Wandering Jew Leaves Curling (3 Most Common Reasons)

Wandering Jew is not the name of a single plant, it is a common name for several other plants in the genus Tradescantia. It also has some common names such as Wandering Jew plant, inch plant, and flowering inch plant. The scientific names of these plants are Tradescantia zebrine and Tradescantia fluminensis.

The beauty of Wandering Jew is its blue heart-shaped leaves with purple or silver stripes. The flowers of this plant are small in size with 3 petals. The main colors of the flowers are white and purple. In many areas of the world, the Wandering Jew is listed as an invasive plant.

However, based on its strong growth, easy to grow, easy of survive, and does not require much care, this plant has been favored by many people. When growing them, one of the problems that you face often is Wandering Jew leaves curling. Why do their leaves roll in? How to remedy this situation? Find out more in the article below.

Wandering Jew Leaves Curling – Top 3 Most Important Reasons

Wandering Jew leaves to curl or droop and change color can be caused by a variety of reasons. However, you need to pay attention to the 3 most common causes such as light intensity, soil quality, and water problems. They are the leading cause of plant imbalance in nutrients, light, or moisture. From there, the leaves and stems will begin to droop, wilt and die. Here are 3 common causes that you need to be aware of.

wandering jew leaves curling

Light Intensity Is Too High

Wandering Jew will grow and thrive best in warm, moderate, indirect light. This plant will grow well, with leaves with many vibrant colors and flowers if the light is filtered and reduced in direct intensity.

High-intensity direct sunlight can easily burn leaves from the edges and spread to the entire leaf. When the leaves lose a large amount of water, they will tend to curl up to minimize the area exposed to direct sunlight.

Long hours of direct sunlight will break down water storage cells and cause them to deteriorate. From there, the structure of the leaves is also damaged and looser. However, if you place the Wandering Jew pot in a place that lacks sunlight, the leaves of this plant will fade and lose their beauty.

How to fix and prevent

  • You need to move the potted plant to a cool area and out of direct sunlight for the next few days.
  • Water continuously whenever the ground is dry.
  • Water the entire leaf, stem, and soil until the water drains out of the drainage hole.
  • Keep plants in an area with indirect sun for a few hours each day.
  • You should place the potted plant in an area about 1-2 meters from the window and have a curtain to block direct sunlight.
  • Remove browned leaves and burn the entire leaf as they will not be able to recover.
  • Regularly check the recovery rate and add water in time so that the plant can transport water to all cells.

Unsuitable Soil Quality

Each type of plant has a different soil quality requirement. If you plant plants with the wrong soil, no matter how well you take care of them, they will still get sick and can’t grow well.

Wandering Jews can grow and develop well in soil conditions that are not too wet and not too dry. Soil that is too wet will prevent weak roots from developing well. From there, they will rot and rot. In particular, too wet soil also creates favorable conditions for fungi to grow and attack the roots of plants. You can make your quality soil by mixing a mixture of perlite, peat soil, and garden soil. Don’t forget to mix in some organic or slow-release fertilizer.

How to fix and prevent

  • You should choose loose, well-drained soils that have enough nutrients from organic compounds or fertilizers.
  • Plant plants in pots with at least one drainage hole and clean them regularly to avoid clogging.
  • Add gravel or perlite to the pot to create openings for better drainage and air circulation.
  • If you find root rot, you need to check the entire root.
  • Use sterilized scissors to remove rotten branches and clean the entire root system.
  • Remove old soil and pots or clean them to remove harmful fungi and bacteria.
  • Plant the plants back into the new soil and water them until the roots are deeply embedded in the soil.
  • How to make a solution to kill fungus: Mix ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap into 500 ml of water.
  • Soak the entire roots for 1 minute before re-potting them.
  • Use these solutions in diluted form if the plants are small.
  • Spray the solution on the leaves and clean it regularly to remove parasitic fungal spores on the leaves.

Improper Watering

Water is one of the most important elements in plant care. Improper watering is also the leading factor causing plant death or retardation. Each plant species has different water needs, so you need to learn about the water needs of each plant at different times of the year.

Wandering Jew is a plant that prefers just the right amount of water, not too much and not too dry. However, they can still manage to survive in wet soil conditions but cannot live in arid environments. Over-watering causes frequent waterlogging, which also causes the leaves of this plant to droop, roll, or rot. Soil that is too wet is what causes the leaves to yellow, turn brown, and droop as they soften.

How to fix and prevent

  • You need to check the soil moisture before watering using a moisture meter or with your finger. Anytime the ground is more than a finger dry, you should water it.
  • Make sure the pot always has drainage holes and works well when you water too much at once.
  • Occasionally, you can mist your plants in the morning to provide the necessary moisture.
  • Do not water at night because wet leaves will create conditions for fungal growth.
  • Water less during the winter months as the plants need less water during the winter than usual.
  • Prune leaves to limit frequent watering if the plant is too dense and large.
  • The best time to prune leaves and branches is in spring or summer. It is a period of intense growth and development of plants, so they will quickly adapt.
  • You should only prune ¼ parts of the entire plant to avoid undue stress such as loss of volume, loss of sap, and open wounds that lead to insect attack.
  • You prune old leaves and old branches at the base to help the tree exchange gas better.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wandering Jews

Here are some questions you may be interested in as you learn about this plant. We have listed some of the most common questions people have asked in the past.

Can Wandering Jews Live In The Water Forever?

Wandering Jews can live in water for a while, but they cannot live in water forever. The ideal environment for this plant is still soil and nutrients for long-term growth and increase in size. If you grow this plant in water for a long time, the roots will become weak, thin, and unable to adapt to the soil environment. Root systems in water are less likely to absorb nutrients than they are in soil.

What Is The Most Ideal Environment For Growing Wandering Jews?

The ideal medium is a soil mix that is loose, not too wet, has organic nutrients, and is well drained. In addition, this plant prefers indirect sunlight and does not tolerate intense direct sunlight for many hours. Proper watering will also help this plant grow and develop better.

Is Wandering Jew An Indoor Or Outdoor Plant?

Wandering Jew are tropical vines, so you can grow them both indoors or outdoors. However, they will grow and do better if you plant them in indirect sunlight such as in your home, office, or hallway. If you want to grow them outdoors, plant them under large trees out of direct sunlight. In addition, you also need to prune regularly to avoid encroachment of this plant with other plants.

Is The Wandering Jew Plant Poisonous Or Toxic?

Wandering Jew can be toxic to pets because their plastic contains dangerous ingredients. However, the level of danger does not lead to death. The sap can also be irritating to humans’ skin with sensitive skin. Small pets and children may experience itchy skin, excessive hair loss, and other secondary infections.


Wandering Jew is an easy-to-grow plant that doesn’t require regular care. They prefer indirect sunlight, well-drained soil and proper watering according to the time of year.

The phenomenon of their leaves curling, drooping or turning color can stem from 3 main causes such as direct sunlight, poor soil quality and waterlogging due to over watering. To overcome this situation, you should plant the plant in a pot with drainage holes, indirect sunlight and water when you have checked the moisture in the soil.

Leave a Comment