Wandering Jew, also known as Tradescantia Zebrina, is a well-known houseplant. It is popular for its wandering stems and bushy growth. It has the quality to make any space look attractive because of its heart-shaped leaves with purple stripes and silvery green foliage. But with all this beauty comes the pain of the wandering jew getting leggy. Most gardeners complain that their wandering jew has started looking droopy and lifeless and ask about how to make wandering jew bushy. Well, the answer is here in this article. So, without further ado, let’s find the secret of the bushy wandering jew.
Why is My Wandering Jew So Leggy?
Leggy wandering jew is quite more common than you think, and all of the reasons for this legginess are due to your everyday carelessness and disregard for the plant. With the proper care and maintenance, you can easily make your wandering jew healthy and bushy. Following are some factors why your wandering jew is getting leggy:
Lack of Light
Lack of light is the greatest nightmare for many plants, and when there’s something wrong with your plant, the first thing you should check is if it is getting proper light. Sometimes, if a wandering jew is put in a darker place where it isn’t getting proper light, its stems stretch to find some light. This causes the wandering jew to get leggy. To avoid this, make sure that your plant is situated in a place where it is getting enough light. Try to change the plant’s direction once a week so all of its sides can get sunlight.
Wandering Jew needs adequate water to grow properly. If it is getting leggy, one of the reasons can be a lack of watering, which makes the soil dry, and the stems move here and there in search of water. To avoid this, water wandering jew until it’s soaking and wait for the soil to dry until watering again. Wandering Jew loves water, and if it doesn’t get its required amount, there is a high chance that it is going to turn leggy. Underwatering and overwatering can also cause a lot of other problems other than legginess to the wandering jew. So be careful whenever you are watering wandering jew to avoid causing problems to this beautiful plant.
Too dry air
Wandering Jew can tolerate low humidity, but no humidity at all can make it leggy. Make sure that the air around the wandering jew isn’t too dry and that there’s always a low percentage of humidity present around it. Using a humidifier isn’t necessary for Wandering Jew. All you need is to put the plant in bright light in a place where it can also get fresh air. The fresh air will help the plant to become less leggy. It will start getting proper air, making its leaves fresh and new.
Also Read: How to Use a Humidifier for Plants?
How to Make Wandering Jew Bushy?
A bushy wandering jew is a beautiful sight to have indoors. Plants lovers are always on the hunt to find the answer about how to make the wandering jew bushy. There are a lot of ways by which you can make wandering jew bushy, and some of them are mentioned below. Let’s take a look at them.
Getting The Right Light
As mentioned above, the Tradescantia zebrina needs proper light arrangements to grow to its full extent. You need to put the plant in a place where it can get indirect bright to moderate light. Putting wandering jew in a dark corner will only make the plant leggy. When you place the plant in the light, remember to change its sides weekly so all of the plants can get equal light. This will surely make the wandering jew bushy.
Also Read: How Much Light Do Indoor Plants Need?
Proper Soil Condition
Wandering Jew can grow in any houseplant potting mix, but it is best if the soil has more organic matter. You should add more organic material, perlite, compost, and peat to ensure that your wandering jew grows bushy.
Be careful with watering.
Do not let the wandering jew be submerged so that the water forms a pool at the bottom. Yes, wandering jew needs adequate water, but you should wait until the water has dried until the next watering. Do not let the soil be dried for a longer period, or else wandering jew won’t become bushy. Also, use a pot with drainage holes to get rid of excess water after a watering session.
Also Read: Do You Need Drainage Holes in Pots?
Pruning and Pinching
Pruning is important for wandering jew as it promotes active growth and makes the plant bushier. The best time to prune the jew is in spring and summer when the plant is rapidly growing. But if your wandering jew has started appearing leggy, you can prune its stems so the plant can get bushy. You should also pinch the tips of the stems of wandering jew to make them bushy.
Place in a bigger pot
Sometimes the pot is too small for a wandering jew that the plant starts appearing leggy and doesn’t get bushy no matter how hard you try. Placing it in a bigger pot appropriate for its size also makes wandering jew become bushier because this way, they can get all of its nutrients and basic needs adequately, without having to fight for it.
Fertilize the right way
Wandering jew typically doesn’t need fertilizer but giving the plant some extra nutrients help in its growth. Most people do not take the right amount of fertilizer for wandering jew in their thoughts and give whatever amount they feel like. Wandering Jew needs to be fertilized in spring through summer as it is its growing season. Giving the fertilizer in winter makes the plant leggy, so don’t do that.
Techniques for Pruning a Wandering Jew
Wandering Jew loves pruning as it promotes healthy and bushy growth. There are some specific tricks and techniques for pruning that everyone should know before pruning a wandering jew as pruning it the wrong way doesn’t always end up good. So let’s take a look at some methods for pruning the wandering jew.
How to Prune a Leggy Wandering Jew?
Following are some steps that you should take into account while pruning a leggy wandering jew to make it bushy:
- All you need is a sterilized and sharp pair of snips to cut off all the leggy stems of wandering jew.
- Cut all the long stems until to the point they are equal to all the tiny stems of the plant.
- Snip all the leggy stems until they get to the bushy part of the plant.
- Make sure that you do not cut the stems until the soil because wandering jew needs a little bit of foliage to regrow.
How to Pinch a Leggy Wandering Jew?
To pinch a leggy wandering jew, you just need to follow the below-mentioned steps so your wandering jew can become bushy.
- Use the thumb and forefinger of your hand to pinch the stems of wandering jew. You can also use mini snipping or precision pruners for this purpose.
- Gently pinch the tips of the stems above the lower node segment to promote growth and make the plant bushy.
- This pinching trick also removes all the spent flowers and helps in making the plant look tidy and clean.
Other Problems with Wandering Jew
Apart from being leggy, wandering jew gets some other problems too, but they are easy to eliminate with little determination and research. Here are some of its most common problems:
Leaves turning yellow or brown
While making the wandering jew bushy, you may detect that the leaves of the plant are getting yellow or brown. Sometimes, the leaves can also start with yellow or brown spots. This is due to underwatering because the plant isn’t getting enough water. Try to water the plant every day with enough water that the soil gets soaked.
Soft spots on stems/leaves
Sometimes leaves or stems of wandering jew also start getting soft spots which make the plant droopy. This is because of overwatering which causes root rot. Immediately cut off the water intake of your plant and wait for the soil to dry.
When the leaves of wandering jew start getting droopy, it is a sign of some problem with the plant. Most times, it is because of low humidity. When you feel like the leaves are droopy, immediately place the plant in bright light where it can get fresh air.
Yellow/brown dust on top of the soil
You may detect yellowish or brown dust on top of the soil of wandering jew that will immediately raise your suspicion. That dust is probably from spray fertilizers. You should change the fertilizer if this ever happens.
Wandering Jew is a gorgeous plant that is a sight for sore eyes, but its legginess can make it look unattractive. This article was for all plant lovers looking for ways to get rid of leggy wandering jew and make it bushy. We hope that you have found your answer in this article.