Tradescantia spp.

Wandering Dude, Wandering Jew

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The genus Tradescantia consists of around 75, mostly evergreen, herbaceous perennials and is also known by the common names spiderwort and wandering jew. They are typically grown for their attractive, lance-shaped foliage, which is often green striped, with purple colouration and their small 3-petalled blue, pink-purple, sometimes white flowers. Highly valued as ornamental plants, these are grown worldwide and have been widely naturalised, with many hybrids and cultivars produced. They make great, low-maintenance houseplants with an attractive trailing growth habit that suits placement in hanging containers. Some species in this genus are considered weeds in certain locations and most plants in this genus are commonly called Wandering Dude or Spiderwort. Once known by the common name 'Wandering Jew' this name is no longer used by the horticultural world due to its negative connotations. It is provided for historical purposes only.
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Flowering time

Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring


Not usually harvested.



Cover seeds with potting soil/organic matter. Sow in spring or towards the end of autumn.


Take cuttings in the spring in cooler areas/autumn in warmer areas. Stem cuttings roots quickly placed in a smaller pot with moist potting soil in a warm, bright area.


Remove stems with roots and replant to new areas.


Wherever the shoots touch soil, it roots and spreads!

Special features

Pot plant

Plant using potting mix or organic matter. Be careful not to over-water and do not let soil dry out completely, prefers evenly moist soil.

Indoor plant

Also grown as indoor plants with bright, indirect light.

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves



Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture


Soil type

Compost, Loam, Peat

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline, Acid

Frost hardiness




Cultivated as a garden ornamental. It is often grown as a ground cover, mainly for its colourful foliage.




Flower colour

Pink, Purple, Blue, White




Pest and diseases include spider mites. Botrytis disease is the grey rot associated with wet/humid conditions. Can be prevented by drying plants out in between waterings.

Companion plants

Best planted on its own as it can overgrow other plants.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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