The Wandering Jew is a beautiful vining house plant that has green heart shaped leaves with purple stripes and a silvery sheen. Depending on the variety, the leaves can be solid or variegated. Blooms are small with three petals and can be violet or white.
Wandering Jews thrive best in bright, but indirect sun light. The brighter the light that you provide for your plant, the more flowers it will produce. The plants deep colors will look faded if the plant doesn’t receive enough light.
These plants are happy as long as they’re not kept soaked or allowed to be completely dry too long, evenly moist is the best. If the soil is dry 1/2 inch down then the plant should be watered.
General purpose potting soil will work for Wandering Jews, but they prefer a rich soil that is organic. However, it must retain water while draining well. Sand, Perlite or peat moss can be added to help with aeration.
To make your own soil mixture, add equal parts of coarse sand or Perlite, peat or humus and garden soil together and lightly dust with lime.
A water soluble fertilizer can be used twice each month during the growing season, but should be mixed at half strength. Slow release fertilizers can be added to the soil on a yearly basis.
Wandering Jews are easily propagated from stem cuttings. Place stems in water until roots form and then plant in potting soil. Stems can also be placed on top of soil and secured until they take root while still on the mother plant.
In some people and animals, skin irritation can occur when coming in contact with the sap from the plant.
Pruning the long vines will promote a bushier, fuller plant. The cuttings can then be placed in water to form roots and start new plants.
Common Name: Wandering Jew, Chain Plant, Purple Heart Plant
Plant Type: Perennial
Origin: South America
Blooming Time: Year round
Color: Green, purple, silver
Insects and Diseases: Aphids, scale, mealy bugs
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved