Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis) is an ornamental, trailing, perennial groundcover plant. It is easily grown indoors in pots or baskets. The trailing succulent stems can grow up to 2 ft or more. It has oval, dark-green leaves with pointed tips that are shiny, smooth and slightly fleshy about 1 – 3 inches long. The blossoms are white with three petals and 1 inch in diameter. They are produced in small clusters in summer but do not produce seeds. Numerous cultivars are available with variegated leaves. The cultivars ‘Variegata’ is bright green with irregular white stripes. ‘Quicksilver’ has silver-striped leaves. Tradescantia fluminensis is also commonly known as Inch plant.
Scientific Name: Tradescantia fluminensis
Synonyms: Tradescantia albiflora
Common Names: Wandering Jew, Inch plant, Small-leaf spiderwort, River spiderwort, Wandering trad, Wandering Willie, Wandering gypsy.
How to grow and maintain Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis):
Wandering Jew prefers bright, indirect light. South or east facing rooms are best without too much direct sun. Leaves will lose their variegation if they don’t get enough light.
It grows well in rich organic, well-draining peat-based potting mix is suitable. two parts peat and one part perlite can be used.
It thrives best in average indoor temperatures of 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 18 – 24 degrees Celsius are suitable, and no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit / 10 degrees Celsius.
Water regularly, keep the soil evenly moist in the growing season. But do not allow the plant to sit in water. Reduce watering in winter.
Fertilize your plant every two weeks during spring through fall (April – October) with 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer diluted by half. Too much fertilizer can cause the leaves to lose their variegation.
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Take 3 inches cuttings in spring or summer and place in the moist soil. Cuttings will root in about three weeks.
At the point When the plant becomes leggy prune back the stems and pinch stem tips. Always prune after a leaf node. Cuts made here will cause the stem to branch out for a fuller, bushier plant. The best time to prune is in spring and summer, during the growing season.
Re-pot your plant every 2 years during spring. After flowering cut back flowering stems to encourage further flowers.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease issues. It is sometimes affected by a leaf spot disease which can be controlled by picking off the affected leaves. Look for mealybugs, scale, whiteflies and spider mites.