The Tradescantia Zebrina – Grow Tips and Tricks For The Wandering Jew Plant

The exotic Tradescantia zebrina goes by many names. It is called the wandering jew plant as well as the inch plant. The zebrina plant is an evergreen perennial plant with a trailing growth habit. 

It features lance-shaped leaves that range between two colors. These are purple and green. Tradescantia zebrina leaves also feature silvery strips or variegation. They also produce wandering jew flowers in spring that are boat-shaped. These flowers are purple in color and are quite eye-catching.

 You can make use of wandering jew plants as groundcovers. They are low-growing and can be quite colorful to look at. You can also grow the wandering dude plant indoors in hanging baskets.

Botanical NameTradescantia Zebrina
Common NamesWandering jew, wandering dude, Inch plant
OriginMexico and other regions of Central America
FamilyCommelinaceae
Plant TypePerennial creeping or trailing plant 
Full SizeRanges from 6 inches t 9 inches
Sun ExposureFull sunlight, can tolerate partial sun 
Soil TypeWell-draining sandy or loam soil 
ToxicityToxic to pets and people when ingested 

Inch Plant Care

 The wandering jew plant is known to require little to no care. It is low-maintenance as it can survive some level of neglect. It does have invasive tendencies when grown outdoors. So keep a close watch on the plant to manage it. 

Light Requirements For The Silver Inch Plant 

To keep the variegated wandering jew plant colorful, it needs plenty of light. So do ensure you provide it with a minimum of 6 hours each day of direct sunlight. It can also survive some exposure to filtered sunlight. But ensure the light source is bright. 

You can grow them outside or outdoors. Anyplace with enough sunlight should be enough when planting wandering Jews. Too little sunlight has negative effects on inch plants. They can end up with poor flowering blooms. And have a stunted growth rate. 

Search for a south-facing window indoors and place your plant there. They can get all the sunlight they need there. To provide some shade, make use of a light curtain or cloth. This should still allow some level of bright light to go in. 

Tradescantia Wandering Jew Water requirements

Close-up of Pilea peperomioides houseplant.

Excess watering should be frowned upon for the Zebrina tradescantia plant. They are known to be drought tolerant. So limit how often you water them.  Keep the soil moist at all times by checking the soil moisture before watering. 

If after checking, the soil feels dry, then you can proceed to watering. You can use your finger to check the moisture level of the soil. Or you can try making use of a moisture meter for accurate results. Doing this can help reduce the possibility of overwatering the plants. 

Overwatering the purple-inch plant can open it up to fungal attacks. This can cause rot in the long run. The creeping jew plant should be watered in the summer period. Avoid doing this during winter as the plant should go dormant by then. 

Wandering Jew Soil Requirements 

Prepare a fresh batch of rich, well-draining soil mix for the purple zebrina plant. You can also make use of sandy or loamy soil. The soil should also be able to retain enough moisture to keep the plant healthy. 

Soil pH levels can range from being acidic to being a little alkaline. A good range can be between 6.5 and 7.5. 

Tradescantia Temperature and Humidity Requirements

Wandering jew plants can survive most regular room temperatures and humidity. Keep the temperature level between 50 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposure to frost as it can be dangerous for the plant. 

You can mist the tradescantia plant if the leaves look dry. Else, they don’t need frequent misting and can survive regular room temperatures. 

Inch Plant Fertilizer Requirements

Use a well-rounded, low-nitrogen fertilizer for the wandering dude plant. It should be used during the plant’s active growth season. This should be summer and springtime.  

Tradescantia Propagation Requirements 

Propagate wandering jew plants through stem cuttings. Ensure you sterilize cutting tools before using them. And wear protective gloves when dealing with the tradescantia inch plant. 

Common Health Problems of the Wandering Jew

  • Rot 
  • Aphids
  • Vine weevil 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Inch plant varieties?

Yes, the tradescantia genus is quite large with over 50 species. 

Are zebrina tradescantia plants slow growers?

No, in fact, the zebrina tradescantia plant has a fast growth rate. 

How fast does Zebrina grow?

It can take about 6 months to have a full-grown zebrina plant.

Does Tradescantia clean the air?

Yes, the tradescantia plant is known to help get rid of harmful toxins in the air.

How do I keep Tradescantia happy?

The key is to ensure your inch plant never gets too dry. Since they hate soggy soil, regular misting can be encouraged.