Originally found in Mexico and Guatemala, the Wandering Jew plant is a beautiful trailing leafy plant with purple and green striped leaves. A beautiful houseplant that will brighten any room, it’s also super low-maintenance when it comes to care.
Learning how to propagate Wandering Jew is easy and the process is fairly simple. It’s a great plant to try out your green thumb on! Propagating plants is an easy way to add more greenery to your home and they make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
Wandering Jew is one of the easiest plants to propagate, so keep reading to learn how to get as many plants as possible.
Table of Contents
Wandering Jew Propagation From Stem Cutting
Stem cutting is the most effective way to propagate a Wandering Jew plant, and it’s not as difficult as it may seem. You just take a cutting from your current plant and let it grow roots so it can continue to grow into a new plant.
Preparing to propagate your plant begins right here, with a little bit of research. Reading about how to propagate will ensure your new plant thrives. There are some materials you’ll need to have on hand and some steps you’ll need to take in order to successfully make your stem cutting and propagate your plant.
Tools and Equipment Requirements
The right tools will help make propagation easier and your cuttings more successful, giving you more beautiful plants to fill your home, or even to give to friends and family.
Necessary tools include:
For soil propagation:
- Plant container
- Well-draining potting soil
For water propagation:
- Clear jar or vase
- Non-chlorinated water
Make sure your pruning shears or razor is clean, and wipe it down with bleach before cutting your stem. Plant diseases can stay on your pruning shears and will transfer to your other plants if they’re not cleaned before use. This could make your propagation attempt fail before your stem even has a chance to become a whole new plant!
Where to Take a Stem Cutting
When pruning your Wandering Jew, cut the stem just below a growth node with sharp, clean, and sterilized houseplant scissors or cutting shears. Using only sharp, clean instruments decreases the chance of your stem rotting and not being able to grow new roots.
Be sure to remove any leaves from the bottom ⅔ of the cutting, giving you plenty of room to place your newly cut stem in soil or water for propagation.
How to Root in Soil
If you choose to root your stem in soil, you’ll want to start with the right kind of soil to give your stem the best chance at rooting well. Make sure to choose a well-draining soil. You don’t want soil that’s too heavy because it could very easily hold too much moisture and rot your stem before it has a chance to grow roots. We recommend our Indoor Plant Soil as the perfect blend for all your indoor plants.
After choosing the right soil, make sure it’s thoroughly damp. To do this, place your soil in a large bin and soak it in water for a few minutes, breaking apart any clumps of soil. Once your soil is thoroughly soaked, take a handful and squeeze out as much water as you can. Place that soil in the pot you’re going to use, breaking it up again as it goes in. Mix in a high-quality propagation promoter and place your stem right in the soil.
Using a propagation promoter is not always necessary, but it will protect your new plant from bacteria and get those roots growing faster.
How to Root in Water
Rooting your Wandering Jew in water is a bit different. Fill your jar with room-temperature, non-chlorinated water for best results. Mix your propagation promoter right into your water, and then place your plant cutting into the water.
I always suggest having something that will keep your stem from touching the glass, such as tape along the top of the jar that creates a square in the middle of the opening where your stem can rest. This step isn’t required, but I like to do it anyway to give my propagated plants extra protection against any type of rot.
Change your water every 3-4 days to maximize root growth and plant health. Once your roots are a couple inches long, you can then plant it in a well-draining potting mix and continue letting your propagated stem grow into a brand-new baby plant!
How Long Does Rooting Take?
You’ll start to see new root growth within just one week! After two weeks, your stem will have grown a solid set of roots, and if you choose to propagate in water, it can now be transplanted to well-draining potting soil to maintain its growth. After about a month, you’ll start seeing new growth above the soil!
Keep in mind: your plant’s location in your home can alter the rooting speed and new growth timeline. Your new plant needs to be in a well-lit area but away from direct sunlight. You may have to adjust where your plant lives in your home depending on how quickly you see progress with your new plant or if your plant begins to look dull or leggy.
Wandering Jew Plant Care
Congratulations! You’ve just propagated your first Wandering Jew plant! Here are some tips on how to care for your new houseplant, and some issues that may come up as your new plant matures.
Your new plant will thrive inside your home, in a brightly lit room. Make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight. If you’re not sure if your plant is getting enough indirect sunlight, watch the leaves over the course of a week or so. If the color of the leaves begins to dull at all, you’ll want to find a new, brighter spot for your plant to live. If your plant’s leaves are browning, you may have it in a spot where it gets too much light.
Temperature & Humidity
Wandering Jew plants like to be between 50 and 80 degrees, which makes them perfect for indoor living. In some areas, you may even be able to plant it outside in a shady area, although they prefer a more temperature-controlled environment.
If you do choose to plant it outside, before you give it a permanent home, monitor the area where you plan to put it to make sure that spot doesn’t get too much direct sunlight throughout the day. You can always move your plant even after being planted in the ground, but it’s best to figure out the best spot before planting so it doesn’t have to be dug up later on.
The Wandering Jew doesn’t really have a humidity requirement. As long as the environment where you keep your plant isn’t on either side of the humidity extremes, your plant will do just fine. If it seems like the air is a bit dry for your plant but the soil is still wet, you can simply mist the plant to add a little more moisture and keep your plant happy.
The best soil for your Wandering Jew plant is any potting mix that is well-draining, as this plant is not too picky. Keep the soil slightly moist, and you’ll have a happy plant that will thrive in your home. If you choose to make your own potting mix, you’ll need some perlite, peat moss, and organic compost, along with a small amount of gardening soil. Simply mix it all together to create a mixture your plant will love.
Pre-fertilized soil isn’t required for this plant. It will benefit from regular fertilization, but it’s best to control the amount of fertilizer as opposed to placing it in a soil mixture with possibly too much fertilizer for a freshly propagated plant.
The best indication of when to water your plant is by how wet the soil is. Once the top of the soil begins to dry out, it’s time to water again. It’s hard to place plants on a specific schedule, because many factors affect how quickly your soil can dry out. Be careful not to keep the soil too wet, otherwise, you’ll risk your plant developing root rot.
You will quickly figure out how often your plant needs to be watered after a couple months of caring for it. The general rule of thumb is every 3-4 days, but adjust that timeline to fit your environment and your plant’s needs.
A simple way to water your plant is by bottom watering. It’s the easiest method of watering any plant, and your plant is able to soak up as much water as it needs. Simply fill your clean sink with about 4 to 6 inches of water and place your plant’s pot in the water sitting upright. Water will get absorbed through the drainage holes in the bottom of your plant’s pot, and after about 10 minutes, you can pull the plant out of the water and let any excess water drain out.
A good thing about your new Wandering Jew plant is that it doesn’t really require fertilizer to grow healthy. It would still benefit from a high-quality fertilizer every once in a while, but only in the spring and summer months. It doesn’t need any fertilizer in the fall or winter, just watering when the top of the soil begins to dry out.
If you do choose to use fertilizer with your plant, choose one that is organic. Your plant will not like any of the chemical fertilizers widely available in hardware stores or plant stores. Any plant store should have high-quality organic options for you to choose from. We highly recommend our own ready-to-use, liquid Indoor Plant Food.
No matter how green your thumb is, every plant will run into a problem every now and then. A couple problems common to Wandering Jew plants are pests and leggy growth. Keep reading to find out about these problems and how to deal with them.
A few of the most common pests that want to bother your plant (and you!) are going to be spider mites, aphids, and gnats. If you notice any of these pests around your plant or in your home, you’ll want to use neem oil to get rid of them and protect your plant. Even a small infestation can cause dramatic damage, especially on a newly propagated plant.
To use neem oil, simply spray it on your plant as soon as you see any sign of these pests. Reapply as needed, and enjoy your pest-free plant.
Leggy growth is when the plant is growing longer than it should. This creates problems with the stem and can even cause your plant to die if it’s not taken care of when it’s first noticed. If your plant starts to look leggy, it means your plant is having to try too hard to get enough light.
There is a rather simple fix for this problem: your plant needs a new place to grow that gives it more natural light without too much direct sunlight. You may need to trim away some of the legginess, just make sure not to trim off all its leaves.
FAQ: How to Propagate Tradescantia Zebrina
Can you propagate wandering Jew from a leaf?
Propagation from a stem is the recommended method, giving you better chances of your propagated plant surviving. Propagation from a leaf is not impossible, but it is significantly harder to achieve a healthy plant when using a leaf as opposed to a stem.
Is a Wandering Jew plant a succulent?
Yes! Wandering Jew plants prefer a slightly different environment than most succulents, but they are still classified as a succulent. This is part of the reason they don’t require as much water or fertilizer during the fall and winter months.
Propagating Wandering Jew Final Thoughts
Propagating a Wandering Jew plant is a pretty simple process that even beginner plant owners can do. It’s well worth it to propagate your own plants; who doesn’t want as many clones of the same plant as you want in your home?
Don’t forget to collect the tools you’ll need before you begin, and have fun!
Looking for more houseplant info? We highly recommend our super informative (and FREE!) Houseplants for Beginners Webinar. Check out our community of other plant lovers in our Facebook group. And if you’re looking for handy go-to reference for all your houseplant needs, check out our Houseplants for Millennials book.