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Wandering Jew Tradescantia zebrina

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Herbaceous perennial often grown as a houseplant.  It has interesting variegated foliage striped green, white, and gray leaves with purple undersides.   The leaves are ovate and clasp the stem at the base.  Tiny three petaled lavendar-purple flowers appear infrequently indoors.  Leaf nodes on the stem are supposed to be 1-inch appart, hence the common name inch plant.   Tolerates a wide range of growing conditions.  Does best in filtered sun, average room temperatures and moist but well-drained soil.  Reduce watering in the winter.  Pinch back to encourage bushy growth.  Plants can be pruned back hard every spring and can be taken outside on a protected patio in the summer.  It is commonly grown in a hanging pot.  This plant is synonymous with Tradescantia pendula and Zebrina pendula

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot and stem rot can occur in soggy soil.  Monitor for aphids, mealybugs, scale, whiteflies, and spider mites as these can be an issue if left unchecked. Contact with plant sap causes skin irritations in some individuals.

Desired for its showy, colorful foliage and fast growth, commonly grown indoors in a hanging basket or in interiorscapes as a groundcover; each flower only lasts for 1 day.

Quick ID

  • Leaves are 2-ranked and 2 longitudinal stripes
  • Stems are trailing with closed sheaths
  • Leaf undersides are PURPLE
  • Flowers are solitary, subtended by paired bracts
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#interiorscape#hanging baskets#fantz#hanging pots
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#interiorscape#hanging baskets#fantz#hanging pots
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tradescantia
    Species:
    zebrina
    Family:
    Commelinaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flower inflorescence is hidden within two leafy bracts. Flowers are white tubes with purple lobes, <1 inch, subtended by a pair of boat-shaped 1-3 inch bracts; corolla lobes 3, purple-pink or violet blue.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, distichate, simple, ovate-oblong, acute, green & longitudinally striped white or silver or purple above between midrib & margin, usually reddish-purple beneath, somewhat succulent; blade sessile with a closed sheath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are ascending, decumbent or trailing, rooting at nodes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants