Wandering Jew

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here is my Wandering Jew, botanically called Tradescantia Zebrina, that I bought from Cameron Highlands (my favourite holiday destination!) in 2006.

The plant has trailing stems that grows pretty quickly. In the beginning, I elevated the pot using a pot stand. The foliage drops down as it grows. Now, I have placed the plant on the ground instead. I always need to train the stems back into the pot in order for the plant to look bushy and not drop downwards.

This purple Wandering Jew likes the sun very much. It has variegated foliage with shiny purple and white stripes leaves. The young leaves are greenish and as they mature, they turn purple.

The plant can be propagated using its stem. I remember that at one time, it bears tiny flowers at the end of its vine but I could not recall the colour now.

The first picture below shows the colour of the leaves when placed under shade with indirect sunlight and exposed to the late afternoon sun. The leaves are deep purple and more shiny than the plant placed outside. When exposed to direct sunlight in the morning and afternoon, the colour turned reddish purple (almost burgundy) as shown in the second picture.

Why is it called Wandering Jew? It may have gotten the name from a Christian folklore figure. The leaves of the plants grows as if they are wandering and perhaps wandering like the Jews when they were in exile as mentioned in the Bible. Hmm… actually the name seems to have a negative connotation
. I would like to think that the person who named this plant did not have any bad intention as nobody who happily discovered such a wonderful plant would want to give it a bad name, right?

In any case, this plant would definitely add an obvious dash of purple to your garden palette. More so when the sun is directly shining on it. It's simply gorgeous!

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  1. hello there Stephanie.
    Hi im Ernesto from sacramento ca lissten great pictures you have a rare cultivar of the Zabrina purple and white variety witch has so far eluded me i have the other types of Zabrina but would love to have the variety you have and i would be willing to trade you some of the other types i have if you please e mail me back at bluie7572@yahoo.com and let me know if you would be interested hope to here back from you thanks Ernesto Gallegos Sacramento ca

  2. Stephanie,

    I have a similar request as Ernesto Gallegos from Sacramento. Would you be willing to send me a cutting of your awesome Wondering Jew? I really do believe this a rare variety because I am unable to locate it anywhere. I don’t really have any cuttings to trade as of yet because all my plants are just starting out, but I do have spider plants I could offer for trade. Or if you’re not interested in trading, I would like to offer to purchase a cutting from you. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Thank you,

    Katie @ josiahkatiebrown@yahoo.com



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