Is Tradescantia Zebrina Poisonous

Tradescantia zebrina may be poisonous.


The varied colors on the leaves of all Tradescantias, including Wandering Jew Plants, must get sufficient of light to be vibrant; if conditions are too dark, they will fade.

The problem of “too much light” is luckily primarily restricted to sites that are overly exposed during the summer. On the other hand, if too much light is delivered, the ultimate result is leaf scorching. You only truly run the danger of this if you let your plants spend the summer outside because this is fairly difficult to offer indoors anyhow.

They must be planted where they receive plenty of light while being shielded from very hot sun.


The Wandering Jew will survive droughts and the occasional bit of water logging, as you would expect from any hard to kill houseplant.

However, try to avoid this irresponsible watering method whenever you can because a beautiful plant needs to be watered properly. The advice given here is straightforward: during the warmer months, water your Tradescantia plants liberally and frequently to try to maintain moist soil for the majority of the time. Reduce immediately in the winter because growth will slacken or cease entirely and hence, there won’t be as much need for water.


You don’t need to worry too much about humidity because the leaves are nearly succulent-like. However, if you start to notice the leaves starting to wilt or brown leaf tips beginning to develop, it will be worthwhile to mist the plant. Tradescantia can also be grown in an indoor bottle garden.


How often and how much to feed Wandering Jew Plants is a subject of intense debate. Some will advise frequent, heavy feeding, possibly as much as every other watering, while others would advise feeding very occasionally, at most once or twice a year, to prevent the variegated leaves from becoming green. In actuality, this plant can survive with practically anything you give it—or don’t give it.


Give your plant typical temperatures for speedy growth; a place that’s cooler, at around 10 C (50 F), is also acceptable. In reality, prolonged exposure to frost or extremely cold temperatures is the only thing that should be avoided. Frost will inflict significant harm, and cold temperatures will discolor the leaves.


Although it’s recommended to repot this plant once a year to allow the roots a bit more room to expand, it will still thrive if left in the same soil for years. This is useful if you want to grow it in a hanging basket because they can be challenging to work with and tricky to upsize.

When you do repot, though, regular potting soil is a fantastic option; just be sure to stay away from mixes that contain a lot of manure and avoid using plain dirt from your yard.


Only the Spider Plant is simpler to use and more dependable when it comes to Wandering Jews. Both Spider Plants and the Wandering Jew have a success rate of around 98 percent, so it is still relatively simple to grow more plants.

No sophisticated heat mat, containers, or techniques are required. No rooting hormone is required; all you need to do is insert the cutting a few millimeters into new potting soil, hydrate it thoroughly, and you’re ready to go. We assure you that once you know what you’re doing, it’s very simple. A breakdown of each stage is provided below.

Because mature plants’ stems are highly brittle, a careless bump or deliberate snip on an existing plant will result in a stem cutting of the wandering jew plant that is almost ready to use.

If you want to replicate a bushy appearance, you don’t need to wait for the freshly cut end to dry out; you can simply press it into some soil (even in the same pot where it was growing previously). However, simply replanting the giant stem could be considered wasteful because a broken stem, like the one in the picture, can easily be divided into three separate plants.

In the image above, three strong stems have blue rings drawn around them. Ideally, for quicker results, you’ll want a cutting that is several inches long and has several leaves already in place. Snip them off, making sure each is an inch long and has at least one leaf.

Trim off any leaves that are on the lower portion of the cuttings since they will soon rot if they come in contact with the soil, which could lead to the failure of the entire cutting. Remove the lower leaves instead, and throw away any extra material.

The results of the aforementioned instructions are shown below in three cuttings that were made from the original large one and are now prepared for planting.

Simply place the stem ends into a container filled with potting soil or compost after moistening it. In order to encourage root growth, the cuttings must have adequate soil contact and be sufficiently sturdy and fastened in place.

Pro Tip: Because propagation is so simple, it’s usually more efficient to take multiple cuttings and place them all in one pot. Cuttings take time to grow bushy and fill a pot on their own.

Although typical cuttings root with a very high likelihood regardless of whether you add a rooting hormone, don’t bother.

Cuttings grow considerably more successfully if they are placed away from one another and closer to the container’s boundaries as opposed to directly in the middle. By doing this, you can prevent rotting and encourage root growth because the outside corners of the pot are typically warmer than the center.

Once the plant is in situ, keep it warm and the soil moist (but not damp or soggy). In just a few weeks, fresh growth ought to emerge. You can just push in fresh cuttings as needed to make it bushier if you opted to grow numerous cuttings in a single pot and you later detect any gaps.

If you’d prefer, you can grow each cutting separately in its own pot, but by grouping several together as in the picture above, this pot will be totally covered in new growth in only a few months. All of these cuttings will have cohesively knitted together to create the appearance of one whole plant when there are actually multiple ones. If you choose to use one stem cutting per pot, this process could take up to a year.

Speed of Growth

When temperatures are warm, Wandering Jew Plants grow quickly. If adequate light levels are available and its watering demands are met, it may grow as much as an inch each week throughout the growth seasons.

If you’re not growing this in a hanging basket or you want to produce a nice, compact-looking plant, you must constantly prune to maintain it in order. Don’t forget that the clipped stems can be used to propagate new plants.

Height / Spread

This plant will never grow taller than 6 inches (15 cm), however each stem has the potential to grow to a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters). Of course, if you want a spread that will trail down from a hanging basket positioned high up, this style of arrangement can be what you’re looking for. However, by often pinching out the growing tips, the stems can always be kept shorter.


Another indoor plant, the Wandering Jew Plant, is planted more for its leaves than for its blooms, which can nonetheless give a charming touch when they bloom. These plants can produce tiny pink or purple blooms at any time of the year, although late spring and early summer are when they are most likely to bloom.

Although inch plants aren’t often planted for their blooms, they occasionally bloom inside.

Are Tradescantia Plants Poisonous?

Tradescantia is generally only very moderately harmful to both people and animals. While the sap in the leaves and stems poses little risk when consumed, it can hurt skin if it comes into contact with it, especially in people with sensitive skin or allergies. If you rapidly wash your hands after handling, you shouldn’t experience any problems.

Anything else?

Convinced that you must have done something wrong because your plant is looking worn out, lanky, and unsightly, you Google “Wandering Jew care instructions” to see if you can find a solution. Since this “appearance” is unavoidable, as any seasoned owner of this plant will tell you, the answer you find will be essentially the same everywhere.

The vines expand swiftly and widely. The elder leaves eventually turn yellow and fall off, giving them the appearance you think you’ve produced through improper care, even though this isn’t frequently the case. What has essentially happened is that the plant has spread out from the pot it was growing in.

Start over by taking cuttings, and the following time, prune more often to encourage everything to stay close together, compact, and organized.

Are cats poisonous to Tradescantia zebrina?

I have a wandering jew plant, which is among my favorite indoor plants. Tradescantia zebrina, fluminensis, and pallida are some of its alternate names.

I need to know whether of my indoor plants are potentially dangerous or toxic because I love plants and cats.

The plant’s stems contain sap that will irritate your cat’s digestive system. It’s significant to highlight that eating the leaves typically has no adverse effects. However, there’s also no reason to take a chance when a certain portion of the plant is poisonous.

Does Tradescantia zebrina make dogs sick?

When I first started collecting plants, every garden center had this tiny purple trailing plant that went by a gazillion different names. I bought one because it was attractive and had the scientific name Tradescantia.

I went to the ASPCA toxicity website and discovered a wealth of diverse material there. Is Tradescantia harmful to animals? Is it secure? Nobody truly is aware. The plant was not regarded as safe when it was listed under the politically incorrect term “wandering jew” (which has since been formally changed to “wandering dude,” which is significantly better). Once more, I looked for “Tradescantia flumeninsis,” and this time it was secure. I eventually gave up, handed the plant to someone, and forgot about them until I recently discovered the following:

Beautiful, isn’t she? A “Tradescantia nanouk” is yet ANOTHER Tradescantia variant. And yet another where we think about toxicity. It’s annoying, isn’t it? Well, I made the decision to write a blog post about it because I, like you, needed to know what was happening.

What Exactly are Tradescantia?

First off, Tradescantia is a kind of spiderwort, a term that is familiar to most people. Spiderwort is a typical outdoor perennial trailing plant with a dull appearance. Tradescantia are all members of the Commelinaceae family. The purple and green variegated Tradescantia zebrina, often known as an inch plant, is the most prevalent plant I encounter. Yes, it’s a new name. There are dozens of different variations and color combinations of the Tradeascatia zebrina alone. Really, there are too many names. This needs to be handled by someone.

What makes names so numerous? I don’t know the answer; the question was more rhetorical.

Is Tradescantia Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

It’s a resounding yes after several Google searches, vetted talks, and triple-checking sources. Technically speaking, Tradescantia is slightly poisonous to cats and dogs of all breeds.

If you’re familiar with my site, you know that I always err on the side of caution and identify a plant as toxic if it belongs to the same family as another plant that is both toxic and nontoxic. Why risk it, you could ask? Right. This situation follows the same rule. If I am aware that Tradescantia zebrina is poisonous but flumeninsis is not, I will simply state that it is poisonous.

What sort of toxin are we referring to? a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. If ingested, as Harlequinn has done before, there is a possibility of developing dermatitis, a skin condition. Every animal is unique, but if a bored cat eats a lot of this plant, you should expect some mild pain in some form.

These plants trail, making it simple to keep them out of paw reach. To prevent pillaging, swatting, and chewing, ingenious solutions include hanging pots and employing carts or shelves. Cats have plenty of free time.

Types of Tradescantia

Here is a list of the Trescantia varieties that can be most frequently found in big-box retailers and garden centers. This is an excellent introduction list but by no means an exhaustive list.

Is zebrina poisonous to people?

Bright indirect light is preferred by your Tradescantia above direct light. The leaves will fade from a lack of light.

When the soil is dry in the top 50 to 75 percent, water your Tradescantia. Pour water into the pot until it begins to drain through the drainage hole at the bottom, then drain any excess water into the saucer.

Your Tradescantia would thrive in your bathroom or kitchen because it prefers a little more humid climate. Feel free to often mist your plant. The leaves will begin to brown if the humidity is too low.

From spring through fall, fertilize once a month using a general-purpose indoor plant fertilizer that has been diluted to half strength. Make sure the soil is moist before adding any type of fertilizer.

Both people and pets are slightly poisoned from your tradescantia. Ingestion may irritate the stomach and mouth.

Long vines can be pruned back to promote branching and boost plant fullness. Simply “pinch” off the stem at the joint or the fragile new growth at the stem’s end to do this.

Can you eat Tradescantia zebrina?

It’s possible that you’ve heard that Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) is edible, but this is untrue.

This mistake stems from the fact that the plant shares its popular name, spiderwort, with a few edible species belonging to the same genus.

In actuality, Tradescantia Virginiana and Tradescantia ohiensis, the plants that share its common name, have edible flowers, stems, and leaves while Wandering Jew (and a few other plants in this genus that are similar) have very irritating sap.