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

Several species of plants in the Tradescantia genus are known as the wandering Jew plant. Some of the plants in the Tradescantia genus are known as inch plants, spiderwort, striped wandering Jew, Boat Lily, Purple Queen, or blooming inch plant. There are roughly 75 different species. Since they are easy to care for, wandering jew plants make fantastic houseplants. Because the wandering Jew plant propagates readily from cutting, they are also simple to cultivate.

Green and gold leaves, as well as reddish leaves, may be found on certain sorts of wandering Jew plants. Wandering Jew plants that bloom include several types. The wandering Jew plant might have purple, white, or pink blooms depending on the species.

How to care for wandering Jew plant: Grow in a profusion of indirect light and plant in rich, moist potting soil with excellent drainage for the Tradescantia or spiderwort plant to flourish. Make sure the soil maintains moderate humidity levels and isn’t too dry or damp. Between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C) is the optimum temperature range.

During the growing season, apply a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer to the plants every four weeks. Everything you need to know about this lovely houseplant can be found in this article. You’ll also learn how to take care of your wandering Jew plants, as well as get tips and ideas.

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

Tradescantia zebrina, also known as the inch plant, is the botanical name for a wandering Jew plant. Several herbaceous perennial plants in the Tradescantia genus are given the name wandering Jew, though. Tradescantias species are native to Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Australia, where they grow wild.

Wandering Jew plants, like their garden counterparts, flourish well when it is warm, sunny, and reasonably humid indoors. Tradescantias are considered invasive plants in the wild, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Spiderworts, wandering Jews, and inch plants, on the other hand, are excellent houseplants because of their quick growth. Wandering Jews or spiderworts are popular choices for hanging baskets and pots, which may be used to embellish a garden.

What does a wandering Jew look like?

Leaves on plants from the Tradescantia families appear to grow in every direction, giving them the moniker “wandering Jew.” Several of the striped leaves seen on wandering Jews are one of their identifying characteristics. Other kinds of wandering Jew plants have leaves that are practically entirely silver, while other sorts have purple and silver streaks on the underside.

The upper side of the leaves of the Tradescantia zebrina, for example, are green and silver, while the lower side is dark red or burgundy.

Wandering Jew flower

Beautiful flowers can be grown on wandering Jew houseplants. These flowers might be white or have a variety of hues including pink, lilac, and purple. Wandering Jews, on the other hand, are not frequently grown indoors or outside by plant enthusiasts. Tradescantias are so popular houseplants because of their varied leaf colors.

Types of Wandering Jew (Spiderwort) Plants

Tradescantia fluminensis (spiderwort), Tradescantia pallida (purple heart), and Tradescantia zebrina (wandering Jew) are the most common varieties of Tradescantia plants to maintain indoors.

Wandering Jew or inch plant (Tradescantia zebrina)

The purple and green leaves of this variety of wandering Jew houseplant have a stripe pattern that looks like zebra stripes. Wandering Jews with blue green leaves and purple undertones are one kind of species.

Tradescantia fluminensis (spiderwort)

Tradescantia spiderwort is the name for a number of varieties of the plant. It has ovel shiny dark green leaves with pointed tips that are somewhat fleshy, which distinguishes it from certain Tradescantias.

Tradescantia pallida (purple heart)

Wandering Jew is the name given to this sort of spiderwort plant. T. refers to the t in T. When they bloom, pallida houseplants feature vibrant purple leaves and faint pink blooms.

Tradescantia callisia

T. has serrated, sharply toothed leaves. Creeping inch plants are a common name for callisia varieties. Stripy leaves with green and white stripes are very unusual.

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

Wandering Jew plants may be cared for in a very simple and straightforward manner. Moisture, bright but indirect sunlight, and warm temperatures are all preferred by plants in the Tradescantia genus. As a result, whether you have fuzzy leaf Tradescantias, purple queen cultivars, spiderworts, or wandering Jews, they all need the same level of care.

Light requirements for Tradescantias

Wandering Jew plants need a lot of light to thrive, so make sure to plant them in plenty of space. This also ensures that the leaves develop in a healthy, vibrant green, silver, purple, or lilac hue. Wandering Jew plants or spiderworts should be planted in an east- or west-facing location for the best results. Since the sun is at its highest point, they get a good deal of natural light but are not exposed to direct sunlight.

If you have Tradescantia pallida plants with dark purple leaves, then you are the only exception. While you should check them every day in the summer to ensure the sun isn’t too bright, they usually do well in full sun. If the color of your Tradescantia leaves starts to fade, that might be a sign that they aren’t getting enough light.

Best growing temperature for Spiderwort or Tradescantia

Wandering Jew plants are ideal for the home because they prefer room temperature. Between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C) is the optimum temperature for cultivating any Tradescantia variety. You should be aware of a drop in night temperatures and lower temperatures during the winter if you grow Tradescantias outdoors. If the temperature drops below freezing, bring Tradescantias inside.

Best watering techniques for wandering Jew plant care

You should keep the soil moist to care for your inch plant, spiderwort, or wandering Jew. Water the land well and let the water run out the bottom is the best way to water a wandering Jew. Instead of putting water in the plant pot, you may pour water into the plant pot tray and let the plant drink as much as it wants.

A soil moisture gauge is recommended for beginners who have just started caring for houseplants such as Tradescantias. Always check the soil isn’t too dry or too wet when it comes to watering your wandering Jew. In the summer, weekly watering is usually sufficient to keep your Tradescantia thriving.

The best fertilizer for wandering Jew houseplants

Tradescantias don’t usually need any attention, which is why they are so simple to maintain. Then, choose a liquid organic fertilizer at half strength and use once a month to help your inch plant or spiderwort grow faster. When they become “leggy” or “straggly,” most houseplant owners do not feed their wandering Jew plants in the autumn or winter.

Which type of soil to use for Tradescantias

Wandering Jew varieties of houseplants need just to be planted in regular potting soil to properly care for them.

How to prune wandering Jew plants

Tradescantia plants need to be cut back and pruned from time to time. This aids to make your houseplant bushier and also permits you to take cuttings for propagation. You may simply clip off the stem ends of Tradescantia to leave about ¾ of the length for pruning. This will boost your plant’s growth and attractiveness.

Growing Plants from Wandering Jew Cuttings

Propagating any kind of Tradescantia plant is simple even for the most novice houseplant owner. You’ll have a lot of cuttings that you may utilize to develop additional house plants once you’ve chopped back your wandering Jew stems.

How to propagate wandering Jew plant leaves

You’ll need a couple of stems about 1-2 inches long to prepare your wandering Jew cuttings or purple heart plant cuttings for propagation. Except for 2 or 3 leaves at the end of the stalk, remove all others. From cutting, you may generate wandering Jew plants in two ways:

  • The first way Wait for it to grow by simply placing a cutting in potting soil. Just keep the soil moist and not overly damp, and you’ll be fine.
  • The other way to grow a Tradescantia from a cutting To submerge the stem in water is to do so. Within a week, new roots should start to appear. You may move your cuttings to a pot to cultivate a new plant when you notice fresh roots budding.

Wandering Jew Outdoor Plant Care

In warmer parts of the United States (USDA growing zones 9-11), Tradescantia plants are wonderful garden plants that thrive outdoors. In reality, they are classified as a weed in certain countries because they grow so well outside and are invasive. Any Tradescantia plants can be cared for easily and will brighten up your garden. Any patio, entrance, or garden space can be adorned with purple hanging plants or wandering Jew vines with striped leaves.


Tradescantia plants growing outdoors should be shielded from direct sunlight, much as they are indoors when caring for straying Jews or spiderworts. As a result, put your plants in the garden’s shadier sections. However, it’s worth remembering that a bright light may assist the wandering Jew produce more flowers.


Moreover, frost may harm the plant, so you should take them indoors and continue to cultivate them as houseplants in regions where winter and autumn temperatures fall below 10°F (12°C).

Problems with Wandering Jew Plant (Spiderwort)

Wandering Jew plants may still present difficulties, despite how simple it is to look after them. To avoid or remedy certain common issues, let’s look at some Tradescantia plant growing tips.


Bugs like spider mites or aphids are the most prevalent pests when growing wandering Jews indoors. If your bushy spiderwort or inch plant is experiencing too dry conditions, these insects may appear. Misting the leaves and ensuring the soil is moist enough are two methods to help alleviate pest problems on your Tradescantia. To assist with the removal of the infestation, you may want to wash off the mites with water.


Wandering Jew plants are not susceptible to disease, which is one of the beauties about caring for them indoors or outdoors. The soil is usually too dry or too wet when the leaves begin to discolour or when growth is poor.

Fungal infections

Botrytis infection can occur in the roots of overwatering spiderworts, inch plants, or wandering Jews.

Brown leaves

Brown leaves may indicate that the growing environment isn’t optimal, as with most problems concerning caring for Tradescantias. Too much or too little sunlight could have caused your wandering Jew’s leaves to turn brown. Watering too much also has an negative impact on leaf health.

Where to Buy Wandering Jew Plants

Several varieties of wandering Jews are available at garden centers and online retailers. Tradescantia cuttings are also available for purchase online. You could ask a friend for a cutting if they have the plant since many distinct varieties of wandering Jews are so simple to cultivate yourself.

You may also propagate cuttings from plants you already have to grow more Tradescantia houseplant or garden plants.

FAQ Related to Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia)

Do they need any pruning?

The leaves and stalks must be trimmed to keep the wandering Jews in good condition. The stems may develop into a long, bare stem at the base. Any Tradescantia plant should be pruned in late winter or early spring, just before the growing season begins. Tradescantias may also benefit from a late-autumn trimming if you give them that.

How to prevent wandering Jew roots from rotting?

To avoid Tradescantia plants’ roots from rotting, go easy on the watering. During the summer, water them sufficiently to keep the soil moist, and only once or twice during the winter.

Are wandering Jew plant leaves toxic to animals?

Wandering Jew leaves may cause irritation to cats and dogs, but they are not poisonous. You can still enjoy the beauty of Tradescantias if you grow the outdoor plant in hanging baskets, even if your pets like to nibble on leaves.

Can I grow my Tradescantia plant outdoors?

You may, without a doubt. In warm climates, wandering Jew plants thrive outdoors. You may relocate your indoor plants to the outdoors during the summer and put them out of reach of intense sunlight. Every garden or balcony can be enhanced with a dash of purple colors, brilliant pinks, or gorgeous green and purple stripped leaves.

Can you train a wandering Jew plant?

Because its stems can grow long and you may wrapped them around objects, Tradescantia plants are simple to train. On trellises, obelisks, or any other item, wandering Jew plant stems may grow. Training the plant to grow into a colorful bush can be aided by heavily pruning wandering Jews in late winter.

How fast does wandering Jew plant grow?

Within a week or so, Tradescantia cutting should begin to develop roots. You can expect the plant to grow about an inch every week after it has been established. Some people believe that the name inch plant comes from this cause.

Can Tradescantia houseplants cause allergies?

Allergic responses may be caused by the sap of wandering Jew plants or prolonged skin exposure to their leaves. Indoor plants like Tradescantia may also cause throat itching, swelling, wheezing, runny eyes and nose, according to the journal Allergy.

Do wandering Jew varieties have any health benefits?

Extracts of Tradescantia zebrina have medicinal properties that are not widely used. Inch plant herbal liquid extracts are available for purchase and are claimed to have numerous antioxidant qualities. Antibacterial, anticancer, and antioxidant properties have been discovered by researchers in Tradescantia extracts.

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