The wandering Jew plants are loved for their life-like appearance. They make your home seem lively and refreshing. In terms of appearance, there is a close resemblance between the plant and spiderwort. You can see this from the pointed leaves, stalkless and trailing stems.
You can pick out this succulent plant by their short and shiny leaves that are about two inches long. They are stripped and they have a purple underside.
Wandering Jew is quite a popular houseplant (loved as much as the peace lily) and you may see some of your friends’ home with them. These are versatile plants – hard to kill – and are sometimes considered as invasive in the outdoors.
The Different Types of Wandering Jew Plants
Before we can move on to the heart of the matter – yes, the different types – it is not such a bad idea to know some of the names that the plant goes by – you never know, you may come across them and understanding them will save you from embarrassment.
This resilient plant also goes by the name ‘the inch plant.’ This name and the ‘wandering Jew’ underscore the plant’s ability to grow and spread rapidly – of course with your intervention as the gardener.
There is a legend often told about a Jew cursed to wander the earth for eternity. So you see, this plant’s ability to spread is compared to this Jewish man. The term ‘inch plant’ is all about its ability to grow an inch each week.
There are popular Tradescantia Zebrina varieties that you will find being sold. Among them is T. zebrina ‘purpusil’ – this plant has a blend of green and purple color. Another one, T. zebrina ‘quadricolor’ has pink, silver, green and red markings on its leaves.
Another variety almost close to T. Zebrina is the Tradescantia fluminensis. Even though its popularity is waning gradually, care requirements are similar to the other types. However, they cope better with darker environments. The only possible downside is that Tradescantia fluminensis is pretty plain – houseplants look better with a little bit of color.
Pests and Diseases
For the prevention of common pests and diseases, you can use the following.
- Sierra Natural Science Mite Control
- Bonide 285 Mite X Ready to Use, 1-Quart
- General Hydroponics GH2045 AzaMax, 4 Ounce
It is good to note that Wandering Jew can become invasive if not properly cared for. It can spill over into areas that you don’t want it to – it is also pretty tricky to exterminate. This is a safe plant around your children and pets. But remember to wear gloves when caring for its sap can be very irritating.
- Light: the wandering Jew requires a considerable amount of light to retain its variegated colors. Insufficient light will make them look dull and faded. However, too much light will scorch the plant – but this only happens for the plants that are outdoors.
- Watering: this kind of plant is quite resilient and will withstand occasional moments of drought and flooding. However, your houseplant should not be made to go through these. Feed them with water as is necessary and they will retain their brilliant colors for longer. As a rule of the thumb, always ensure the soil in the pot is moist especially during the summer months. You can cut back during the winters.Overwatering and too little light cause the plant to lose their variegation. You can remedy this by moving the Wandering Jew to a place with adequate light and watering it adequately. Keeping the pot moist and not flooding it with water. Remember too much water can also cause the plant to rot.
- Feeding: there varied opinions on how frequently you should feed the plant. However, as mentioned, this is a pretty hardy plant that will cope with anything that you give it. The ideal, however, is to fertilize at least a month. After all, it is not in the wild, and you need it to maintain its colorful appearance that makes your living room quite hospitable.
- Humidity: this is one factor that you may not need to worry about as they are succulent like. In some rare occasions, you may notice some wilting, and if it happens, you should mist them. Some homes are too dry, and that can cause shriveling and turning brown of the leaves.
- Repotting: repotting is all up to you. These plants are resilient and will continue to thrive in the same pot and soil for years. However, it is good to repot at least on an annual basis. Use the ordinary potting soil should you decide to do so.
- Temperature: average warmth conditions are the ideal and will make the Wandering Jew grow at a reasonable rate. Cooler conditions are also not too shabby. What you should avoid are the icy conditions – the cold will cause nasty discoloration.
- Propagating: Wandering Jew is among the most natural plants to reproduce at a success rate of 98%. The stems are quite brittle, and a little nip will give you a cutting to take to a new potting mix. You will not need a rooting hormone when propagating. Just push the cutting into the mix, and the plant is ready to go.Your cutting should ideally be at least an inch long with some leaves already so that they can pick up quickly. Your new plant should show signs of growth at least after several weeks.
- Growth and Spread: in warm temperatures, the growth rate of a wandering Jew is pretty high. They will spread out quickly but you must prune them often if your goal is a beautiful looking cover.Pruning also ensures that the plant is always as close to the pot as possible making sure that they are receiving the best conditions for growth. Remember that you can always use these cuttings to start new plants.
- The flowers: just like the other plants, the Wandering Jew produces flowers from time to time. Even though their primary appeal lies on the leaves, the appearance of flowers is a nice addition.