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Wandering Jew

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Botanical name: Zebrina Pendula or Tradescantia Albiflora

Plant type: Houseplant

Sun exposure: Part Sun

Wandering Jews (Tradescantias) are valued for their stripes of white, green, silver, and purple colors in their leaves. They have trailing vines that flow from it's base and are very easy to care for. 


  • Grow in all-purpose potting mix in either a pot or hanging basket. 
  • Select a location that delivers medium to bright light.
  • The room temperature should be between 55 and 75 degrees F.


  • Water completely and allow the soil to dry before watering again.  You can water less during the winter months of its resting period.
  • Provide fertilizer twice a month. 
  • You can re-root the long stem tips by cutting in the spring and summer. Just make sure the stems are 3 inches long and the plant will root within 3 weeks.


Aphids tend to be a problem on the stems and leaves.  To rid of them, pinch off the infected stems and spray the plant with water.


I was given a plant that

By barbara hill

I was given a plant that looks like the wandering jew but the leaves are smaller ,does anybody know what it is called ?

Hi Barbara, There are so many

By Almanac Staff

Hi Barbara,
There are so many different varieties of wandering jew plants so it is very hard to say what you have. Look online (use image search) and in houseplant books to see if you can find your variety.

I have had a potted wandering

By sue gante

I have had a potted wandering jew for 4 years. It was purchased with blooms, moved to a different town and it didn't bloom for 3 years. This summer I set it outside, hoping that would encourage blooming. It didn't while outside but after I took it in, it started blooming the day after Veterans Day and has bloomed at least every 7 - 10 days, but it's only one bloom. I would like to see more than one bloom at a time if possible . It's the same stem that keeps blooming so I don't really want to pinch it off yet.

I have a plant that looks

By Nancy Ann Jones

I have a plant that looks like a wandering jew but I know it is not. Some of the leaves are half bright green and the other half darker green. Do you know the name of this plant? Thanks.

I have grown Wandering Jew

By marg

I have grown Wandering Jew for many years and I have never seen it bloom until a few days ago. The small lilac coloured blossom only lasted one day. How can I encourage more of this?

To encourage more blooms on

By Almanac Staff

To encourage more blooms on your wandering jew plant, pinch new growth. You can root these cuttings for new plants if you wish. Pinch bloomed-out branches throughout the summer to keep plants looking neat, and to encourage their putting out new buds. This will keep the plant more compact, too.

Idk what's wrong with my

By Autumn Marie

Idk what's wrong with my plant, at the base it looks like it's dieing but then at the ends they look healthy. I just planted them in a pot about 3 weeks ago so I know it's not time to change anything. Please help. Thank you

Hi, Autumn, we can't be

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Autumn, we can't be certain about the problem, but it might—ahem—stem from the transplanting/repotting. Sometimes plants need time to adjust to a new "home." Or it could be that some part of the process is/was stressful: root damage, too much moisture (watering into the crown can cause rot, and so, plant failure; these plants like to be misted), quality of the soil ("old" soil will also lead to plant failure), pot contamination (if it's not clean)...
While these plants willing root in water, they do not like "wet feet"—too much water at the base. That's a common mistake that gardeners make.
We dare to suggest that you clip a couple of healthy ends and set these water to root...just in case.
Hope this helps...

I live in southwestern PA in

By Sherry Niepp

I live in southwestern PA in zone 6, I believe. Can I winter over my lovely potted wandering jew by trimming it back and keeping it in our unheated garage. We do have a dog and someone commented on the plant being poisonous to dogs. Is this a fact? Thank you

Does the wandering jew

By phyllish

Does the wandering jew provide oxygen or kill any household bacteria? Thanks

Hi, Phyllish: Like almost all

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Phyllish: Like almost all green plants, wandering jew takes in carbon dioxide and gives off oxygen, thus providing oxygen to the atmosphere around it. While some folk medicinal qualities are sometimes attributed to wandering jew, it does not give off anything that would kill bacteria around it. Thanks for asking!

Is the wandering jew plant

By deb woodhams

Is the wandering jew plant poisonous to young children

The Wandering Jew plant is

By Almanac Staff

The Wandering Jew plant is considered safe and not poisonous. Although eating or touching these plants is unlikely to cause illness, any plant might cause a reaction in certain sensitive individuals and children should still not eat the plant.

This plant can also be grown

By Melissa m

This plant can also be grown in just water so long as the vase or jar is clear. It does not need soil

Is this plant poisonous to

By Pearl Dacks

Is this plant poisonous to Cats if eaten...?

According to the ASPCA poison

By Almanac Staff

According to the ASPCA poison list, the Wandering Jew is toxic to dogs but non-toxic to cats.

thanks very much!!

By Pearl Dacks

thanks very much!!

I love plants in a home. It

By Casie

I love plants in a home. It really makes the home feel fresh and crisp.

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