How To Grow & Care For the Wandering Jew Plant

The Wandering Jew Plant is a well-known houseplant, valued for its striking appearance and easy care. Its name is somewhat controversial, derived from an old legend, and because of this, the plant is often referred to by its scientific names or other common names like “Inch Plant” or “Spiderwort.

The leaves of the Wandering Jew Plant are typically striped with silver, green, and purple, creating a unique and visually stunning display. The trailing stems can grow quite long and make this plant an excellent option for hanging baskets or containers.

Though primarily used as a houseplant, the Wandering Jew Plant can be grown outdoors in certain climates. This fast-growing plant can provide quick ground cover but requires some attention to keep it from becoming unruly.

Common NamesWandering Jew Plant, Inch Plant, Spiderwort
Botanical NameTradescantia zebrina, T. fluminensis, T. pallida
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size6 to 9 inches tall, with trailing stems up to 2 feet long
Sun ExposureBright indirect light
Soil TypeWell-drained soil mixture with organic matter
Hardiness Zones9 to 12 (indoors can be kept in most zones)
Native AreaCentral and South America

Wandering Jew Plant Care

Wandering Jew Plants are generally considered easy to care for, making them a popular choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. They thrive in bright indirect light, but they can also tolerate some shade.

These plants prefer a humid environment and regular watering, but they can be quite forgiving if neglected for short periods. The main challenge with Wandering Jew Plants is controlling their growth, as they can become leggy and unattractive if not pruned regularly.

Light Requirement for Wandering Jew Plant

Wandering Jew Plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sun can cause leaf scorching, while too little light may lead to loss of variegation and leggy growth.

Soil Requirements for Wandering Jew Plant

A well-drained soil mixture rich in organic matter is ideal for Wandering Jew Plants. A typical houseplant mix with added compost or perlite can work well.

Water Requirements for Wandering Jew Plant

Watering should be done when the top inch of soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is vital to provide good drainage.

Temperature and Humidity

Wandering Jew Plants thrive in temperatures between 65-75°F and prefer higher humidity levels. If humidity is low, misting or a humidifier can be used.


A balanced liquid fertilizer can be applied every month during the growing season. It is not typically required during winter.

Pruning Wandering Jew Plant

Regular pruning helps keep the plant bushy and prevents it from becoming leggy. Snipping off stem tips can promote new growth.

Propagating Wandering Jew Plant

Propagation is easily done through stem cuttings. Cuttings can be placed in water or soil to root, making propagation a simple process.

How To Grow Wandering Jew Plant From Seed

Growing Wandering Jew Plant from seed is rare and typically not recommended as it can be challenging and slow compared to propagation through cuttings.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids may attack the plant but can be treated with insecticidal soap.

Spider Mites

These can be an issue in dry conditions and treated with miticides.

Common Problems With Wandering Jew Plant


Leggy growth may occur in low light, corrected by increasing light and pruning.

Leaf Scorching

Caused by too much direct sunlight, remedy by moving to a spot with indirect sunlight.

Root Rot

Overwatering and poor drainage can lead to root rot, so be cautious with watering.

Pro Tips

  1. Rotate the plant regularly to ensure even growth.
  2. Use a pebble tray or humidifier if your indoor air is dry.
  3. Prune regularly to maintain a bushy appearance.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching.
  5. Be careful with watering; it’s better to under-water than over-water.