Wandering Jew Plants: Your Ultimate Guide to Care, Types, and Growing Tips

Wandering Jew plants (Tradescantia zebrina) are a popular houseplant due to their unique bright colors and vining growth. These tropical plants have heart-shaped green leaves with purple stripes and a silvery sheen, making them an attractive addition to any home or garden. Here are some tips on how to care for your Wandering Jew plant:

  • Light: Wandering Jew plants prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves.

  • Water: Water your Wandering Jew plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure not to overwater as this can cause root rot.

  • Temperature: These plants prefer temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Keep away from cold drafts and heaters.

  • Humidity: Wandering Jew plants like high humidity levels, so misting them regularly is recommended. You can also place a humidifier nearby or group your plants together in order to increase humidity levels.

  • Fertilizer: Fertilize your Wandering Jew plant every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. During winter months, reduce fertilizing to once a month or not at all.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your Wandering Jew plant stays healthy and happy!

Hello plant enthusiasts! Emily here, and today I want to talk to you about one of my absolute favorite plants: the Wandering Jew. These beautiful, vibrant plants are known for their striking purple and green foliage and are a great addition to any indoor garden.

Not only are they easy to care for, but they also have a fascinating history and come in a variety of types that can add a unique touch to any space. In this guide, I’ll be sharing with you everything you need to know about caring for and growing Wandering Jew plants, as well as some tips on how to choose the right type for your home or office. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonderful world of Wandering Jew plants!

Do you want to add a pop of color to your home? Look no further than the Wandering Jew plant! Learn how to take care of your new friend from potting to pruning and more. Discover the various types, how to care for them, and some growing tips for each one. Experience the satisfaction of watching your Wandering Jew thrive!

Let’s Get Started

Welcome! If you’re like me, a big indoor plant enthusiast, then the Wandering Jew Plant is something you’ve been wanting to learn about for some time now. This article provides a brief overview of the Wandering Jew Plant and its varieties, how to care for it, and growing tips.

With my personal experience in hand, I want to give a full description of what this article contains as well as how important this article can be when it comes to understanding not only its care but also its varieties.

The purpose of this article is to provide an easy guide on how to successfully care for one’s Wandering Jew Plant in order to promote further appreciation of this unique plant.

To get started I want to talk about the Wandering Jew Plant itself. From caladiums and spider plants, it has been given many names. It is actually part of the Tradescantia family which gives insight into the vast selection of different varieties of wandering Jew plants out there–from striped ones, solid colors, and even ones with unique flowers that may appear out of nowhere at times!

The overall importance behind these plants can stretch from being beautiful bathroom accents to energetic decorative pieces that can fill an entire room!

As far as caring for these plants go there are certain steps that need to be followed for maintenance’s sake. This includes providing adequate lighting (full-spectrum sunlight), properly draining soil (to avoid rot), hydration (watering every five days or so), pruning (clipping any dead leaves or stems), or just simply taking notice when your plant is looking stressed out and needs extra attention from you!

Finally, a few growing tips should be noted including:

  • Good soil nutrition (check local garden supply stores or e-commerce sites for organic fertilizer options)
  • Appropriate levels of humidity as well as temperature set points (too cold could lead your plant into a state of dormancy)
  • Making sure any insect pests have no place near your beloved houseplant.

In summation keeping your wandering Jew happy isn’t all too difficult but just like everything else in life consistency plays key role within itself!

Where to Buy Wandering Jew Plants

When it comes to buying a Wandering Jew Plant, there are many factors to consider. You’ll need to find the right place to buy it from, think of how you’re going to take care of it, and know what type of Wandering Jew Plant you want. To make matters easier, we’ve organized some tips for buying Wandering Jew Plants.

For those who prefer a physical shopping experience, try your local nursery or garden center. You can get a good idea of the different types they have available and ask questions about care instructions. Be sure to check out nurseries specializing in indoor plants if you are looking for something that can thrive indoors or one that’s specifically designed for outdoor use.

If online shopping is more your thing, there are plenty of online stores that offer a wide selection of these plants for sale. Do your research before going with an online store – make sure they have good reviews and reliable shipping times before buying from them!

To ensure the best quality possible when purchasing an established houseplant like a Wandering Jew plant, take note of its size, color, shape, and general condition before selecting one from the batch – this will help ensure you find one in peak health and free from disease! Additionally, make sure you check any labels or descriptions included with the plant; if it was grown under special conditions or requires extra care, this would also be noted in these materials!

By keeping these things in mind when purchasing a new Wandering Jew Plant, you’re sure to get one that fits your needs and space perfectly so that you can enjoy its beauty indoors or outdoors!

Care Guide

Care Requirements Details
Common Name(s) Wandering jew plant, inch plant, flowering inch plant
Scientific Name Tradescantia zebrina, Tradescantia fluminensis
Family Commelinaceae
Height Up to 6 feet
Light Bright, indirect light
Water Average-medium
Soil Slightly moist
Fertilizer Half strength liquid
Pests & Diseases Spider mites, aphids, leaf spot, botrytis, powdery mildew, root rot
Temperature Between 55°F – 85°F (12°C – 29°C)
Humidity Average to high humidity
Pruning & Maintenance Regular pruning to maintain shape and size; avoid over-trimming. Remove dead or yellowing leaves.
Propagation Stem cuttings or division in warm months
Toxicity to Pets & Humans Sap can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.


Wandering jew plants have deep green leaves, occasional white stripes, and small purple flowers in the summer, and can be propagated by cuttings or division. When given sufficient care they will reach 1-2 feet in height and spread from 6-14 inches. This is an evergreen perennial that will provide a unique look to any garden all year round.

In terms of care Wandering Jew Plants require a lot of light for optimal growth but don’t do so well in direct sunlight since this may cause the leaves to burn and turn yellowish. They should be watered sparingly during cooler months and more frequently when it is hot outside.

The soil should have moderate drainage, a slightly acidic pH of 5-7 and fertilizer once a month during the growing season affects growth positively.

Additionally, they are quite resistant to pests & diseases so no extra precautions are needed in this regard apart from general good upkeep practices that should be observed while working with any plants.

Taking into account the requirements mentioned above it is time to start caring for your Wandering Jew Plants like an expert! Enjoy their vibrant colors that will totally transform any space!

Light and Temperature

Wandering Jew plants need indirect sunlight and warm temperatures for growth. Look for a spot with bright, indirect light and temps between 65°F (18°C) and 80°F (27°C). Low light slows growth, and direct light damages leaves. Cool nighttime temps of minimum 55°F (13°C) are okay, but drafts should be avoided.

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Do Wandering Jew plants like sun or shade?

  • The Wandering Jew plant prefers bright but indirect sunlight.
  • Direct sunlight can cause the plant’s leaves to burn, while too little light can cause them to fade.
  • An east or west-facing window is the best location for these plants.
  • If you notice the plant’s leaves turning pale or brown, it may be a sign that it is not getting enough light.
  • Keep an eye on the plant’s leaves and adjust its placement accordingly to ensure it receives the right amount of light.


Water and Humidity

The Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia zebrina) is an easy-care houseplant. It can tolerate a variety of conditions. It needs bright but indirect light and moist but not wet soil. To make sure it grows healthy, you need to provide adequate humidity. Here’s how:

  • Water: Water the soil regularly and evenly. Allow it to dry slightly between watering. Mist the leaves to raise their humidity levels.
  • Humidifiers: Use a humidifier in your home. Place the houseplant close enough to benefit from its effects.
  • Groups: Plant more than one Wandering Jew together. This will help create an environment of higher moisture levels. Or try groupings with other plants or shrubs that need similar care requirements. Or try live plants in naturally high-humidity locations like bathrooms or kitchens.


Soil for Wandering Jew Plants must drain well. Keep it moist too. Repot it in a container with proper drainage. Great choices are unglazed clay or wooden containers.

Before repotting, add peat moss, garden loam, or vegetable compost. The pH should be between 6 and 7. To aid strong roots and growth, add a few tablespoons of sand.

Fertilizer for Wandering Dudes

Fertilizer can help keep your Wandering Jew plant healthy and vibrant. They are sensitive to too much fertilization, so use a low-nitrogen fertilizer and not too often. Organic fertilizers such as compost or aged manure can also be used. If you get chemical fertilizer, look for one with low nitrogen and balanced NPK. Get an organic brand if possible.

Mix dry fertilizer into the soil around the plant’s base before watering. Feed your Wandering Jew monthly using liquid fertilizer or compost tea by misting the foliage lightly. If possible, wait till evening or cooler times of the day to avoid sunburn. Start with a half-strength application, then reduce by half after two weeks if needed. Never fertilize more than once per month during the active growing season (spring through fall).

Repotting Tradescantia Plants

Repotting a Tradescantia is easy.

  • Get a pot 1-2 inches bigger than before.
  • Make sure it has good drainage.
  • Use a porous potting soil, or add compost or perlite.
  • After repotting, water until the extra liquid comes out of the bottom.
  • Don’t disturb the roots more than once in two years.


Pruning is vital for a Wandering Jew Plant. Prune when leaves are sparse, to promote fresh foliage and remove dead or unhealthy leaves. Use clean scissors to take off loose leaves. To encourage growth, pinch off multiple leaf tips with fingers or use pruning shears, cutting an inch above a leaf node. For larger parts, use sharp scissors or garden shears, cutting at the base of the stem. Be careful not to cut too much at once, as it could shock the plant.

Tradescantia Propagation

Propagating a Tradescantia is simple. The best way is stem cuttings or stem tip layering. Both have good success rates and each has its own pros and cons.

Stem cutting propagation: Cut a 2-3 inch piece of stem below a set of leaves. Peel off the lower leaves. You can dip the cutting into rooting hormone if you like. Plant in moist potting mix or sand. Cover with plastic wrap or an inverted jar to create humidity. Water lightly and mist daily. Once roots form, remove covering and transplant. Don’t bury too much of the stem or leaves below soil level.

Stem tip layering: Bend a trailing shoot so part of it touches damp soil. Roots may appear soon. Some growers use rooting hormones for better results. Cut through weak parts at nodes closest to soil surface. Pot up each rooted cutting in its own container with moist potting mix. Leave some part of the sheath exposed above soil level. Water lightly. Place in an area with indirect sunlight. After weeks, regular care needs apply.

Growing Problems

It’s significant to be aware that a Wandering Jew plant can sometimes have problems. These may be caused by over- or under-watering, light, temperature changes, or pests.

  • Underwatering can cause wilting and discoloration.
  • Over-watering can result in root rot or yellowing leaves. Make sure the plant has good drainage. Also, too much direct sun can burn the leaves.
  • Pests, like mealybugs and spider mites, can invade by stem cuttings. So be careful when buying potting soil. Keeping foliage dry can help stop pests, as they don’t like damp areas.
  • Abrupt changes in temperature can cause shock, leading to slow growth and discolored leaves.

Preventing Common Wandering Jew Pests & Diseases

While wandering jew plants tend to suffer from relatively few insect infestations, certain common pests and diseases can occur. Additionally, temperatures that are too hot or too cold can cause damage as well. To help protect your Wandering Jew Plant collection, here’s a quick guide to preventing common pests and diseases in wandering jew plants.

Common pests affecting wandering jew plants include aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites. All of these insects feed on the plant’s sap and can weaken the stems or leaves of your plant if left unchecked. Indoor plants are less likely to develop separate infestations since they don’t interact with other nearby insects; however, outdoor varieties require special attention in warmer weather since they can come into contact with these intruders more easily than their indoor counterparts.

In addition to controlling common garden pests, you also want make sure your Wandering Jew Plant is not suffering from any fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or root rot which can quickly spread throughout your household if left untreated for too long. Other Leafspot diseases may also affect wandering jews in humid climates so it’s important to be aware of any changes in the health of your plant before they become unmanageable conditions.

To prevent pests & diseases from taking hold in your Wandering Jew Plant collection make sure you:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of distress such as discolored leaves which could indicate potential pest problems or fungal infections that need immediate attention & treatment;
  • Monitor temperature fluctuations;
  • Make sure adequate air circulation is provided where necessary;
  • Water more sparingly than usual during periods of extreme heat;
  • Set up preventative measures such as organic pesticides & fungicides early on if you’re dealing with an area frequently prone to pest & disease outbreaks


Wandering Jew plants are easy to care for but can get infested with pests. Look out for common indoor plant pests like scales, mealybugs and spider mites. They can spread fast to other houseplants. If you spot any of these pests, take action quickly.

You can spray the plant with a mix of soap and water or a commercial insecticidal spray. Read the labels carefully before use to make sure it’s safe for indoor plants. After spraying, use a strong jet of water to get rid of any remaining pesticide residue. Wipe down the foliage with a damp cloth to help get rid of the pests.


Tradescantia, aka Wandering Jew plants, are quite hardy and disease-resistant. However, they can still suffer from some fungi and pathogens, particularly in high-humidity or poorly-ventilated areas. Issues that can harm the health of a Wandering Jew include: bacterial leaf spot, stem rot, powdery mildew, rust fungus, and Verticillium wilt.

  • Bacterial leaf spot appears as small, water-soaked circles on leaves. These circles may turn brown, or cause dead tissue to form. This is usually due to too much moisture or incorrect watering. Stem rot may occur if watered incorrectly. It starts at the base, near the soil line, and can spread up the stem, killing sections.
  • Powdery mildew is a grey-white fungus that grows on damp foliage in warm conditions. High humidity will increase its likelihood, so ensure your plant is well-ventilated. If not dealt with quickly, the plant may lose its leaves.
  • Rust fungus has yellow pustules on the undersides of leaves, before turning brown. This causes yellow spots and slow growth. Spray sulfur fungicide if you spot it.
  • Finally, Verticillium wilt involves yellow patterns in veins of old stems. It kills them and can spread to younger ones. Prune away affected stems, and dispose carefully, to save other plants.

Types of Wandering Jew Plants

For all of you who want to grow a wandering jew plant in your garden, here is an introduction to the three types of this delightful species! Commonly known as ‘inch plant’ or ‘wandering trinity’, these trailing plants make great hanging basket specimens with their beautiful variegated heart-shaped leaves. Native to South and Central America, these vining plants bloom with sweet-smelling flowers that attract hummingbirds and other garden visitors.

The three species most widely available are Tradescantia fluminensis, Tradescantia zebrina and Tradescantia pallida. Each type of wandering jew has its own special characteristics that make it unique.

  • Tradescantia fluminensis is the most commonly seen type and features elongated pointed leaves with purple undersides, usually found in pale to medium green colors.
  • Tradescantia zebrina has zigzag stems full of oval leaves with purple edges and mottled foliage that tends toward silvery grayish purple shades.
  • Finally, there’s Tradescantia pallida which presents itself as dark glossy green foliage often adorned with white stripes or variegation on the tips; its lavender undersides give this variety a distinctively different feel from the others.

No matter which type you choose for your garden needs, all three Wandering Jew varieties require slightly different levels of care and water needs depending on how much sun they receive in a day but they can all thrive under indirect lighting or outdoor shade houses if provided regular watering.

To get the very best out of your Wandering Jew Plants’ growth cycle, it is important to keep them away from direct sunlight or any particular area that receives direct rays throughout the day as this can cause stress on their foliage. Additionally, for optimum moisture levels, you should always water them when their soil is mostly dry—avoid letting them sit in stagnant water for extended periods as this can lead to fungal issues like root rot.

With proper care and attention, you will find each of these types will add character and beauty to any growing environment!

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Is Wandering Jew an indoor plant?: Yes, the Wandering Jew Plant is an ideal indoor plant as it prefers bright indirect light and can tolerate some direct sunlight. It needs to be watered regularly with its soil allowed to dry slightly between waterings. Fertilizing twice a month during the growing season will help promote healthy growth and vibrant colors. Pruning the plant on occasion will also help encourage growth and keep it at desired size and shape.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Wandering Jew plant?

A: A Wandering Jew plant is a common houseplant with trailing stems and purple and green variegated leaves.

Q: What are the different types of Wandering Jew plants?

A: There are several types of Wandering Jew plants, such as the Tradescantia Fluminensis, Zebrina Pendula, and Pallida.

Q: How do I care for my Wandering Jew plant?

A: Wandering Jew plants prefer bright, indirect light and moist soil. They need to be watered regularly and fertilized every few weeks. Clean the leaves occasionally to prevent pests.

Q: Can I propagate my Wandering Jew plant?

A: Yes, Wandering Jew plants can be easily propagated through stem cuttings. Simply cut a stem below a node and place it in water until roots form, then transfer to soil.

Q: How fast do Wandering Jew plants grow?

A: Wandering Jew plants can grow quite quickly, especially in optimal growing conditions. They may need to be pruned occasionally to prevent them from becoming too long or trailing too much.

Q: Are Wandering Jew plants toxic to pets?

A: Yes, Wandering Jew plants are toxic to pets if ingested. Keep them out of reach of cats and dogs to prevent illness or harm.






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