Easy Houseplants Tradescantia – Wandering Jew

Easy Houseplants Tradescantia – Wandering Jew


Wandering Jew is the common name of Tradescantia purpurea shown above. the leaves have a brownish  upper surface with a purple underside and fleshy paler stems. The colourvarieation is stronger if the plants get plenty of light.

How to grow Tradescantia

  • Put five or six cuttings together in the same pot. This will produce several plants and a fuller pot.
  • Tradescantia purpurea likes a moist soil whilst other Tradescantias like to be kept on the dry side. Purpurea can be kept in a shallow pot and are not a trailing variety.
  • The quicksilver Tradesacntia fluminensis is bold and bright with silvery variegation on the leaves from a supply of bright light. this is a trailing variety that likes a regular liquid feed.
  • The trailing Tradescantia blossfeldiana has pale green hairy foliage capable of withstanding rough treatment. It is easy to root from cuttings. Often grown in hanging baskets it needs less feeding than other Tradescantias.
  • Trim back straggly growth after summer. Root new cuttings on a regular basis using them to fill gaps in the pot.
  • Tradescantia flower with three petals but it is the leaf form that attracts most attention.
  • There are another 70 species of Tradescantia to look at growing and a national collection is held at Cerny House gardens.

For more information on house plants in this family including such common names as Spiderworts, boat lily; oyster plant; cradle lily; Moses in his cradle; Moses on a raft; Moses in the bulrushes, men in a boat and purple leaved spiderwort read

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3 thoughts on “Easy Houseplants Tradescantia – Wandering Jew

  1. I have a type of dragon plant with wide green & yellow leaves but a lot have turned brown an died from the top of the tree, the bottom is fine but the tips are going brown,i water once a month feed every 2months as i do tend to over water some times i also spray the leaves every 2days with water HELP what am i doing wrong.
    i also have another spikey dragon tree and it is exelent no problems with that one i just dont understand????????????????

    thank you for your time.

  2. All I can think of is poor drainage – try repotting with more open compost and ease back on the watering, feeding and spraying. In other words grow it hard or neglect it for a while. Pinch out the top and it may bush out from lower down. Good Luck!

  3. I have been searching for different types of wandering jews and would love to have a clipping of two of yours. I have other plants that i can traid if you are willing

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