9 Essential Tips for Wandering Jew Plant Care

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

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

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

Want to learn more about this plant?

Let’s begin.


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

1. Propagate from stem cuttings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2. Soil

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.


8. Pruning

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

Pests

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

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.


Diseases

Root rot

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.


Conclusion

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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