The wandering Jew has several varieties (tradescantia fluminensis and tradescantia zebrina being some of the most popular) and is an easy-to-care-for indoor plant with deep purple and green leaves. However, if this plant does not receive enough light, it may become leggy or stalky, which requires aggressive trimming.
How To Trim A Wandering Jew Plant
The wandering Jew, whose common names include spiderwort, inch plant, or wandering dude, is a popular houseplant that is easy to grow and prune.
Pruning the wandering Jew plant is straightforward, as they can easily handle a heavy trim to remove any yellow leaves, brown leaves, or leggy stems, but knowing how to go about it is essential.
To trim the wandering Jew plant:
Cut the stem above a leaf node (where the leaf meets the stem) using sterile pruning shears or scissors.
Remove any damaged stems or dead leaves from your plant to keep it happy and healthy.
Wear gloves or wash your hands right after trimming, as the sap may cause skin irritation.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Trim A Wandering Jew?
Because they are native to Mexico and other Central and South American countries, these plants prefer warmer weather. Pruning is best done in warmer months (i.e., spring and summer) as the plant goes dormant during winter months, slowing growth.
If it is kept as an indoor plant, the cold winter temperatures may not affect its growth as much. However, the plant likes bright indirect light, and in winter months, this is not always as readily available.
How To Keep A Wandering Jew From Getting Leggy
The best way to keep the wandering Jew from getting leggy is by maintaining a regular pruning routine.
While these plants like bright light, they don't want to be in full sun, which can cause sunburn.
However, they also don’t thrive in the shade and may become leggy and stalky because they will reach for the sun without growing any new leaves.
By pruning the wandering Jew routinely, you will decrease the likeliness of it becoming leggy and make it look fuller and healthier.
How To Make A Wandering Jew Plant Fuller
To promote fullness in your plant, pinch back the tips and remove long, leggy stems often.
Another way to help your plant thrive is by repotting it in an appropriate potting mix and an appropriately sized pot. These plants are fast-growing during the growing season, so ensuring they are properly cared for will improve thickness and hardiness.
Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot or stem rot, and too much direct sunlight, as both can stunt growth and keep your wandering jew plant from growing thick and full.
Can Wandering Jew Regrow From Trimmings?
Yes! In fact, stem cuttings are one of the most effective ways to propagate the wandering Jew. There are two methods for propagating the wandering dude plant, which include:
In water: To grow new plants from stem cuttings in water, snip 4-6 inch cuttings right under a leaf node and remove the lowest set of leaves. You can dip the ends in a rooting hormone if you want, but this is optional. Then submerge the clippings in a jar of water, ensure the bottom leaf node is completely submerged, and place the jar in bright indirect light. Within a week or so, roots will begin to grow, but wait about two weeks before planting them in an all-purpose potting mix.
In soil: Cut 4-6 inch clippings, aiming to cut at 45-degree angles. Remove the leaves from the lower parts of the clippings and dip the cut ends in rooting hormones (again, this is optional). Fill a hanging basket or a 6-inch pot with an all-purpose potting soil up to about 1 inch below the top of the pot. Poke holes about 2 inches deep, evenly spaced around the pot, and place the clippings in the holes, gently patting the dirt around them. Place the pot in a place with enough indirect sunlight and water frequently.
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