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House Plants/purple wandering jew


QUESTION: hi Darlene i read that purple wandering jew rarely flowers is that true? i had a purple wandering jew flower before but i lost it due to inproper watering. i got another purple wandering jew growing in hydroponics it hasent flowered yet also i heard that male plants only flower is that true? how can you tell if its male female and its age. i got several stem cuttings in a vase im trying to tie them all together but they keep breaking any ideas? iv had this plant for a yr now. thank you for your time

ANSWER: Hi Cynthia,

I am not Darlene so I don't know why she did not respond to your question, which just now came to my attention. I assure you that I would have responded sooner if you had directed it to me.

However, I first need to know whether you have a purple Tradescantia Zebrina or a Setcreasea purpurea. They are very different plants, but both are commonly called purple wandering Jew.

I look forward to your reply.

~Will Creed, Houseplants Expert

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hi will
i dont know how i sent the email to the wrong person sorry about that im getting a bit annoyed that several people wont awnser my question its nice to have someone awnser back anyways i have a tradescantia zebrina plant thank you for your time

Hi Cynthia,

Your Zebrina is certainly capable of flowering regularly regardless of color. There are no male and female plants of this species.

There are several factors that help promote flowering. First, it must be kept potbound to flower. People mistakenly believe that plants need lots of pot room to grow faster and larger. That is not the case. Plants generally put their energy into filling pots with roots and that is at the expense of foliage and flower growth. Keeping plants in pots that are too large is the primary cause of root rot. Perhaps that is what happened to your other Zebrina.

Second, it must have at least a couple of hours of direct sunlight every day. In fact, the more direct indoor sun it receives, the more profusely it will flower.

Finally, mature plants flower more than freshly potted new plants or cuttings, so patience is required.

If your cuttings are breaking easily, it is probably due to their having been grown in weak light. When you take cuttings, use only top cuttings with no more than 3 sets of leaves per cutting.

In the future, if you direct your indoor plant questions directly to me, I will respond promptly and professionally.

I have written a detailed article on repotting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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