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Tradescantia pallida (Wandering Jew)


Scientific Name

Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D.R.Hunt

Common Names

Wandering Jew


Setcreasea pallida (basionym), Setcreasea jaumavensis, Setcreasea lanceolata, Setcreasea purpurea, Tradescantia purpurea

Scientific Classification

Family: Commelinaceae
Subfamily: Commelinoideae
Tribe: Tradescantieae
Subtribe: Tradescantiinae
Genus: Tradescantia


Tradescantia pallida is an evergreen, perennial plant up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. It is a long-jointed, sprawling groundcover with succulent stems and pointed leaves. They are glaucous green, fringed with red or purple, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The flowers are pale orchid-pink, three-petaled, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide and emerge from curving double bracts at the stem tips.

Tradescantia pallida (Wandering Jew)

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USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Tradescantia is easy and you will find the plants to be quite resilient. These plants typically grow in moist, well-drained and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil. Tradescantias do best in partial shade but will do equally well in sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist.

You can grow Tradescantia indoors too as long as suitable conditions are given. Provide the plant with either a soilless mix or loam-based potting compost and keep it in bright filtered light. You should also pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

Allow it to spend warm spring and summers days outdoors, if feasible. During its active growth, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks. Water sparingly in winter.

These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you are growing them in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and will help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems back about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia


Native to the Gulf Coast region of eastern Mexico.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


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