Houseplants forum: Taking care of wandering jew

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(Zone 5a)
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xShainax
Dec 28, 2013 12:14 AM CST
How do I take care of it? I have some cuttings in water that have grown strong roots. I am talking about Tradescantia zebrina and not Tradescantia pallida which is growing wonderfully
[Last edited by xShainax - Dec 28, 2013 12:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Tara
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terrafirma
Dec 28, 2013 8:49 AM CST
Hi xShainax, and Welcome! to ATP.
I'm guessing that the care for both of these would be much the same. But @vic , and @purpleinopp , seem to grow a lot of the tradescantia around here. Let's see if they'll chime in on this. Whistling

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Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
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Carolyn22
Dec 28, 2013 8:51 AM CST
I would pot it up in a good all purpose potting soil with some perlite added for aeration in the soil. I don't think they like to get terribly dry, so always check the soil by sticking your finger in to the first knuckle or so to see how dry/damp your soil is.

One thing about these plants is they really should be trimmed to keep them from getting too leggy.

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 28, 2013 1:54 PM CST
I do love them, Tara, TY! Agreed, Carolyn. Easy to move this from water to soil. Fun to watch roots form in water, but not necessary for any Tradescantias.

If you can keep these moist w/o rotting the roots, you can get the longer strands with tons of leaves. If they get too dry, they'll discard the oldest leaf. After a few times of that, you can get long 'strings' with no leaves except at the tip. That's OK, just snap it off & stick it back in. The stump should grow new leaves, as well as the old tip now being a new plant. Mine are always in constant propagation, always snapping the longest thing off & sticking it back in. I don't ever like a "just got a haircut" look. The hanging baskets they usually come in are awful for them, if a hole is not added to the real bottom surface of the pot.
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(Zone 5a)
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xShainax
Dec 28, 2013 2:09 PM CST
If I pot them, will they be fine in a couple of 8" pots until I can find a large enough hanging basket?
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Dec 28, 2013 4:11 PM CST
So glad you asked this! I brought pieces of mine inside from summer planters. The green varigated one is doing well. The purple pieces are not doing so well.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 2, 2014 10:01 AM CST
I didn't see the additional comments until now. Jennifer, can you show a pic of the ones not doing well?
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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jan 2, 2014 10:19 AM CST
purpleinopp said:I didn't see the additional comments until now. Jennifer, can you show a pic of the ones not doing well?


Sure, later tonight I'll take a pic. It is planted in with the one that is doing well.

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jan 2, 2014 10:21 AM CST
Also, what kind of lighting for tradescantia?

In the summer my green varigated one got morning light and afternoon shade. The purple one got only a bit of late day sun.

In the same pot now in the house they are getting indirect light, and not a ton of it. I will move them to the den after the remodel is done and they will get more light there but still indirect
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jan 2, 2014 1:42 PM CST
For T. zebrina, it will grow in any light. Your preference of leaf color would be the only rule to go by. Mostly shade - green leaves with white/gray stripes, bigger leaves. Medium light = pretty purple stripes appear. Tons of direct sun = red leaves, that are smaller.

T. pallida grows in full sun outside here, a hardy perennial, though all day sun isn't necessary for it to look great. The only rule I know with this one is to just give it enough light so it doesn't lose its' purple color.

When I snap a piece of T. pallida and put it in a pot, the original piece almost always dies off, but new growth should appear from the roots. Hopefully that's what yours is doing!

While plants are inside for winter, they might look funky, etiolated, pale, but that's fine for Trads. They will bounce back quickly outside again next summer. My plants suffer since I have others that take precedence over the great-light spots. I don't consider either of these stand-alone plants though many do have them that way. They are much more interesting to me and easier to keep looking nice as filler in pots with other plants. I've developed this weird aversion to being able to see the soil at the surface of my pots, so don't take this last part as advice if you don't like the idea, just me babbling stuff I like to do.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 22, 2015 1:29 PM CST
If anyone's struggling, and has ground space, that's a good way to return health, or just get a bunch going really quickly. Here are pieces from about 2.5 months ago.

A spot of almost total shade, where pieces fell, I didn't put them there.
Thumb of 2015-06-22/purpleinopp/ff7848

I did put everything here on purpose, quite a bit more sun.
Thumb of 2015-06-22/purpleinopp/7ad19c

When cold weather threatens again, they're extremely easy to just pick up, they hardly have any roots.

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 31, 2015 3:10 PM CST
How are folks' WJ's doing?
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Name: Cheryl
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 31, 2015 4:20 PM CST
I just snapped off a long piece by mistake from a flowerbed that isn't even mine! Blinking I sort of weed and water a bit -on my neighbor's flowerbed up by my fence. She is a young girl with no interest in landscaping. The others before her put in a high maintenance yard and enjoyed gardening. The yard is going to pot now. They had someone come in and hack everything in the flower beds down to 2 ft tall and took down a massive shading tree. Confused A few of the shrubs are coming back but things are dying because of lack of water and shade. I did see the spr-inklers on for a couple days last week so there is a slight chance things may change. An entire bed of fern is gone and the azaleas behind it not far from death themselves. I water 1 foot in where a nice little volunteer crepe myrtle has grown to 4 feet tall. I hope it take place of the oleander that is dying off. The Crepe Myrtle will at least bl-ock the view of a dying landscape from my eyes.

So while pulling up some morning glory on the other side that had wrapped around the wrought iron fence, up came a branch of Purple Jew with it. I guess I will root it and put it back in my own yard. Do you think it will realize how lucky it is to live in MY yard and not my neighbor's??
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Name: Christine
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Christine
Aug 2, 2015 6:33 AM CST
Tiffany, do you recognize this one??? She's growing like a weed Thank You!
Thumb of 2015-08-02/Christine/4c2f84

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Aug 2, 2015 8:57 AM CST
That's so awesome!!! Cool! Beware of that ferocious beast though. LOL!
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Plantomaniac08
Aug 2, 2015 9:29 AM CST
That looks like Tradescantia zebrina, or they very common 'Wandering Jew.'

Planto
Name: Sharon Texada
Louisiana (Zone 9a)
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SharonTexada
Aug 7, 2015 7:27 PM CST
I got 2 pieces from my neighbor and planted... It grew really fast and I then shared with another neighbor.. Mine is now about 2feet in diameter and is climbing up the bricks in the back, in the front it hangs down to the cement.. I have it in a 8inch clay pot, in direct sun and water it daily letting water stand in the saucer.. It has lost no color and is beautiful.. As soon as I figure out how to send pics from my smartphone, I will share..it is in a stand so the front hangs nicely
Sharon Texada
[Last edited by SharonTexada - Aug 7, 2015 7:29 PM (+)]
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