How to Propagate Wandering Jew: Step-by-Step Instructions


Propagating Wandering Jew is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. 

Propagating Wandering Jew (AKA Wandering Dude) is a simple process that can be done with just a few supplies and a few steps.

This popular plant is beautiful and easy to care for, perfect for novice gardeners. This blog post will walk you through the steps for propagating this houseplant.

With just a little bit of effort, you can have new plants to add to your collection!

How do you Propagate a Wandering Jew?

There are two easy ways one can use to propagate wandering Jew plants to reach their true potential properly. The most effective methods include:

  1.    Propagating Wandering Jew plant cuttings in water (in my opinion, the best way)
  2.    Propagating Wandering Jew plant cuttings in soil

Where to buy a wandering jew plant

About the Wandering Jew Houseplant

Tradescantia zebrina, formerly known as Zebrina pendula, is a creeping plant in the Tradescantia genus that needs little care.

The common name for this plant is silver inch plant, and it has also been called Wandering Jew. However, there is some contention over the last name, and many people now use the variant Wandering Dude.

The Wandering Jew houseplant is a beautiful, easy-to-care-for plant that makes a great addition to any home.

This plant is native to South America and can be found in various colors, including green, purple, and pink. Their distinctive shape and variegated patterns characterize the leaves of this plant.

Many people are fond of Tradescantia for its different varieties and ease of care and propagation. However, some countries consider Tradescantia an agricultural pest and invasive species. In addition, the inch plant is regarded as a Category I exotic invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.

Different Types of Wandering Jew Plants

Tradescantia zebrina is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia but can also be found on the Caribbean islands. Common varieties of Tradescantia have many distinct color schemes, despite being part of the Tradescantia genus.

Tradescantia Zebrina

Tradescantia zebrina, aka Inch Plant or Wandering Jew, has silvery sand-colored leaf edges with a light purple underside.

Tradescantia Padia

Tradescantia padia, or Purple Heart, is a solid dark green leaf with thick, elongated leaves.

Tradescantia Nanouk

Another popular plant species is the Tradescantia Nanouk, known as Fantasy Venice. It is becoming more and more popular because of its pretty bright green, pink, and purple leaves and chunky stems. It’s unlike any other Tradescantia because it was created by cross-pollinating two selected seeds of Tradescantia albiflora in 2012.

While all these plants have different colors and markings, they can all be propagated similarly. Propagate by stem cuttings.

purple wandering jew plant
Amazon Seller: Wandering Jew Plant

What You Need To Propagate a Wandering Jew

Before you begin to propagate your Wandering Jew at home. It would be best first to gather all the appropriate tools and materials. Here are some of what you need to propagate a Wandering Jew:

  • A Wandering Jew Plant
  • Sterilized Sharp Knife or Plant Scissors
  • Clean and Chemical-free Water
  • Sterilized jars to hold the water; the size is up to your discretion
  • Optional: Rooting Hormone

Depending on the propagation method you will be using, there are other additional or optional items that you may require.

How do you Propagate a Wandering Jew?

There are various ways one can use to propagate wandering Jew plants to reach their true potential properly. The most effective methods include:

  1.    Propagating Wandering Jew plant cuttings in water (in my opinion, the best way)
  2.    Propagating Wandering Jew plant cuttings in soil

Propagating in Water

Propagating plants in water is one of the more traditional methods of propagation. It works exceptionally well for plants with thick stems like the Wandering Jew plant. To do this:

  • Step 1: Snip 4- to 6-inch cuttings off your plant’s healthy stems, making a 45-degree angle cut right under a leaf node with a clean, sharp blade or sharp scissors. Make sure you remove each stem’s lowest set of leaves. Inch plant is another common name for wandering jew.
  • Optional: Dip the clean edge of the fresh cutting into your chosen rooting hormone. Although some people swear the synthetic auxins in rooting hormones make their plants stronger, it is rarely considered essential for propagation.
  • Step 2: Submerge your cuttings in water in a glass or jar, ensuring the bottom leaf node is submerged. Keep the glass jar in bright but indirect sunlight. Within a week or so, new roots should start to emerge.
  •  Step 3: Wait about two weeks with the plants in water (or at least when the new roots are a few inches long), then plant your cuttings in an all-purpose potting mix. You will keep noticing new growth as time passes – and your green thumb grows!

pink wandering jew plant

Propagating in Soil

Propagating this beautiful plant in moist soil is just as effective and will likely yield the same results. Only in this case, it is a little bit more involving.

  • Step 1: Using a clean, sharp blade, start by making numerous cuttings at the extremities of branches. Aim to make a 45-degree angle slightly under a leaf node. The length of the cuttings should be around four to six inches. Get rid of the lowermost set of leaves from each cutting’s stem.
  • Optional: Dip the clean edge of the fresh cutting into your chosen rooting hormone. Although some people swear the synthetic auxins in rooting hormones make their plants stronger, it is rarely considered essential for propagation.
  • Step 2: Fill a hanging basket or 6-inch pot to 1 inch below the container’s top with all-purpose potting soil. Plant one cutting in each hole while poking holes approximately 2 inches deep and then spacing them evenly around the pot. Gently massage the earth over the stems to keep them in place.
  • Step 3: Water your cuttings regularly and evenly moisten the soil.
  • Step 4: Finally, place the plant at a location that receives bright indirect light. You’ll get a lush, green new plant and new leaves in a few months.

wandering jew, houseplant, plant

The Most Common Issues with Wandering Jew Plants

While wandering Jew plants are generally easygoing, they are, in some ways, still susceptible to problems caused by inadequate care and environmental factors. A few issues you might encounter include:

Curling and Falling Leaves

Under-watering is the number one cause of wandering Jew leaves curling up, drying up, or dropping altogether. You will want to adjust your watering schedule to provide more consistent hydration for your plant.

It’s important to note that it is normal to spot dead leaves around the plant’s base (where older leaves might be seen).

Fading Leaves

When leaves fade or lose their variegation, your wandering Jew isn’t getting enough light.

If this happens, you want to reposition your plant in a more light-filled part of your home.

Leggy Growth

It’s natural for your Tradescantia to turn spindly after a few years. This is mainly because they have a short life span of two to three years.

For this reason, it’s advisable to propagate as many stems as possible and remove the parent plant.

However, if your plant is still young, too little light or water might induce lanky growth.

Rotting Stems and Yellowing Leaves

One of the more apparent signs of root rot or that your plant has formed a root ball is the appearance of mushy, rotten stems and yellowing leaves.

It mainly comes about when the soil in your container is too damp.

You should always allow the soil to dry between watering to avoid root rot.

Wandering Jew Houseplant FAQS

Q: How often should I water my Wandering Jew plant?

A: You should water your Wandering Jew plant about once a week or when the soil is dry to the touch. Be sure to not over-water your plant, as this can lead to root rot.

Q: What type of light does a Wandering Jew plant need?

A: Wandering Jew plants do best in bright, indirect light. If you live in a mainly sunny climate, you may want to provide shade for your plant during the day’s hottest hours.

Q: What is the best way to propagate a Wandering Jew Plant?

A: The best way to propagate a Wandering Jew plant is by stem cuttings. You can take stem cuttings from an existing plant and propagate them in water or soil.

Q. How to fertilize a Wandering Jew houseplant?

A: You can fertilize your Wandering Jew plant every two to four weeks using a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer or a water-soluble fertilizer. Be sure to dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package, as too much fertilizer can burn your plant’s roots.

Q: Is it normal for my Wandering Jew plant to lose leaves?

A: Yes, losing leaves is normal for your Wandering Jew plant. As the plant grows, it will shed its older leaves and grow new ones. You may also see dead leaves around the base of the plant, which is nothing to worry about.

Q. Is it better to propagate a Wandering Jew in water or soil?

A: Some people prefer to propagate their Wandering Jew in water, while others find it easier to propagate in soil. There is no right or wrong answer, and it really comes down to personal preference. We recommend starting with the soil method if you are new to propagating plants.

It is generally easier to propagate plants in soil, and there is less risk of overwatering. If you propagate your plant in water, you will need to change the water every week to prevent it from getting stagnant.

When propagating in soil, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry.


There you have it, folks! As you’ve seen, propagating Wandering Jew plants is not exactly rocket science but it is an easy way to create more plant babies from a mother plant with just a few wandering jew cuttings.

You only need to follow the steps for the propagation process above and give it a little proper care and patience, and you should have your healthy wandering jew plant in no time.


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