Tradescantia zebrina, also known as Wandering Jew or inch plant, is an easy and fast-growing plant appreciated for its lovely leaf coloration, which can vary from deep purple to bright green. Its non-fussy nature and colorful foliage make it a great choice for both beginners and more experienced plant lovers.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Tradescantia zebrina care and growing Tradescantia zebrina yourself!
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Tradescantia zebrina care
Tradescantia zebrina is naturally found in Mexico and Central America, though it’s an invasive species in many other warm areas. This gives us some care indications: a warm environment is appreciated, as is bright lighting and moist soil. As long as the plant is provided with this it should not be difficult to grow at all.
Tradescantia zebrina location & temperature
Although Tradescantia zebrina is not a fussy plant at all, it does have some requirements.
- Medium light is sufficient to keep this plant alive and growing, but it’s best not to deprive it too much or it might lose the leaf coloration that makes it so attractive or become leggy.
- A location that gets at least some direct sunlight is great, though it’s best to prevent full afternoon sun or protect the plant with a thin curtain if it’s placed near a South facing window: plenty of sun is appreciated but the leaves might burn if things get too harsh.
- As mentioned above, Tradescantia zebrina appreciates a warm environment and you will see the best growth at room temperature. However, a cooler location is not a disaster at all as long as the plant isn’t exposed to frost. This makes it a great option for those colder windowsills that aren’t suitable for strictly tropical plants.
Planting Tradescantia zebrina
- When planting Tradescantia zebrina, keep in mind that it likes moist soil but doesn’t appreciate being soaked all the time. This means a well-draining, peat moss based potting soil such as this one with some added perlite or sand is probably the best option.
- To further improve drainage, consider using an unglazed clay pot with a drainage hole.
- Though this unfussy plant can live in the same cramped pot for years, you can repot it every Spring if you want to give the roots all the space they need.
Watering Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina is an easy plant and won’t mind a little under- or overwatering from time to time as long as your basic watering schedule is sufficient. As discussed above, this plant appreciates moist soil, at least during its growing period where it grows so quickly it uses a lot of water. Waiting just a little too long will cause the stems to go limp, though they will perk right back up after watering.
During the Winter period, when most plants including this one don’t grow much at all, you’ll need to water a lot less to prevent rot.
Feeding Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina will appreciate a little extra fertilizer during the growing period. A diluted fertilizer can be used every two weeks or once a month. You can stop feeding during the Winter months.
Propagating Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina is known for being extremely easy to propagate. It isn’t called inch plant for nothing: you only need an inch of plant to create a whole new specimen. Just stick a cutting into some fresh potting soil, pour some water on it and it should be good to go.
Is wandering jew toxic to cats and dogs?
It’s a bit difficult to find proper information on this. The ASPCA lists Tradescantia flumeninsis, one of Tradescantia zebrina’s cousins, as non-toxic to cats but notes that it can cause dermatitis in dogs. Other sources report this is also the case with Tradescantia zebrina, but information is not consistent.
Buying Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina is a relatively common houseplant and shouldn’t be too difficult to find in stores and garden centres. You can also buy it online!
If you have any more questions about Tradescantia zebrina care or want to share your own experiences with this super easy houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!