Tradescantia (sometimes known as Wandering Jew) is a lovely easy to care for plant and has tonnes of different varieties!
They’re really easy to propagate too! If you want to grow a new little one, add some new stems if you’re looking to repot or they make an awesome gift to friends!
To start, you’ll need a stem that’s at least a few inches long. This is one that broke off during transit and so I thought I’d use it to show you how to make sure any broken stems aren’t wasted.
Firstly, remove the bottom few leaves, the roots will appear from the leaf nodes – where leaves meet the stem. It’s helpful to leave a few leaves on at the top so the plant can absorb sunlight and they help to hold the plant nicely in a jar.
If you have a fancy propagation beaker or setup, amazing! If not, you don’t need any expensive equipment, you can just use an old jar or bottle. Here, I’m using an old jam jar – putting a small stem in one of these can mean it submerges in the water, which isn’t what I want. So I’ve used a technique I’ve taken from the floristry side of my business and created a tape grid across the top of the jar. This holds the stem (and flowers, in a vase) exactly where you want it to stay and gives you a smaller space to work with! Fill with clean water, pop your stem in (after a nice clean chop at the bottom) and off you go!
Like a lot of propagation (see my Chinese Money Plant and Pothos ones), they can be grown one of two ways. The first is in water, the second in soil. I’ll be showing you how to grow in water but you can follow the same steps to grow in soil, you just pop it into the soil, rather than the water! I prefer water because I can see the roots growing and decide when I think the plant is strong enough to go into a pot (it’s also super satisfying watching them grow!). When growing in soil, it’s considered that the roots will grow stronger than in water, but I’ve never had a problem with this method
You’ll start to see tiny white roots appearing from the stem. You need to ensure these are kept underwater so you may need to top the water up every now and again. In a few weeks, the roots will start to be bigger.
At this point, you can start considering planting up in a small pot and waiting for it to grow! It can feel like forever waiting for your first few to start growing but I promise, after they start, you’ll have a gorgeous big plant before you know it.