Tradescantia fluminensis, also known as inch plant or wandering Jew, is a spiderwort appreciated for its easy care and propagation. Although its quick growth has earned it a status as pest plant in many countries, it’s perfect for anyone looking to add a little green to their home without too much of a hassle. And if you love a splash of color, are variegated cultivars with pale pink coloration as well!
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Tradescantia fluminensis care and growing Tradescantia fluminensis in your own home.
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Tradescantia fluminensis light, location and temperature
This plant’s care requirements are very similar to those of its more popular ‘cousin’, Tradescantia zebrina.
- Although Tradescantia fluminensis will survive in medium light locations, it actually prefers a well-lit spot with at least some direct sunlight (the scorching afternoon sun might be a little too much – morning or evening sun is ideal). Variegated cultivars are especially fond of bright locations, they will lose their lovely coloration and revert to mostly green when deprived of light.
- Tradescantia fluminensis is naturally found in South America but luckily it doesn’t require tropical temperatures to thrive and is actually quite hardy, which means that as long as it isn’t exposed to frost you’re probably good! A great option for slightly chillier windowsills.
- This plant is not fussy about humidity, so there is no need to find an extra humid location for it.
Tradescantia fluminensis soil and planting
Although Tradescantia fluminensis needs moist soil to thrive it does not appreciate wet feet, which means a well-draining soil type is in order. This can easily be achieved by mixing some perlite into a regular potting soil. Make sure the pot you use has a draining hole so excess water can easily escape. Unglazed clay pots are great for this purpose.
Tradescantia fluminensisis not fussy at all when it comes to pot size and can thrive in the same cramped pot for years. If you do eventually feel like repotting yours, Springtime is a good moment to do so.
Watering Tradescantia fluminensis
As mentioned earlier, Tradescantia fluminensis likes to be kept relatively moist but never wet. That being said, this is a very easy plant that won’t mind being forgotten or overwatered from time to time as long as you don’t make this a habit; it will let its leaves hang limp when thirsty but perks right back up when supplied with a few sips of water.
If you’re not sure how often you should water your Tradescantia fluminensis, keep a close eye on the soil and water once the top has dried out a little. During the Summer growing season this point will likely be reached quite quickly, during Winter when the plant is not actively growing it might take a little longer.
Tradescantia fluminensis fertilizer
Like many houseplants, Tradescantia fluminensis appreciates a little extra fertilizer during the growing months (Spring through early Fall), but don’t overdo it. You can use a diluted liquid fertilizer once every month or so.
Propagating Tradescantia fluminensis
All care aspects are easy with this plant and propagation is no exception. Plants of the Tradescantia genus are known for being incredibly easy to propagate, which, combined with its hardiness, has made this one a hard-to-beat invasive pest in some regions.
To propagate your Tradescantia fluminensis, snip a piece off your plant. As its common name suggests, an inch is enough! Then, just stick it in some moist soil. That’s it. Water as you normally would.
Buying Tradescantia fluminensis
Tradescantia fluminensis is a little less popular than its cousin Tradescantia zebrina, which shares its common names. You should be able to find it in some plant stores and garden centers; be sure to look out for the various variegated cultivars with their lovely pink and purple stripes.
You can buy Tradescantia fluminensis cuttings online here!
Is Tradescantia fluminensis toxic to cats and dogs?
The ASPCA lists Tradescantia fluminensis as non-toxic to cats but warns that it can cause dermatitis in dogs. Placing this one away from pets just to be sure might be a good idea.
If you have any more questions about Tradescantia fluminensis care or if you want to share your own experiences with this super fast grower, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!