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