You can grow Wondering Jew plants (tradescantia zebrina) even if you’ve killed every plant you’ve ever owned!

I have owned over fifty species of indoor houseplants now and have found the wondering Jew to be one of the prettiest and easiest indoor plants to care for.

Trust me… 

There’s nothing worst than actually putting in effort to keep that one finicky little houseplant alive that someone dear to your heart gifted only to watch the houseplant turn colors, shrivel up and eventually die.

Ugh, the anxiety!

What do I tell my friend/family member who is totally expecting to see their plant cutting alive the next time they come and visit my home?

And of course,

The plant doesn’t just die overnight and be done with it.

It seems like some houseplants remind you daily of your failure to properly care for them and die a slow, daunting death.

But don’t despair…

… You don’t suck.

You just fill your home with plants that you know how to take care of and …

… BOOM! 

People swear you have a green thumb :).

The wondering Jew is a surprisingly simple way to get your plant care confidence back on track. These plants are also known by the common names, inch plant, walking Jew and chain plant.

Inch plants are very hardy but are not often mentioned on the top 10 easiest houseplants to care for.

Tradescantia, wondering Jew, tradescantia zebrina, inchplant

You may have seen wondering Jews at your local grocery store or plant nursery. Those beautiful purple and silver leaves are one of the most common species of spiderwort. There are over 75 tradescantia species recorded from southern Canada to northern Argentina, including the West Indies.

Tradescantia Zebrina grow rapidly indoors and outdoors and are a wonderful choice for hanging baskets due to their trailing vines. 

But beware..

They are also considered evasive in outdoor environments.

The best way to keep inch plants contained and looking healthy is to take cuttings from the plant frequently and pinch off the tips of the stems to encourage the plant to grow fuller. 

This is one of the best plants to start new plant babies from because they will begin to grow immediately with little no effort.

You can also take cuttings from a wondering Jew consistently without shocking the plant. In fact, they prefer frequent pruning in order to maintain shape and size.

How to propagate wondering Jew (inch plant) cuttings:

  1. Find a vine approx 4 inches or longer and cut the stem in between one of the nodes.

  1. Pinch off the leaves closest to where you made the cut. 

  1. Stick the cutting(s) in standard potting mix (rooting harmone is not necessary). 

  1. Water and place in a moderately sunny location.

  1. Watch wondering Jew thrive.

Wondering Jew Soil/Water Requirements:

Use a standard potting mix. If you like to make your own compost use 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite or river/lava rocks and 2 parts dirt. 

Wondering Jew likes consistently moist soil but will tolerate neglect. Water more frequently if you begin to see the leaves dry out. 

Surprisingly, I have never overwatered a wondering Jew plant. 

Now how happy does that make you feel?!

Wondering Jew light requirements:

Medium to bright light (partial to full sun)

If the plant’s color begins to look dull, place in a sunnier location.

Pruning:

Wondering Jew can begin to look leggy, so take cuttings to encourage new growth and/or pinch back the top leaves to encourage the plant to grow bushier.

Fertilizer:

Wondering Jews are rapid growers and benefit from fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks during the spring and summer months. 

Pests:

Inch plants are not prone to pests but examine the plant for aphids or other critters before moving back inside after the summer months.

Humidity:

The inch plant is hardy and will survive in dry or more humid conditions. 

If you’re a mister like me and love to mist your plants daily, then please include the wondering Jew. They don’t mind a good misting.

Tradescantia will also survive in dryer air environments with little to no misting.

Do you want to try your hand at caring for the easy-to-grow wondering jew?

Get your next purple plant baby here:

I will also be giving away a cutting from one of my rare wondering Jew plants soon! (pictured below).

Subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram @plantsmakemehappy.blog for details on the giveaway.

(Giveaway for U.S. residents only).

Signed,

Dee,

Toddler Mom

Plants, Peace, Positivity.

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