Wandering Jew Plant Outdoors? Yes, It’s Possible!

Ed Wike
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Temperature and Climate Needs

It's one of the best-selling houseplants … it's the Wandering Jew. You can basically place it anywhere, and it will do just fine. But if you’re planning of growing it in your garden or taking it on vacation with you, you'll need to understand how to grow jasmine plants outdoors.

Jasmine is a perennial that’s native to Central and South America, Mexico, and the USA. So, it will be okay if you live in one of those places, but if you live in Canada or your area winters are cold, you will need to check the plant every few days for frost.

If you’re unsure about the size of jasmine plants, keep in mind that they can grow to eight feet. So, it’s important that you have space to grow them in your garden.

Temperature and climate must be ideal, or you can try growing a tropical jasmine plant indoors.

Because jasmine is a tropical plant, it needs humidity and protection from drafts. Make sure it is showered with morning sun, but it should be protected from the afternoon sun. Because of its tropical climate, it needs at least fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

Potted or Ground Planting?

If you are a gardener, you have seen the potential for a Wandering Jew plant to become an unattractive nuisance in your garden. Wandering Jew plants grow quickly, and a good-sized plant can spread to occupy the entire garden in three or four years.

It's not just an issue of "smothering" the plant neighbors. In some cases, the plant itself can be damaged by the Wandering Jew's aggressive growth habit. However, Wandering Jew does have its benefits, even if you choose to grow it as a pot plant. In the garden, Wandering Jew is an excellent ground cover, and its growth habit is not invasive if you contain it in a bed or basket.

As a container plant, Wandering Jew will create a beautiful display much longer, from spring through September or October.

Maintaining Wandering Jew Plant Outdoors

Like many wanderer-suited indoor plants, wandering jew (Acremonium scandens) can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11.

It is also called a wandering Rhipsalis or diamond cactus because of the way its small branches twist and turn. It is extremely versatile and will grow nearly any place that you can imagine.

It can be grown both in dry and humid conditions and in nearly all types of soil. Wandering jew plant does not need rich soil and in fact will do much better in soil that drains extremely well.

Wandering jew can be started from seeds but most people prefer to use a cutting. Wandering jew is very easy to propagate. You can use almost any part of it as a cutting, but the best part is the small section of a stem containing the nodes, or the bumps on the trailing stems at which new roots and leaves form. With a sharp knife, cut a piece containing a few nodes. Trim off any leaves below the nodes and place the cutting in a small container of potting soil kept in a warm, well-lit area. Check your container daily and water whenever the soil in the potting mix feels dry to the touch.

What About Wildlife?

Before planting Wandering Jew outdoors, it’s a good idea to give it a try indoors first. When you decide to plant it outdoors, keep in mind that it’s a tropical plant; so, it’s going to need a warm, southern exposure.

Although you can’t plant Wandering Jew in the ground in the winter in USDA hardiness zones 7 and above, you can plant it in pots that are large enough for it to grow into, so you’ll need two pots, at least 12 inches wide. If you live in USDA zones 6 or below, you can plant it in the ground in a bed that’s designed to be warm. You can also keep it on your back porch, but you need to protect it from the frigid temperatures outdoors. Use a heated seed mat that creates a 28- to 32-degree Fahrenheit temperature to keep it alive until you can move it into a properly exposed outdoor spot.

If you live in an area that has wildlife, you also need to think about protecting your plant from deer, rabbits, and other creatures that like to munch on Wandering Jew.