Crafting a Green World

How to Propagate the Wandering Jew: It’s Super Easy!

propagate wandering jew from leaf

This tutorial is part of  Garden Week  here at Crafting a Green World. We’ve teamed up with some of our favorite DIY bloggers to talk about all things gardening! 

Gardening can be scary if you don’t think that you have a green thumb. Why waste your money on expensive potting soil and plant starts, if you don’t think they’ll grow? Why spend a bunch of time weeding and watering, only to be disappointed?

If you’re new at gardening, the plant for you is the wandering Jew, or inchplant . It’s in the spiderwort family, so it’s a great houseplant–easy to care for, attractive, and kind of dangly when it’s grown a lot, so that you can set it in a hanging planter or let it trail off the edge of a bookshelf.

My favorite thing about the wandering Jew, however, is that it’s crazy easy to propagate. Not only does this make for an excellent kid’s gardening project, but, unlike much of life, it lets you get more plants for practically free! If you’ve got a grown-up wandering Jew, some extra pots, and good potting soil, then you’ve got yourself another six to a dozen wandering Jews right there for the taking. Here’s how:

1. Prepare a temporary water home for the wandering Jew cuttings.  Propagating the wandering Jew is a two-step process that’s separated by several days; this is a bonus, because it means that each step takes just minutes.

Shot glasses? Jelly jars? Vases? Kid-sized cups? They all make great temporary homes for your wandering Jew cuttings.

2. Make cuttings from the wandering Jew.  Grab a sharp pair of scissors, and begin to hack up your beloved wandering Jew.

Now, do not make this harder than it needs to be. All the important people will tell you to sterilize your scissors, and cut at a certain angle, and cut exactly at this or that certain place, and cut exactly this or that certain amount. You can do all this, absolutely, but if you did all that, you’d have a green thumb. And you don’t have a green thumb, do you?

The way that I’ve propagated my wandering Jews for years isn’t the “best” way, but it works perfectly for me. I use scissors–any old scissors–and cut my wandering Jew just above a leaf, so that I don’t leave the plant with a random stem sticking out above its highest leaf. Then I clip the lowest set of leaves off of the cutting, so that the cutting will have a node from which to grow new roots.

I put the cuttings in water, making sure that any nodes that I want roots to sprout from are covered, but that any leaves that I want to not rot and die are not covered. Then I set everything in a sunny window and leave it alone.

How to Propagate the Wandering Jew

4. Transplant the cuttings into pots.  Any day after all the cuttings have roots, but before the roots get giant and unwieldy, find a nice few minutes to set out little pots, and potting soil.

Fill each pot about halfway full of potting soil (get a really good kind !), then pick up a cutting stand it up gently in the pot, and scoop more soil in all around it until the cutting looks happy and settled. Water it well, and put it back in another sunny window, where you’ll water it as needed and watch it grow.

How to Propagate the Wandering Jew

Don’t actually need six to a dozen more wandering Jews? My kids and I tend to give away all of our propagated wandering Jews in the few months after we’ve transplanted them. There’s always a special kid who my kids think would quite like a wandering Jew for their birthday instead of one more toy, always a housewarming or dinner party or get-together at which a wandering Jew is even more welcome than a sixteenth gifted bottle of wine, always a graduating senior who’s definitely not going to get cash from me, but is going to get something nice to set on their dorm room windowsill.

And when all the transplanted wandering Jews have finally gone away, well, there’s always another wandering Jew to propagate!

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14 thoughts on “how to propagate the wandering jew: it’s super easy”.

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Ooh I am new to this plant! I was just talking to a friend about how I had to abandon my house plants because Darrol is into eating the dirt right now. When he gets past this phase, I’m going to add Wandering Jew to my list of house plants to get.

It’s non-toxic to cats, according to ASPCA, so just right for our house. They do say it’s toxic to dogs, but our dog has shown zero interest in house plants, so she will be fine.

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We are just starting to add houseplants back into our lives. While we don’t have a lot of space, I think the plants will help make our indoor air healthier. Might have to see about getting this next time I am at the store!

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I always forget about that, but yes, indoor plants are AWESOME for air quality! I’ve heard there are species that are better than others–I’ll have to look it up.

Oh, if you look it up, that means I can just mooch off your knowledge (it’s kinda a recurring theme I think).

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Hi. I have the worst luck with this plant. It grows, yes, but then it dies at the root. Over and over and over and it is endless!! Why does it do this? I water once a week, it is inside, in a morning sun window. Why does it keep dying at the root?

Do you think there might be something in your soil or your water that could be poisoning it? You could do an experiment, perhaps–water one pot with filtered water, or change your brand of potting soil, etc.

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Dies at the root? Does the bottom part of the stem shrivel up? Starting from the roots and working it’s way up? Sounds like root rot to me. It comes from too much water or from the plant sitting in wet soil for a long time without getting the chance to dry out. It causes a fungus to grow and spread starting in the roots and eventually killing the plant.

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Why won’t my clippings root in my glasses of water? No roots in over 2 weeks. ????????

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Anyone have any wandering Jew slips hey could sen? Macmikeal(at)me(dot)com

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I am trying to reboot a wandering Jew . Can you help me

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Thank you for this, by instinct I threw some cuttings that broke off the plant into a cup of water and white strings starting to appear after only days. Actually I was googling to confirm what I was seeing was in fact roots, and thanks to your knowledge I can confirm they are. Now I know what to do after roots get to the point of planting. Trying this with a Pilea as well. Thanks!

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Hello! I have already gotten to the potting process, so thank you for the propagation advice. How long does it normally take to make the plant big? My biology teacher mom wants to use the plant in a year in one of her labs, but she needs a full-sized plant. Will the cutting become full-sized and spilling over the sides of the pot in a year or is that too little time?

I think you could easily have a big and happy plant by then! If you want a plant with several vines, not just one, then propagate a new cutting and plant it in the same pot every few weeks. I recently saw a video where someone took the vine and used a bobby pin to pin it back to the soil at one of the nodes, and she claimed that the vine would root there without having to cut it, and she said it made her plant big and fluffy. I haven’t tried it for myself, but it’s on my to-do list!

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Succulent Alley

How To Propagate Wandering Jew In 2 Easy Ways

Tradescantia zebrina or Wandering Jew is a plant loved for its striking looks and hardy nature. These plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors in America. They thrive in warm climates and are pretty easy to take care of. Read on for a complete guide on how to propagate Wandering Jew in soil and water.

  • 1.1 Step 1: Take Cuttings
  • 1.2 Step 2: Prepare the Pot
  • 1.3 Step 3: Aftercare
  • 2.1 Step 1: Get Cuttings
  • 2.2 Step 2: Prepare the Water
  • 2.3 Step 3: Aftercare
  • 3 When to Propagate Wandering Jew
  • 4.1 General Care
  • 4.2 Potential Problems
  • 5.1 Do you cut above or below the node?
  • 5.2 Can you propagate a Wandering Jew from a leaf?

How to Propagate Wandering Jew in Soil

Propagating Wandering Jew plants in soil takes a little more effort than propagating them in water. Both methods have a high success rate, so you don’t need to worry about your efforts going to waste.

Step 1: Take Cuttings

Taking cuttings the right way is crucial for propagation . Use a sterilized sharp blade or pruning shears for clean cuts. If possible, cut at a 45-degree angle to help the cuttings take root faster.

You need to cut below a leaf node. These leaf nodes will sprout roots for the propagated plant. If there aren’t any leaf nodes, just make a cutting below the newest leaf. Your cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches long.

Let the cuttings dry out so they can form calluses. This protects the cuttings from rotting once they are planted.

Step 2: Prepare the Pot

Take a pot at least 6 inches tall with a draining hole and fill it with a good potting mix. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of the pot. You can also use a hanging basket as Wandering Jews look great in hanging displays.

Make 2-inch-deep holes in the soil and plant your cuttings in these holes. Make sure they are spaced out evenly and have enough space to grow. Pat down the soil around the cuttings to make them more stable.

Step 3: Aftercare

Make sure the pot stays in a well-lit area. Too much direct light will harm the cuttings, so keep the pots in a partially shady area that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Water the pot evenly so that all the cuttings receive sufficient water.

Alternatively, you can secure a transparent plastic bag over the pot. This will trap the moisture and you will only need to water the plant once in a few weeks.

You will start seeing new growth in a month.

How to Propagate Wandering Jew in Water

Wandering Jews can be propagated in water too. This method works great for thick-stemmed plants and is a lot easier too. If you are an amateur gardener or don’t have too much time, you can try propagating your Wandering Jews in water.

Step 1: Get Cuttings

Take several cuttings from your Wandering Jew plant. Make sure to use a sterilized blade to eliminate the risk of disease. Make cuts at a 45-degree angle below the leaf nodes .

Leaf nodes are small stubby protrusions on the stems that grow into buds or leaves. This is where the roots will sprout during propagation. The cuttings should be at least 4-6 inches long.

Step 2: Prepare the Water

Take a clear glass or jar large enough for your cuttings. Ideally, the top should be wider than the bottom. Fill it with lukewarm water.

Before putting your cuttings in the water, cut off the leaves on the bottom part of the stem. If any leaves are left submerged in the water, they will start rotting. Add water whenever needed to maintain the water level.

Place the jar on a windowsill where it will receive partial sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can be harmful to the plant, so avoid south-facing windows.

You should start seeing roots within a couple of weeks. When they reach a length of 3-4 inches, you can remove them from the water.

Now that you know how to root Wandering Jew in water, you can plant them in a good potting mix and use a pot with a draining hole. You can plant many young plants together to create a nice, lush look.

When to Propagate Wandering Jew

Propagating Wandering Jew plants is very easy and has a high success rate. They are adaptable and can survive even if you neglect them a little.

There is no perfect time for propagating a Wandering Jew plant, they can grow in any kind of weather. So if you want to propagate your Wandering Jew, don’t worry about waiting for a particular time.

They will grow faster during the summer and spring than during the winter, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be propagated during the winter. Wandering Jews are not winter-dormant.

Wandering Jew Propagation Aftercare

General care.

Caring for a Wandering Jew plant is fairly easy. It needs a moderate amount of water, so water deeply but let the soil dry out before you water again.

You can reduce the frequency of watering during the winter as they rest when the temperature starts dropping. These plants love warm weather and will thrive in summer and spring.

They don’t need a lot of fertilizer. Applying fertilizer twice a year is enough, ideally once in summer and once in spring.

Don’t place them in areas that get direct sunlight. Wandering Jews love warmth but direct heat will damage the stems. Find spots that receive filtered or indirect sunlight throughout the day.

Wandering Jews start getting leggy growth after 2-3 years. To grow a bushier plant, you can just snip off stems, propagate them, and plant them back in the same container as the mother plant.

Potential Problems

Be on the lookout for aphids. They are attracted to thick-stemmed plants and create a huge infestation if left unchecked.

Observing the leaves is a pretty good way to gauge if you’re watering the Wandering Jew plant well. If the leaves look washed out, start to lose their signature variegation or get droopy, you need to water it more.

On the other hand, if the leaves start turning yellow, you need to cut back. It could be a sign of root rot, which will kill your plant. Always let the soil dry out before you water again.

Do you cut above or below the node?

do you cut above or below the node

While propagating plants, always cut below the node. This way, when you propagate the cutting, the node will start growing roots. This works for both propagating in soil and propagating in water.

If you can’t find any nodes on the plant, you can cut below the freshest leaf for the same effect. Remember to remove the leaves by cutting them or twisting them off.

There shouldn’t be any leaves in the lower part of the stem that is buried in soil or submerged in water. If there are leaves on the lower part of the stem, they will start rotting during propagation and make the cutting unviable.

Can you propagate a Wandering Jew from a leaf?

can you propagate a wandering jew from a leaf

It is not technically impossible, but it has a very low success rate. It is quite unlikely that a leaf will grow into a new plant. Frankly, it is a lot more trouble than it is worth.

We suggest you try propagating with cuttings either in soil or in water. If you don’t want to spend too much effort, you can propagate your Wandering Jew in water. It doesn’t need any care till you transplant the cutting to a pot.

How to Propagate Wandering Jew (4 Ways With Tips!)

True to its name, the wandering Jew is a plant that tends to spread quite wildly unless pruned regularly. So if you want to have more pots and hanging baskets filled with its gorgeous foliage without buying new ones from the nursery, use those pruned stems for propagation!

A wandering Jew plant can easily be propagated by 1) soil, 2) water, 3) division or 4) air layering. This plant is most commonly propagated using 4-inch stem cuttings with leaves and nodes which root quickly. Roots can start developing from the nodes within 2–14 days, while new shoots will grow after at least 1 month.

Most people think that the wandering Jew can only be propagated using cuttings—the conventional way. However, there are actually other less common ways this can be done. If you are a garden geek like us, you probably know some of them. But do you know all of them?

1. Soil Propagation (5 Steps)

More often than not, herbaceous wandering Jew cuttings are propagated in soil. This is done by 1) selecting a healthy stem with leaves, 2) cutting at least 4 inches of stem below the node, 3) trimming the leaves from the lower half, 4) preparing the medium-filled propagating container, and 5) placing the cutting 1 inch into the rooting medium.

If you’ve ever experienced propagating other houseplants such as pothos and peperomias , then you’re probably familiar with how to do this already.

Still, I encourage you to go over these simple steps to propagating wandering Jew ( Tradescantia spp.)—also known as spiderwort and inch plant. Doing so will help you remember important details that could help you avoid failure!

1. Select the Stem

For successful propagation, carefully check the parent plant and select stems from the wandering Jew shoots that have the best condition and color.

Now, I know that many people think that just getting any stem will do for propagation . However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can not only affect the success of propagation but also the development of the cuttings in the long run.

Propagating plants like wandering Jew from cuttings will result in new plants that are identical to their parent plants. In other words, growing new plants from healthy stocks will produce good-quality clones!

You want to look for shoots that are not mushy. It might sound weird but wandering Jew stems are naturally tender but firm. Unlike other plants, they don’t have woody stems because they are succulent plants.

The leaves on them should be full and have vibrant colors—be it green, yellow, purple, pink, white, or a mix of all that. As much as possible, don’t use stems with discolored leaves.

Pro Tip: Use gardening gloves while checking wandering Jew for the perfect cuttings to prevent contact dermatitis.

Closely inspect each stem for possible pests that you might not be able to notice at first glance. If necessary, you could use a Jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass to really see whether unwanted guests are living in your spiderwort.

2. Cut the Stem

With an ideally sterilized or clean knife or gardening scissors, cut 4–6 inches of wandering Jew stem below a node at roughly a 45° angle. A single cutting should have 2 nodes and 4–6 leaves.

Regardless of the exact tool you’re going to use, it’s crucial to make sure it’s completely clean before using it to get cuttings from your parent wandering Jew plant. Otherwise, you may unknowingly spread or introduce diseases and pests.

Pro Tip: Sterilize knives and scissors by dipping them in 70% isopropyl alcohol. Then, you could either let them air dry or pat them dry yourself before using finally using them.

This does not apply if you, like myself, just end up using your kitchen scissors (as for my indoor plants I am often in a rush). Those scissors should not carry any plant-affecting disease.

For this step, you should keep your gloves on since the sap can be especially irritating. You don’t want it to come into contact with your skin.

Grow your Tradescantia Plant! Propagate Cuttings in Soil, Water, or Sphagnum Moss

Then, you could start cutting away as much of the tips or sections of the stem as needed. Some only take 2–3-inch (5–7 cm) cuttings of wandering Jew plants. Tips and section stem cutting will both work for spiderwort.

However, experts recommend having all cuttings that are a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) long for higher chances of successful propagation.

At least 2 nodes should be present in each cutting because that’s where the roots will grow from. There should also be at least 2 leaves left to allow for the cuttings to continue growing thanks to photosynthesis even after they are separated from their parent plants.

3. Trim the Leaves

Trim the leaves from the bottom half of all wandering Jew cuttings while making sure to leave at least 2–3 leaves at the top half of the stems. These leaves will allow the plant to still convert sunlight into energy and growth.

Over the years, I’ve been told to do this and so I simply follow it. But more recently, I found out that there was actually an important reason behind this.

I mean, sure—having several leaves will generally ensure quick rooting in plants. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing. This is true for fresh cuttings with tons of leaves as well.

Keeping all the leaves on spiderwort cuttings, especially really lush and bushy ones, will result in excessive water loss. As a result, the cuttings may quickly wilt and go to waste.

This happens because plants lose a lot of the water they absorb through their leaves. During the early stages, it’s important to prevent this as much as possible since the cuttings can die from losing too much water—even more so in dry environments.

But don’t worry, the solution to this is pretty easy!

As a good rule of thumb, all inch plant cuttings should have the leftover leaves from their bottom half (2–3 inches or 5–7 cm) removed with clean pruning shears.

Leave 2 cuttings at the very list so that the cuttings can still photosynthesize after they are severed from their stock plants. Doing otherwise could result in wasted time and effort as a leafless wandering Jew cutting is likely to wilt and die.

4. Place Cutting in Soil

Clean 3–4 plastic pots should be filled with ideally but not necessarily sterilized propagation medium such as moss, perlite, and soil. Leave 0.5–1 inch of space below the rim to avoid spillage.

To be clear, you don’t have to buy brand-new nursery pots every single time you want or need to propagate plants. You can simply reuse old ones after cleaning them thoroughly.

Some even use recycled plastic cups and other similar containers such as yogurt cups, plastic cups, bottom halves of water bottles, etc. Do not be afraid to reuse old material hanging around your place!

However, if you don’t have any extra pots at home I recommend getting this pack of small 4-inch (10 cm) nursery pots with drainage holes and humidity dome covers from Amazon!

Others have also been able to have several cuttings root quickly even when several are planted in bigger 6–8-inch (15–20 cm) wide pots. So just do what’s best for your time and budget!

More importantly, you want to create a good growing medium so that your wandering Jew cuttings will root and grow well. Don’t just use regular potting soil which provides way more nutrients than necessary for a very young plant that’s starting from a cutting.

Rather, home gardeners should strive to create a propagating medium that allows for good aeration, drainage, and moisture retention. Oftentimes, a mix of peat moss , perlite , and soil works great to encourage rooting at the nodes.

When you’re not sure of whether the medium is sterile or not, just moisten it and lay it on a baking tray. Then let it heat up to about 150–200°F (65–93° C) for at least 30 minutes.

5. Place Cutting in Soil

Insert the wandering Jew cutting at least 1 inch deep into the moistened propagating medium. Then, lightly press the soil around it to ensure that it can stand on its own.

Normally, you’ll hear many people recommend applying rooting hormone at the ends of your cuttings. However, this isn’t necessary for wandering Jew cuttings since they will root quickly without it.

Also, it’s best to let the basal stems of certain species—like the T, fluminensis, T. zebrina, and T. padilla— dry and callus over for 1–3 days before continuing with this step.

If, however, your inch plant doesn’t need to scab over where it was cut from the parent plant, you can go ahead and lightly water the propagating medium so that it becomes moist.

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Remember, the role of your propagating medium—whatever it may be—is to not only support wandering Jew cuttings but to also keep it adequately moist. So if you don’t water it beforehand, the cutting will wilt just a few days after being put into the soil .

Your spiderwort cutting should be inserted by more or less 1–2 inches (2–5 cm) into the medium so it can stand by itself. Gently pat down the soil around the cutting to help it stay in place.

Once you’re done with everything, you can expect roots to start growing in as little as only a week—provided that it is kept with ideal growing conditions.

2. Water Propagation (4 Steps)

Similar to soil propagation, herbaceous wandering Jew cuttings are needed for water propagation. Do so by 1) selecting healthy stems, 2) cutting a 4-inch stem below the node, 3) trimming leaves from the bottom half, and 4) placing the cutting into a container filled with clean lukewarm water.

Propagating spiderwort cuttings in water isn’t really that much different from propagating them in soil. However, there are key differences between the two. Learn more about this as you continue scrolling through the article!

Although you can virtually propagate any stem you prune off the parent plant, they won’t have equal chances at successful propagation.

Check your parent wandering jew plant to pick out the shoots with the best growth. Only select tender but firm shoots to take cuttings from. Their leaves should also be in good condition and color.

Using regular gardening scissors, collect wandering Jew stem tips or sections that are 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) long by cutting each one at a 45° angle below the lowest node.

Tradescantia Nanouk Propagation And Pruning | Green Moments w/Juliette Ep #23

Ideally, each cutting should have 2 nodes in total and about 4–6 leaves along the entire stem. However, it’s better to have most if not all the stems by the top half.

Remove excess leaves from the lower half of all your wandering Jew cuttings. This is important for preventing excessive water loss as the cuttings cannot properly absorb water until they grow roots.

Again, it’s best to have most if not all leaves by the top half of the cutting so they don’t sit on water and rot during the propagation period.

4. Place Cutting in Water

Wandering Jew cuttings propagated in water are best kept in narrow-mouthed containers for support. This prevents them from getting fully submerged in water.

For this method, you don’t really need to use any “special” water such as distilled water which can be bought by the gallon. More often than not, regular room-temperature tap water can be used.

If, however, you want to be extra careful, you can simply use dechlorinated or filtered tap water. Rainwater will do quite well too if you have any stored at home.

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Personally, I think sterilized old glass bottles are the best containers to use for water propagation. Their narrow mouths are wide enough to let the lower half of wandering jew cuttings come into contact with water.

At the same time, the narrow mouths of glass bottles prevent the colorful foliage of inch plants from drowning and rotting in water. Remember, you only want to keep the nodes underwater for rooting, not the entire cutting.

Just keep in mind to regularly top off or replace the water as well to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other nasty—probably harmful—microorganisms in your propagation water. Do so every 1–3 days.

When you’re done with all that, you can start seeing root growth from the nodes in as little as 2–4 days. However, it’s best to let a cutting’s root system fully develop for a couple of weeks before transplanting it into a soil-filled pot.

Alternatively, water-propagated wandering Jew cuttings can be grown permanently in water to avoid transplant shock. This is possible through hydroponic systems like the simple Kratky method.

3. Propagating by Division (4 Steps)

Propagate mature wandering Jew plants using division during spring by 1) completely taking out the plant from the pot, 2) gently sectioning it off by 1–3 shoots, 3) trimming each division, and 4) placing each division in individual containers.

What many people seem to be unaware of is that the beautiful wandering Jew plant can be propagated without taking cuttings and waiting for them to root. In fact, a single spiderwort can be readily divided into multiple rooted plants!

1. Take Out the Entire Plant

Carefully ease the wandering jew, along with its well-developed root system, out of its original container. Don’t just pull it out with brute force!

This is most easily done with plastic pots as they can be repeatedly—but softly—squeezed until the root and soil inside have loosened up. Others have also used butter knives to loosen potted inch plants from their containers by scraping them against the inner walls.

Either way, as mentioned earlier, it’s best to wear gardening gloves while doing this. It will help you avoid suffering from skin irritation.

2. Divide by the Roots

Using your hands, gently pull apart the clumps of soil and spiderwort roots you’ve unearthed from the pot. Remember to do this only after the wandering Jew comes out for a period of activity. Simply put, it’s best to divide wandering jew plants for propagation during spring.

To avoid having all these messing up your home, I suggest dividing your spiderwort in the garden, garage, or inside a collapsible plastic playpen or kiddie pool.

How to Divide Perennials: Spiderwort 'Little Doll' (Tradescantia)

Even a simple old baking tray will do well in catching all the loose dirt and plant material that will accumulate as you work on sectioning out your wandering Jew. Each section should ideally have 1–3 shoots or stems and as many roots retained as possible.

If you still can’t properly divide each section with your gloved hands alone, you can either use a clean knife or spade. Just be careful not to damage too many roots.

3. Trim Each Division

Afterwards, clean up each section by trimming away discolored and dry foliage. Normally, you’ll find these by the lower half of your wandering Jew sections.

When you spot any flowers, it’s best to pinch them off as well. A lot of tradescantia plants are actually sterile and don’t produce seeds. Besides that, varieties and cultivars that do produce seeds from their blooms don’t always grow plants that resemble their parent plants.

So it’s better to remove unnecessary flowers while your spiderwort sections are still recovering. In doing so, the divisions can redirect their energy from flowering to growing.

4. Place Divisions in Separate Containers

Finally, you can plant each wandering Jew division in its own container so that it has plenty of room for growth.

When the nodes of wandering Jew plants meet the soil, they will start growing roots there and develop new shoots to produce bushier inch plants.

Alternatively, you can simply grow a bunch of the sections, a few inches apart, directly in your yard or in a big shallow planter. This will make it look fuller and denser instantly.

4. Propagating by Air Layering (4 Steps)

A wandering Jew plant can be propagated through air layering by 1), selecting a good stem section with 1–2 leafless nodes 2), wrapping moist long fiber moss around the nodes 3) securing moss layer with plastic and strings, 4) cutting the rooted section after 1–2 months, and 5) planting it in a new pot.

Though it’s more commonly used for propagating woody plants and trees that are best grown outdoors, it’s possible to also air layer houseplants like wandering Jews!

Now, some may view this method as troublesome but most experienced home gardeners say that all the hassle is worth the end result. That said, if you think this will take too much time and effort, you can just do any of the earlier techniques I’ve already discussed.

1. Select a Stem Section

When you can, try to find leafless nodes on the shoots of your spiderwort plant. This helps you do away with trimming vibrant leaves that are already in perfect condition.

If you can’t find bare nodes, you’ll have to trim off leaves from 1–2 inches (2–5 cm) above and below the node.

In comparison to layering trees and other plants with woody stems, air layering wandering Jew doesn’t require you to wound the plant at all. The inch plant readily roots as long as its nodes are constantly touching a moist medium. Rooting powder is not even needed!

Plus, a great advantage to air layering is that you can guarantee successful propagation of wandering Jew with little to no risks.

Unlike propagation using cuttings, air-layered foliage plants are unlike to fail. They won’t suffer from water stress and significant carbohydrate loss since they are still connected to the stock plant while forming roots.

2. Wrap Moss Around Node

Rather than going for cut-up sphagnum moss, I suggest you buy dried long-fiber moss instead. Choosing moss with longer strands will allow you to easily wrap them around the node completely.

I recommend this 2-pound bale of dried sphagnum moss from Amazon.

Before you do that, make sure to properly rehydrate the moss you’ll be using first. You can use regular tap water for this as well. Then, squeeze out all the excess water to prevent the plant’s stem from getting too wet.

How To EASILY Propagate Houseplants FAST! How To Airlayer!

Once you start wrapping moist moss around the moss, continue until one or two nodes are completely covered by about 0.5–1-inch (1–2 cm) thick layer of moss all around.

3. Secure Moss With Plastic

Despite what other people may make you think, you don’t really need to buy expensive gardening tools and equipment to properly air-layer your wandering Jew.

To ensure constant contact between the node and moist moss, they should be snuggly secured together using a regular clean plastic bag. You can also use some plastic cling wrap. After that, use some strings or twist ties to keep it in place.

But make should this won’t be too difficult to undo because you will need to remoisten the moss regularly. Otherwise, no root will develop on the nodes.

If you do have the money for it, you can opt to use air layering pods ( here on Amazon) instead. When we consider long-term use, they may even be the most cost-effective as they can be cleaned and reused multiple times without any issues whatsoever.

4. Cut Rooted Stem Section

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to see roots grow from the nodes through the clear plastic wrapped around the stem section’s node. But don’t be in a hurry to cut it.

Wait for about 1–2 months until the root system of your sectioned wandering Jew stem is relatively established. Then, unwrap the plastic and gently remove the moss surrounding the node and the roots.

Using clean pruning shears, cut off the air-layered spiderwort shoot below the developed root ball of the stem section. You also want to softly lift the roots so that you can trim the excess stem hidden within the root ball.

5. Plant in New Pot

After cleanly cutting off the air-layered stem section along with the formed root ball, the propagated wandering Jew plant can now be planted and grown in its very own pot.

But to ensure that it doesn’t wilt after being separated from the mother plant, keep the newly potted spiderwort section loosely covered with a clear plastic bag for a whole week or so.

This will act as a mini growing tent to maintain moderate to high humidity for the developing plant.

3 Important Care Tips for Rooting Wandering Jew Cuttings

Wandering Jew cuttings should be provided with 1) diffused light from southern windows, 2) warm temperatures between 70–75°F, and 3) 60% humidity. These conditions should be maintained while the spiderwort cuttings are rooting.

I’ve heard some say that light is not necessary for good rooting. However, this is not true. Rooting wandering Jew cuttings do well with bright but diffused indirect light. This can be replicated indoors by placing your cuttings near south-facing windows.

Providing little to no light to propagating wandering Jew cuttings will result in slow rooting. Conversely, intense and direct sunlight exposure will cause leaves to burn or drop.

Keeping the rotting medium warm and no colder than 70°F or 21 ° C using seedling heat mats will also encourage rapid rooting for this colorful foliage plant.

While maintaining warm temperatures for your inch plant warm, it’s also important to provide relatively high humidity to keep the medium moist. The medium should never dry out completely during this period.

That said, you don’t want to cut off airflow completely. Otherwise, the cuttings may start rotting away. So when you place a plastic cover for humidity retention, make sure to air it out every now and then.

If you keep all of these things in mind while you propagate your own inch plant at home, you can expect to see new succulent shoots and colorful leaves growing after 1–2 months.

When should you get wandering Jew cuttings?

Herbaceous stem cuttings from wandering Jew plants are best taken during seasons when it’s actively growing. More specifically, wandering Jews are best propagated from cuttings anytime between spring and summer. If possible, the parent plant should also be watered the day before cuttings are taken from it.

Can you propagate a wandering Jew from just a leaf?

Wandering Jew plants cannot be propagated from leaves alone. Propagating from the leaf alone will only be a wasteful failure as it does not grow roots from its leaves. Generally, a cutting with at least 1 node along with 1 set of leaves is needed for propagation as roots grow from that area of the wandering Jew.

Do wandering Jew plants like to be rootbound?

Contrary to popular belief, wandering Jew—and any other plant for that matter—does not like being root or pot-bound. Rather, it will require repotting. Plants that are typically grown in containers such as wandering Jew experience stunted growth when root-bound. More importantly, root-bound plants are more susceptible to root rot and plant death.

How fast do wandering Jew plants grow?

Wandering Jew is a creeping perennial plant that most experts consider fast-growing . However, some varieties and cultivars may have more rapid growth than others. It is estimated that this plant can grow up to approximately 1 inch (2 cm) per 1–2 weeks, earning its other nickname—the inch plant. Propagated cuttings typically root within a week too.

Summary of How to Propagate Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew plants can easily be propagated using stem tip or section cuttings left to root in either a soil-based growing medium or clean lukewarm water. These are the most popular and common ways of propagation for inch plants.

To ensure the successful growth of more mature wandering Jew sections after propagation, home gardeners can opt to divide or air-layer established plants instead. New inch plants obtained from such methods are less likely to die compared to cuttings.

If grown in an environment with diffused light, warm temperatures, and relatively high humidity, wandering Jew cuttings can grow roots from their nodes within 2 weeks. Well-kept cuttings are also likely to develop new shoots and leaves 1–2 months after propagation.

  • “Tradescantia” by n/a in N.C. Cooperative Extension
  • “Ornamental Production” by n/a in Aggie Horticulture
  • “Home Propagation of Houseplants” by n/a in University of Missouri Extension
  • “Propagating Houseplants” by Gerald Klingaman and Janet Carson in University of Arkansas System Extension
  • “Plant Propagation” by Susan M. Bell in University of Idaho Extension

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How To Propagate Wandering Jew? [COMPLETE BEGINNER’S GUIDE]

Wandering Jew, also known as Zebrina pendula and a native of Mexico, is a fast-growing plant with dangling branches and purple and green leaves frequently striped with silver. Wandering Jew thrives outside U.S. Department of Agriculture plant tolerance zones 9 through 11. It is a warm-climate plant that is typically grown indoors.

The wandering jew can be propagated in either soil or water. To propagate it in soil, you will have to make a cutting and plant them in a hole inside a soil-filled pot and water them. The cuttings will be inside a jar of water, and the bottom leaf node will have to be submerged.

The wandering jew is very simple to spread. It can be grown in a pot like a bonsai or, for a more rustic appearance, you can allow it to grow naturally enough to fit in a dangling container and let its branches hang from your window.

How To Propagate Wandering Jew In Soil

Plants of the Wandering Jew can be multiplied successfully and easily; they can adapt and live even if you give them little care. A Wandering Jew plant may grow in any climate; thus, there is no ideal season to propagate them. So do not bother awaiting a specific period if you want to grow your Wandering Jew .

Although they will grow more quickly in the spring and summer than in the winter, this does not preclude their propagation in the latter season. Jews on the move are not dormant in the winter. Propagating requires a little more work to grow wandering Jew plants in soil than in water.

You do not have to be concerned about your efforts being in vain because both techniques have a success rate. Proper cutting preparation is essential for proliferation. For clean cuts, use pruning shears or a sharp blade that has been sanitized; to aid in the cuttings taking root more quickly, if at all feasible, cut at a 45-degree angle.

A leaf node must be below the cut line; for the propagated plant, roots will emerge from these leaf nodes. Make a snip below the most recent leaf if there are no leaf nodes; your cuttings must be between four and six inches long. The cuttings should air dry so they can develop calluses.

When the cuttings are planted, this prevents them from decaying; fill a pot with a draining hole at least 6 inches in height with a quality potting mix. Leave a gap of 1 inch at the pot’s top. Wandering Jews look excellent in hanging displays, but you might also use a dangling basket.

Plant your cuttings in 2-inch-deep holes you have dug in the ground; ensure they have adequate room to grow and are distributed equally. To make the cuttings more sturdy, compact the soil around them. Keep the pot in a well-lit place at all times.

The pots should be kept in a shaded area with lots of indirect sunshine because excessively direct light will kill the cuttings. Water the pot uniformly to ensure that all cuttings get enough water.

Alternatively, you might cover the pot with a clear plastic bag. You would only need to water crops once every few weeks to keep the moisture. In a month, you will start to notice fresh growth.

How To Root Wandering Jew

If you decide to plant your stem in the soil to root it, you will want to begin with the correct soil type to give it the highest chance of succeeding. Make sure to use soil that drains effectively. To prevent your stem from rotting before it has an opportunity to develop roots, you should avoid using too heavy soil.

Make sure the soil is quite wet after selecting the appropriate type. To accomplish this, put your soil in a sizable container and immerse it in water for a short while, breaking up any soil clumps. Take a handful of the soil when it has been completely moistened, and press out as much moisture as possible.

Put that soil in the pot you will be using, breaking it up once more as you do so. After adding a top-notch propagation promoter, plant your stem directly in the ground. Even though it is not often necessary, a propagation promoter will help your new plant resist bacteria and have faster-growing roots.

The Wandering Jew needs to be rooted in water differently; for maximum results, fill your container with non-chlorinated, room-temperature water. Place the plant cutting inside the water after mixing your propagation promoter. Within a week, you will start to notice fresh root growth.

Your stem will have developed a strong set of roots after two weeks, and if you decide to propagate in water, it should be moved to well-draining potting soil to continue growing. After about a month, you will notice fresh growth above the dirt. Remember that the position of your plant in your house can affect the rate of germination and the timing of new growth.

The location of your new plant should be in a well-lit place that is out of direct sunlight. Depending on how quickly you notice improvement with the new plant or if the plant starts to look dull, you might need to change the location of your plant.

Wandering Jew Cuttings

These houseplants grow quite quickly; pruning is essential for proper growth. Your plant will grow new growth if you prune it. It is ideal for pruning long stems from old, healthy plants and rooting them next to the mother plant in the same container. The most efficient technique to multiply a Wandering Jew plant is stem cutting.

It is not as challenging as it might sound; take a cutting from the existing plant and allow it to establish roots so it can develop into a new plant. By taking slips, sometimes referred to as cuttings, from a mature, healthy plant, wandering Jews can be easily rooted. Under a node, which is a tiny, budlike projection where a leaf or bud is starting to develop, cut the stem using clean, precise scissors.

New roots begin to form here when the plant is being propagated. Cut the stem slightly below the most recent leaf if there is not a node visible. The best-rooted cutting is between 4 and 6 inches long.

Wandering Jew Plant Care

You could let the soil dry up between waterings for wandering Jew plants because they can thrive even with little neglect. Watering should be reduced in the winter when growth is slower. If necessary, fertilize your wandering Jew every two weeks during every summer and spring by applying a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

Your spiderwort plant might lose some of its foliage towards the base of the stems in the first year of growth. When a plant looks lanky, instead of pruning it back to make it look fuller, take cuttings from healthy stems and grow them in the same pot as the mother plant. Remove leaves that are fading or dried out.

Despite their considerable adaptability, spiderwort plants prefer medium to strong indirect light to grow. Move it to a brighter location if you notice the leaf marks disappearing, but ensure it is out of strong sunlight.

Brighter environments increase the likelihood of flowering in plants. Put your wandering Jew in potting soil that is all-purpose and well-drained. It will thrive in a warm, moderate environment with temperatures ranging from 55 to 70 degrees.

Final Thoughts

Due to their extreme hardiness and ability to adapt to various humidity levels and environmental factors, wandering Jews are simple to reproduce. They only need a little tender loving care. Aphids are to be avoided; they are drawn to plants with strong stems and, if unmanaged, can grow into a massive infestation.

Victoria Wilson

Victoria is the owner and main author of hobby plants. She loves spending her free time in her garden planting and taking care of her plants. Victoria hopes you enjoy the content here!

Victoria Wilson

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A Step-By-Step Guide on Propagating and Growing Inch Plant

Last Updated: November 4, 2023 Fact Checked

Propagating in Water

Propagating in soil, after rooting.

This article was reviewed by Ben Barkan and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure . Ben Barkan is a Garden and Landscape Designer and the Owner and Founder of HomeHarvest LLC, an edible landscapes and construction business based in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben has over 12 years of experience working with organic gardening and specializes in designing and building beautiful landscapes with custom construction and creative plant integration. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer, is licensed Construction Supervisor in Massachusetts, and is a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor. He holds an associates degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. There are 10 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 14,147 times.

Inch plant ( Tradescantia zebrina ), also known as wandering Jew, silver inch, and spiderwort, is a colorful and easy-to-care-for plant that thrives in basically any environment. Propagating this vivid houseplant is an absolute breeze and if you’re a novice plant enthusiast, you’ve picked an excellent species to work with. Just FYI, after you take your cutting you can grow the plant in water or soil, but both options work well. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process from start to finish! As an important note, the name “wandering Jew” is actually pretty offensive, as the name is supposed to reflect the fact that the plant is invasive. There’s a big movement to use “wandering dude” instead. Aside from being more compassionate, we think that’s also just a cooler name. [1] X Research source

Things You Should Know

  • Cut 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) of the inch plant’s stem and place it in water to propagate the plant.
  • If you want to place the cutting in soil, put a plastic bag over the top of the plant and wait for expansive growth.
  • Keep your inch plant in a bright area with plenty of indirect light and water it whenever the soil dries out entirely.

Step 1 Clean some sharp...

  • If you want to propagate multiple cuttings, repeat this process as many times as you’d like. You can propagate multiple cuttings in the same container if you’re placing them in soil. If you’re using pots of water, get a separate container for each cutting.
  • Leaving a node at the bottom will give the plant a place to develop roots. If you cut through or over a node, your plant won’t develop.
  • Fun fact, the name “inch plant” comes from the nodes appearing every 1 in (2.5 cm) on the stem. [4] X Research source

Step 3 Remove the lowest set of leaves from the cutting, if necessary.

  • Inch plant grows like crazy, so this is totally optional. Don’t worry if you skip the rooting hormone.

Step 1 Fill a small drinking glass or pot ¾ of the way with lukewarm water.

  • Most plant enthusiasts think it’s easiest to propagate inch plant in water. Both water and soil will work, though!

Step 2 Put the cutting in the water and set the plant in a bright area.

  • Inch plant is really not difficult to care for at this stage. Just leave the plant alone and it’ll begin to thrive!

Step 3 Transfer the plant to a pot of soil after roots have developed.

  • You can also leave the inch plant in the water. It’ll continue to grow and thrive in water—it just won’t grow as thick and bushy as it will in soil.

Step 1 Fill a small pot ¾ of the way with moist potting mix.

  • Inch plant is not a tepid grower. It’ll fill whatever pot you put it in and then some. If you want a giant plant, put it in a bigger pot!
  • You can propagate multiple cuttings in a single pot if you’d like.

Step 2 Stick the cutting in the middle of the pot.

  • If you’re propagating multiple cuttings, space them out evenly around the middle of the pot.

Step 3 Cover the pot with a plastic bag and rubber band for about 1 month.

  • This will lock the moisture from the soil in and keep your cutting moist.

Step 4 Remove the plastic when new growth has occurred.

  • Take the plastic bag off and remove the rubber band.

Step 1 Place the plant in an area that gets bright, indirect light.

  • You can 100% place the plant outside so long as it doesn’t get lower than 60 °F (16 °C) at night, but bring the pot inside during the winter months.

Step 2 Make sure the room the inch plant is in stays 60–80 °F (16–27 °C).

  • This is partly why inch plants are such popular options for new plant enthusiasts who aren’t comfortable tackling plants with tougher care regimens. When it comes to temperature and sunlight, your inch plant wants all of the same things you do!

Step 3 Keep the soil moist

  • If you’re keeping the inch plant in water, just replace the water every few weeks or whenever the water gets dirty.

Step 4 Look for consistent growth and a uniform color.

  • If the leaves start losing color, it’s a sign that you’re either watering too often or not often enough.
  • The inch plant will shed dead leaves periodically whenever it experiences new growth. Don’t worry—this is totally normal.
  • Inch plants tend to droop and hang when they grow larger. If you want a bushier plant, trim back the excess growth periodically to keep the plant smaller. It’ll thicken up and grow like a shrub. Now all you have to do, is continue caring for your plant !

Expert Q&A

  • Inch plant actually comes in 4 different varieties, although most people picture the species with the purple leaves and green streaks. Every variety is cared for the same way. [18] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Inch plant is extremely easy to propagate. If you’ve decided you wanted to turn your home into a tropical paradise full of plants, the inch plant is an incredible option to get started. [19] X Trustworthy Source University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension program of the University of California system devoted to educating and improving local communities Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • You can propagate inch plant outdoors at any point in any season so long as the temperature levels don’t drop below 60 °F (16 °C). Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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Wandering Jew Plant – Ultimate Care Guide

By: Author Daniel

Posted on Last updated: September 18, 2023

Wandering Jew Plant – Ultimate Care Guide

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You are reading this guide to learn more about the Wandering Jew Plant and its care . I have had this plant at home for many years and write about all the growing aspects in this guide.

Wandering Jew Plant Care Takeaways

What is the wandering jew plant.

The Wandering Jew, or Tradescantia zebrina, by its scientific name (old name = Zebrina pendula) is native to Mexico. It is not to be confused with Tradescantia albiflora, which also goes by Wandering Jew and has very similar care needs. 

Tradescantia zebrina has attractive foliage, sporting exciting zebra-patterned leaves. It also flowers. But when kept as a houseplant, this rarely ever happens. It is a fast-growing and excellent groundcover, according to the University of Florida .

How not to kill your Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew)

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).

Table of Contents

Tradescantia zebrina Growing guide

Tradescantia zebrina care is pretty straightforward, but it certainly can’t hurt to glance at the most important things to consider when caring about this herbaceous perennial plant. 

So, without further ado, let’s see how you can make your Wandering Jew, aka the Inch plant, as happy as possible.

Any good potting soil will do for your Wandering Jew. For instance, this could be Miracle Gro potting soil readily available online in stores like Amazon. 

But these plants not only feel very comfortable in soil but can also be kept in hydroponics .

Sunlight is a vital aspect when it comes to the well-being of most houseplants. Some houseplants do well with moderate sunlight, while others only thrive (or flower) when a certain level of sunlight is guaranteed.

The Wandering Jew does best in bright, indirect sunlight . 

If you are unsure what that means, please look at our Light Levels article.   

The Wandering Jew, a tropical native, thrives best when the root ball is always well moisturized. Still, waterlogging should be avoided whenever possible, as this could lead to root rot .

Lookup your USDA Hardiness Zone By Zip Code

This tropical plant does not enjoy limy water. Use soft water whenever possible. Rainwater and distilled water are very good choices. 


People who own an Inch plant and keep it outside run the risk of exposing it to cold temperatures. This is where indoor plant owners have the upper hand.

Wandering Jews can thrive with average room temperatures of 60 to 75°F (16 to 24°C) if it doesn’t drop for long periods. Anything below 12°C for an extended period could be fatal for your Wandering Jew.

Wandering Jews prefer a humidity of around 70%

The perennial, herbaceous Wandering Jew plant is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, so it should not surprise you that it likes a good deal of humidity. 

To ensure high humidity levels, regularly misting your plant is a very good idea. A hand mister filled with water does the trick. 

As for the location, you may want to keep your Wandering Jew in the bathroom , as this is usually the place in the house with the highest humidity. 

Feed your plant once a month during spring and summer. In winter, fertilizing is not necessary. 

Also, fertilization of the Wandering Jew is only necessary from the second year of cultivation or after repotting. 


It is best propagated through stem tip cuttings. Propagating the Wandering Jew is an easy task.

Wandering Jews don’t get very tall. They might reach a height of about 14 inches (36 cm) when kept indoors. They spread to about 10 inches (25 cm).


The thing with the Wandering Jew is that it grows fast , hence its nickname “Inch plant.” Because of its fast-growing pace, the plant usually gets very leggy, and leaves are often lost near the base of the plant. 

Repotting is pivotal for keeping the root system healthy regardless of the actual plant species. However, how often a houseplant needs to be repotted depends on various factors.

Some houseplants grow incredibly fast, so they need to be repotted often. Others, on the other hand, grow very slowly, so repotting is not a top priority. 

That said, repotting your Wandering Jew occasionally is a good idea. 

How long does a Wandering Jew live?

As far as the longevity of Wandering Jews goes, they often don’t get older than 2 to 3 years.  

Wandering Jew Houseplant

Wandering Jew Watering

Water about once every 5-7 days in spring and summer. Keep the soil slightly humid. Do not let the Wandering Jew dry out between waterings. Use your index finger to check if the soil is dry down 1-2 inches of soil (2.5 – 5 cm).

Reduce watering to every 10-14 days in autumn and winter.

Wandering Jew Propagation

The Wandering Jew roots very easily . The plant can easily be propagated through stem tip cuttings.

When propagating your Wandering Jew, make sure that your plant is in a healthy condition. 

Please follow our step-to-step guide to propagate your Wandering Jew through stem tip cuttings.

Propagation through stem tip cuttings

  • Identify the plant that you want to replicate. It should have healthy growth and plenty of stems. 
  • Make clean cuts on sections that are three to six inches in length . 
  • Use a sharp knife and carefully cut the leaves on the stem’s bottom half.
  • If you want, you can dip the exposed end of the stem in a rooting hormone . This will speed up the rooting process. However , it is unnecessary . 
  • Place your stem tip cuttings into a pot with fresh soil after thoroughly watering the potting mixture. 
  • Use a clear plastic bag to hold in moisture, taking it off to water weekly . 
  • Keep your eyes on the plant for new growth . You should start to see roots in about two to three weeks . Once this happens, transfer the plant babies to a larger pot. 

Note: Instead of rooting your stem tip cuttings directly in soil, you could also root them in water .

Wandering Jew Pest Control

Wandering Jews are prone to aphids and spider mites attacks. So, you will need to look out for these two little pests. 

Some of these are known to cause defoliation, while others can kill the plant altogether. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may need to use chemicals or insecticides .

Aphids on my Inch Plant

The Wandering Jew is not particularly susceptible to plant diseases or pests. Yet, you might have to deal with an aphid attack at some point. These parasites pierce the leaves of their host plant and suck their sap.

Like scale insects, they excrete sticky honeydew, by which you can immediately recognize the infestation.

Aphids can multiply explosively, especially in warm , dry environments.

As a preventive measure, ensure regular watering and occasional misting of your Wandering Jew.

The best way to combat aphids is to control them mechanically by rinsing them off the plant with water . Isolate the plant from the rest of the collection.

Pest Prevention

To prevent the Wandering Jew from pest infestations, plucking dried leaves regularly makes sense as well as using neem oil. The dried leaves lying on the substrate must be removed. Otherwise, there is a risk of rotting or infestation by parasites and fungi .

Wandering Jew Problems

Brown leaf tips.

Brown leaf tips is a very common problem with a wide variety of houseplant. Depending on the species, the causes for this problem can be very different, though. 

So what causes leaves to turn brown with Wandering Jews?

My Wandering Jew has only green leaves (not enough variegation)

If you do own a variegated Wandering Jew but only see a great amount of non-variegated leaves, chances are that your plant does not get enough sunlight . 

To solve the problem, allow your Wandering Jew some bright, indirect sunlight by placing it in a sunnier location. 

Fading leaves

If your inch plant’s foliage is suddenly losing color and sports fading leaves, this is another sign that it does not get enough sunlight . 

Dropping leaves

Dropping leaves is another very common problem many plant parents must deal with regularly . If your Wandering Jew drops leaves, this is usually due to too low or too high temperatures . 

In summer , ensure your Wandering Jew is exposed to average room temperatures.

In winter , it should be kept in a cooler environment.

Is Wandering Jew care difficult?

Wandering Jews are considered low-maintenance plants and are perfectly suitable for beginners. 

They do well at average room temperatures, don’t demand a very high level of humidity (which is sometimes difficult to achieve in a home environment), and it is very easy to propagate them through stem tip cuttings. 

Which plant species are commonly referred to as “Wandering Jew”?

Tradescantia zebrina as well as Tradescantia albiflora. 

What is the difference between Tradescantia zebrina and Zebrina pendula?

There is no difference between Tradescantia zebrina and Zebrina pendula. Zebrina pendula is just the old name for Tradescantia zebrina. 

Does my Wandering Jew flower at all?

Wandering Jews are indeed flowering plants. However, when kept indoors, they very rarely flower. 

How long can you keep a Wandering Jew?

If you don’t propagate your Wandering Jew, you can keep it for about three years. After that period, the quality of your Wandering Jew will most likely decrease. If you regularly propagate your leafy friend through stem tip cuttings, you can keep it indefinitely.

Any display tips for Wandering Jews?

Wandering Jews look great in hanging planters!

Is the Wandering Jew toxic to cats?

The Wandering Jew plant is toxic to cats. Therefore, you have to keep your cat away from this plant. 

Is the Wandering Jew toxic to dogs?

Yes, the Wandering Jew plant is toxic to dogs. Therefore, you must ensure your dog does not come in contact with this plant. 

What are the health benefits of Tradescantia zebrina, if any?

Not only is The Wandering Jew a beautiful houseplant famous for its striking foliage, but it also presents several health benefits for humans. It is especially known for its antioxidant and antibacterial activity, and it is widely used in Traditional Medicine in several countries. Tradescantia zebrina is also believed to be a valuable source for treating kidney diseases.

The Last Zebrina

The Wandering Jew is a great houseplant that looks stunning in hanging planters. Its care is easy apart from its humidity-loving nature.

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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Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia or Spiderwort): Care, Types, Images and More

Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia or Spiderwort ): Care, Types, and Growing Tips

The wandering Jew plant is a common name for different species of plants that belong to the Tradescantia genus. There are around 75 different types of plants in Tradescantia genus and some are called inch plants, spiderwort, striped wandering Jew, Boat Lily, Purple Queen, or flowering inch plant. Wandering Jew plants are great house plants because they are relatively easy to care for. They are also easy to grow because the wandering Jew plant propagates easily from cuttings.

Some types of wandering Jew plants have green and gold leaves, some have reddish leaves, and others have green fuzzy leaves. There are also types of wandering Jew plants that flower. Depending on the species, the wandering Jew plant could have purple, white, or pink flowers.

How to care for wandering Jew plant : For the Tradescantia or spiderwort plant to thrive, grow in a plenty of indirect light and plant in fertile, moist potting soil with good drainage. Make sure the soil isn’t too dry or too damp and keep medium humidity levels. The ideal temperature range is between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C). You can fertilize every four weeks during the growing season with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer.

In this article, you will find all you need to know about this delightful houseplant. You will also get tips and ideas on how to care for your wandering Jew plants.

Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia or Spiderwort) – Overview of the Plant and Its Flowers

The botanical name for wandering Jew plant is Tradescantia zebrina and is also called the inch plant. However, the name wandering Jew is given to many herbaceous perennial plants in the Tradescantia genus. ( 1 )

Species of Tradescantias naturally grow outdoors in countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia. Varieties of wandering Jew plants also thrive well indoors, where, like their garden varieties, they grow well when it is warm, sunny, and moderately humid.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, various varieties of Tradescantias are regarded as invasive plants in the wild. However, it is the fast-growing nature of spiderworts, wandering Jews, and inch plants that makes them perfect houseplants. ( 2 )

Many people like to grow wandering Jews or spiderworts in hanging baskets or grow them in pots to decorate a garden.

What does a wandering Jew look like?

Plants from the Tradescantia varieties have leaves that seem to grow in all directions (hence the term “wandering Jew”).

One of the distinct features about foliage on wandering Jews is that many of them have striped leaves. Sometimes, the leaves can be purple and silver stripes, whereas other types of Tradescantias have leaves that are almost all silver. ( 3 )

You may also notice that some varieties of wandering Jew plant have different colors on the underneath of the leaf. For example, the Tradescantia zebrina has green/silver leaves on the upper side and deep red or burgundy colors on the underside.

Wandering Jew flower

Wandering Jew houseplants also produce attractive flowers. These flowers can sometimes be white or can range in color from pink to various shades of lilac and purple. ( 3 )

However, plant lovers don’t usually grow wandering Jews indoors or outdoors for their blooms. It’s the beautiful variation of leaf colors that makes various types of Tradescantias so desirable houseplants.

Types of Wandering Jew (Spiderwort) Plants

The most popular types of Tradescantia plants to keep indoors are Tradescantia fluminensis ( spiderwort ), Tradescantia pallida ( purple heart ), and Tradescantia zebrina ( wandering Jew ).

Wandering Jew or inch plant ( Tradescantia zebrina )

This type of  wandering Jew houseplant has purple and green leaves with a stripe pattern that resembles zebra’s stripes. There are types of wandering Jews that have bluish green leaves and purple hues on the underside.

Tradescantia zebrina

Tradescantia fluminensis (spiderwort)

There are a number of types of Tradescantia that are called spiderwort. This is distinguished from some Tradescantias as it has ovel shiny dark green leaves with pointed tips which are slightly fleshy .

Tradescantia fluminensis (spiderwort) - Picture of wandering Jew plant with white flowers

Picture of wandering Jew plant with white flowers

Tradescantia pallida (purple heart)

This type of spiderwort plant is also commonly referred to as wandering Jew. The T. pallida houseplants have vibrant purple leaves and light pink flowers when they bloom.

Tradescantia pallida (wondering Jew) with flowers (purple heart)

Wandering jew plant with deep purple leaves and light purplish-pink flowers

Tradescantia callisia

The leaves of T. callisia varieties are sometimes referred to as creeping inch plants. They have remarkably stripy leaves made up of green and white stripes.

Tradescantia callisia - Picture of green wandering jew

Picture of green wandering jew

Wandering Jew Plant Care (How to Grow Spiderwort or Tradescantia)

Caring for wandering Jew plants is fairly simple and straightforward. All plants in the Tradescantia genus enjoy moist soil, sunny but indirect sunlight, and warm conditions.

So, it doesn’t matter if you have fuzzy leaf Tradescantias, purple queen varieties, spiderworts, or wandering Jews, they all require the same type of care.

Light requirements for Tradescantias

To make sure that wandering Jew plants grow successfully, they require a good amount of light. This ensures that they grow with healthy leaves that have a vibrant green, silver, purple, or lilac colors.

The best place to place wandering Jew plant or spiderworts is in an east- or west-facing location. This means that they get plenty of natural light without being in direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest.

The only exception is if you have Tradescantia pallida plants with dark purples leaves. They usually thrive in direct sunlight, although you should regularly check them in the summertime to make sure the sun isn’t too strong.

One sign that your Tradescantia isn’t getting enough light is if the color of their leaves starts to fade.

Best growing temperature for Spiderwort or Tradescantia

One of the reasons why wandering Jew plants are good for the home is that they thrive in room temperature.

The best temperatures for growing any type of Tradescantia plant is between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C). The houseplants also thrive in conditions that are described as “average humidity.”

If you grow Tradescantias outdoors, you should be aware of a drop in night temperatures and lower temperatures during winter. You should bring Tradescantias indoors if the temperature drops.

Best watering techniques for wandering Jew plant care

To care for your inch plant, spiderwort, or wandering Jew, you should keep the soil moist.

The best way to water a wandering Jew is to water the soil thoroughly and let the water drain out the bottom. Another way to water your purple house plant is to put water in the plant pot tray and allow the plant to soak up as much as it needs.

Some beginners who start caring for houseplants such as Tradescantias for the first time buy a soil moisture gauge to help get the soil moisture levels just right.

When it comes to proper watering for your wandering Jew, always make sure the soil isn’t too dry or too damp. Usually, weekly watering in the summertime is enough to keep your Tradescantia growing well.

The best fertilizer for wandering Jew houseplants

The reason why Tradescantias are so easy to care for is that they don’t usually require any feeding.

If you decide to encourage your inch plant or spiderwort to grow faster, then choose a liquid organic fertilizer mixed at half strength and use once a month.

Most houseplant growers don’t feed their wandering Jew plants in the fall or winter as they tend to become “leggy” or “straggly.”

Which type of soil to use for Tradescantias

To properly care for wandering Jew varieties of houseplants, you only need to plant them in regular potting soil.

How to prune wandering Jew plants

In time, Tradescantia plants require some cutting back and pruning. This helps to give your houseplant a bushier appearance and also gives you plenty of cuttings to propagate.

For Tradescantia pruning, you just need to pinch off the stem tips to leave about ¾ of the length. This will encourage your plant to grow better and become more attractive.

Growing Plants from Wandering Jew Cuttings

Even for the most novice of houseplant owners, propagating any type of Tradescantia plant is very easy. After you have cut back your “leggy” wandering Jew stems, you will have a large number of cuttings that you can use to grow new house plants.

How to propagate wandering Jew plant leaves

To prepare your wandering Jew cuttings or purple heart plant cuttings for propagation, you need a couple of stems about 1-2 inches long. Remove all the leaves apart from 2 or 3 at the end of the stem.

There are 2 ways you can grow wandering Jew plants from cutting:

  • The first way is to just put a cutting in potting soil and wait for it to grow. All you have to do is make sure that the soil is kept moist and not overly damp.
  • The other way to grow a Tradescantia from a cutting is to put the stem in water. You should notice that new roots start to grow within a week. When you notice new roots growing, you can transfer your cuttings to a pot to grow a new houseplant.

Wandering Jew Outdoor Plant Care

Tradescantia plants are great garden plants and grow well outdoors in warmer zones in the U.S. (USDA growing zones 9-11). In fact, it is because they grow so well outside in warmer countries and are quite invasive that they are classed as a weed in certain countries.

You can easily care for any Tradescantia plants to add color and beauty to your garden. Purple hanging plants or wandering Jew vines with stripy leaves can grace any patio, doorway, or garden area.

As with caring for wandering Jews or spiderworts indoors, Tradescantia plants growing outdoor should be protected from direct sunlight. So, place your plants in shady areas of the garden. But it’s good to remember that some bright light will help the wandering Jew plant produce more flowers.


Also, frost can damage the plant, so, if you live in areas where fall and winter temperatures drop below 10°F (12°C), you should take them indoor and continue to grow them as houseplants.

Problems with Wandering Jew Plant (Spiderwort)

Even though it is relatively easy to care for wandering Jew plants, you can still come across certain problems.

Let’s look at some growing tips for Tradescantia plants to avoid or remedy some common problems.

The most common pest when growing wandering Jews indoors are bugs such as spider mites or aphids . The appearance of these pests on your bushy spiderwort or inch plant may be a sign that conditions are too dry.

To help remedy the problems of pests on your Tradescantia, mist the leaves regularly and make sure the soil is moist enough. You may need to wash off the mites with water to help get rid of the infestation.

One of the beauties about caring for wandering Jew plants indoors or outdoors is that they are not susceptible to disease. Usually, any discoloration of the leaves or poor growth is connected to the soil being too dry or too damp.

Fungal infections

Overwatering spiderworts, inch plants, or wandering Jews can cause a fungal growth called botrytis to develop in the roots.

Brown leaves

As with most problems associated with caring for Tradescantias, brown leaves can also indicate that the growing environment isn’t right. The leaves of your wandering Jew could have turned brown because of too much or too little sunlight. Also, too much watering can affect leaf health.

Where to Buy Wandering Jew Plants

Many garden centers and online stores stock many different varieties of wandering Jews. You will also find that Tradescantia cuttings are available online.

Because many different types of wandering Jews are so easy to grow yourself, you could ask a friend for a cutting if they have the plant. You can also get more Tradescantia houseplant or garden plants by propagating cuttings from plants you already have.

FAQ Related to Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia)

Do they need any pruning.

To properly care for wandering Jews, the leaves and stems require pruning. The stems can grow quite long and start losing their leaves from the base. The best time to prune any Tradescantia plant is just before the growing season in late winter or early spring.

You may also find that Tradescantias grow better if you give them a mild prune in late summer.

How to prevent wandering Jew roots from rotting?

Go easy on the watering to stop Tradescantia plants’ roots from rotting. Water them enough to keep the soil moist during summertime and only occasionally in the winter.

Are wandering Jew plant leaves toxic to animals?

While not toxic to cats or dogs, the leaves of wandering Jew plants can cause irritation. If you have pets that like to nibble on leaves, you can still benefit from the beauty of Tradescantias if you grow the outdoor plant in hanging baskets.

Can I grow my Tradescantia plant outdoors?

Yes, you certainly can. Wandering Jew plants grow well out of doors in warm climates. During the summertime, you can move your indoor houseplants to the garden and place them away from direct sunlight.

Dashes of purple colors, bright pinks, or interesting green and purple stripped leaves can make an interesting feature in any garden or balcony.

Can you train a wandering Jew plant?

Tradescantia plants are easy to train because their stems can grow very long and you can wrap them around objects. Wandering Jew plant stems can grow up on trellises or obelisks or up around any other item.

Heavily pruning wandering Jews in late winter can also help to train the plant to grow into a colorful bush.

How fast does wandering Jew plant grow?

Tradescantia cuttings should start growing roots within a week or so. Once the plant is established, you can expect it to grow about an inch every week. Some people claim this is the reason that some Tradescantias are called inch plants.

Can Tradescantia houseplants cause allergies?

The sap of wandering Jew plants or prolonged skin exposure to its leaves could cause allergic reactions.

The journal Allergy reports that indoor plants such as Tradescantia can also cause symptoms such as itching of the throat, swelling, wheezing, and runny eyes and nose. ( 4 )

Do wandering Jew varieties have any health benefits?

Although not widely used, extracts from Tradescantia zebrina have certain medicinal properties. You can buy inch plant herbal liquid extracts that are said to have many antioxidant properties.

Researchers have found that therapeutic compounds in Tradescantia extracts have antibacterial, anticancer, and antioxidant uses. ( 5 )

Related articles:

  • Moses In Cradle Care: How to Grow Tradescantia spathacea
  • Chinese Money Plant Care: How to Grow Pilea Peperomioides
  • Dracaena Marginata Plant Care: How to Grow Madagascar Dragon Tree

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Wandering Jew Care: How to Grow a Long and Luscious Inch Plant (Tradescantia Zebrina)

Tradescantia zebrina (commonly known as wandering Jew, spiderwort, or inch plant) is popular for a reason: This beginner-friendly houseplant is low-maintenance and grows quickly. It’s also super easy to propagate more plants so you can fill your home with more of the colorful striped foliage the species is known for.

Linda Ly

Written by Linda Ly

Wandering Jew plant care: complete growing guide for Tradescantia zebrina (inch plant)

When it comes to vigorous, colorful, and easy-to-grow hanging houseplants, there aren’t many that can compare to Tradescantia zebrina (known more commonly as wandering Jew—and I’ll touch on the history of that name below). Whether you’re a houseplant beginner or a veteran, most indoor gardeners have owned one of these potted plants at some point. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about Tradescantia zebrina and growing this stunning houseplant in your own home.

Disclosure: If you shop from my article or make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive commissions on some of the products I recommend.

Close-up of wandering Jew plant leaves

About inch plants

Natural habitat.

Tradescantia zebrina is a native of Central and South America, from Mexico down to Colombia, as well as the Caribbean. Here, it forms part of the undergrowth in lightly forested and often very moist areas. It can form very dense, wide mats thanks to its creeping growth pattern and ability to throw roots extremely quickly.

Unfortunately, its vigorous growth has also made Tradescantia zebrina an invasive plant in some regions. This includes Hawaii, Brazil, and Australia, where the species easily takes hold in moist, forested areas.

As a 2019 study carried out in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest notes, this is problematic due to the species choking out native plants.

Some of the above was caused by careless gardeners allowing bits of the plant to get into the wild, where they quickly root. If you’d like to grow spiderworts like this one in your garden, please make sure to dispose properly of any trimmings left after pruning!

This also applies to zebrina’s popular cousins, like Tradescantia fluminensis, T. pallida, and T. spathacea.


It’s not difficult to see why Tradescantia zebrina gained popularity as a houseplant. Wandering spiderwort plants (not to be confused with spider plants , another beginner-friendly species) are low-maintenance and grow just about anywhere—they even just grow in water !

Easy care and quick growth aside, spiderworts are also just good-looking plants. The pointed, oval leaves on thin, fleshy stems overlap slightly and are characterized by their zebra pattern in purple and silvery green. The leaf undersides are deep purple in color and the tiny, three-petaled flowers are bright pink.

Although this species is naturally a creeping plant, it’s often grown indoors in hanging planters. As long as the plant is provided with enough light, the foliage will be very dense and brightly colored, forming a spectacular waterfall that can reach more than 3 feet in length.

What’s in a name? In the case of common houseplants, sometimes a lot.

Tradescantia zebrina is a classic houseplant (I found mention of it in a 1964 German book about houseplants, but it’s probably been around longer than that!) and among most English speakers, it has long been known as wandering Jew. This is probably a reference to the “wandering” nature of the plant, as it does have a creeping growth pattern.

The legend of the wandering Jew is hundreds of years old and is now commonly considered to be rooted in antisemitism. It describes a Jewish man cursed to walk the planet until the Second Coming because he taunted Jesus on his way to the cross.

Because of this, the plant name has partly fallen out of fashion and has been the source of much debate in the plant world over the past few years. 

Some plant enthusiasts have embraced the alternative “wandering dude,” which I personally think is a great option.

“Inch plant” (houseplant enthusiasts don’t agree on whether this refers to the fact that it can grow an inch a day, or that you only need an inch of stem to propagate it), “spiderwort,” or “wandering spiderwort” are also popular alternatives, though these are common names for other Tradescantia varieties, such as Tradescantia Nanouk.

The best way to avoid any confusion is to just stick to the scientific name.

Tradescantia zebrina (wandering Jew) with bicolor (green and cream) leaves and pink flowers

Inch plant varieties

There are three subspecies of inch plant (wandering Jew): Tradescantia zebrina var. zebrina, var. flocculosa, and var. mollipila. Unsurprisingly, after it having been a popular houseplant for so many years, nurseries have also managed to create a whole bunch of cultivars through selective cultivation.

A few of the popular Tradescantia zebrina cultivars you may come across in your local plant store include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Quadricolor’: Yep, as the name suggests, this one adds an extra color to the mix. The leaves are cream, pink-purple, light green, and dark green.
  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Burgundy’: Characterized by its very dark purple coloration.
  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Silver Plus’: Less purple, more shiny silver.
  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Red Gem’: Less silver, more intense (light) purple.
  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Purple Joy’: Less silver, more dark purple. 
  • Tradescantia zebrina ‘Tikal’: A rare, naturally occurring variety that collectors pay a pretty penny for.

Do keep in mind that most of these cultivars aren’t patented and the amount of mislabeling and variation within a cultivar are both huge. Just growing your wandering Jew in lower-light conditions can completely change the way it looks, so it’s not surprising that confusion sometimes reigns supreme.

Luckily, care is the same across all cultivars, so your best bet is to just enjoy your plant even if you’re not sure what Tradescantia variety you’re dealing with!

Where to buy wandering Jew plants:

  • California Tropicals
  • Daylily Nursery
  • The Green Escape

Tradescantia zebrina (wandering Jew or inch plant) with deep purple, green, and cream foliage in a yellow container, shot against a blue background

Caring for an inch plant

Light and temperature.

It’s important to provide your Tradescantia zebrina with enough light. It’s tempting to use plants to brighten up dark, shaded spots in your home, but that just doesn’t work with this one: It loses its dense growth pattern and beautiful coloration in low light.

To prevent your wandering dude plant from growing sparse and green, place it near a window that gets bright indirect light. Some full sun isn’t a problem either, but do make sure you acclimate it gradually to a higher light location.

Temperature-wise, this species is a lot hardier than many of the tender tropicals we like to grow in our homes (like Anthurium andraeanum and Begonia maculata ).

Wandering dude plants can handle a very wide range of temps, making it perfect for those chillier windowsills that your other plants may not appreciate. Room temperature is ideal, but anything between 50°F to 85°F will keep them happy.

Water and humidity

Your Tradescantia zebrina will appreciate lightly moist soil. You can water a bit more during the summer months, when the plant is actively growing and needs a lot of moisture, and less during winter, when soil tends to take significantly longer to dry. 

If you’re not sure whether it’s time to water your wandering Jew plant yet, you can always turn to the age-old trick of sticking a finger in the soil.

  • If it still feels damp, wait a little longer, until the first inch or two has dried. 
  • If it feels bone dry, you’ve waited too long; you may also see limp leaves on your plant at this point. It’ll bounce back, but not always without lasting damage. 
  • If the soil feels wet, you watered too much and need to keep an eye out for root rot.

As for humidity, given its rather wet natural habitat, wandering Jew does appreciate higher air moisture levels. The great thing is, though, that it doesn’t demand it. As long as you keep its soil lightly moist and the air isn’t extremely dry, your plant should do well.

Soil and planting

Wandering Jew is not fussy about its potting mixture at all. I’ve grown it in pure houseplant potting soil with no additives. If you do want to take things to the next level, you can add some perlite and/or peat moss, although this is really not a must. 

Most houseplant enthusiasts like to place their wandering Jew in a hanging planter so they can enjoy the look of the leaves cascading down. This is not a must, though. You can also emphasize the species’ creeping growth habit by filling up a large, shallow planter, growing it in a terrarium, or even keeping it in water on a semi-permanent basis.

Recommended products for wandering Jew plant care:

  • FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil
  • Espoma Organic Potting Mix
  • Perfect Plants Organic Perlite


Like most other houseplants, Tradescantia zebrina appreciates a bit of fertilizer during the growing season, which extends from spring to early fall. You can use a normal houseplant fertilizer according to the instructions on the bottle.

Don’t fertilize during the winter months unless your plant is growing well. It doesn’t need extra nutrients if it’s inactive.

Recommended fertilizers for wandering Jew plants:

  • Houseplant Resource Center Liquid Fertilizer for Houseplants
  • Instant Biologics Instant Plant Food (Fizzing Nutrient Tablets)
  • Maxsea All-Purpose Seaweed Plant Food


There’s a good chance you’ll have to prune your Tradescantia zebrina regularly, because as I mentioned, this is a very quick grower. It also roots very easily, so any trimmings can be replanted! I’ll describe how to do this in the section on propagation below.

Aside from stem trimming, you can remove any dead leaves, which are bound to pop up from time to time in very dense plants like this species.

Dividing or repotting

Inch plants don’t grow by producing plantlets at their base like many other houseplants (such as spider plants ) do. Instead, inch plants spread by rooting along the stems.

This means that division is not really the way to go; keeping these plants manageable is usually done through pruning. You can shape your plant by pinching off any long, leggy stems to create a fuller appearance and control its spread.

You’ll notice that Tradescantia really doesn’t mind being a bit cramped in its planter. Still, it’s a good idea to provide your plant with some fresh soil every year or two by repotting it.

Close-up of pink flower on a tricolor wandering Jew (inch plant)

Propagating an inch plant

If you’ve never propagated a houseplant before, this is truly one of the best species to start with. It’s known for rooting extremely quickly in both water and soil, meaning it’s easy to fill endless planters to keep or give away.

All you need to propagate your Tradescantia zebrina is a pair of clean scissors. Here’s how you do it:

  • Snip the ends off existing branches. An inch or two with a few leaves works best.
  • Remove the leaves at the bottom so part of the stem is exposed.
  • Place the cutting in a glass of water to root or plant it directly in soil. You can put cuttings back in the mother plant’s pot to give her a fuller appearance on top.
  • It can take a little longer during the winter months, but the first roots should appear within a week or so. You can give soil cuttings a slight tug to verify they’ve rooted.
  • Once the first signs of new foliage appear, you’ll know your propagation attempt has been a success! 
  • If you propagated in water, you can leave the rooted cuttings in water almost indefinitely, although you can also pot them up in fresh soil.

Wandering jew (spiderwort) plant with green and silver leaves

Common questions about inch plant care

How do i make a wandering jew plant bushy.

By their very nature, wandering Jew plants are not bushy. Their creeping growth habit means they naturally grow leggy over time, especially in containers.

However, you can mimic a fuller appearance by strategically pinching off any long, spindly stems to shape the plant more. These stems can also be replanted near the mother plant.

As the baby plants grow, they’ll help fill in sparse areas and create the illusion of a bushy wandering Jew.

How long do wandering Jew plants live?

Wandering Jew plants have a limited lifespan of just a few years, and as a potted plant, you’ll notice your wandering Jew becoming very leggy after just two to three years.

Unlike other fast-growing plants that benefit from pruning, cutting back a wandering Jew doesn’t work well to renew its growth; it simply controls the spread.

The best way to keep your plant coming back year after year is to propagate new plants from stem cuttings, which—fortunately—is super easy with a high success rate.

Is wandering Jew perennial?

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) is a trailing evergreen perennial in its native habitat (USDA hardiness zones 9 through 12). Where it’s not winter hardy, wandering Jew is grown year-round as a houseplant.

Are wandering Jew plants toxic to cats and dogs?

Wandering Jew is not considered outright toxic, but it can cause some skin irritation. If your pet gets into your plant, don’t worry too much, although it can be a good idea to have a look in its mouth to make sure there’s no excessive swelling. Be sure to offer water. To prevent skin rash, it can be a good idea to wear gloves if you need to handle your wandering Jew plant. This especially applies if you have sensitive skin.

Racism in Taxonomy: What’s in a Name?

Chiba de Castro, W. A., Xavier, R. O., Garrido, F. H., Romero, J. H., Peres, C. K., & da Luz, R. C. (2019). Fraying around the edges: negative effects of the invasive Tradescantia zebrina Hort. ex Bosse (Commelinaceae) on tree regeneration in the Atlantic Forest under different competitive and environmental conditions. Journal of Plant Ecology, 12(4), 713-721.

Encke, F. (1964). Pflanzen fur Zimmer und Balkon; Auswahl, Pflege, Vermehrung.

propagate wandering jew from leaf

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in Time, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The National Parks Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

We bought a full grown Bolivian Jewel mid summer last year. It was in a 14” raised pot and flowing 2 foot over the sides. It was beautiful next to our fountain outside. We live in Minnesota so we had to discard it in the late fall since we had no place to care for it in the house. Since we can’t find another like it we’d like to plant one from scratch but how. We still have the pot and riser but have no idea how to start from that. One plant, a few or just how many to make a bushy over grown plant so it looks like the one we purchased last year. Does this make sense or should we just forget it since it is already the middle of May. The greenhouse that we bought it from last summer doesn’t have any this year, just small ones in 4” pots. Thanks

If you can only grow it as an annual (and won’t be overwintering it indoors), you can plant a few smaller ones together to make them look fuller as they grow.

It seems counterproductive to talk about the problematic origin of the name wandering Jew, recommend multiple alternative names (including scientific), but then continue to call it wandering Jew in the rest of the article. If the name is anti-Semitic just set a good example and use a different name.

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9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

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Have you been looking for information on Wandering Jew Plant Care? Well, look no further.  Call it luck or, pure coincidence that you have landed on this piece of information.

The article contains most if not all the things you need to know about taking care of this beautiful  indoor vining plant . Be it propagation, watering, temperature and light requirements, pruning, repotting, or fertilizer application, it’s all in here.

Furthermore, I have touched on pests and diseases affecting this colorful, fast-growing indoor  trailing succulent plant  as well as common physiological problems associated with it.

Want to learn more about this plant?

Let’s begin.

Wandering Jew Plant Care: How to Grow and Care for Inch Plant ( Tradescantia zebrine )

1. propagate from stem cuttings.

Propagating a wandering Jew plant from stem cuttings is easy and quick.   What’s more, is that you don’t need a special rooting medium or hormone for successful rooting. You just need to root the cuttings in water or soil.

Let’s start with rooting a Jew plant in water. First, cut at least 6-inch long cuttings from the healthy stems of the plant.

Then remove the bottom leaves from each stem and place the stems in a glass of water. Ensure that the bottom leaf node is submerged. In just a few days, tiny roots start to show, and in about 4 to 6 weeks, new growth appears.

At this stage, your cuttings are ready for transplanting.  Use an  all-purpose potting mix  to grow your plants.

When it comes to rooting the Jew plant in soil, start by snipping several cuttings from the ends of healthy branches of your plant. Then using a clean and sharp blade, make a 45-degree cut just under the leaf node.

The next step is to fill an approximately six-inch hanging basket or pot with an all-purpose potting soil to about an inch below the top of the pot.

Afterward, make four holes approximately 2 inches deep around the edges of the pot and one more hole at the center.

Plant one cutting in each hole and add more soil as you press gently to hold the cuttings in position. Keep the soil evenly moist by regular watering and expect a new, full-leafy plant in a few weeks.

Pro Tip:  Planting more than one stem in a single container makes the container appear fuller.

The plant thrives best in good-drained soil and with just an all-purpose potting mix, you are good to go!

It’s also fine to use regular potting soil provided that the soil doesn’t get soggy. You can  improve soil drainage  and aeration by adding some pumice or perlite.

In another case, your soil might seem to dry too quickly as opposed to holding moisture. Under these circumstances, mix in some vermiculite, peat moss or, coco coir to help the soil retain moisture.

3. Sunlight

This  groundcover plant  is hardy to zones 9 through 12 and it’s a nice houseplant.

Keep your indoor Jew plant, in a spot with bright but indirect light for example in an east or west-facing window. Your plant, therefore, will get plenty of natural light in the morning or evening, and bright indirect sun for the rest of the day.

This is important because when grown in too little light, the leaves’ color appears faded while under too much light, the leaves are prone to scorching.

On the other hand, an outdoor-grown plant requires a bright but partially shaded environment. This way the plant gets some shade during the hottest hours of the day.

This also applies to when you move your indoor plant outside for the summer.

4. Watering

Even though this plant is  drought tolerant , it requires regular watering or, it won’t survive long spells of dryness or wetness. So, practice good watering habits and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Using your finger, check whether the topsoil feels dry, or use a  soil moisture gauge  to check if the plant needs watering. If it does,  water the plant  thoroughly until water comes out through the drainage holes in the pot.

Then empty the sauce to avoid the development of diseases such as root rot.

5. Fertilizer Application

Although this plant doesn’t need to be fertilized, feeding it once in a while will benefit the plant by replacing the nutrients lost every time you water it.

Apart from this, fertilizing also encourages the plant to bloom. Imagine enjoying the beautiful view of purple, pink or white flowers even in winter!

Hence, feed the plant each month in spring through summer with a liquid fertilizer formulated for houseplants mixed at half strength.

Furthermore, this plant can be sensitive to chemical fertilizers so, use organic plant foods such as compost tea or a general-purpose fertilizer. Adding slow-release organic granules in the soil works well too.

You can also use  liquid kelp  and fish emulsion but only on outdoor-grown Jew plants as the two formulations can get somewhat stinky when used indoors.

6. Humidity & Temperature

Humidity is another key requirement for a healthy and good performing Jew plant. This plant loves lots of humidity.

Although maintaining good humidity levels indoors especially during winter can be challenging, it is possible to increase the levels using a  humidifier .

Alternatively, fill a pebble tray with water and place the pot on the tray (don’t allow the pot to sit directly on water). This way, humidity around the plant increases as the water evaporates from the tray.

When it comes to temperature, the plant prefers warm temperatures of about 50-80 degrees. And when the temperature goes above 90 degrees, you need to water the plant more frequently and provide some shade to bring down the temperatures.

During winter, you need to be careful especially when the temperature is in a 45 degrees range. The plant will tolerate the condition for a short period but will die if the condition prolongs.

For this reason, device a way to help keep your plant’s ambient temperature above 50 degrees, for instance, a cold frame or a piece of woven cloth.

Pro Tip:  When humidity levels are too low, the plants’ leaves start to turn brown and eventually die.

7. Repotting

This plant is fast-growing and repotting is quite necessary whenever the plant becomes crowded in its pot/container.

To repot, first select a container that’s approximately 50% wider than the existing one. Then, use some fresh potting mix around the sides of that container, remove the plant from the current container/pot and place it into the new one.

Next, remove or add the potting mix as needed to keep the plant into place and fill to about 2 inches below the containers’ rim.

Finally, press the potting mix lightly to hold the plant into place.

With time, there is a likelihood of your plant becoming leggy. When this happens, prune back the plant and pinch off the stem tips as well.

This way, the plant produces two new growths from right below the pinched areas and the plant becomes bushier and healthier.

Also, prune off the long tendrils if you like to have your plant thick and compact.

9. Look out for Pests and Diseases

Spider mites.

These are some of the most common pests in Jew plants and they cause damage by sucking sap from the plant. They like dry and warm areas.

Get rid of spider mites  by misting, keeping the humidity high, or wash the plant with water to knock off the pests.

Plus, remove the infested plant parts/areas or use a systemic insecticide when the infestation is severe.

Aphids are another sap-sucking pests in wandering Jew plants. They are tiny, pear-shaped bugs that congregate along the stems in large masses.

Under severe infestation, the plant gets weak and eventually dies.  Get rid of aphids  by wiping the pests off the plant using a moist cloth (this works for low infestation), or spray the plant with an insecticidal soap or neem oil when the infestation is high.

This is the most common disease in wandering plants. It is caused by either over-watering or, your soil holding too much water. So, if the soil drains well but there is an occurrence of root rot, reduce the watering frequency.

And if the problem is poor drainage, devise ways of improving soil drainage such as adding some perlite or compost to the soil.

Common Problems in Wandering Jew Plant

Leggy plants.

Your plant might become leggy as a result of lack of light, especially during winter. You should hence keep your plant at a spot where it gets the right amount of sun.

However, if you don’t have such a spot in your house, try using grow lights to compliment the available natural light.

Brown leaves on inch plant

The leaves on your inch plant turn brown due to lack of enough moisture or humidity. Also, as the leaves age, they start dying out in the middle and this makes them appear brown. When this happens, prune the vines to refresh the plant.

Faded color on leaves

Faded or dull color on leaves is an indication of too much light, not enough light, or a bug infestation. Therefore, provide the appropriate growing conditions for your plant.

Now that you have read this article, I bet the question of wandering Jew plant care is a thing of the past.

But most importantly, you have seen the things that must be done correctly for a healthy plant.

For example; choosing an appropriate soil/potting mix, selecting the best propagation method, proper watering and, applying the correct fertilizer and at the right time.

Apart from this, pruning and, repotting crowded plants as well as protecting the plants from pests and diseases is a great way of ensuring you have a good–performing wandering plant.

Oh!  And don’t forget to keep the environment humid enough.

What has been your experience growing wandering plants?

Share with us in the comments.

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Rooting Inch Plants: How To Propagate Tradescantia Inch Plants

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Purple-Green Leaved Tradescantia Inch Plant

Inch plant ( Tradescantia zebrina ) is a pretty houseplant that creeps over the edge of containers for a nice effect alone or with a mix of plants. You can also grow it as a groundcover outdoors in warmer climates. It’s an easy plant to grow, and it’s tough and hard to kill. To get more of it to fill in pots and beds, you can easily take cuttings.

About Inch Plants

Inch plant is famed as one of the most popular houseplants, and not just because it's so tough... although that helps. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still grow this plant.

Inch plant is equally popular for its pretty colors and foliage. The wandering, creeping growth pattern makes it perfect for any container, but especially hanging baskets. The foliage is green to purple and can also be striped. The flowers are small and pretty, but it is the foliage that really makes an impact.

How to Propagate Inch Plant

Inch plant cutting propagation is the easiest way to get new plants without buying more at the nursery. Take cuttings with a sharp, sterilized knife or shears. Cuttings should be 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm.) long.

Choose a tip that looks healthy and has new growth. Make the cut right below a leaf node and at a 45-degree angle. Take a few cuttings to make sure you get one or two that root well and that you can plant later.

Start the rooting process in water. First, remove the bottom leaves on the cuttings and then stick them in a glass of water. Leave them for a week or so in sunlight and you’ll begin to see little roots form.

Once your cuttings have roots, you can put them in a container with standard potting soil. Put it in a location that will get medium to bright light with temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (13-24 C).

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And that’s all there is to rooting this beautiful plant.

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.

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Home » House Plants » Wandering Jew

Tradescantia Pallida Care: Growing The Purple Heart Plant

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Tradescantia pallida [trad-es-KAN-tee-uh, PAL-lid-duh] has striking purple evergreen leaves, providing a splash of color throughout the year.

The purple Tradescantia is part of the Tradescantia genus (spiderwort) of plants found throughout South and Central America, including northeast Mexico.

Tradescantia Pallida (Purple Heart Plant)

This tender evergreen perennial belongs to the Commelinaceae family, sometimes called the spiderwort or dayflower family.

Tradescantia pallida has several common names, including  wandering Jew  or walking Jew.

These common names are shared with other species from the Tradescantia genus:

  • Tradescantia fluminensis
  • Tradescantia zebrina

Additional common names include:

  • Purple Queen
  • Purple heart plants
  • Purple secretia
  • Purple spiderwort
  • Purple heart spiderwort
  • Purple wandering jew
  • Tradescantia purple heart

These indicate the purple foliage and its heart-shaped leaves.

The common name Tradescantia purple heart refers to the fact that this plant is part of the spiderwort family.

In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about proper purple heart wandering jew care.

Grooming Purple Leaf Tradescantia Plants

To propagate purple heart with cuttings, tradescantia pallida care.

Caring for Tradescantia pallida is relatively easy, making it a popular choice among gardeners and plant enthusiasts.

Purple wandering Jew plant on a stump.

Size and Growth

Tradescantia pallida (synonym Setcreasea pallida) is a relatively delicate plant with thin stems. It grows in short mounds, reaching a height of just 8″ inches.

The trailing stems spread up to 18″ inches or more and produce shockingly purple evergreen leaves.

The v-shaped leaves are narrow and measure 4″ to 6″ inches long. When grown outdoors, this purple queen wandering jew can provide weedy ground covers.

The stems of Purple Heart are fragile, especially with younger plants. If kicked or stepped on, the stems may break.

Flowering and Fragrance

The spiderwort purple plant blooms throughout the warmer months, producing small, three-petaled flowers.

The small pink flowers rarely measure more than 1.5″ inches in diameter.

They appear in clusters and don’t produce a scent.

Light and Temperature

Tradescantia pallida purple heart grows best in partial shade and will tolerate full sun areas.

It shouldn’t receive direct afternoon sunlight for over an hour or two. Too much direct sunlight causes the leaves to fade or scorch.  

While purple spiderwort Tradescantia thrives in the shade, full sun or bright lighting helps bring out the color in the purple leaves.

NOTE:  If the plant receives a lot of sunlight, the soil should be kept moist.

Purple plant in pot against brick wall.

The tender purple queen plant can’t survive freezing conditions.

It’s often grown in gardens as an annual in regions with mild climates and indoors as a houseplant in cooler areas.

The purple snake plant is winter hardy to USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.

When grown indoors, it should receive filtered light for at least eight hours per day.

If possible, try to move the spiderwort purple plant outdoors during the warmer months of spring and summer to encourage brighter foliage.

Watering and Feeding

Water moderately during the warmer months and sparingly during the winter.

Purple houseplant in a marble pot on a stand.

The purple heart plant is drought tolerant and thrives on neglect.

When watering, ensure there are adequate drainage holes to prevent root rot. 

Lack of humidity can also result in brown leaf tips. You can encourage humidity by moving your plant into the bathroom when showering or using a humidifier.

Add a liquid fertilizer every four weeks throughout the spring and summer.

Soil and Transplanting

Grow tradescantia pallida in loamy soil. It should offer decent water retention and good drainage.

Add organic matter, such as peat moss, perlite, or compost, to improve the quality of regular garden soil and improve drainage.

If the soil is too rich, add small amounts of sand. Transplant as needed or every few years to refresh the soil.

Moreover, if the roots extend to the edge of its current container, repotting is needed.

Proper grooming is important when caring for an tradescantia pallida.

Trim the purple leaf tradescantia plant back after flowering in the fall to manage its growth. Yearly grooming also encourages bushier growth.

Trimming plants before bringing them indoors for the winter also helps produce bushier growth the following year.

Related:   Assorted Inch Plants to Grow and Collect

Purple hanging plant in sunlight.

However, be careful when handling this trad purple plant, as the juice from the stems and leaves can cause skin irritation.

How To Propagate Purple Heart Plant

Purple heart wandering jew is easily propagated using stem cuttings.

Take cuttings from a healthy, mature Purple heart plant using a clean, sharp knife or a pair of scissors when the plant is actively growing.

Indoor plants may grow year-round, while outdoor plants mostly grow in the spring and summer.

  • Cut a section measuring at least 4″ inches long and containing several leaves.
  • Place the cutting in a glass of water and set it on a windowsill with bright sunlight.
  • Within a week or two, the cutting should grow roots.
  • After the roots appear, prepare a small pot for the cutting.
  • Use loamy soil with good drainage.
  • Water the soil thoroughly.
  • Use a finger to press a hole big enough for the bottom portion of the cutting.
  • Place the cutting in the hole and lightly pack the surrounding soil so the plant sticks up.
  • Set the plant in a bright spot and keep the soil moist.
  • When temperatures warm in the spring, move the plant outdoors.
  • Keep the wandering jew purple heart plant indoors throughout the winter.
  • When grown outdoors, young shoots are susceptible to damage from strong winds.
  • Allowing it to overwinter gives the plant time to grow stronger roots and stems.
  • Wait until new growth develops before transplanting in-ground or moving to a larger container or hanging basket.

Purple Heart Plant Care: Pests or Diseases

Tradescantia pallida doesn’t suffer from any serious insect or disease issues.

It’s a tough plant and grows easily in most conditions.

A few potential issues include damage from common pests like caterpillars,  snails , aphids, vine weevils, and mealybugs when growing young plants outdoors.

Remove these critters by hand or add a layer of gravel, wood chips, or  diatomaceous earth  around the plant.

The barrier may keep caterpillars and snails away.

While the plant has an aggressive root system and trailing growth, it’s not invasive.

Tradescantia pallida aren’t toxic, but the foliage may cause mild skin irritation.

Wear gloves when handling the wandering jew purple heart plant, such as during grooming or transplanting.

Suggested Tradescantia Pallida Uses

The short, trailing growth of the purple heart plant makes it a good choice for ground cover.

Bee on a purple flower with pollen.

The downward growth of the stems also works well in hanging baskets.

More From The World Of Tradescantia

  • Have you ever asked the question:  Is Wandering Jew Poisonous ?
  • The patented Wandering Jew –  Nanouk Tradescantia Plant
  • Caring For The Tricolor Tradescantia
  • Caring For The  Purple Oyster Plant

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Propagating Wandering Jew in Water | Growing Tradescantia Plant in Water


2-Minute Read

Propagating wandering jew in water is super easy follow the given instructions and decorate your home with this stunning vine..

Propagating Wandering Jew in Water

The eye-catching mix of green and purple on the foliage of the inch plant vine looks great in gardens and indoors. While growing it in the soil is super easy, planting it in water is fun as well. If you agree, here’s all you need to know about Propagating Wandering Jew in Water to grow it easily!

Learn everything about caring for the Wandering Jew plant   here

Wandering jew.

Wandering Jew ( Tradescantia spp. ) belongs to the spiderwort family and includes many species adaptable to various indoor and outdoor conditions. You can grow it as ground cover, in pots, or in hanging baskets. Also, it can be grown in full shade and full sunlight, both in soil and water.

Check out the best wandering jew varieties here

How to grow wandering jew plant in water.

propagate wandering jew from leaf

Things You’ll Need :

  • Clean jar or vase
  • Sharp knife, scissors, or gardening clippers

Instructions :

  • Find a healthy stem and snip off a 5-6 inches long cutting just below the node.
  • Remove the bottom leaves from the stem but save the top few and dip the end in a rooting hormone.
  • Now put the cuttings in a glass jar filled with water; non-chlorinated water would be the best choice.
  • Once the cutting develops the root, you can transplant it into the soil or continue to grow it in water . It’s easy both ways!

Wandering Jew Care in Water

Propagating Wandering Jew in Water 2

Place the glass jar or vase where the plant can receive bright, indirect sunlight. You can place the jar on a tabletop or window sill too. When growing in water, avoid exposure to direct sun as it can cause burned and bleached foliage.

Change Water Often

Change the water every 3 to 6 days to keep the plant healthy and thriving. The water must be free from salt and chlorine. Do not use extremely hot or cold water, as it can damage your plants. If you are using tap water, allow it to sit in an open container for 24 hours.

Note : Use a transparent jar to keep an eye on the plant’s root development.

Add a pinch of balanced liquid fertilizer every few days after you change the water to boost healthy growth.

Pro Tip : If you have a fish aquarium in your home, add its water in the vase to feed this plant by mixing it in a 1:3 ratio in freshwater for lush growth.

Aerial Roots

If you notice a brown outer layer of the roots floating in the water, you can remove them while changing it.

Where Can You Keep Wandering Jew?

The wandering jew plant makes a charming addition to any home decor style. You can place it on bookshelves, windowsills, coffee tables, or as a centerpiece on a reading desk–it can steal the show anywhere with colorful foliage on delicate stems!

Here are the best indoor plants you can grow in water

Can wandering jew live in water forever.

Yes, a wandering jew plant can live in water for a long time, like lucky bamboo. You just need to provide it with bright daylight and keep changing the water regularly.

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Why are you still using the name that is steeped in anti-Semitic legend to refer to this plant? Stop!

I thought this name was a bit insensitive. Isn’t there an alternative name like cradle of Moses or something?

My botany teacher always called them wondering dudes

Stop trying to erase the Jews. Here in Israel, it’s called wandering Jew (יהודי נודד). It’s a lovely name for a lovely plant!

I agree with you Michael and the idiots who call this beautiful plant wondering dude have a brain eating parasite!

With regards to its name, I don’t like Wandering Jew because of its association with displacement and the sad thoughts this raises. Wandering Dude sounds like a hippy, which makes me smile. But, I understand reasons for using either name

Way too picky thinking antisemitism is the only thought you have

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Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia zebrina): Types, How to Grow and Care

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Plants with trailing and creeping habits are some of the best plants to keep. They are fast-growing and make thick carpet of groundcovers for gardens in no time and they also create striking hanging indoor plants. 

Among the all-time best trailers to grow is the wandering jew. Easy to maintain and drapes beautifully, this colored plant will make any space more inviting and interesting.

Medicinal Properties

Propagation and maintenance, what is a wandering jew plant.

Tradescantia is one of the 37 genera under the plant family Commelinaceae (1). Some of its 75 species are commonly called ‘wandering jew’ (also known as inch plant), a name they adapted due to their long lifespan like the Jewish character from a Christian folklore.

Another name for this group of herbaceous perennial plants is ‘spiderwort’ after the spiderweb-like sap they produce when the stem breaks. They are native to Canada, Mexico, and Argentina and have been naturalized in other parts of the world (2).

The most common tradescantia grown ornamentally is the T. zebrina also previously called Zebrina pendula . It has long fleshy stems where the wandering jew plant leaves and roots appear. The lance-like leaves are a mixture of green and purple with silver stripes on the upper side and deep purple under (3). The plant grows close to the ground and can only reach 20 to 30 cm high.

Does Tradescantia Zebrina Flower?

The wandering jew is considered an ornamental plant primarily because of its showy colorful foliage but the plant does produce pink flowers.

wandering jew flower

Small three-petaled pinkish purple flowers appear sporadically throughout the year (4). The resulting fruit is a capsule containing tiny brown seeds.

Is it Toxic to Pets?

Spiderworts are normally harmless plants but they contain toxic properties that may cause mild gastric problems and dermatitis to pets. Although they don’t lead to anything serious, it will be safe to keep the plants out of reach of pets and to keep the hands protected when dealing with the sap of the plant.

Because of the plant’s hardiness and adaptability to different environments, the wandering jew establishes well, in fact so well that it can be considered an invasive species. In countries like Australia, the plant has the capacity to invade natural vegetation. Although growing them is not prohibited, everyone is obliged to keep the plant’s growth under control (5).

Studies showed that Tradescantia has significant effects as an anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial medicinal plant. In traditional Chinese medicine, the wandering jew plant is highly valued as treatment for kidney failure.

The extract from the whole plant is cooked with dates, ginger, and water and consumed by patients. The plant is also known to treat high blood pressure, cough, urinary tract infection and tuberculosis (1).

How to Grow and Care for a Tradescantia

Here’s how to care for a wandering jew plant, one of the easy house plants to own.

wandering jew plant care

Light and Water

In the wild, the wandering jew plant thrives without assistance but under the right conditions. It likes filtered sun so indoor fluorescent light is enough. Placing them by the window and turning the plant every two weeks will keep the leaves colorful and the growth even on all sides (3).

The plant spreads easily in damp areas that’s why it naturally grows along riverbanks and roadsides. When potted, the soil should be kept moist but well-drained. Saturated soil often causes root rot.

Fertilize your Tradescantia plant once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength. Avoid fertilizing in fall and winter when the plant is dormant. Over-fertilizing can lead to fertilizer burn and damage the plant, so follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully.

Temperature and Humidity

Spiderworts like it warm but there should be enough air circulation or else the leaves will sag. During the heat of the summer, taking the plant outside under shade will provide the necessary cool to the plant.

Mist the hanging plant early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If the plant is on a table, place a glass of water beneath the leaves or put the pot on a wet pebble tray. This will humidify the immediate vicinity of the plant aiding in its photosynthesis and transpiration processes.

Pests and Diseases

The most common living enemies of the wandering jew are aphids, mealybugs, scale, white flies, and spider mites. Manual removal at the onset of infestation is effective but they should be closely monitored as serious attack may lead to the plant’s death. If left unnoticed and the infestation has become severe, get rid of the plant by burning to avoid contamination.

Since the creeping inch plant is mainly soft almost like a succulent, soggy soil and too wet conditions lead to root and stem rot (4). As long as the plant is receiving just enough moisture, this disease will be avoided.

Propagating wandering jew plants is very easy. They can grow from seeds but will take years to establish so the more convenient stem cutting is best. The trailing or creeping stems form nodules where the roots will eventually grow as it comes in contact with the potting soil (2). When the hanging plant has longer trails than intended, it can be trimmed and the resulting stem cuttings can be rooted to form new plants.

There will be times that the potted wandering jew will become leggy, especially if it’s been receiving more shade. To promote a bushier growth pinch back by literally pinching the tip of the plant where the new growth occurs (4). This practice allows the formation of lateral stems.

In two or three years, these hardy plants may become pot bound, with the roots taking up most of the space in the pot. Repot in a larger container with a good mixture of soil, coarse sand, and compost to replenish the nutrients and provide room for the roots to breathe. Additionally, fertilize once every two months by foliar application just to improve plant vigor.

Common Varieties of Wandering Jew

The oldest and most common indoor wandering jew, this species has leaves alternating, often overlapping when young, purple leaves with silvery green thick stripes and solid purple underside. The stem is also a mixture of purple and green.

T. blossfeldiana

The leaves of this species are quite thicker, glossy, and covered in miniscule hairs called trichomes. The three-petalled flower is an ombre of white and pinkish purple with yellow anthers.

T. fluminensis ‘Tricolor’

This attractive variety showcases leaves with white, lilac, and green variegation. It appears smaller than the common wandering jew but bushier in form.

T. sillamontana

This whimsical species looks frosted with its silvery trichomes covering the entire plant. The green leaves are still alternately arranged but more compact which make a potted plant look more bushy than trailing. The light color of the leaves provide a complementing backdrop to the bright purple flowers.

purple queen plant

The leaves and stems of this species are in striking deep purple color hence the common name ‘ purple heart ’. Under shaded, they turn a hint of dull green. The leaves are also longer and have wider space in between.

Does Wandering Jew plant need full sun?

Wandering Jew plants (Tradescantia zebrina) prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate some direct sun, especially in the morning or late afternoon. However, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight may cause their dark green leaves to scorch.

How do you care for a wandering Jew plant indoors?

To care for a Wandering Jew plant indoors, place it in a location with bright, indirect sunlight, such as near a window. Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically every 1-2 weeks, and provide well-draining soil. Additionally, mist the plant occasionally to increase humidity and remove dust from the leaves.

How do I make my Wandering Jew fuller?

To make your Wandering Jew plant fuller, prune it regularly to encourage branching and bushier growth. Pinch off the tips of the stems or trim back leggy growth to promote new growth and create a more compact appearance. You can also propagate wandering jew cuttings to create new plants and fill out the pot.

How long do Wandering Jew plants live?

Wandering Jew plants are generally long-lived when provided with proper care. With the right growing conditions indoors, they can thrive for several years, often becoming fuller and more lush over time with regular pruning and maintenance.

Reference List

(1) Dash, G., et. al. Tradescantia zebrina: A Promising Medicinal Plant. 2017. IAJPS, 4 (10). P. 3498-3502 .

(2) Arakelyan, H. Tradescantia zebrina- Mother Nature Healing. 2019. Researchgate.

(3) Vermeulen, N. Encyclopedia of House Plants. Taylor and Francis. 1999. P. 320.

(4) North Carolina State Extension. Tradescantia zebrina. NC State University. 2018. . Accessed on 12 August 2020.

(5) The State of Queensland. IPA-Zebrina. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. 2020. . Accesed on 12 August 2020.

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Wandering Jew: Types, Care, and Propagation

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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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.

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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.

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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.

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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.

Buy Pruning Shears

• 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

propagate wandering jew from leaf

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.

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Featured image for Wandering Jew Plant Care – How to Plant, Grow and Help Them Thrive

Wandering Jew Plant Care – How to Plant, Grow and Help Them Thrive


Tradescantia zebrina, commonly called the Wandering Jew plant, is a striking houseplant known for its variegated leaves tinted with green, silver, and purple. It originated in Central America and Mexico’s tropical regions. So, the Zebrina is a perfect choice for growing indoors. The good news is that Wandering Jew plant care is not difficult at all!

Key Takeaways

  • Zebrina is a low-maintenance, fast-growing plant.
  • The Zebra Plant makes an excellent choice for beginner gardeners because care isn’t overly complex.
  • This plant quickly fills up empty spaces in your indoor landscaping efforts.
  • Pruning is good for Zebrinas. It maintains their shape and keeps them from becoming invasive.

Wondering about the Wandering “Dude”

The Zebrina has numerous nicknames (many from cultivars), including Silver Inch Plant, Striped Trad, Striped Wandering Creeper, Purple Heart Plant, Small Leaf Spiderwort, Moses in the Cradle, and Zebra Plant. Because the name Wandering Jew is offensive to some, gardeners usually use one of these, the botanical name, or the new moniker, Wandering Dude.

The flowing leaves on this plant measure about ½ inch long and about ¼ inch wide. When used outdoors, they make a colorful ground cover. The flowers are pink to purple and bear brownish seeds. Take care when you work with the zebra plant. The sap proves irritating to some people.

Light Play: When Zebrina is in bright light, the colors become even more vibrant. If you have a window location with indirect light, the exposure enhances leaf pigments. It is very visually appealing.

The Basics of Wandering Jew Plant Care (Zebrina)

In taking care of any indoor plant, there are certain important points in your care routine.

  • Temperature: Zebrina plants thrive when the temperature is around 70 degrees. Keep the plant away from drafts or air conditioning ducts.
  • Light: South or eastern-facing windows work best, provided the light is indirect. If they’re not getting enough sun, they become spindly.
  • Water: Keep your inch plant moist. Avoid over-watering or letting the plant’s soil dry out completely.
  • Soil: Plant your Wandering Dude in a peat-based potting mix with good drainage.
  • Humidity: Good news! The average humidity in your home should work fine.

Wandering Jew Plant Care

The Battle of Fronds vs. Flowers: Many people buy houseplants for their flowers. Zebrinas do produce delicate petals, which look charming. However, the true allure of the Wandering Dude is its foliage.

Wandering Jew Plant (Zebrina) Needs

When you’re looking for a beautiful backdrop to your indoor garden efforts, Zebrina fills that need. Mix the type of container you use for greater visual impact. You can take your plants for a summer stroll, but you cannot leave them outdoors during winter.

Except for Purple Queen Zebrina, which loves direct light, the fronds of these plants will burn if left in direct sunlight for too long. If you have a window that gets light in the morning and indirect light later, the Wandering Dude will thrive.

Tip: Turn your pots periodically so all sides of the plant benefit from sunlight.

If you’d like to expand your Zebrina family, propagation is simple. It begins with taking a stem cutting. Look for a healthy stem and snip it below a node. You can then root it in a glass of water or put it directly into the soil. A little rooting compound improves the results from direct soil planting.

Choosing a Wandering Jew Plant for Your Home

Inch Plant (blossfeldiana): Thick, fuzzy leaves with purple undersides. It blossoms in flower clusters of white, rose pink, or blue. Mature height 6-12 inches.

Longpipes (Wild Crocus): These bluish-purple flowers appear from May until June. It’s thin, arching leaves grow up to 7 inches long. If you have a rock feature inside, longpipes will do well there.

Moses-in-a-basket (Oyster Plant; Boat Lily): The dark green leaves are sword-like and grow in a spiral. The undersides of the foliage are purple, and it blossoms with white flowers. Dwarf plants are 6-12 inches tall and require 6-8 hours of indirect light daily. The vibrant purple undersides of this plant’s leaves are truly striking.

There are two popular variants of Moses-in-a-Basket. One is a Tricolor, bearing pink, green, and cream leaves. The other is a Golden Oyster with bright gold-yellow leaves.

Pallida: A native of Mexico, Pallida goes by the name Purple Heart. The foliage is eggplant purple, adorned with light pink flowers bordering on orchid—a good choice for hanging baskets. Grows 1-2 feet tall and wide.

Striped Inch Plant (River Spiderwort, Speedy Henry): Average size is 12” x 12”. The plant’s leaves are dark green, shiny, and pointy (2 inches). Striped inch plants blossom with white flowers.

Virginia Spiderwort: Bright green narrow leaves topped with violet, three-petaled flowers that measure 2” across. Each flower only lives for a day, but there are so many you won’t notice. This is a larger member of the Wandering Jew family, with an adult height of 18-20 inches and a width of 12-18 inches.

White Velvet: Gray-green leaves covered in white hairs distinguish this Wandering Jew from others. It blossoms for about a month in bright pink-purple flowers. Received the Award of Golden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Mature height: 12 inches.

While humans suffer no illness from Zebrina, ingestion by pets can be toxic. Keep this in mind when placing them around your indoor garden.

Wandering Jew Plant Watering Techniques

Wandering Jew Plant Watering

While these plants handle random overwatering, it won’t continue being healthy if left waterlogged too long. When you apply water, do so from the base of the plant. Watch and you can see the water absorption. Alternatively, you can take the plant to your sink and give it a good bottom watering until the liquid comes out of drainage holes. Let it finish in the sink, then put it back in place.

When you walk through your home, regularly check your plant’s soil. Put your finger down to the ½ inch point in the soil. If it’s dry, then water. Because your Wandering Jew may grow at different rates throughout the year, this test alleviates guesswork.

If you are busy and may forget, try an aqua globe.

Vertical Space: If you want a plant to fill some of your vertical space, you’ll be happy to know Zebrina can be trained. By using a support, you can guide it toward climbing. Use a moss pole or trellis as a support system.

Wandering Jew: Potting and Repotting

Tradescantia are fast growers, so you may need to repot it every two or three seasons. When it’s time, you want to give the plant a larger container and fresh soil. Zebrina’s roots will start peeking out of drainage holes to tell you they need more space. Alternatively, they may move up the side of the pot toward the container’s edge.

When you remove the plant from the current container, begin by putting it down on its side. Hold the pot with one hand and the base of the foliage with the other. Gently wiggle (the stems can be quite delicate). Once it slides out, shake off old soil and inspect for signs of disease or pests.

Potting and Repotting Wandering Jew

As a generalization, Zebrina represents adaptability, growth, and resilience. Because of its hardy nature, this plant has become a metaphor for overcoming adversity and showing grace during times of transformation. It is an emblem of the human spirit’s perseverance and enduring hope. In literature, the flower appears as a symbol of beauty, strength, faith, and diligence.

Dream books say the Wandering Jew appearing reminds you all is not lost. Stay true, stand tall, and succeed. If you’re holding the flower, it portends luck and prosperity.

Pruning and Maintenance

Because this plant grows quickly, heavy pruning is good for it. Make it an addition to your regular Wandering Jew care routine. Trim off long tendrils, dead leaves, and weak growth. Pinch off new growth and thin it out. This helps create a bushy appearance and transforms the plant into something suitable for your indoor efforts.

Sometimes, per their name, Zebrina goes a-wandering. It becomes leggy stems with few leaves. Keep those trimmed down so the plant can focus its energy more effectively. If you’re plants look rather dull, trimming is the trick for promoting thick leaves.

Perhaps the most important reason for pruning Wandering Jews is to keep them healthy. Removing unhealthy or dead parts deters fungus and disease.

When: Indoor plants often follow nature’s lead, resting during fall and winter. So, give them their haircut in spring or early summer at the latest.

Zebra Plants and Therapeutic Properties: Inch plants have antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. In areas like Jamaica, people treasure them as a treatment for high pressure and cough while applying leaves for swelling. In China, this plant has the name “Water Turtle Grass.” It’s recommended for kidney disorders. Mexicans have an inch plant leaf decoction used as a tonic. Along the same lines, Guyana healers brew the leaves and offer the tea for influenza and digestive issues.

Blooming and Resting Periods

This plant’s flowers benefit from a dormant period the previous winter. Since it’s indoor, you’ll need to put the Zebrina in an area hovering around 60F. Reduce water. You want the soil to dry for two weeks between irrigation. Always use room-temperature water so you don’t shock your plants.

Once the Wandering Jew is growing, you’ll need to water it once a week. Now is the time for fertilization.

There is a legend that surfaced in the 13th century. It says that a Jewish person taunted Jesus on his way to crucifixion. As a result, the person was cursed to walk the earth until the second coming. Another sad account was that of a condemned man separated from his sister by the Bering Straight. He set out to find her, yet wherever he traveled, plagues followed. There is no happy ending here. The fellow never finds his sister.

There is no question that the Wandering Jew is diligent and sometimes invasive, so perhaps some of those characteristics contributed to the plant’s name.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Wandering Dudes rarely have pests indoors. Occasionally, you may find aphids or spider mites. You can wash both off the leaves or use a natural insecticide.

When you see small white webs on the undersides of leaves, that’s a spider mite. They like it warm and dry, so amp up the humidity using a household humidifier near the plant. Spray it periodically. Should the critters persist, wash the plant in your sink.

Signs of Aphid infestation include:

  • Weakened growth
  • Yellowing, twisting, or curling leaves
  • Small white flakes on the leaves (this is the result of aphids shedding their exoskeleton)
  • A sticky, shiny substance on leaves and stems (honeydew)
  • Black, sooty mold (a result of honeydew)
  • Diseased plants (aphids carry over 100 different viral diseases that can settle into the Wandering Jew)

Neem oil is a trusted remedy. Apply, then re-apply in a week. Continue more applications until they’re gone.

When it comes to disease, most develop because of over-watering, which leads to root rot. Roots can only retain so much water before they start getting mushy. The good news is you can remedy this easily. Reduce your watering schedule and improve the drainage in the soil. Just add some coarse sand or perlite.

Black patches and white powdery particles on your plant’s leaves reveal fungal issues like leaf spots, botrytis, and powdery mildew. Clean away affected foliage. Make sure your plant isn’t over-watered. If you get stuck and the fungus won’t go away, you should dispose of the Wandering Jew and sterilize the container before reusing it.

In an odd twist, you can grow wandering jew plants in water. You will need to change the water every 4 days and add a little fertilizer (3:1 ratio in freshwater). Using purified water is best. Salt and chlorine can adversely affect these plants. Also, make sure the water is at room temperature. With the right lighting, you can keep Zebrina alive in water for a long time, much like money plants.

Troubleshooting Common Wandering Jew Problems

  • Bare stems and spindly growth: Over the years, this is natural. However, in younger plants, it may indicate a lack of light, water, or fertilization.
  • Loss of leaf color: When variegated leaves begin turning all green, your plant is getting too much direct sunlight.
  • Limp stems: Typically means a lack of water, but could be a sign of insects.

Word Play: The Inch Plant’s name is descriptive to a T. This foliage grows approximately one inch every week! It can also propagate itself using only an inch of stem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jew plant

Does a wandering jew plant need sun.

Yes, but not direct sun. An area with indirect light is best for these plants. Turn the plant periodically so all sides get filtered light regularly.

How do you care for a wandering Jew indoors?

Now, you may have Wandering Jews that are just indoor plants. But if you have outdoor pines, you; 'll need to bring them into your home before the threat of frost. They’ll do just fine in your household landscape as long as you give them adequate light and proper watering.

How often do you need to water a wandering Jew plant?

If your Wandering Jew develops mushy stems, you’re over-watering it. Don’t automatically bring over the water pail. Check the soil. If it’s dry down to 1”, it’s safe to add moisture. Otherwise, wait.

How long will wandering Jew last?

Wandering Jews are fairly hardy. As long as you care for them correctly, your Tradescantia plants will live for many years.

How big do wandering Jews get?

Much depends on the type. Most plants don’t grow beyond one foot tall but may have longer (2-foot) stems.

Zebrina plants have a rich history and a variety of interesting traits. It thrives in a variety of environments, and has alluring striped leaves, and people enjoy looking at it. When you want to add some living greenery to your indoor garden, Zebrina is one possibility. It’s exotic yet understated, and you will enjoy it for years to come.

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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.

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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.


  1. Propagating Wandering Jew (Tradescantia) In Water Or Soil

    Propagating wandering jew is fast and easy. Learn how to root Tradescantia cuttings in water or soil with detailed step by step instructions. ... Leaf nodes on wandering jew plants are around an inch apart, which is why it is also known as an inch plant. Roots develop from these nodes, and a 4-inch cutting should contain at least two, along ...

  2. How to Propagate the Wandering Jew: It's Super Easy!

    1. Prepare a temporary water home for the wandering Jew cuttings. Propagating the wandering Jew is a two-step process that's separated by several days; this is a bonus, because it means that each step takes just minutes. First, you'll want to put the cuttings in water until they grow roots, so prepare this water hotel for the cuttings now.

  3. How To Propagate Wandering Jew In 2 Easy Ways

    How to Propagate Wandering Jew in Soil. Propagating Wandering Jew plants in soil takes a little more effort than propagating them in water. Both methods have a high success rate, so you don't need to worry about your efforts going to waste. Step 1: Take Cuttings. Taking cuttings the right way is crucial for propagation. Use a sterilized sharp ...

  4. How to Propagate Wandering Jew (4 Ways With Tips!)

    3. Propagating by Division (4 Steps) Propagate mature wandering Jew plants using division during spring by 1) completely taking out the plant from the pot, 2) gently sectioning it off by 1-3 shoots, 3) trimming each division, and 4) placing each division in individual containers. What many people seem to be unaware of is that the beautiful ...

  5. A Very Simple Method to Propagate Wandering Jew Plant

    Here's how I have successfully propagated my Wandering Jew plant (aka Tradescantia Zebrina, Violet Inch plant) with no fancy expensive products! All you need...

  6. How To Propagate Wandering Jew? [COMPLETE BEGINNER'S GUIDE]

    The wandering jew can be propagated in either soil or water. To propagate it in soil, you will have to make a cutting and plant them in a hole inside a soil-filled pot and water them. The cuttings will be inside a jar of water, and the bottom leaf node will have to be submerged. The wandering jew is very simple to spread.

  7. How to propagate wandering jew or inch plant from cutting and care

    Wandering jew is a perennial ornamental beautiful foliage decorative house plant. It's commonly known as an inchplant, tradescantia zebrina, wandering jew an...

  8. How to Propagate Inch Plant (Tradescantia Zebrina)

    Cut 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) of the inch plant's stem and place it in water to propagate the plant. If you want to place the cutting in soil, put a plastic bag over the top of the plant and wait for expansive growth. Keep your inch plant in a bright area with plenty of indirect light and water it whenever the soil dries out entirely.

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

    Wandering jew propagation is easily done from stem cuttings from a mother plant. Remove all but a few leaves off of the stem cuttings and then place them in a smaller pot with moist potting soil in a warm, bright area. You'll start seeing new shoots growing after 1-1.5 months.

  10. Wandering Jew Plant

    Wandering Jew Propagation. The Wandering Jew roots very easily. The plant can easily be propagated through stem tip cuttings. ... Wandering Jew Problems Brown leaf tips. Brown leaf tips is a very common problem with a wide variety of houseplant. Depending on the species, the causes for this problem can be very different, though. ...


    How to propagate wandering jew plant with results.CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT TO SEE HOW WELL MY WANDERING JEW TURNED OUT-

  12. Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia or Spiderwort): Care, Types, Images

    How to care for wandering Jew plant: For the Tradescantia or spiderwort plant to thrive, grow in a plenty of indirect light and plant in fertile, moist potting soil with good drainage. Make sure the soil isn't too dry or too damp and keep medium humidity levels. The ideal temperature range is between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C).

  13. Wandering Jew: Complete Plant Care and Growing Guide

    Propagating wandering jew in soil is easy. To do this, start by taking multiple cuttings at the ends of branches, cutting at a 45-degree angle slightly beneath a leaf node using a clean, sharp blade. The length of the cuts should be between four and six inches. Remove the lowest set of leaves from each cutting's stem.

  14. Wandering Jew Care: How to Grow a Long and Luscious Inch Plant

    It's known for rooting extremely quickly in both water and soil, meaning it's easy to fill endless planters to keep or give away. All you need to propagate your Tradescantia zebrina is a pair of clean scissors. Here's how you do it: Snip the ends off existing branches. An inch or two with a few leaves works best.

  15. 9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

    1. Propagate from stem cuttings. Propagating a wandering Jew plant from stem cuttings is easy and quick. What's more, is that you don't need a special rooting medium or hormone for successful rooting. You just need to root the cuttings in water or soil. Let's start with rooting a Jew plant in water. First, cut at least 6-inch long ...

  16. Inch Plant Cutting Propagation

    Make the cut right below a leaf node and at a 45-degree angle. Take a few cuttings to make sure you get one or two that root well and that you can plant later. Start the rooting process in water. First, remove the bottom leaves on the cuttings and then stick them in a glass of water.

  17. Tradescantia Pallida Care: Growing The Purple Heart Plant

    Purple heart wandering jew is easily propagated using stem cuttings. Take cuttings from a healthy, mature Purple heart plant using a clean, sharp knife or a pair of scissors when the plant is actively growing. Indoor plants may grow year-round, while outdoor plants mostly grow in the spring and summer. To Propagate Purple Heart With Cuttings

  18. Propagating Wandering Jew in Water

    How to Grow Wandering Jew Plant in Water. Things You'll Need: Clean jar or vase. Sharp knife, scissors, or gardening clippers. Instructions: Find a healthy stem and snip off a 5-6 inches long cutting just below the node. Remove the bottom leaves from the stem but save the top few and dip the end in a rooting hormone.

  19. Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia zebrina): Types, How to Grow and Care

    To care for a Wandering Jew plant indoors, place it in a location with bright, indirect sunlight, such as near a window. Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically every 1-2 weeks, and provide well-draining soil. Additionally, mist the plant occasionally to increase humidity and remove dust from the leaves.

  20. Wandering Jew: Types, Care, and Propagation

    • 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 ...

  21. Wandering Jew Plant Care & Complete Growing Guide

    Tips For Propagating Wandering Jew Plants. 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.

  22. Wandering Jew Plant Care

    Let it finish in the sink, then put it back in place. When you walk through your home, regularly check your plant's soil. Put your finger down to the ½ inch point in the soil. If it's dry, then water. Because your Wandering Jew may grow at different rates throughout the year, this test alleviates guesswork.

  23. 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.