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Tradescantia Zebrina Care: How to Grow & Care for Wandering Jew or Inch plant

tradescantia zebrina

What is Tradescantia Zebrina?


Tradescantia zebrina, also known as wandering jew or inch plant, is a genus of plants in the spiderwort family. These plants are easy to care for and unfussy- making them popular choices for houseplants. Their long trailing vines make them a beautiful addition to any room.

Tradescantia zebrina is a brightly-colored tropical vine with long trailing vines. It’s part of the Spiderwort family of plants and is one of the most vibrant vines out there. Tradescantia zebrina is one of the most ornate plants available and commands attention.

How do you care for a Tradescantia Zebrina plant?

Water Requirements

The water requirements for Tradescantia zebrina are relatively easy to follow. The plant prefers an even moist potting mix but is sensitive to extremes when it comes to soil moisture. Water after the top inch or so of the potting mix goes dry and never let the plant go without water for an extended period of time.

But be very careful not to let the water sit on your plant (whether it is in the saucer below, or in a cache pot). Your plant will wilt and get yellow leaves if it is left in water.

Light Requirements

If you want to keep your Tradescantia Zebrina plants healthy and growing it’s important to place them in front of a window with plenty of light. This will encourage more vigorous growth and maintain the beautiful coloration in the foliage. These plants can take a lot of direct sunlight, but be careful that it’s not sitting in too much direct sun. Eastern and Western exposure windows are suitable for these plants regardless of where you live.

Temperature & humidity requirements

The Tradescantia Zebrina plant prefers to be grown in warmer conditions, with the ideal temperature range being 65-80F (18-27C). If possible, try and avoid exposing them to temperatures below 55F (13C) as this could damage or kill the plant.

In contrast to other plants, the Tradescantia Zebrina does not require a lot of humidity as long as you pay attention to the potting mix’s moisture. If you live in a climate where you run forced air heat indoors for several months out of the year, you can run a humidifier near your plant to ensure its well-being.

Fertilization Requirements

To fertilize your Zebrina, you should do it during its natural periods of growth in the spring and summer. Dilute the fertilizer to half-strength and fertilize it with water every other week. You can also use Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food or Dyna Grow Liquid(following the label directions).

Soil Requirements

Tradescantia Zebrina plants do not have specific soil requirements and can be planted in all-purpose soil. When caring for your plant, use 3 parts all-purpose potting mix Like Miracle Grow Potting Mix or Epsoma Organic Potting Mix with 1 part perlite.

Potting & Repotting Tradescantia Zebrina

It is best to repot your Zebrina plant once a year, when the soil becomes too small for the roots or the potting mix has been depleted. When repotting, use normal potting soil and avoid mixes with heavy manure content.

When you repot your Tradescantia Zebrina, it’s important to take precautions so that the process goes as smoothly as possible. One way to do this is by lessening the chances of root damage; another is by wearing gloves to avoid irritation from the sap. Additionally, you can lay your pot horizontally instead of vertically in order to prevent damage to the vines and roots. Lastly, water as needed after repotting.

When it comes time to repot your Tradescantia Zebrina, remember that there are two recommended ways to water your plant on a routine basis: soil-watering or bottom-watering. You can also propagate the stems by placing them in a glass of water in a brightly lit window. However, be sure never to place your plant in direct sun; instead, give it bright-indirect light which will help the evaporation of excess liquid and drying off your plant’s stems more quickly. And finally, do not fertilize until roots have developed and grown properly (approximately 1–2 months after transplant).

Pruning Tradescantia Zebrina plant

Pruning Tradescantia zebrina is a necessary task to keep the plant healthy and looking its best. Pruning will encourage new growth, force branching, and help propagate the plant. Pruning can be done to encourage fuller plants, to remove leggy or spindly vines, or to remove leaves that have lost most of their growth. It is important to note that pruning should not be done in late fall or winter as this will inhibit the plant’s ability to bloom in the spring.

How do you propagate wandering tradescantia zebrina plants in soil ?

Propagating tradescantia zebrina plants is easy. You can take cuttings and lay them on top of moist soil. The tiny node areas must to be in contact with the ground. Roots will begin to form after a while if you keep the area moist but not sopping wet.

Tradescantia Zebrina plant water propagation

Tradescantia Zebrina is a very easy plant to propagate. It often roots in a matter of 1-2 days, and can be done with either water or soil. To water propagate, simply place the cutting in water and wait for the roots to grow. Once they have grown, you can then transplant them into a pot.

Tradescantia Zebrina plant: Common Problems, Pests & Troubleshooting?

Why is my Tradescantia Zebrina plant getting yellow or brown leaves?

Your Tradescantia Zebrina plant may be getting yellow or brown leaves because of an imbalance in the potting mix moisture. If the potting mix is too dry, the leaves will turn brown. If the potting mix is too wet, the roots will rot and the leaves will turn yellow.

Is Tradescantia Zebrina plant toxic to pets?

The Tradescantia Zebrina plant is mildly toxic to pets. While it is not lethal, it can cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested. The plant is also toxic to dogs, cats and horses, so care should be taken when keeping this plant in a home with pets.

Why is my Tradescantia Zebrina plant not purple anymore?

The Tradescantia Zebrina plant needs a good amount of sunlight to stay its vibrant purple color. If it is not receiving enough light, the leaves will lose color and new leaves will grow in a dull green. If you live in an area with strong sun, the colors on the Tradescantia Zebrina might wash out over time. Try to find a happy medium that your plant is comfortable with but give it some time to adjust.

Why is my Tradescantia Zebrina plant not bushy?

The Tradescantia Zebrina plant can become leggy and straggly if it is not given enough light or if it is over-fertilized. To maintain the health of your plant and to keep it looking full, you can prune the Tradescantia Zebrina. If you want to propagate a pruned piece of the plant, root it back into the bald spot on the plant.

Why is my Tradescantia Zebrina plant not growing?

Your Tradescantia Zebrina plant may not be growing because it is not getting enough light. See if it helps if you move it somewhere brighter. These plants are fast-growing, so you should see a difference in growth relatively quickly.

Can Tradescantia get spider mites?

Yes, Zebrinas can get spider mites, but humidity is the key to preventing them. They are not as prone to pests as other plants, but if humidity is low, spider mites may be an issue so try to keep them under high humidity

How do I get rid of spider mites in Tradescantia?

If you find spider mites on your plant, try rinsing it under running water to remove the mites. If the infestation is recurring, upgrade to an insecticide from your local garden center.

Frequently asked Questions

Does Tradescantia zebrina need sun?

Tradescantia zebrina does best in bright but indirect light. If the leaves are exposed to direct sunlight, they may become sunburned. The leaves will also become more purple as they get more natural sunlight. Tradescantia zebrina tolerates all-day lighting in a home environment.

Do Tradescantia zebrina like to be misted?

Yes, Tradescantia zebrina enjoys misting and it is necessary to keep them hydrated. If they are not given enough humidity, they will turn brown.

How often should I water Tradescantia?

Tradescantia should be watered when the soil begins to dry out. This usually means watering once a week in more humid conditions and when it’s hot or dry you may need to water more often. It’s important to keep the top inch of soil moist, so if the plant is looking wilted, try giving it a good drink. Tradescantia likes humidity, so it’s a great plant for the bathroom where it can enjoy the steam from your shower.

Can Tradescantia zebrina tolerate low light?

Tradescantia zebrina is a type of houseplant that can tolerate low light if it is kept in bright indirect light. This means that it should be kept away from direct sunlight and in an area where it will receive plenty of indirect light during the day, such as near a window that does not face the sun. The light meter registers 215 footcandles in the evening which is enough for Tradescantia zebrina to thrive.

Is Tradescantia zebrina an indoor or outdoor plant?

Tradescantia zebrina is a versatile plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors. The plant will thrive in USDA zone 9 or higher, making it an excellent choice for outdoor growth. Additionally, Tradescantia zebrina can be used as a groundcover under taller plants or around the base of trees in USDA zone 9 and above.

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