How to Take Care of a Wandering Jew Plant

How to Take Care of a Wandering Jew Plant

A Wandering Jew Plant is a hardy houseplant plant that might be the perfect addition to your home. While the name itself is odd, the plant might surprise you that it is a collection of plants of the Tradescantia genus. Here is everything you need to know about wandering jew plant care!


Common Names

  • Tradescantia zebrina
  • Zebrina Pendula
  • Tradescantia fluminensis
  • Inch Plant
  • Wandering dude plant
  • Tradescantia pallida
  • Wandering Leaves


What Soil Mix Works Best for an Inch Plant?

What Soil Mix Works Best for an Inch Plant

A well-draining potting soil mix does best for an Inch Plant. The indoor plant doesn’t want to be in soggy soil, so make sure that you put the plant into a container with suitable drainage holes. Root rot is a common problem with this plant, so having well-draining potting mix and drainage holes can reduce that problem.


One tip to reduce the risk of root rot is to add rocks to the bottom of the pot. The rocks at the bottom of the pot help separate the soil from clogging up the drainage holes if it becomes too wet.


Can you use Fertilizer?

While an Inch Plant doesn’t need fertilizer to grow, you can still use one during the growing season. The growing seasons for this plant are the spring and summer months. When using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer on the plant, you only want to use half strength, which means using less than the recommendation on the back of the bottle. The tip is to use about half the guidance of fertilizer on a new plant because you want to ease it into fertilization.


How Much Sunlight Does a Wandering Jew Plant Need?

How Much Sunlight Does a Wandering Jew Plant Need

A wandering jew plant enjoys bright and indirect sunlight. The general rule is that when the plant is not getting enough light, the deep purple colors will fade on the leaves. If you notice that the leaf colors look dull, you can place them in front of an east-facing window.


However, be careful about leaving this plant in direct sunlight for a few hours. The plant leaves might burn under direct light, so continually monitor how the plant is doing. One tip to reduce leaf burn is placing a curtain over the window to reduce the direct sunlight.


What Temperature Works Best for a Wandering Jew Plant?

The best temperature for a wandering jew plant is between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant does perform well in colder climates. Be mindful about leaving this plant near a cold window or under an AC unit.


What Humidity Requirements Does the Wandering Jew Plant Need?

An Inch Plant doesn’t need any extra humidity to promote new growth. An average humidity level in your home will suffice for this plant.


How Often Should You Water a Wandering Jew Plant?

How Often Should You Water a Wandering Jew Plant Need

It is best to water a wandering jew plant when the top inch or so of potting soil is dry. When watering the plant, you should make sure it is in a pot with suitable drainage holes. Root rot is a common problem for this plant, so you don’t want any additional water sitting at the bottom of the container.


What Size Does Wandering Jew Plants Typically Grow to?

The average height of a wandering jew plant is about afoot. The size of the plant will depend on numerous factors, but you can expect it to be about a foot before you need to prune it before it gets too leggy.


Most Common Bugs

Spider mites are a common bug on an inch plant. A sign that these infestations will be small webs and yellow spots on the leaves. To remove spider mites from this plant requires spraying the pant down with water and soap. If that does not remove this pest from the plant, you can use seem oil and gently wipe down the plant.


Aphids are another issue when it comes to this plant. Aphids like to suck the sap out of the plant, which will cause it to wilt. To get rid of Aphids from this plant, you will want to cut the infected part entirely away from the plant.


Most Common Diseases

Root rot is the most common disease on a Tradescantia zebrina. The plant only does best with moist soil, so anything more than that can run the risk of root rot. If the plant has this problem, you will need to remove it from the pot, cut off any excess and damaged roots, and repot it in fresh soil.


Can you Prune a Tradescantia Zebrina Plant?

Can you Prune a Tradescantia Zebrina Plant

A Tradescantia Zebrina Plant tends to become leggy during the winter months, so you should get in the habit of pruning this plant. The best way to prune the plant is by cutting off the tips of the plant so it won’t be hanging out too much. Always make sure you are using a sterilized cutting tool, so you don’t cause any bacteria or fungus to grow where the cut took place.


Can you Propagate a Wandering Jew Plant?

Stem cuttings work great via propagating a wandering jew plant.


  1. Cut a few inches off the stem that has leaf nodes
  2. Remove any plant leaves from the bottom of the stem, but keep the rest at the top untouched
  3. Place the stem in a new container with fresh soil
  4. Give the plant a bit of water
  5. Place the plant in the new container in an area where it will receive bright indirect light


Can you Repot a Wandering Jew Plant?

A wandering jew plant is a fast grower, which will need repotting. One way to see if the plant needs repotting is if the root ball is outgrowing the current container. If that is the case, you will want to move the plant into a bigger container and put it in fresh soil.


Where Does the Wandering Jew Plant Originate from Originally?

Where Does the Wandering Jew Plant Originate from Originally

A wandering jew plant originates from Guatemala and Mexico.


What USDA Zone Works Best?

The USDA zones that work best for an inch plant are 9-12.


Is it Toxic?

Yes, a wandering jew plant is toxic due to the sap in the long stems. If you digest this plant, you can run into stomach pains. You might also notice skin irritation if you touch the sap, so it is best to use gloves when handling this houseplant. Also, you should consider putting this plant in a hanging basket if you don’t want your pets around this plant.


How to Clean the Leaves Properly?

Since an Inch plant can collect dust and dull the otherwise bright colors of the leaves, you will want to clean it. The best way to clean this plant is to use a dust feather or a soft cloth and gently wipe down any build upon the leaves. You can also shower this plant in a sink to remove dust or any build-up on the plant. If you use the shower option, make sure to let the water fully drip out of the container and then dry the leaves off to reduce any chance of fungus.


Conclusion – How to Take Care of Wandering Jew Plant

In summary, taking care of a wandering jew plant is straightforward. The plant does best with well-draining soil, indirect bright light, and watering when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Not only is it clear to manage, but it is simple to propagate, which makes it a great gift to provide to friends and family when you see them next!


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