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How to Take Care of a Creeping Jew Plant

Creeping Jew plants (Tradescantia spp.) are popular as groundcovers or in hanging baskets because of their spreading or trailing habit. This plant, also called the wandering Jew, features succulent stems and interesting foliage that can be variegated, bright green or even purple in color, depending on the species. T. fluminensis is known as the "green" creeping Jew, while T. zebrina has leaves striped with creamy white streaks on top and bright violet undersides. Attractive and hardy, this plant is popular with indoor and outdoor home gardeners.

Place the plant where it will receive some bright light, but not direct sunlight. Place indoor plants by a sunny, south-facing window.

Provide soil that is continually moist and rich in organic materials. Cover the soil with a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and limit weed growth.

Water the soil often enough so that it remains moist but not waterlogged or muddy. Empty the tray of container plants as soon as the pot stops draining.

Feed the creeping Jew plant with a 20-10-20 fertilizer every two months. Follow the label instructions for fertilizer dosage.

Keep indoor temperatures consistently in the low or mid 70s F. Keep the plant away from cold or hot drafts, such as those from heating or air-conditioning vents.


Creeping Jew plants are hardy and will grow even in full shade, according to information published by Floridata, but some exposire to light will make the leaves more colorful. Dappled shade, or morning sun followed by afternoon shade, is a good choice. This tropical plant can only be grown outdoors in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 9 through 11, according to information published by Desert Tropicals.


Too much watering will cause the creeping Jew plant's roots to rot.

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