Ask a Question forum: teddy bear wandering jew

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dakoda
Aug 4, 2016 9:53 PM CST
I am trying to grow the teddy bear wandering jew,but have been told that you cannot get leaves wet.Will it hurt if they do get wet,the soil is really dry but don't want to get leaves wet if they are not suppose to be.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 4, 2016 11:18 PM CST
Hi dakota, Welcome! to NGA

Wandering Jews like to be moist and getting their leaves wet will not harm them. It may even help them grow bigger and healthier. Dirty plants are not happy plants and the extra moisture will help raise humidity.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 5, 2016 11:01 AM CST
Are you asking about this?
Teddy Bear Vine (Cyanotis beddomei)

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 5, 2016 12:00 PM CST
I have the plant that purpleinopp referenced to and I just hold the stems and leaves up and water the soil.

edited to add: I don't know where this plant originates in nature but I'm sure wherever it grows, it must get rained on once in awhile so I don't think water will hurt the foliage but probably not a good idea to keep those soft, velvety leaves soaking wet.
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[Last edited by plantladylin - Aug 5, 2016 12:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 5, 2016 12:19 PM CST
Many plants with fuzzy foliage have that reputation. Air movement is the factor on which I would focus. There's usually much less of it inside. The movement of air would cause leaves to dry more quickly. If concerned, put a fan blowing gently on plant after watering, &/or run a ceiling fan.

Surface pathogens that can be airborne are another. In the rain outside, surface pathogens would be much more likely to be knocked/washed off, vs. watering or misting inside where pathogens that have come to rest on a leaf (or possible contamination from the watering/misting device) might be aided by being merely moistened instead of being knocked off of leaves - like pushing a start button.

Another factor that could come into play is that a plant in a permanent location outside would usually arrange its' leaves so that they shed water. Less than optimal conditions inside like not quite enough light, &/or from having light coming from only 1 direction can cause leaves to be positioned such that water doesn't run off as readily, if it aids the leaves in exposing more surface area to more light (or, in more rare cases, to expose less surface area if in a more bright than optimal spot.)

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 5, 2016 12:24 PM CST
Thumbs up What Tiffany said. Green Grin!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Aug 6, 2016 7:50 AM CST
The need to keep fuzzy-leafed foliage dry at all times is a common misunderstanding. If you think about it, all plants in their native habitats get wet leaves from time-to-time when it rains. The problem is not the moisture, but what accompanies it. For example if the water is cold, it is the cold that may damage the leaves. Or if the plant is in direct sunlight, water droplets may magnify the light and burn the leaves. Or if there are unusual pathogens (bacteria, fungus) in the air, the water may provide a good habitat for them to flourish. In my experience, overall too much fuss is made over keeping foliage dry at all times.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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dakoda
Aug 8, 2016 9:14 PM CST
Thank you everyone, I have been trying not to get the leaves wet and I think it has actually been bad for it,so i just mist it a little enough for it to get some water,I asked the lady I got my starts from on how she does hers she said she doesn't water it.Hers is out side and it just get watered when it rains.I can't put mine outdoors. Thank You!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 9, 2016 3:12 AM CST
dakoda, if the only moisture your plant is getting is an occasional mist, it's not getting enough water ... the roots need moisture to survive. If you are concerned about getting the leaves wet, gently lift the stems up and pour water onto the soil until it drains through the bottom of the pot and don't forget to empty the saucer so that the plant doesn't sit in standing water. My teddy bear vine is kept indoors and it seems fairly drought tolerant but I do have to water the potting medium thoroughly every couple of weeks.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Aug 9, 2016 8:52 AM CST
Agree, getting the leaves wet unnecessarily (like misting) can exacerbate surface pathogens & serves no purpose for a plants' health unless you really are misting (not just spritzing bigger droplets of water) several times per hour all day so there's some effect on the humidity. Wet leaves ≠ humidity. If roots become too dry, they will shrivel and the plant will die of thirst.
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