Tradescantia Fluminensis: The Wandering Gypsy Plant

Ed Wike
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All About The White Spider Weed

Many Names For A Simple Plant

Tradescantia Fluminensis is also known by its many other names, including Wandering Jew, Veronica –Hedgehog”, Creeping Charley, Spikemoss, Trescans, Creeping Charlie, Spiderwort, Windowleaf, Bluewings, Coppertone, Polka Dot Plant, Spider Plant, and most commonly just Tradescantia.

It is a perennial plant with long trailing vines and blue flowers. The leaves vary in size and shape. When young, the leaves are arrowhead-shaped. As the plant matures, it forms rosettes that can grow to 20 cm in diameter.

“Tradescantia is an excellent plant for people who don’t want to have to think about plants. You can simply forget about it for a number of months and then bring it back to life with some water and sunlight.”

Is Spiderwort Invasive?

While the Tradescantia fluminensis plant (a.k.a. Wandering Spiderwort, Traveller’s Joy or Traveller’s Joy Plant) is also referred to as the canna lily and the Mexican wandering Jew, chances are it won’t be running amok around your yard anytime soon.

They are best grown from seed, usually using a cold treatment (stratification) before sowing.

In zones 8-11, Tradescantia is an annual, but it’s generally grown as a perennial elsewhere. Avoid overwatering by letting the soil dry out between waterings. If it grows out of control, you can cut it back. It will regrow but not bloom.

As a perennial, it will go dormant in winter.

Don’t forget to consider whether you have the space to grow this cool plant. It can grow up to 3 feet in a single season, taking the appearance of a feathery wand.

Tradescantia Fluminensis Care Tips

Tradescantia fluminensis is popular in offices because of its favorable care requirements and its ability to tolerate low light without fuss. It is also a good hanging houseplant for beginners.

As a member of the spiderwort family, the wandering gypsy plant prefers humidity and directs its root system downward.

It has waxy, gray-green leaves with white-veined, purple stripes that produce small white flowers from spring to fall. When it blooms, you’ll want to provide more direct light. If you don’t have a spot for it, you can also try to cut the flowers to get the wandering gypsy plant to produce more leaves. The plant doesn’t mind and will bounce right back.

Since the wandering gypsy plant is susceptible to spider mites and fungal diseases, make sure to mist leaves, provide adequate humidity, and keep it out of direct sunlight.

If the plant is in a sunny spot and you notice yellowing leaves, you can move it to a shadier area and mist it more often. In addition to preventing sunburn, misting will keep the plant healthier and prevent toxins it releases when stressed from discoloring the leaves.