How to Look After Tradescantia Zebrina (Wandering Jew) - A Care Guide

Updated: Mar 8

Here's some tips on how to care for a Tradescantia Zebrina, so that you can get the best out of this colourful trailing houseplant.

A Tradescantia zebrina 'Violet Hill' being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
A Tradescantia zebrina 'Violet Hill' at the Garden Geeks store.

The Wandering Jew


Sometimes named 'The Wandering Jew' or 'Inch Plant', Tradescantia is a genus of around 85 species of herbaceous perennial wildflowers.


The Tradescantia Zebrina 'Violet Hill' is a particularly pretty species, with its silver, purple and green foliage.


With a native range from Mexico to Columbia, this trailing houseplant looks great in hanging pot or basket.

Light


Tradescantia Zebrina thrive in moderate to bright indirect/diffused lighting which will help bring out the best of their colourful stripes.

Soil


Tradescantia appreciate the soil to be moist after watering but do not like to sit in lots of water for too long, so you'll want a mix that has adequate drainage. Adding some perlite to your normal soil mix will help this.


Watering


Water your Tradescantia Zebrina more regularly in warmer seasons – around once a week (depending on conditions), so that the soil is left moist (but not siting in lots of water) and let the soil dry out between watering. Cut back on this watering regime in winter, when growth slows and water is not as necessary.


If your Tradescantia is in a particularly warm/bright spot, it may need watering a little more often in the growing season to help it cope, but don't drown it!


Humidity


Tradescantia Zebrina can tolerate normal house humidity conditions fine. Though do appreciate increased humidity. To bring out the best in this coourful plant, you can mist it regularly in the growing season, or place it in a more humid areas such as a kitchen or bathroom, given they have enough light.


Temperature


The 'Violet Hill' Tradescantia is rather versatile and will be happy in household temperatures ranging from 10°C to 24°C. However, it will grow more slowly in colder conditions.


Toxicity


Tradescantia Zebrina is mildly toxic to pets, so keep it away from inquisitive moggies and doggies.

Growth


Tradescantia is relatively fast-growing with a max of 15cm tall and 50cm spread. You can cut your plant back to maintain desired a length and look or give it a boost by applying a weak general purpose fertiliser to the pot of your during the summer months.

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