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Who Knew I had a Wandering Jew?

May 22, 2007 by Jocelyn

I have been going completely crazy for the past week or so, just waiting for the day when I can take my plants outside for good! We’ve had golf ball sized hail, rain, and snow all in the last week. I don’t know what the heck Mother Nature is thinking, but this just isn’t funny anymore! Anyhow, all of my summer outdoor plantings have been put on hold for another week or two, and I have been left to amuse myself with my houseplants. Which brings me to this goofy situation.

Long story short, I have this plant that I had gotten from the local University greenhouse last summer, and didn’t know what it was called. It is really beautiful; green leaves with purple on the undersides of them. So I looked up the identification for it on Google, and managed to find that it is called a Wandering Jew. Aside from the strange name, I was happy to know more about the plant I had been keeping for so long.

Now, I kind of feel like a nerd admitting this (because now I know I was totally wrong), but I had my Wandering Jew plant staked up. For some reason, I recall the plant that I had gotten mine from at the greenhouse was quite tall. Anyways, my plant was only staked up about 12 inches high, but the taller part of it was just hanging- it wouldn’t stand up. So I called upon the professional opinion of my peers on the UBC Botanical Garden forums. After writing out a lengthy, and what I thought was an informed post, the first reply I got back told me that “Wandering Jews are hanging basket plants…”. Honestly, I was totally embarrassed. But anyways, I just took his advice and let my plant hang. I rested the largest part of the plant on the table so it could get used to hanging, but of course I got home from work to find it had broken off. Apparently it had just gotten used to being staked up and couldn’t take the pressure of hanging.

I was really sad that the biggest part of my colorful plant was busted. The rest of it (only a few short stems) was fine, and had no problems with hanging. But luckily for me, Wandering Jews are very easy to propagate. I know this because many pieces of it have been broken off before. All I have to do is stick them back in the dirt, and they will root after a while. With this large stem, I just stuck it in a cup of water to root first, as it is too heavy to just stick in the dirt without roots.

So for right now, I’m just waiting for it to take root so I can repot it in a hanging basket this time. I am actually really excited about this plant, because it has been growing very quickly in the past few months. I will be taking it outside over the summer (if it ever decides to get here), and will hopefully see some little pink blooms on it again.


2 Comments »

  1. I like this plant too! I even devoted a post to it:
    http://wickedgardener.blogspot.com/2007/05/purple-queen-purple-heart.html

    The cuttings of this plant even grow on the compost pile!

  2. sally says:

    They won’t root for me! I have tried EVERYthing. I strip off the lower leaves. I put them in water. Nothing. What AM I doing wrong???

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