Wandering Jew?

eileen_plantsAugust 4, 2007

Just bought a large one in a hanging basket and I love it already. I did a seach on this forum and came up with a lot of good info, but I have a question about light: I currently have it facing (not in) a south window, it is about 10 - 12 feet from the actual window. WIll this be enough light or should I hang it directly in the window itself? Would love to keep it where it is, but not at the risk of losing it. Its my first hanging plant, (also bought two other hanging, an English Ivy and a big spider with lots of stolons and plantlets) and its gorgeous with lots of purple on the leaves. Thanks for any input.


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I would place both the Wandering Jew and Spider plant near the window. Placing the plant up to 12 feet away from the window is not enough light (except maybe in winter when the sun penetrates deeper into the room because of its lower angle). The English Ivy might appreciate a light curtain to protect from the sun.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 9:27PM
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Eileen, leave it where it is but keep a check on the color of the leaves. A south exposure may give your plant all that it needs at this time even with its position.
A different exposure may have proven fruitless.

"Wandering Jew"...there are two named varieties.....
the "Tradescantia" and the "Zebrina"...which from what I can tell is not as hardy but grow similar.
The form that is variegated will need more light...the straight green, less light. Your light level will tell all.

As the sun diminishes in value as we approach winter, you may be forced to move your plants closer---sometimes directly to the light. In December, the light level is way down what we get in June.
But that's alright, plants go dormant, need less light and therefore less watering.

The trick though is both varieties need a higher humidity with ample watering. This can be better obtained by having close at hand a spritzing bottle.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:27AM
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I think that for now I will try leaving them back from the window and if I notice any signs that they are not getting enough light, I will move them forward. My thanks to both of you.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 8:10PM
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hallgal2(z5 NY)

I have a tri-color wandering jew in a south facing window right now, and it's doing great. The higher light helps keep the foliage nice and variegated - variegated plants tend to turn back to all green in lower light situations. I also have a spider plant in the same southern exposure window, and that's doing great as well. I got it half dead from a grocery store for $1.49, and it's now green and healthy, and putting out lots of babies. I also have an ivy plant (non-variegated), but I have that hanging in an east facing window, and it does well there.

One caution about ample watering - I think both these plants tend to do well drying out a bit between waterings than with moist soil (at least in my experience). As I have learned here from very knowledgeable people, more plants suffer from overwatering than underwatering.

Good luck with your new plants!~

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:23AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I could never grow any of the Wandering Jews here indoors as we are so gray and cloudy most of the year but I've got three thriving in my un-shaded greenhouse right now.

IMHO, they want as much light as possible and to dry out slightly between waterings. They rot easily and they turn a paler color before wilting as do spider plants so it is easy to catch them before they wilt.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 3:40PM
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Thanks again, especially for the tips on watering, I think I was overdoing it, simply because all three plants are so dense with leaves, I was afraid that when I watered, not enough water was getting to the soil. I will keep a very close eye on leaves; good to know that they turn a paler color before wilting, that is completely new to me and very helpful. I must say I just love my new hanging plants; I usually post when I get a new plant partly to get others more expert opinions, partly just to share with others my delight in acquiring yet another lovely plant with others who feel the same way about them!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 6:02PM
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I have a wandering jew in hanging basket I rescued from lowes clearance a long time ago. I have always kept it hanging right in my window that has a sheer curtain. It has been great for me nice big and full. Before I leave for work I just plop it in the sink once every week to week and a half drench it, leave it there all day to drain real good and hang it up when I get home. Doing great other than a few dry leaves here and there.

Good luck, it is a very pretty plant!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 7:46PM
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I have to say that this plant is one of my favorites.
I love the deep purple it gets in a northern exposure at my house. my plant was a glorious mound of deep purple and silvery grey this winter, but as the days are getting longer the plant begins growing again and it was getting leggy, like all do with time.
So, last week I gave it a major haircut. I took all of the pruned ends and rooted them in water. It left the mother plant looking sad, but it will be worth it when the cuttings root and start growing.
This morning I potted up the cuttings. Here is a look at them. sorry if the pic is big. (don't really know how to resize them)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:25PM
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Koikool, your WJ looks really nice..so compact..Pruning and cutting is one way keeping it compact..
Pinching the last two leaves keeps plant looking full, too..Pinch once a month or every other month..You can pinch year round..Toni

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:29PM
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i totally agree with everyone that the wandering jew and spideys need to dry out before watering again. i learned from trial and error :0 i've had my jew for about 3 years now and it has grown so much it looks like a girl with pretty curly purple hair! haha. good luck!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 12:06PM
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