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wandering jew plant breaking

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

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

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

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

How To Care For A Wandering Jew Plant

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

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

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

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

how to care for a wandering jew plant tradescantia zebrina

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

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

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

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

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

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Soil Conditions For Wandering Jew Plants

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preferred Light Conditions

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

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

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

Indoor Temperature Requirements

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

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

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

Water Requirements

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

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

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

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

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Humidity Requirements

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

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

Fertilizer Needs

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

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

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

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

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

Pruning Requirements

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

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

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

Potting Needs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potting and repotting your Wandering Jew is basic:

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

how to care for a wandering jew plant tradescantia zebrina

Propagating New Plants

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

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

Rooting in Soil

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

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

Rooting in Water

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

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

Disease Problems

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

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

Steps for preventing problems with rot include:

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

Pest Problems

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

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

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

wandering jew plant care guide tradescantia zebrina

Is Wandering Jew A Perennial?

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

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

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

Why Are My Wandering Jew’s Leaves Dropping?

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

Why Are My Wandering Jew Cuttings Rotting In Soil?

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

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

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

Can I Root Wandering Jew Cuttings In Water?

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

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

Are Wandering Jew Plants Toxic?

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

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

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

Do Wandering Jew Plants Produce Blooms?

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

Can I Grow Wandering Jew Outdoors?

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

What’s The Growth Rate For Wandering Jew Plants?

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

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

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

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A Complete Guide to Wandering Jew Plant Care

Last Updated: March 27, 2024 Fact Checked

  • Potting Your Plant
  • Caring for Your Plant

Preventing Pests & Disease

Expert q&a, things you'll need.

This article was co-authored by Chai Saechao and by wikiHow staff writer, Dev Murphy, MA . Chai Saechao is the Founder and Owner of Plant Therapy, an indoor-plant store founded in 2018 based in San Francisco, California. As a self-described plant doctor, he believes in the therapeutic power of plants, hoping to keep sharing his love of plants with anyone willing to listen and learn. There are 12 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 636,071 times.

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

Things You Should Know

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

Potting Your Wandering Jew Plant

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

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

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

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

Step 3 Pot your Wandering Jew plant.

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

Watering, Fertilizing & Pruning Your Plant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1 Remove stems with aphid infestations.

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

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

  • Root rot can spread very quickly, so act fast when you see signs of it. It can be heartbreaking to cut away a large chunk of your plant, but if you wait too long, you could lose the whole plant. [14] X Research source
  • Other signs of root rot include spongy, black roots.

Katie Gohmann

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

wandering jew plant breaking

  • Be careful when pinching or pruning your plant. Wandering Jew sap can cause skin irritation in some people and allergic reactions in dogs. To be safe, wear gardening gloves when pruning your Wandering Jew. [15] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Wandering Jew cuttings or a plant
  • Well-draining potting soil
  • Pot or hanging basket
  • 10-10-10- fertilizer
  • Aqua globes (optional)
  • Pruning shears (optional)
  • Gardening gloves

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About This Article

Chai Saechao

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

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Wandering Jew 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.

wandering jew plant breaking

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

Hollie Carter

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

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

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

Wandering jew plant varieties.

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

Tradescantia Zebrina

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

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

Tradescantia zebrina

Tradescantia Fluminensis

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

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

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

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

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

Tradescantia Pallida

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

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

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

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

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

  • shipped in inproved box to save the plant

Rare Nanouk Pink Wandering Jew -Tradescantia - 4' Pot - Collector's Series

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Natural Air Cleaners

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

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

Caring for Your Wandering Jew Plant

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

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

Spiderwort Plant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Wandering Jew Plants FAQS

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

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

Is Wandering Jew easy to grow?

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

Does wandering Jew like full sun or shade?

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

How often do you water Wandering Jew?

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

Is Tradescantia Zebrina easy to grow?

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

Does Tradescantia Zebrina need full sun?

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

Hollie Carter

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s not getting enough humidity

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

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

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What month does the jew break ground to start growing?

All depends on your specific areas weather pattern and seasons.

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

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9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

Sharing is caring!

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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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 )

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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.

  • Living Room
  • Dining Room
  • Laundry Room

wandering jew plant breaking

How to Grow and Care for a Wandering Dude Plant

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

how to care for wandering dude

Country Living editors select each product featured. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Why Trust Us?

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

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

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

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

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

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

how to care for wandering dude

Wandering Dude Basic Info:

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

Why Trust Us

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

How Do You Care For a Wandering Dude Plant?

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

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

How Do You Water a Wandering Dude Plant?

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

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

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

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

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

Can You Grow Wandering Dude Plant Outdoors?

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

How Do You Propagate a Wandering Dude Plant?

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

how to care for wandering dude

Is Wandering Dude Toxic to Pets?

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

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

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

Tradescantia in 11-inch Hanging Basket

Vigoro Tradescantia in 11-inch Hanging Basket

Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Rooted Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Wandering Dude Assortment

BubbleBlooms Wandering Dude Assortment

Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Wayfair Tradescantia Nanouk, 4-inch pot

Headshot of Arricca Elin SanSone

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

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Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew Plant / Inch Plant)

By Tom Knight

About the Wandering Jew Plant

The Wandering Jew , Wandering Dude, Inch Plant , Spiderwort or Tradescantia Zebrina is a houseplant that can be grown in a hanging basket to show off its long beautiful trailing vines or kept contained and compact in a pot.

Very versatile, very easy and very hard to finish off, makes this a very good indoor plant to have around.

Photo of the Wandering Jew houseplant in a grey plant pot

Tradescantia make for excellent houseplants as they fit into almost any design scheme

" Wandering Jew Plant for sale " and " How do I care for my Wandering Jew plant? " are two big hitters when it comes to our visitors asking us questions about this popular and easy care houseplant. We would suggest or or our Where to Buy article to kick start the buying hunt, and our article below will (hopefully) answer the care question for you.

The common names are based around the plant's ability to easily spread itself.

To start things off, a lot of people also want to understand the common names this plant goes by - the Wandering Jew Plant and the Inch Plant . Both names are centered around its ability to spread and grow very quickly, with little care or intervention from people.

Pro Tip - This is truly one of the simplest houseplants to propagate. From taking cuttings, you can have fully grown plants in less than 6 months.

The Wandering Jew is a legend that basically follows that a Jewish man was cursed to walk the earth forever, therefore like this plant the Jew will, in time, eventually go everywhere .

A number of visitors have contacted us to say the use of this common name today could be misconstrued or even upset Jewish people.

Unfortunately we've not been able to find any specific use of this common name being deliberately used by houseplant owners (or the horticultural industry in general) in an anti-Semitic way (from what we've seen at least). When talking about this plant directly even a Rabbi feels that the name is probably not used with conscious anti-Semitic malice .

That being said, the use and choice of words is often important. Our website is about houseplants and the joy they can bring, and without even trying, this hobby is a very inclusive pastime for everyone.

Our communication to you therefore should reflect this. We'll continue to monitor the common name and use one of the alternatives on our social media channels such as Wandering Dude .

The " inch " plant name probably comes from a combination of the stem's ability to grow about an inch every week, and also because only an inch of this plant is needed to propagate itself.

There are several popular varieties of Tradescantia Zebrina for sale each sharing the recognisable glistening leaf surface and purple underside. T. zebrina 'quadricolor' has green, silver, pink and red leaf markings, whereas T. zebrina 'purpusil' has a green and purple blend.

Tradescantia fluminensis is a very close relative to T. Zebrina (or Zebrina pendula as it used to be called) and is also known as the Wandering Jew Plant. Although it's much less popular these days, its care requirements are identical to T. Zebrina except it will cope better with a slightly darker position.

Where to Buy? - Where can you buy all these interesting varieties you ask, that's easy, check out these Etsy Sellers! * You can also find a broad range as well as some more unusual types over on eBay * * We'll sometimes earn a small commission when you buy something through the affiliate links on our site.

It has smaller leaves compared to its bigger cousin and more green in the leaves. T. fluminensis is therefore very plain looking so search out some of the varieties instead such as T. fluminensis 'variegata' or T. fluminensis 'quicksilver ' or T. fluminensis 'Tricolor', these have cream and white stripes to give it a bit more of a visual punch.

You may find several types growing all in one pot for an extra hit. As the care requirements for each is pretty much the same you can leave them clustered together like this (providing you like this look of course).

A Wandering Jew Plant with white and cream stripes in the leaves

Variegated Tradescantia are becoming much easier to find

We should mention that the Wandering Jew Plant outdoors tends to become an invasive species if not properly maintained, as it's difficult to eradicate because if only an inch of it survives it will live on.

That said, our focus is on the indoor grower and so its potentially invasive nature outdoors isn't a problem. The Wandering Jew Plant is safe to have around cats and people, the sap in the leaves and stems, however, can be irritating so either wear gloves or wash your hands immediately if you come into contact with this.

Tom Knight profile photo

Hi, I'm Tom!

If you're like me and enjoy the challenge of growing houseplants and getting them to thrive, then Ourhouseplants can help. This website shares my knowledge and years of growing plants and provides (hopefully) helpful advice on properly caring for your indoor plant friends.

Wandering Jew Plant Photos

Wandering Jew Photo by Ruestz

Wandering Jew Plant Care Guide

All Tradescantias including the Wandering Jew Plants need plenty of light to retain the variegated colours on the leaves, if things are too dim these will fade.

On the other side of the coin if too much light is provided leaf scorching is the end result, fortunately however the problem of " too much light " is basically only caused by excessively exposed locations during midsummer.

This is quite hard to provide indoors anyway, so you will only really risk this if you Summer your plants outdoors.

It's important they're placed in plenty of light but protected from very strong sun .

As you would expect from any easy houseplant, the Wandering Jew will cope with droughts and a little water logging from time to time.

Try to avoid this careless watering approach where possible though as a good looking plant needs to be watered correctly. The instruction here is simple, water your Tradescantia regularly and freely during the warmer seasons to try and keep the soil moist for much of the time.

In Winter cut right back because growth will slow or stop completely and the need for water will reduce drastically as a result.

The leaves are almost succulent like and therefore humidity is something you don't have to worry about a great deal. It will be worth misting the plant however if you start to notice the leaves becoming shriveled or brown leaf tips start to appear. You can also grow Tradescantia in an indoor bottle garden .

The opinion is often divided about how much and how often you should feed Wandering Jew Plants.

Some will suggest regular heavy feeding, perhaps as much as every other watering and others will say only once or twice a year at most, otherwise it will encourage the variegated leaves to turn green. The truth of it is that this plant will cope with almost anything you give (or don't give) it.

We fertilise normally (back of the bottle instructions) once a month and the's Inch Plant is as good looking as the day it was brought.


Give your plant average warmth conditions for quick growth, a cooler room of around 10°C (50°F) is also suitable too. In fact, the only no no, is exposure to frost or really chilly temperatures for prolonged periods. Frost will do serious damage and chilly locations will cause leaf discoloration.

It's best to repot once a year to give a little more space for the roots to grow, but as with everything else to do with this plant, it will still cope living in the same soil for years. This is handy if you've chosen to grow it in a hanging basket as these can be fiddly to upsize and can also be a little difficult to work with.

When you do repot though, normal potting soil is a great choice, just make sure you avoid mixes with a heavy manure content and don't use ordinary dirt from your yard.


When it comes to propagation of Wandering Jews only the Spider Plant is easier and more reliable to work with. The success rate of Spider Plants is something like 99% and the Wandering Jew, 98%, so either way it's still incredibly easy to grow more plants.

You don't need a fancy heat mat or any special containers or tricks. You don't need to use any type of rooting hormone, and it's literally just a case of pushing the cutting a few centimeters into a fresh potting mix, water well and away you go. Trust us, once you know what you're doing it's so easy to do. Below is a break down of each step.

The stems of a mature plant are quite brittle so an accidental knock or an intentional snip on an existing plant will mean you have a Wandering Jew Plant stem cutting almost ready to go.

Broken stem from a Tradescantia Plant

This broken stem can be used to create multiple plants

You don't need to wait for the fresh cut end to dry out so you could just push it into some soil (even in the existing pot where it was growing before if you're trying to recreate a bushy appearance).

But just replanting the large stem is potentially wasteful as there are several individual plants that can be created from a broken stem, like the one shown in the photo, this cutting could easily become three plants.

The photo above shows three sturdy stems with blue circles around them. Snip them off, making sure each is an inch long and has at least one leaf , although ideally for quicker results you will want a cutting that is several inches long and several leaves already in place.

Trim off any leaves on the lower part of the cuttings , because if any leaves touch the soil they will quickly rot, which could then cause the entire cutting to fail. Instead, remove the lower leaves and discard any unused material.

Below you can see the results of the above instructions - Three cuttings created from the original big one that are now ready to be planted up.

Remove the lower leaves of your Tradescantia to give it the best chance

Several sections have been created and the lower leaves removed

Simply fill a container with potting soil or compost and wet it before inserting the stem ends into the soil. Make sure the cuttings are reasonably stable and fixed in place as they need good contact with the soil to stimulate root growth.

Pro Tip - Cuttings will take time to become bushy and to fill a pot by themselves, so because of the ease at which propagation can be done it's usually more effective to take several cuttings and put them all into the same pot.

You can use a rooting hormone, but we've found standard cuttings root with a very high probability anyway so don't bother.

Cuttings do much better if they don't touch each other and if they're planted towards the edges of the container rather than right in the center. Doing this will discourages rotting and the outer edges tend to be warmer than the very heart of the pot which gets the roots growing faster.

Once in place keep the soil moist (but not wet or soggy) and keep the plant warm. New growth should appear in just a few weeks. If you decided to grow several cuttings in a single pot and you notice any gaps later on, you can just push in new cuttings whenever needed to make it bushier.

The cuttings have been planted up into a pot of compost and ready to grow their own roots

The cuttings planted up into a pot of compost

You can, of course, grow your individual cuttings in their own pots if that's what you'd prefer to do, but by putting several together like in the photo above it will mean after just a few months this pot will be completely covered with new growth.

All these cuttings will have knitted together nicely to give the illusion of one full plant when in fact it's actually several. This is something that would take almost a year or more if you're going for one stem cutting per pot.

Speed of Growth

The growth rate of Wandering Jew Plants when temperatures are warm is fast. As much as an inch a week in the growing seasons, if good light levels are provided and its watering needs are being met.

Its natural tendency is to "vine" and spread out, so if you aren't growing this in a hanging basket or you want to grow a neat compact looking plant then you must prune regularly to keep it tidy (don't forget the pruned stems can be used to propagate new plants).

Height / Spread

The height of this plant won't ever go beyond 6in / 15cm however every single stem can eventually grow to 6ft / 1.8M.

This type of spread might be what you're looking for of course i.e. if you want it to trail down from a hanging basket perched up high. However the stems can always be kept shorter by pinching out the growing tips on a frequent basis.

The Wandering Jew Plant is another houseplant that is grown for it's foliage rather than the flowers it produces, however they can still add a nice touch when they appear.

The pink or purplish flowers these plants produce will be small and can appear at any time of the year, although it's much more likely in late Spring early Summer.

Wandering Jew plant in flower

Inch Plant's aren't normally grown for their flowers, but they'll still bloom indoors sometimes

Are Tradescantia Plants Poisonous?

Generally speaking, Tradescantia is very mildly toxic to pets and people.

While it does little harm if eaten, the sap within the leaves and stems can cause contact dermatitis on the skin, especially in those with sensitive skin or those with an allergy . Wash your hands quickly after handling and you shouldn't have any issues.

Anything else?

Your plant is looking tired, it's become leggy and unattractive, convinced you have done something wrong you Google " Wandering Jew care instructions " to try and find out how to fix things. The answer you'll find will be pretty much the same everywhere because as any seasoned owner of this plant will tell you, this " look " is inevitable.

The vines grow long and quickly. Over time as they age the older leaves yellow and fall off creating the appearance you feel you've caused through poor treatment, which isn't usually the case.

Basically what's happened is that the plant has pushed and spread itself away from the pot it was growing in.

You can start again by taking cuttings and next time prune more frequently to encourage everything to keep closer, compact and neat.

Caring for Wandering Jew Plants Recap

Good Light Needed To keep the beautiful markings you need to provide good to bright light. Avoid direct sun exposure and low light conditions.

Average Watering Tolerant of a wide range of watering styles, it secretly wants to be well watered and for the soil to be moist for much of the time.

Average Temperature Provide temperatures at or above 18°C ( 65°F ) for best results.

Feeding Feed the soil once a month during Spring and Summer.

  • No direct sunlight or low light positions
  • Do not try and grow your plant in very cold places

Wandering Jew Plant Problems

Normally this is down to age, the oldest leaves will yellow and fall naturally. Although if this happens and you notice there are limp stems too then this is likely to be caused by quite prolonged and extreme underwatering.

Leaves changing to green / lost variegation

Although you can buy a green leaved variety of Wandering Jew, the majority are variegated and therefore if the leaves are changing colour this is obviously a problem.

The cause is almost certainly too little light. Overwatering can dull the colours but this doesn't make them go completely green. The cure therefore is to move the plant to a brighter area in your home.

Crispy brown and translucent leaves

Sometimes you'll find dead brown crispy leaves or some leaves going yellow or translucent, as shown in the photo below.

Tradescantia houseplant with a brown leaf and some yellow ones

Tradescantia houseplant with unhappy leaves

This is going to be caused by one of the following (or in some cases a combination).

  • Natural Ageing . Close to the heart of the plant tend to be the oldest leaves which are likely receiving very little light due to the shade from the canopy of the outer leaves. It's sensible for the plant to shed these leaves as they're not serving any propose. These leaves should pull off easily, so just remove them.
  • Too much light . Excessive direct burning sunlight will quickly scorch and destroy the leaf. These plants want bright light but not full sun.
  • Underwatering . Too little water can cause leaves to crisp and dry out. Make sure you're giving your plant ample water during the growing months.

Wandering Jew Plants love water when growing strong, but as with the majority of indoor plants too much watering will eventually rot the stems. Keep the soil moist not water logged.

Bare spindly and / or leggy growth

This is typically the issue discussed in the " anything else " section above, i.e. this appearance is usual after the plant is quite old. It may also be caused however by too little light (the variegation will have faded also), too little water on a regular basis (accompanied with yellowing leaves), or not enough fertilizer .

Wandering Jew Plant leaf tips are brown and shriveled

Although quite unusual in most homes this is caused by placement in a room with very low humidity, i.e. the air is too dry. You might also be trying to grow your plant next to a heat source like a fire or heater.

Either move the plant somewhere else or follow some of our tips to increase humidity in the home. You should resolve this quickly as your Wandering Jew Plant will also be easy prey for Red Spider Mite infestation.

About the Author

Tom Knight

Over the last 20 years, Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team .

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(Article / Gallery) Photo credit of the Wandering Jew T. fluminensi to LucaLuca (Article / Gallery) Photo credit of the Wandering Jew flower to Ruestz


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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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How To Propagate Pothos? [COMPLETE BEGINNER'S GUIDE]

Growing Wandering Jew Plants – How To Care For Spiderwort Plants


Updated on November 17, 2020

Wandering jew plants

Many horticulturalists claim that the wandering Jew plants are the perfect houseplants no matter where you live or how little skill you have with plants. There are many facts to support this claim even if it sounds outlandish and we’ll go through in detail. But the question here is which wandering Jew plants to grow? This umbrella name refers to a wide variety of plants in the Tradescantia family. Each one of them has some value to add to your home. From brighter blooms to more colorful foliage. But all these varieties of the wandering Jew plants share one thing in common and that is they are easy to grow and care for.

Wandering Jew Plants

Reasons to Consider Wandering Jew Plants in your Home

So let’s dissect this claim that the wandering Jew plants are perfect for all homes. We have covered many plants that were easy to grow and didn’t need much attention. What makes the wandering Jew plant so special? Well, there are a few reasons for that.

  • These plants are natural air purifiers . The wandering Jew plants absorb carbon dioxide and toxic particles out of the air leave your house smelling fresh and healthy.
  • In the realm of houseplants, this species likes to get attention with their showy foliage .
  • They also absorb heavy metals out of the soil.
  • The wandering Jew plants are known to self-propagate. They practically ask for no input from you when they reproduce and make new plants.
  • They are hardy plants that can handle drought, fluctuating lighting, poor soil, and many other adverse conditions.
  • Even if they happen to die on your watch, you can still start a brand new plant just with a leaf node from the old one.
  • They thrive in small pots or hanging from baskets where they make a real colorful splash with these delicate tendrils.
  • Finally, there are many varieties to choose from and they are easy to find in your local nursery.

Wandering Jew Plants Basics

Native to South America, the wandering Jew plants (Tradescantia) are perennial evergreens that combine three types of plants under this common name. They’re sometimes called spiderwort, purple queen, and inch plant depending on whom you ask. But the fact that they’re tropical plants doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in your home. That’s the beauty of houseplants. You have control over the temperature and humidity levels allowing you to grow such exotic plants as these.

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that the wandering Jew plants are considered invasive species in many places. This is why you can’t grow them in your garden. Remember what we said about their self-propagation? Once they establish roots in an area, they spread out and claim new territories all the time. In a garden, this means they will soon take over and smother other plants in the garden before they jump over the fence and reclaim the neighbor’s garden as well.

Some of the species are flowering plants while others rarely bloom indoors. But even those that don’t flower, they still have dazzling foliage that renders the flowers redundant. Some varieties have striped green leaves with silver streaks that are a delight to look at.

Wandering Jew Plants Varieties

So which variety of the wandering Jew plants should you grow? The answer to that depends largely on your personal taste and preferences. So let’s take a closer look at each variety of this exotic family.

  • Tradescantia Zebrina: One of the most popular varieties whose leaves compete for your attention with its awesome blooms. In general, the leaves are usually heavily patterned while the three-petal flowers are white. But the contrast is often breathtaking. The center of the leaves is striped in creamy patterns just like a zebra, hence the name. The rim of the leaves is usually silver that contrasts the blocks of dark green color.
  • Tradescantia Fluminensis: This evergreen originates from Brazil and flowers throughout the year. With proper care and attention, it will stay with you for many years. The leaves are usually oval in shape and have a distinct glossy green look. At the end of each leaf is a node that grows out of a fleshy stem and develops into a root. If you don’t prune the plant regularly, it will spread out and claim every inch of space available. It has USDA hardiness zones between 9 and 12 and favors warm climates and plenty of sunlight.
  • Tradescantia Pallida: A showy variety that hails from Mexico. Its leaves are the source of its pride. Each leaf is about 7 inches long and when it matures, it turns purple with red or green tips. The small flowers bloom in various colors from pink to white and lavender. Unlike other varieties, the pallida plant doesn’t grow tendrils, rather its fragile stems break easily and grow into new plants on their own. It doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures well especially if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Grow Wandering Jew Plants

As with exotic or tropical plants, you need to recreate conditions similar to the plant’s original habitat. This ensures the wandering Jew plants will keep growing and flowering year after year in your house. The good news is, these evergreens are easy to grow. As we have seen, they even self-propagate. Here are the easy steps to grow the wandering Jew plants.

  • The easiest way to grow any species of the wandering Jew plants is through a cutting.
  • Use a clean and sterilized knife to cut a healthy stem of a mature plant.
  • Remove any dried or crispy leaves and only keep one set of leaves near the top of the stem.
  • Put the stem in a glass full of water and keep it in a lit spot without being exposed to direct sunlight.
  • After about a week the stem will grow roots. It might take longer than a week if the room is too cold.
  • When the roots are about 2 inches long, it’s time to pot the plant.
  • Fill a medium-size pot with a general-purpose potting mix . You can add peat moss, worm castings , or oak bark. However, make sure not to include peat.
  • Make a hole about 4 inches deep and two and a half inches wide. Place the seedling in it and cover the hole with soil.
  • Water the pot well until the water flows out of the drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks to help the roots grow and establish.

Wandering Jew Plants Care

And that’s all you need to do to grow the wandering Jew plant. It’s that easy. But now, of course, comes the hard part. How to keep it growing and at the same time manage that amazing fast growth rate.

Most houseplants need well-drained soil. The wandering Jew plant thrives in loamy or sandy soil while it struggles in clay or alkaline soil. If you’re not sure that the soil drains well, add one-third portion of perlite and mix well. Many experts recommend you add a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.

Sunlight is important for the success of the wandering Jew plant. In fact, those bright three-petal flowers will not bloom without sunlight. In that respect, this perennial makes a distinction between morning sun and afternoon sun. It prefers the afternoon sun so always keep it on a window sill that faces the south or west. North and east-facing windows get the morning sun. The leaves of the plant will tell you if it’s not getting enough sun. Their color will fade and they turn yellowish. If the sun-deprivation continues, the plant might die.

Moisture is the operative word when it comes to watering. You wouldn’t want the soil to get wet but if you let it dry out, that will hurt the wandering Jew plant too. So it’s more of a balancing act. You wait for the top 3 inches of the soil to go dry before you water it. When you irrigate it, you don’t soak the soil. The roots are sensitive to water and don’t function well in waterlogged soil. This could lead to root rot, drooping leaves, and wilting stems.

Many horticulturalists recommend that you use worm castings as a slow-release fertilizer that feeds the wandering Jew plant slowly for weeks at a time. As an alternative, you can apply general-purpose liquid fertilizer at half strength. This means you should dilute it by adding about 50 percent water or using half the recommended dose. The best times to apply fertilizer are in the growing season. If you notice the tips of the leaves turning brown or looking dry, that could be the result of using strong fertilizer.

That’s where it gets serious. The wandering Jew plants are known for their fast growth rates. If left alone, they’ll grow all over the place and project a messy look. Not to mention that the plant becomes leggy. That’s when it focuses on growing long stems while leaving the base bare and ugly. Use your pruning scissors regularly to trim new shoots and keep the foliage dense and in good shape. Pinch the tip of the new shoots to encourage the plant to grow bushy.

Pests and Diseases

You need to watch out for spider mites. These little bugs feed on the leaves and flowers of the wandering Jew plant. You’ll notice small webs between the leaves, that’s a dead giveaway that you have a pest problem. Use neem oil to clean the stems and remove the webs. You could also dip a swap in alcohol and gently rub it over the leaves and stems to kill the pests.

As for diseases, the only two common ones are root rot and brown leaf tip. The first is the result of overwatering or poor-drainage soil. The second is caused by sun deprivation. Move your pot to a window that gets the afternoon sun to give the leaves their healthy and glossy look.

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Wandering Jew: Types, Care, and Propagation

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

wandering jew plant breaking

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

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

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

☆ Common names

wandering jew plant breaking

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

• Types of Inch Plants

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

1. Tradescantia Fluminensis

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

2. Tradescantia Zebrina

wandering jew plant breaking

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

3. Tradescantia Pallida

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

4. Tradescantia Sillamontana

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

5. Tradescantia Spathacea

wandering jew plant breaking

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

• Wandering Jew (Tradescantia)  P lant Care

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

wandering jew plant breaking

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

wandering jew plant breaking

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

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

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

4. Fertilizers

wandering jew plant breaking

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

wandering jew plant breaking

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

wandering jew plant breaking

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

Buy the Wandering Jew Plant


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32 Different Ways to Grow Wandering Dude Indoors


2-Minute Read

Here are 32 different ways to grow wandering jew indoors to enhance the beauty of its colorful foliage. try one of these soon.

We’ve got many Different Ways to Grow Wandering Dude Indoors so you can enjoy their variegated leaves of purples, greens, silvers, and pinks in any corner of your home.

Propagating Wandering Jew in Water | Growing Tradescantia Plant in Water

Different ways to grow tradescantia indoors, 1. keep it on plant stands.

Opt for a plant stand where you can keep the plant in a pot to make it like a colorful and small room centerpiece.

2. Try DIY Planters

Use DIY planters to give the plant a more personalized appearance.

3. Do Not Miss Basket Planters

A woven basket can lend a rustic appeal to your plant’s setting.

Learn everything about caring for the Wandering Jew plant  here

4. try self-watering pots.

Grow Wandering Jew Indoors in self watering pot

Maintain optimal moisture levels effortlessly with self-watering pots.

5. Use Stubby Planters

Use a stubby planter for a minimalist look and showcase it anywhere you like.

6. Go For Macramé Hangers

Macramé hangers allow the vines to drape elegantly, providing a boho-chic feel.

7. Hang the Plant from the Ceiling

Secure ceiling hooks to dangle the plant pots at various heights.

Check out the best wandering jew varieties   here

8. hang the plant near a window.

Grow Wandering Jew on window

Utilize window mounts to let the plant receive maximum sunlight.

9. Go For Tiered Hanging Pots

Multiple-tier baskets allow you to hang more than one plant, creating a lush appearance.

10. Hang the Pot on a Hook

Hang the plant over doors using special hooks for an unexpected display.

11. Keep it On Floating Shelves

Different Ways to Grow Wandering Jew Indoors 3

Place the plant on floating shelves along the wall, allowing the vines to trail down.

Wandering Jew Care | How to Grow an Inch Plant Indoors

12. keep its pot on a bookshelf.

Grow Wandering Jew Indoors on a bookshelf

Integrate the plant into a bookshelf for a burst of natural color among your books.

13. As a Coffee Table Centerpiece

Make the plant as centerpiece of your coffee table for a vibrant focus point.

14. Keep it Near a Table on a Tall Stool

Set the plant on a tall stool near a side table next to your sofa or bed for easy admiration.

15. Hang it on a Shower

Brighten up your bathroom by placing the plant on the shower or keep it in a corner.

16. Display it in Quirky Containers

Grow Wandering Jew in a quirky pot

Use face containers or any other quirky pot of your choice to make the plant stand out!

Is Wandering Jew Toxic to Cats & Dogs? Find Out !

17. keep the plant on a tall chair and let it ‘flow’ down.

Different Ways to Grow Wandering Jew Indoors 5

A tall chair in the living room or in patio is a super cool way to showcase its dangling stems and foliage!

18. Grow it in a Window Box

Grow Wandering Jew on a window box

The colorful and trailing leaves of the plant will add to curb appeal of the home when you grow it in a window box .

19. Grow it in Water

A clear vase filled with water will make the pretty foliage of this plant take center stage. We have a great article on it here .

20. Hydroponic Jar

Grow Wandering Jew in a hydrophonic jar

You can easily find hydroponic jars online; if you don’t, do make one yourself .

21. Test Tubes

You can also grow individual Wandering Jew cuttings in test tubes.

22. DIY Mannequin Planter

Grow Wandering Jew in mannequin

The idea isn’t to copy this one but to find a quirky thing in your home and upcycle it.

23. Hang Them Outside

Ways to Grow Wandering Jew Indoors 6

The bright light will surely make the colors pop. What you’re seeing is Tradescantia Nanouk and Tradescantia Zebrina.

24. Make a Natural Curtain

Grow Wandering Jew as natural curtain

What better way to adorn the windows than this natural plant curtain? We found the idea here .

25. Mini Wandering Jew Tree

Ways to Grow Wandering Jew combo

Get a plant stand and pair up different wandering jew varieties for a colorful tree display.

26. Hang it on the Window

Grow Wandering Jew as window certain

If your plant has grown a bit, you can hang it near a window. A northeast window would be perfect.

27. Create a Colorful Shelf Display

The vines trailing down and reaching the ceiling at the same time will create a stunning display.

28. A Cutting Trio

Grow Wandering Jew in a cutting trio

Test tubes are great at another thing – growing wandering jew cuttings.

29. Grow it in a Railing Hanger

Ways to Grow Wandering Jew in a railing hanger

What a great idea to save space! Don’t forget to pair it up. What you’re seeing is Turtle Vine , Wandering Jew, and Purple Heart .

30. Keep it on the Top Shelf

Keep the pot on the top shelf. In time, it will create a dense, trailing display.

31. Root it in a Test Tube

Grow Wandering Jew in a test tube

Test tubes are great for rooting these plants and help keep track of growth.

32. Near a South Facing Window

SaltMill grew this one in a wide planter near a south-facing window , and here’s the result.

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

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  2. Tradescantia

    wandering jew plant breaking

  3. Wandering Jew Plant / Inch Plant (Tradescantia zebrina / Zebrina

    wandering jew plant breaking

  4. Wandering Jew: Complete Plant Care and Growing Guide

    wandering jew plant breaking

  5. Wandering Jew Plant: Types, How to Grow and Care for Beginners

    wandering jew plant breaking

  6. Wandering Jew: Complete Plant Care and Growing Guide

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  3. #wandering Jew Plant Propagation #gardening #Indoreplant

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  5. Beautiful Wandering Jew Collection for you💚#short#gardening #plant

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  1. 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.

  2. 4 Causes of Leggy Wandering Jew (And How to Fix It)

    The wandering jew plant thrives in both direct and indirect sunlight. However, excessive direct sunlight will scorch and sunburn your plant. [2] Excessive Fertilizer. Wandering jew plants, like most plants native to tropical climates, grow quickly. They tend to slow down during the winter and then pick up again in the spring.

  3. Wandering Jew Plant Care & Complete Growing Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

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

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

  8. 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 ...

  9. Wandering Jew Plant

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

  10. 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.

  11. Wandering Jew Leaves Turning Brown? Here's Why & How To Fix It

    Wandering jew leaf turning brown. 2. Under Watering. Lack of adequate soil moisture is another very common cause, and often a struggle for many types of Tradescantia plants. When the soil is allowed to dry out too frequently, or remains that way for a long period of time, it can cause the leaves to die. 3.

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

    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.

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

    How To Take Wandering Jew Cuttings. Using a clean, sterilized pair of precision pruners or micro snips, take a cutting that's about 4 inches long from anywhere on the stem. Make your cut just below a leaf node, at a 45° angle. Leaf nodes on wandering jew plants are around an inch apart, which is why it is also known as an inch plant.

  14. 8 Types of Wandering Jew Plants+Care Tips

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

  15. How to Grow Wandering Jew (Spiderwort)

    Adding some perlite or pumice to improve drainage will help. Avoid using sand because sand will fill up the minute spaces in the soil and prevent drainage. Water your plant when the top of the soil appears dry. Water it enough so that water comes out of the drainage hole. Immediately empty the saucer.

  16. 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.

  17. How to Grow a Wandering Dude Plant

    The wandering dude is a novice plant parent's dream: It's an easy to grow plant, has beautiful silver, green and magenta foliage, and drapes beautifully from pots.Wandering dude (Tradescantia zebrina) also is super-simple to propagate so you can make more baby plants (for free!).With its long dangling stems, this plant tends to "wander" all over the place.

  18. Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew Plant / Inch Plant)

    The Wandering Jew is a legend that basically follows that a Jewish man was cursed to walk the earth forever, therefore like this plant the Jew will, in time, eventually go everywhere. A number of visitors have contacted us to say the use of this common name today could be misconstrued or even upset Jewish people.

  19. 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.

  20. How To Prune A Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia)

    Step 2: Trim weak or thin areas - Next, remove any thin, weak, or leggy sections of your wandering dude plant down to a lower leaf segment. You can either pinch them back with your fingers, or cut them using clean, sharp shears or snips. Cut back wandering jew just above a leaf joint.

  21. Growing Wandering Jew Plants

    Make a hole about 4 inches deep and two and a half inches wide. Place the seedling in it and cover the hole with soil. Water the pot well until the water flows out of the drainage holes at the bottom. Keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks to help the roots grow and establish.

  22. 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 light.

  23. 32 Different Ways to Grow Wandering Dude Indoors

    Different Ways to Grow Tradescantia Indoors. 1. Keep it On Plant Stands. Opt for a plant stand where you can keep the plant in a pot to make it like a colorful and small room centerpiece. 2. Try DIY Planters. Use DIY planters to give the plant a more personalized appearance. 3. Do Not Miss Basket Planters.