irritations and burns.

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

Propagation: Tradescantia pallida in soil and water

You can either propagate Tradescantia Pallida from seeds or through stem cuttings. However, since seeds are rarely available, most gardeners use cuttings.

Cut just below a segment node of the mother plant (about 4-6 inches). With tradescantia pallida, propagating cuttings is simple. Place the stem directly in the moist garden or potting soil and keep it moist until new growth. Water the soil thoroughly. Keep it for 1-2 weeks in a warm and bright place. Once roots or new growth appear, pot them in a container. New growth appears in about 4-5 weeks.

Although soil propagation can be a quicker way to grow new plants, water propagation makes it visually attractive the roots are visible. Remove the bottom leaves on the cuttings and place them in a glass of water. Set the glass on a windowsill with bright sunlight. Change the water regularly and wait for the roots to grow to about two inches. After two weeks, the stem will have grown a solid set of roots and can be transplanted to well-draining potting soil to maintain growth.

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

Tradescantia pallida: Insects, diseases and other plant problems

Tradescantia pallida, the hardy plant, is unlikely to have too many plant diseases. Overwatering can lead to root rot so ensure that there is no excess water within the plant’s drainage tray. Brown foliage is often due to a lack of moisture or humidity. It can also be due to intense direct sunlight. Ensure that it is getting enough water and is in a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight.

Caterpillars and snails can create a problem outdoors so try to place a defensive barrier around it with a layer of gravel or wood chips.

Tradescantia pallida can attract aphids, weevils, scale and mealybugs . If an infestation is spotted, isolate the plant and treat it with neem oil, eucalyptus oil or citrus oil spray for primary treatment.

see also: all about Tradescantia Fluminensis

Tradescantia pallida: Uses and benefits

  • A well-placed Tradescantia Pallida will make an immense visual difference in any garden or home space. Tradescantia pallida make for lovely hanging plants or groundcovers and can add a lush texture to the garden. The purple leaves are a nice contrast variegated foliage and complement the pink, light purple or burgundy blossoms of other plant
  • Tradescantia Pallida is effective in improving indoor air quality by filtering volatile organic compounds.
  • The plant has anti-oxidant, anti-toxic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has traditionally been used as an anti-toxic or anti-inflammatory supplement. It has also been used to treat venereal diseases, wounds, cancer, mucosal infections and gastrointestinal disorders.

Tradescantia pallida – how to grow and care for the purple heart?

Is purple heart plant toxic?

None of its parts is toxic. But when ingested, it may cause digestive tract irritation or irritation of the mouth. Therefore, keep the purple heart plant away from pets. It may cause contact dermatitis in certain individuals. Therefore, it is suggested to use gloves when pruning, repotting or propagating the plant.

Is Tradescantia pallida a perennial?

Tradescantia pallida, Purple Heart, is a tender perennial, commonly used as a houseplant. It has beautiful trailing purple stems with violet-purple leaves and pink flowers.

How long do Tradescantia pallida (purple hearts) last?

Each flower lasts only for a day. It is grown outdoors as a decorative ground cover since it tends to become invasive and lasts longer than most bedding plants.

Which are the other Tradescantia species?

There are over 70 beautiful Tradescantia varieties. Depending on the species, tradescantias are typically purple and often flecked with silvers, greens, creams, pinks and gold. Many of the light foliage varieties have dark purple undersides, which creates a lovely effect. Besides the purple heart plant, Tradescantia pallida, ‘Variegata’, has striped pink-and-red foliage. Rhoeo spathacea, Moses in the Basket, has sword-shaped purple-and-green foliage. Tradescantia virginiana has a grass-like appearance with blue-purple or red flowers. Tradescantia zebrina houseplant has variegated olive and silver foliage with a purple underside. Tradescantia sillamontana has green leaves, densely covered in white hair and magenta-pink flowers.

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Purnima Goswami Sharma

Purnima Goswami Sharma is a freelance writer based in Mumbai, who has been contributing to various newspapers, magazines and portals for the last two decades. Besides being a research writer for various TV shows, she has been a visiting faculty at SNDT for Communication Skills. She hold a master’s degree in English Literature from Mumbai University and a diploma in Communications and Journalism. She writes on diverse subjects like real estate, interiors, education, lifestyle, health, entertainment and environment.

Email : [email protected]

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Wandering Jew: Types, Care, and Propagation

Table of contents, • the wandering jew - an introduction.

wandering jew sun exposure

Wandering Jew, also called the Inch plant, can be credited for starting the whole trend of plant swapping. Years before indoor plant gardening became a profitable business, friends, family, and fellow plant parents swapped cuttings of the Wandering Jew.

The Wandering Jew is native to tropical and temperate climates and grows vigorously with very little care. In fact, the name Wandering Jew comes from the fact that if the plant is left to its devices in the open, the plant will grow invasively to wander the ends of the earth.

Tradescantia Zebrina, earlier known as Zebrina Pendula, is a species of creeper loved across the globe for its bright purple foliage. When grown indoors in planters, the tradescantia can be grown all year round in home gardens, even by gardeners who have no real gardening experience.

☆ Common names

wandering jew sun exposure

Inch plant, Spiderwort, Wandering jew, Wandering zebrina, Zebra plant

• Types of Inch Plants

This beautiful plant has over 70 popular varieties and more often than not you can find most of these varieties in your neighborhood growing with abandon in either hanging plants or as ground cover. Some of the most common tradescantia varieties are:

1. Tradescantia Fluminensis

This variety has fleshy ovate leaves with white and green variegations attached to fleshy stems. It has triangular white flowers with three petals.

2. Tradescantia Zebrina

wandering jew sun exposure

The variegated leaves resemble the stripes of a zebra, the purplish-green leaves have a silver edge. One of the hardiest and quickest growing wandering jew varieties.

3. Tradescantia Pallida

Also famous as the Purple heart plant for its deep purple foliage and light purplish-pink flower. It stands out amazingly both as ground cover and as hanging plants. Tradescantia blossfeldiana: The thick green leaves have a fuzzy texture with a white and green variegated upper side and a purple underside. The plant has clusters of beautiful blue, purple, white, and pink flowers.

4. Tradescantia Sillamontana

This plant has beautiful symmetry with leaves growing on thick succulent-like stems covered in white fuzzy hair. It produces magenta flowers in season.

5. Tradescantia Spathacea

wandering jew sun exposure

Also famous as ‘moses in a blanket’, ‘oyster plant’, or ‘boat lily’, it's almost succulent like in nature. It has dark green leaves with purple underside growing in spiral patterns

• Wandering Jew (Tradescantia)  P lant Care

The Wandering Jew plant is easy to grow in Indian climates and can add beautiful color to any home garden. A great plant for new plant parents, it is a joy to grow. Let’s take a look at the detailed guide for creeping inch plant care. Spiderwort plants are mostly carefree. One of the only points of contention in growing this as a houseplant is getting the right moisture level.

wandering jew sun exposure

The creeping-Inch plants love bright indirect light but also do great with a few hours of direct light. Plant your wandering jew plant near a south-facing window where it can get at least 6 to 7 hours of bright indirect light. Growing your spiderwort in North-facing balconies and terraces is also a good idea. If the colour or variegations on the leaves start to diminish then it is a clear sign of low light. Shift your plant to an area with brighter light conditions.

wandering jew sun exposure

The wandering jew plant likes its potting mix to be kept uniformly moist at all times but not soggy at all. Under indirect light conditions, water your wandering jew plant once per week or when the top soil dries out. Don't let the soil dry out completely.

However, when watering your dried potting mix, water it in batches to ensure that the soil absorbs all the water and it just doesn’t run out of the planter. Water a little and then wait for a while for the soil to soak up the water before watering it again till it drains out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter.

The creeping inch plant is not very finicky about the soil it grows in. It thrives in a well-draining but rich potting mix. The key points to be kept in mind is allowing the topsoil to dry in between waterings and also aerate the soil once in a while. Since the spiderwort plant loves moist potting mix, it is very important that it is well-draining and well-aerated so root rot can be avoided.

4. Fertilizers

wandering jew sun exposure

Use a well-balanced and generic houseplant fertilizer for your wandering jew plant. They are not heavy feeders and do well with both root and foliar application every 15 days. Use a good quality fertilizer like the Ugaoo Plant Tonic for this. Dilute the fertilizer as instructed and apply directly to roots once in 15 days and put it in a misting spray and do a foliar application too once in 15 days. The foliar application guarantees bigger and showier leaves. However, don't overfeed the plant as it causes the leaves to lose their variegations.

wandering jew sun exposure

The Spiderwort plant does not require any pruning as such. Pruning for the creeping inch plant comes into play in two instances; one is to remove dead foliage and the other is to manage the shape and growth pattern of the plant. When left to its own devices, the spiderwort plant becomes leggy, to keep your plant fuller, prune the stems from time to time or pinch back at least one-fourth of the branch length.

Simply use sharp clean pruning shears or scissors to prune away stems at the required length, and cut at an incline in between leaf nodes. To remove dead or yellowing leaves, just pinch it away ensuring the leaf stalk is also removed from the main stem.

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• propagating wandering jew plant.

The easiest plant to propagate, the wandering jew can be propagated by anyone with a pair of scissors to take cuttings. Simply take 1 to 2-inch long cuttings of the plant, with at least 1 leaf node. Plant the cuttings in a moist potting mix or propagate in water. Keep the setup in a spot with bright indirect light.

• Problems With the Inch Plant and How to Deal with Them

wandering jew sun exposure

Like many plants, the spiderwort can be plagued by aphids and spider mites. In case of infestation, spray the plant with neem oil solution to get rid of the pests and as preventive measures. In case of heavy infestations, prune away the infested parts.

Buy the Wandering Jew Plant

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Angel Plant: The Wandering Jew Mystery

  • Last updated Jul 07, 2024
  • Difficulty Beginner

Mel Braun

  • Category Advanced gardening

why is an angel plant called a wandering jew

The Wandering Jew is a common name for a variety of Tradescantia species, which are characterised by their ability to spread over wide territories. The name is derived from a medieval myth about a Jewish man who taunted Jesus on the way to his crucifixion and was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. The story has been used to justify anti-Semitism and has been connected to the observable Jewish diaspora. Due to its xenophobic origins, the name has fallen out of favour and has been replaced by the term 'Wandering Dude'.

What You'll Learn

The wandering jew name is derived from a 13th-century myth about a jewish man who taunted jesus, the wandering jew is also the name of an 1844 french novel, opera, and silent film, the wandering jew is not a single plant but a common name for several species in the genus tradescantia, the wandering jew is considered invasive in many parts of the world when grown outdoors, the wandering jew is now often called the wandering dude to avoid anti-semitic connotations.

shuncy

The name "Wandering Jew" is derived from a 13th-century myth about a Jewish man who taunted Jesus on his way to crucifixion and was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. The story first appeared in the Flores Historiarum by Roger of Wendover, written in 1228, and was popularised in the 17th century by a pamphleteer named Ahashver.

Over time, the story of the Wandering Jew became linked to the Jewish diaspora and was used to justify anti-Semitism and discrimination against European Jews. It was also adopted by the Nazis to justify atrocities during World War II. Due to its xenophobic and antisemitic history, the name "Wandering Jew" has fallen out of favour, and alternative names such as "Wandering Dude" or "Silver Inch Plant" are now often used instead.

The Wandering Jew story has been depicted in various forms of media throughout the centuries, including literature, art, film, and theatre. It has also appeared in different cultural and linguistic traditions, with variations in the character's name and specific details of the tale.

While the original legend refers to a single Jewish man, the name "Wandering Jew" has also been applied to describe a variety of plants in the genus Tradescantia. These plants are characterised by their ability to spread and vine, making them well-suited for indoor cultivation. However, they are considered invasive in many regions when grown outdoors.

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The name "wandering Jew" is also the title of an 1844 French novel by Eugène Sue. The story follows two siblings, the Wandering Jew and his sister Hérodiade, who are separated by the Bering Strait and condemned to wander the Earth forever. A plague of cholera follows the Wandering Jew wherever he goes. The siblings are fated to eternally protect the Rennepont family, who are unaware of their protectors' existence. The novel was serially published and attained great popularity in Paris and beyond.

The story of the Wandering Jew was also adapted into an opera by Fromental Halévy, with a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges. The opera premiered at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opera on 23 April 1852, and was performed 48 more times over two seasons. The music inspired a Wandering Jew Mazurka, Waltz, and Polka.

The Wandering Jew is also the title of a silent film, released in 1904 by Georges Méliès.

Blueberries by the Bush: Yield Insights

Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, is a convenient and flexible houseplant that can be planted in soil or hung in a pot. It is native to subtropical regions of North and South America and is considered invasive in many parts of the world when grown outdoors. However, its vining habit makes it ideal for indoor planting. The plant is characterised by its heart-shaped green leaves with purple stripes and a silvery sheen. The leaves may be solid or variegated, depending on the variety. The blooms are small with three petals and can be violet, white, or pink.

There are three distinct species within the genus Tradescantia that are commonly referred to as Wandering Jew: fluminensis, zebrina, and pallida. Tradescantia fluminensis, also known as the classic Wandering Jew plant, has dark green leaves that contrast with bright, white, three-petaled flowers. Tradescantia zebrina, or zebra plant, is named for its zebra-like leaves with a deep purple sheen and creamy white centres. Tradescantia pallida, or Purple Queen, has tall, pointed leaves that can grow up to seven inches long. The leaves are a deep purple, with light purplish-pink flowers.

Despite their different appearances, all types of Wandering Jew plants are fairly easy to care for. They thrive in bright, indirect light and require regular pruning to maintain a healthy appearance. They prefer moist or slightly moist soil and can tolerate a range of temperatures, although they are sensitive to frost. The Wandering Jew is a hardy plant that grows quickly and requires little care and attention, making it a popular choice for houseplants.

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The Wandering Jew, a variety of Tradescantia species, is considered invasive in many parts of the world when grown outdoors. This is due to its hyper-adaptability and tendency to spread easily and quickly. The plant is native to subtropical regions of North and South America and thrives in damp, wooded environments.

In certain areas, such as Hawaii, Brazil, and Australia, the species has become invasive, taking over spaces inhabited by other plants. It is important for those growing the Wandering Jew outdoors to be mindful of this and take steps to prevent its spread. Pruning the plant before it can spread into other beds or areas is crucial.

The Wandering Jew is well-suited for life outdoors, preferring warmer climates with temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It requires partial shade during the day, as too much sun can cause its distinct coloration to fade, and protection from frost, which can kill the plant. The plant also requires moist soil to ensure it gets the humidity it prefers.

While the Wandering Jew can be grown outdoors in the right conditions, it is important to note that it has a xenophobic name. The name refers to an apocryphal myth of a Jew who taunted Jesus on his way to crucifixion and was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. This story has been used to justify anti-Semitism and discrimination, and as such, some people prefer to refer to the plant as the "Wandering Dude".

South Florida Pavers: Plants for the Cracks

The plant, scientifically known as the Tradescantia Zebrina, was previously called the Wandering Jew because of its hyper-adaptability and tendency to spread easily and quickly. The new name, Wandering Dude, conveys the same message without the offensive undertones. The plant is native to Mexico and can be found across the Americas, in woodlands and open fields. It is known to be flexible and convenient, making it a popular houseplant. It is also known as Spiderwort and Inch Plant.

The Wandering Dude is a sturdy plant with beautiful, flowing tendrils that look fantastic in a hanging pot. It is easy to care for and only requires moderate watering. The plant is, however, toxic to pets, so owners should keep it away from their furry friends.

The Wandering Dude, or Wandering Jew, is not a single plant but a common name for a variety of Tradescantia species. The three most common types are Tradescantia fluminensis 'Quicksilver', Tradescantia pallida 'Purple Heart', and Tradescantia zebrina 'Tricolor'. Each of these species has its own unique characteristics and is known by various common names.

While the name Wandering Jew may seem harmless to some, referring to an old story, its historical usage to justify discrimination and atrocities cannot be ignored. The shift to the name Wandering Dude is a step towards creating a more inclusive and sensitive environment, particularly for the Jewish community.

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Frequently asked questions.

The name is derived from a medieval myth about a Jewish man who taunted Jesus on the way to his crucifixion and was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming.

Some other names for the Wandering Jew include Eternal Jew, Ahasver, Matathias, Buttadeus, Isaac Laquedem, and Wandering Dude.

The myth of the Wandering Jew has been used to justify anti-Semitism and discrimination against European Jews, and was also used by the Nazis to justify atrocities during World War II.

Mel Braun

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Judith Krause

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Scientific Name: Tradescantia zebrina Pronunciation: trad-ess-KANT-ee-uh zih-BRYE-nuh Common Name: wandering Jew Family Name: Commelinaceae Plant Type: Indoor foliage plant Key ID Features: Leaves ovate, 6-9cm long, solid purple underneath, most cultivars with silvery longitudinal stripes above (or just green and purple).

wandering jew sun exposure

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wandering jew sun exposure

Is Sun Gazing The Trick For Better Sleep? We Explain

A ccording to Greek and Roman mythology, the ancient god Apollo was associated with the power of the sun, light, medicine, and healing, as outlined in a 2008 research article published in Environmental Health Perspectives . The meditative practice popularly known as sun gazing embodies these same fundamentals, purporting that staring directly into the sun can benefit our health and wellness (via Medical News Today ). However, experts emphasize that not only is there no scientific evidence to support these claims, but that doing so can severely harm our vision.

Among the many effects sunlight has on the body , morning sun exposure has been linked with enhanced melatonin production for easier sleep at night. However, this is not in reference to staring right into the sun. Sun gazing is built upon the concept of focused attention meditation, in which a person visually focuses on an object while meditating in order to help keep their attention and prevent the mind from wandering (via Frontiers in Psychology ). While it's probably safe to say that staring at a book or a crystal while meditating likely poses no harm to our eyes, the same cannot be said for the sun. In fact, you can do permanent retinal damage in less than 100 seconds of looking at the massive star, according to experts at NVISION Eye Centers .

Read more: What It Really Means When The Corner Of Your Eye Hurts

Sun Gazing May Cause Permanent Eye Damage

The damaging effects of sun gazing have been documented for decades, with a 1968 edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) noting cases of retina damage in association with watching the sky for aircrafts, looking towards the sun during religious practices, or sun gazing in connection with what the researchers referred to as "mental disturbance."

In a 1999 case report published in the Chinese Medical Journal , an intoxicated man who had spent three hours outside staring at the sun developed blurred vision, color distortion, and a central blind spot in the left eye, among other symptoms starting two days following sun exposure. Retinal damage was identified after six months, and decreases in visual acuity remained the same. 

Mild symptoms associated with sun gazing include headache, teary eyes, and eye soreness, explains NVISION Eye Centers. In more severe instances, a person may experience multiple blind spots in their field of vision, reduced color vision, difficulty identifying shapes, or permanent eye damage.

Meditation May Be The Trick For Better Sleep, Not Sun Gazing

Even if you were to wear protective sunglasses or time your sun gazing with the sunrise or sunset, this does not eliminate the risk of eye damage. The same is true if you were to stare at a solar eclipse . It's easy to assume that because the moon is obstructing the sun's rays during this rare phenomenon, there would be little risk in looking up at the sky. However, NVISION Eye Centers explains that even a quick glance can make one susceptible to retinal burns or eclipse blindness. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has highlighted case studies in which individuals staring at the sun during a solar eclipse suffered retinal cell damage in the shape of a crescent moon.

Due to the high risk for temporary or permanent eye damage, sun gazing is not a safe hack for enhancing sleep. Meditation itself, on the other hand, may be the trick you're looking for. Although more study is needed, research outlined in a 2020 systematic review published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences indicates that mindfulness meditation may have the potential to promote sleep quality in people with sleep disturbance.

Read the original article on Health Digest .

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Do You Have a Tradescantia (Wandering Dude)? Don’t Miss These 7 Things!

Raul C

2-Minute Read

Do you have a tradescantia if not, we’ll give you several reasons why you must definitely have one in your collection.

Colorful and trailing—these are the highlights of tradescantia , and it is probably one of the most recognised plants in America, too. If you are wondering why, and don’t have one in your collection, well, you’ll get one after reading this!

Lets Start With its Interesting Name – The Wandering Dude!

Not long ago, this plant was famous by the name— wandering jew . However, the “Jew” in it made people confuse, and sorta angry, as it related it to some biblical story. The tale in which a man mocked Jesus when he was on his way to the cross, and that man, then, was cursed to wander the Earth. Umm, do you see the connection?

To put an end to the confusion and anger, the “Jew” in the plant was replaced by “Dude,” and that’s kind of relatable, too, as it wanders and trails anywhere you grow it!

The Reasons You Must Have a Wandering Dude

wandering jew sun exposure

1. You Can Play With the Color of Its Leaves

What if I tell you that you can have three wandering dude plants with different color leaves? It is perfectly possible! All you need to do, is play a little with the sunlight exposure.

When the plant receives ample bright and indirect light, with a few hours of direct and mild morning sunlight exposure , it remains vivid and purple.

However, for a little washed out look, start exposing it to a bit of shade, and you will see it making the purple on the leaves, a little less vivid. It might show you a combination of pink-purple on the foliage.

For a completely washed out look, having that more silvery sheen, you can expose it to indirect and bright light for just 2-3 hours in a day.

Do note that for a healthy specimen, it is important for it to get bright and indirect light all day long. Avoid exposing it to the harsh afternoon sun, as it can burn its delicate leaves.

2. If you Have One—It is Un-Killable!

You just can’t kill this plant, like you can kill the other ones in your collection. It is not at all fussy when it comes to the growing medium, and will be more than happy to thrive in 100% garden soil. So, all your worries about picking the right potting mix goes out of the window!

Light? Not a problem! It happily thrives in the combination of sun and shade. So, you don’t even have to pick a sunny spot for it. And yes, these trailing beauties aren’t a headache when it comes to watering, too! Moistening the growing medium, once a week, will suffice!

3. It is a Natural Rooting Hormone!

No! I’m not kidding! While taking its stem for propagating, you might notice them oozing out a liquid of some sort. Well, that can be used as a rooting hormone while starting other plants from cuttings.

Simply dab the cut end in it, and plant. You can also put a few drops of it in the water if you are starting the cutting hydroponically!

4. And Yes, It Grows Flowers!

Yes Sir! These plants are not just about the trailing show of purple leaves lined with beautiful streaks of silver. They also put up a wonderful presentation of small flowers that come in purple-white colors.

To see those wonderful blooms, you got to do what you do with other flowering plants—plenty of indirect light (along with 3-5 hours of morning sun, at least), and bi-monthly application of balanced liquid fertlizer, after diluting it to 1/2 of its strength.

5. You Can Have Many from One

This plant is notorious for its fast growth. So much so, that you might see it covering the open space in your garden at an alarming rate! But that comes with an advantage!

See those trailing stems? Simply snip them out (4-6 inches long) , right below the node, and you are good to plant them in a new spot in the yard or a pot. As simple as that!

6. They Come in Many Varieties!

With over 75 species, there is one tradescantia for everyone! For the best display, do not miss Tradescantia sillamontana , for its stunning soft and fuzzy leaves.

Tradescantia pallida is also a great pick, especially if you want to cover the borders, or any open space in the garden. Tradescantia fluminensis is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a hanging basket plant. Lastly, I would also suggest you to go for Tradescantia navicularis for its thick, boat-like leaves.

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I would really like to try these I have problems with gardening. Every year.so I would like to try something new.thank you very much for all the information.have a good day.

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COMMENTS

  1. Wandering Jew Plant Care & Complete Growing Guide

    Wandering jew plants are super easy to propagate. Take cuttings that are 3-4″ long, and include a couple of leaf nodes. Dip the cut ends into rooting hormone, then stick them in moist soil. Don't allow the soil to dry out, and keep the air around the cuttings humid. A propagation chamber makes this simple.

  2. How to Take Care of a Wandering Jew Plant: 13 Expert Tips

    3. Pot your Wandering Jew plant. Fill the pot about two-thirds of the way with light, well-draining potting soil, then place the plant in the center of the pot. Add soil to surround and fill in the sides. Gently press down on the soil around your plant and water it until the soil is completely moistened.

  3. Wandering Jew Plants Guide: How to Care for "Tradescantia zebrina"

    Pruning. Wandering Jew plants require regular pruning. The plant grows quickly, and if you don't prune, then it can overtake the pot fast. Pruning also helps the stem, from getting "leggy," meaning that the plant starts to look bare at the base. Pruning keeps the plant healthy and growing at an optimal rate.

  4. How To Care For A Wandering Jew Plant (Your Complete Guide)

    Fill a 6-inch to 1-gallon container that drains with a rich, well-drained potting mix. Water the soil to settle it. Make about a 2-inch indentation in the soil where you want to place the Wandering Jew cutting. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting where you will be inserting it into the soil.

  5. Wandering Jew Plant: Care and Growing Tips- Epic Gardening

    Repotting Tradescantia Plants. If your wandering jew is beginning to become a bit crammed in its pot, select a pot that's 1-2″ wider than its current one. Prepare your pot with a little fresh potting soil around the sides. Remove your inch plant from its existing pot, setting the root ball into the new one.

  6. Wandering Jew Plant

    W andering Jew Plant Care. To keep your Wandering Jew plant thriving, ensure it receives bright, indirect sunlight. Keep it in average room temperatures of 60-75°F (16-24°C). Fertilize once a month during spring and summer. In winter, relocate the plant to a cooler area with temperatures of 54-59°F (12-15°C).

  7. Leggy Wandering Jew Plant? 6 Ways to to Fix It

    1. Fix the Lighting Condition. Insufficient light is a number one culprit for leggy growth, where the stems stretch out with far fewer leaves. Here's how to give your plant the light it needs to flourish. Aim for bright, indirect light for at least 6-8 hours daily. Think of a spot near any bright window.

  8. Wandering Dude (Tradescantia zebrina): All You Need To Know

    Plant Type and Habit: The Wandering Dude is a fast-growing, succulent, trailing herbaceous plant, making it ideal for hanging baskets, ground cover, and as an indoor trailing plant. Size: When grown in hanging baskets or containers, the plant usually stands 6-9 inches tall (15-22 cm) and spreads 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) or wider.

  9. 8 Types of Wandering Jew Plants+Care Tips

    The thick green leaves have a fuzzy texture and a purple hue on the underside. You can easily propagate it from the cuttings, both in soil and water, once it gets growing. It bears delightful clusters of blue, purple, white, or rose pink flowers, making it one of the best types of wandering jew plants on the list. 5. Tradescantia Sillamontana.

  10. How to Grow a Wandering Dude Plant

    Wandering dude (Tradescantia zebrina) also is super-simple to propagate so you can make more baby plants (for free!). With its long dangling stems, this plant tends to "wander" all over the place. Today, the plant often is called by its botanical name, Tradescantia, with "zebrina" referring to its silver striping. ... Sun Exposure: Full ...

  11. Wandering Jew Leaves Fading and Losing Color? Do this

    Reasons for Wandering Jew Leaves Losing Color and Fading. There are four main reasons why your wandering Jew plant is losing color and fading. The biggest reason is light! These plants love bright, indirect sunlight, warmth, and shade; anything less or more can affect their appearance. ... On the contrary, exposure to direct sun can also be bad ...

  12. How to Grow Wandering Jew (Spiderwort)

    How to Grow Wandering Jew. Wandering Jew is hardy in zones 9 - 12 so most of us grow it as a houseplant. Indoors, it likes bright but indirect sun. Too much sun and the leaves will scorch. Too little sun and the color on the leaves fades. I grow mine in a north facing window with indirect afternoon sun.

  13. Wandering Jew

    A perennial plant, the Wandering Jew is a great for indoor plant that is suitable for hanging planters and containers. It can also be used as a living mulch for shady areas. Sun and soil needs: This plant thrives in 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight, and can tolerate up to 4 hours of direct sun.

  14. Tradescantia Tricolor Care From A to Z

    Tradescantia Tricolor Care. For ideal Tradescantia Tricolor care, give it well-draining soil that will partially dry out between waterings. Fertilize with a good mix of peat, compost, mulch or humus, bark, pumice, or perlite. It thrives best in temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Temperatures should not drop below 50°F (10° C).

  15. Tradescantia Pallida: The Purple Wandering Jew Plant

    Common Name:. Purple Queen, Purple Heart, Purple Spiderwort, Wandering Jew Botanical Name: Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea' Genus: Tradescantia Species: Pallida Family: Commelinaceae (Spiderwort family) Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade Soil Type: Moist, well-drained Water: Medium Drought-tolerant: Yes Native: Mexico's coastal region Leaf Colour: Purple or lavender

  16. 11 Ways to Train a Wandering Jew Plant

    Ways to Train a Wandering Jew Plant. 1. Twirl It Around a Moss Pole. reddit. A moss pole is a great way to go. You can easily get one of these or even make one yourself. Once you have it ready, just stick it in the pot and twirl the Wandering Jew vines around it. 2. Train it on the Ladder Trellis.

  17. Wandering Jew: Types, Care, and Propagation

    Wandering Jew, also called the Inch plant, can be credited for starting the whole trend of plant swapping. Years before indoor plant gardening became a profitable business, friends, family, and fellow plant parents swapped cuttings of the Wandering Jew. The Wandering Jew is native to tropical and temperate climates and grows vigorously with ...

  18. Angel Plant: The Wandering Jew Mystery

    Unravel the mystery of the immortal Wandering Jew. Discover the truth behind the myth and explore the science and history of this remarkable plant. 2014 45th St. Galveston, Texas 77550 ... Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect sunlight: Soil Type: Potting soil: Soil pH: Acidic soil (5.0 to 6.0) Height: Up to 14 inches: Spacing: 10 to 14 inches: Flower ...

  19. Tradescantia Nanouk Wandering Jew

    Add to your landscape with this Wekiva Foliage Wandering Jew houseplant. It grows in bright, indirect sun. Green, heart-shaped leaves with purple stripes provide a silvery sheen. ... Removing older foliage in early-Spring will help promote a re-flush of lush new growth. Thrives in a Sun to partial shade exposure. Too much shade will likely ...

  20. Wandering Jew: Complete Guide to Plant Care and Cultivation

    The Wandering Jew, also known as Tradescantia, is a popular houseplant known for its vibrant foliage and easy-going nature. With its striking leaves that come in shades of green, purple, and ...

  21. How to Make Wandering Jew Bushy and Bigger

    Wandering Jews like it between 60-90°F (15-32°C). Say no to extreme drafts and sudden temp surprises. Keep things looking sharp by giving your Wandering Jew a quarter turn (Potted ones) every time you water. Let all its sides get a bit of sun. Stick to these easy-peasy tips, and soon you'll be the proud parent of the bushiest Wandering Jew ...

  22. wandering Jew

    trad-ess-KANT-ee-uh zih-BRYE-nuh. Common Name: wandering Jew. Family Name: Commelinaceae. Plant Type: Indoor foliage plant. Key ID Features: Leaves ovate, 6-9cm long, solid purple underneath, most cultivars with silvery longitudinal stripes above (or just green and purple).

  23. Is Sun Gazing The Trick For Better Sleep? We Explain

    The damaging effects of sun gazing have been documented for decades, with a 1968 edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) noting cases of retina damage in association with watching the sky for ...

  24. Do You Have a Tradescantia (Wandering Dude)? Don't Miss These 7 Things!

    Lets Start With its Interesting Name - The Wandering Dude! Not long ago, this plant was famous by the name—wandering jew.However, the "Jew" in it made people confuse, and sorta angry, as it related it to some biblical story. The tale in which a man mocked Jesus when he was on his way to the cross, and that man, then, was cursed to wander the Earth.