The Wandering Jew tradescantia – a popular choice among indoor gardeners! Its silver, purple, and green-striped leaves add a burst of color to any space.
However, like many plants, it can sometimes grow long and leggy, losing its lush, bushy appearance that many enthusiasts desire. Achieving that coveted full and compact look is more than just aesthetics; it’s about the plant’s overall health and vigor.
If you are wondering how to make wandering jew bushy, this guide is tailored just for you.
Dive in and discover the best practices to ensure your plant remains as luxuriant as nature intended. But to start with, let’s know a little about wandering jew plants.
- Wandering Jew Plant – The Overview
- Basic Wandering Jew Plant Care Requirements
- 8 Helpful Techniques for Making Wandering Jew Plants Bushy
Wandering Jew Plant – The Overview
The Wandering Jew plant, predominantly part of the Tradescantia genus, which contains 75 herbeous perennials. Wandering dude is not a single plant and these tradescantia species are collectively know as “Wandering Jew”, “wandering dude” or “inch plants”.
These plants are native to Central and South America and best for USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
Different wandering jew varieties showcase different colors such as Tradescantia zebrina (tricolor), Tradescantia fluminensis (silver),and Tradescantia pallida (purple). The vining growth habit makes it best for growing wandering jew indoors in hanging baskets. While wandering jew is considered invasive plant when grown outdoor.
Though many are captivated by the leaves, wandering jew plant flowers are a delightful bonus, adding another dimension to its appeal.
They are well-suited to many homes due to their similar wandering jew plant care needs. Their easy-going nature and rapid growth characterize these creeping plants, making them excellent choices for hanging basket or pots. While their vibrant foliage is their primary allure, their small flowers can’t be overlooked.
The name “Wandering Jew” encapsulates their propensity to spread, resembling the habit of a creeping plant.
Basic Wandering Jew Plant Care Requirements
The wandering Jew, also known as the inch plant, thrives under specific light conditions. It prefers bright, indirect light to maintain its vibrant foliage and optimal growth.
Direct sun, especially the hot afternoon sun, can be harmful, as it can lead to leaf scorching, causing the plant to display a burnt appearance. Conversely, when exposed to insufficient light, the wandering Jew exhibits leggy growth, stretching towards a light source, and might also suffer a loss of the characteristic variegation in its leaves.
Ensuring that you meet the wandering Jew light requirements is crucial for its health and vitality.
While this plant has the potential to grow impressively tall, reaching heights of up to 14 feet when provided with optimal conditions, it’s essential to protect it from the harsh direct sunlight while still ensuring it receives enough sunlight – bright, indirect light to achieve such majestic growth.
Water wandering jew plants regularly, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. It’s better to err on the side of under-watering than over-watering. Overly saturated soil can lead to root rot. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage.
A well-draining standard houseplant potting mix is essential to grow wandering jew plants. You can use a general-purpose potting mix with a bit of added perlite or sand for improved drainage. Remember to keep the soil evenly moist and the pH of the soil from 5-6.
>>Related Post: Why Is My Wandering Jew Dying – 4 Heartbreaking Reasons!
8 Helpful Techniques for Making Wandering Jew Plants Bushy
If your Wandering Jew seems to be stretching out rather than filling out, don’t fret!
Following is a list of 8 tried-and-true techniques to transform your wandering jew plant from spindly to splendidly bushy. Ready to elevate your green thumb game? Let’s dive in!
#1- Fertilization for Vigorous Growth
For a Wandering Jew that’s not just healthy but also lush and bushy, the right fertilization strategy is essential.
The journey to a fuller Wandering Jew begins with the soil. Incorporating organic compost into the potting mix can work best. This rich, decomposed organic matter not only nourishes the plant but also improves soil texture, promoting robust root growth.
While chemical fertilizers can offer a quick nutrient boost, they often lack the myriad of micronutrients that organic sources provide.
Continual reliance on chemical options can also lead to salt buildup in the soil in these inch plants, which can harm plant roots over time. For those leaning towards a natural approach, enhancing the soil with organic matter provides a slow-releasing, holistic nourishment to the plant.
Additionally, a periodic dose of liquid fertilizer mixed with water ensures a steady supply of essential nutrients, giving your Wandering Jew that desired bushy appearance.
Adding a few leaves in the mulch can be a good idea to add additional nutrients.
#2- Use Grow Lights
Like many houseplants, the wandering Jew can stretch and become leggy if it doesn’t receive enough light.
Grow lights can be a game-changer for wandering Jew plants, especially for those kept indoors or in areas with limited natural sunlight. When positioned correctly, these artificial light sources can mimic the sun’s spectrum, providing the plants with the energy they need to grow vigorously.
By ensuring your wandering dude plants receive enough light, you’re promoting a fuller, bushier growth.
However, it’s important not to overdo it. Just as too little light can be detrimental, too much artificial light can stress the plant, potentially causing leaf burn or yellow leaves in your indoor plants.
#3- Purning the Plant
Pruning wandering jew plants is an essential practice to encourage a bushy growth habit, especially if the plant starts showing signs of weak or leggy growth.
The best time to undertake this task in the growing season – during the spring and summer months when the wandering jews are in their active growth phase.
Before you begin, ensure you have the right tools on hand. Clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears are ideal, as they will make precise cuts without damaging the surrounding plant tissue.
When deciding what to prune, look for stems that appear long and spindly,and dead leaves, as these are indicative of weak growth. Also, keep an eye out for any unhealthy or yellowing leaves. Cutting these away will allow the plant to redirect its energy to healthier growth.
The pruning method to promote a wandering jew plant bushy growth involves cutting back the leggy stems. By doing so, you encourage the plant to branch out, leading wandering jew fuller appearance.
#4- Propagating Wandering Jew
Propagation is a fantastic strategy to boost the density and bushiness of the wandering jew tradescantia.
One of the primary reasons propagation enhances the plant’s bushiness is that when you propagate wandering jew and subsequently plant the new growth back into the main pot, you’re effectively filling in gaps and adding volume.
This can lead to a bushy wandering jew and lusher appearance, turning a once sparse plant into a dense centerpiece.
Propagating Through Stem Cuttings
This is the most popular method of propagation. By snipping a healthy segment of the plant and ensuring it has a few leaves attached, you can cultivate a new plant.
Water Propagating Wandering Jew: Once you have your stem cuttings, water propagation is a straightforward and visually appealing method. Simply place the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone and place it in the container of water, ensuring that a few nodes are submerged. Within a few weeks, you’ll notice roots emerging.
Once these roots have reached a significant length, you’re ready to transfer your wandering jew cuttings back to the main pot or even a new pot if you wish.
Propagation Through Soil: Another method is propagating inch plant in soil, which is a very easy method and it does not involve the rooting hormone. To begin with, cut the stem at 45-degrees angle beneath the leaf node.
Make cuts of 5-6 inches and remove the lower leaves of the stem. Now take a 6-inch container of a hanging basket in which you want to grow wandering jew plant and fill in the standard houseplant potting mix.
Make evenly spaced, 2-inch deep holes in the soil and place the stem cuttings in them with one each. Firm the soil to keep the cutting in place and you are done!
Maintain consistent moist soil and hydrate your wandering dudes stem segments. Position them in a spot that enjoys bright indirect light. In a matter of months, you’ll witness the emergence of a vibrant, lush green plant.
By consistently propagating wandering dude plant and reintegrating the new growth into the main container, you’ll ensure that your inch plant maintains a bushy and vibrant appearance, making it a standout in any indoor garden setting.
#5 Mist the Inch Plant Leaves
Misting the leaves of the wandering jew plant is a beneficial practice to promote bushiness. This added humidity can stimulate growth, especially in indoor settings where the air might be dry.
As the wandering jew plant’s leaves absorb the moisture, the plant often responds by producing more lush, vibrant foliage.
Regular misting can also help in removing dust and other particles from the leaf surface, ensuring they can breathe and photosynthesize more effectively.
By upholding this practice as part of your wandering jew plant care routine, the wandering jew can develop a denser, bushier appearance, enhancing its allure in your indoor garden.
#6- Use of Pebble Tray
Incorporating the use of a pebble tray is a lesser-known yet effective method in the wandering jew care to achieve a bushier appearance.
The pebble tray technique involves placing a tray filled with water and pebbles beneath the pot containing the wandering jew. As the water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant, which the wandering jew, being a tropical species, highly appreciates.
This heightened humidity can simulate the moisture-rich environments these plants are native to, promoting healthier and more robust growth.
Consequently, with regular exposure to such conditions, the wandering jew can exhibit denser foliage and a more luxuriant bushy appearance.
Not only does this method aid in the wandering jew plant’s aesthetics, but it also serves as a natural way to enhance growth without the need for chemical interventions.
#7- Re-potting to Encourage Growth
Re-potting is a critical step in the wandering jew plant care that can significantly encourage its growth and lead to a bushier appearance.
Over time, as the wandering jew grows, its roots can become constricted and bound within the confines of its original container. This can hinder the plant’s overall growth and vitality. By transplanting it into a larger pot with fresh soil, you provide the roots with more room to expand and breathe.
The new soil offers an added boost of nutrients, rejuvenating the plant and fostering healthier, more vigorous growth. As the wandering jew’s roots spread out and become well-established in its new environment, the foliage above will respond with increased lushness and density.
Regularly monitoring your plant and re-potting when necessary ensures that the wandering jew remains vibrant, thriving, and beautifully bushy.
#8- Changing the Plant’s Locations
Adjusting the location of wandering jew plants can be pivotal in achieving that lush, bushy appearance that every gardener desires. While these lovely plants are versatile and can thrive in a variety of settings, they can sometimes get too much sunlight or too little, which can affect their growth pattern.
For instance, direct exposure to harsh sunlight can scorch the wandering jew plant leaves, diminishing their vibrancy and health.
Conversely, insufficient light for wandering jew plants might cause legginess, where the plant stretches towards the light source, resulting in a sparse appearance. Periodically assessing the plant’s health and moving your inch plant to a more suitable location can counteract these issues.
If the environment permits, placing the plant outdoors for a few hours a day can give it a refreshing change, benefiting from natural light and air. However, always ensure your inch plant is shielded from extreme conditions.
In conclusion, achieving a bushy and vibrant Wandering Jew plant involves a combination of proper care and attention to various factors.
By providing the right conditions, including adequate sunlight, regular watering, appropriate fertilization, and attention to environmental factors like humidity and temperature, you can encourage healthy growth and the development of a lush and bushy appearance.
Additionally, occasional pruning and maintenance will help shape the plant and promote lateral branching. With consistent care and patience, your Wandering Jew can transform into a stunning, bushy specimen, enhancing the beauty of your indoor or outdoor space.