How to Care for a Zebrina Plant

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Zebrina (Tradescantia zebrina), also known as “inch plant” or “wandering jew,” is a versatile and easy care plant. Boasting variegated purple and green leaves with silvery stripes, it’s one of the most beautiful plants you’ll find, and we love it so much that we used Zebrina leaves to hand stamp the shape for our logo!

How much light does a Zebrina need?

Zebrina loves light and can tolerate all day lighting in a home environment. We advise bright but indirect light to avoid sunburn damage to the leaves. The more natural sunlight a Zebrina gets, the more purple its leaves will be!

How much water does a Zebrina need?

Zebrina, like our other foliage plants, should be watered when the soil begins to dry out. Keep the top inch of soil moist, which usually means watering once a week. In more humid conditions, you may need less frequent watering, and if it’s hot or dry, you may need to water more often.

If your Zebrina starts to droop, it probably needs water. Check your Zebrina regularly until you get a feel for its natural watering needs in your home. Zebrina also likes humidity, so it’s a great plant for the bathroom where it can enjoy the steam from your shower.

Does a Zebrina need fertilizer?

You may choose to fertilize your Zebrina during its natural periods of growth in the spring and summer. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and fertilize with water every other week. You don’t need to fertilize in the cooler months when the plant is naturally in a resting phase.

What is the best temperature for a Zebrina?

We recommend keeping Zebrina at average room temperature between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit like our other foliage varieties. Keep it safe from drafts and vents, as changes in temperature can shock it and cause damage.

Common Zebrina problems

Overwatering

Overwatering your Zebrina plant can lead to root rot, a common issue with overwatering. If your soil is soupy or soggy, it’s overwatered and you need to cut back. Allow the soil to stay moist, but not wet. Pour out any excess water from the pot and let your soil dry out a little before watering again. If your roots are damaged, you may need to re-pot in a well-draining potting mix to get your roots out of their overwatered soil.

Spider mites

Zebrinas aren’t prone to many pests, but they may get spider mites (teeny tiny arachnids that lay their eggs on leaves and eat plant tissue). To avoid mites in the first place, keep the humidity high (spider mites like it dry). If you find mites on your plant, try rinsing your Zebrina under running water to remove the mites, or upgrade to an insecticide from your local garden center if the infestation is recurring.

Spindly growth

Over time, your Zebrina can get leggy or spindly, meaning it grows vines without many leaves and can look a little unkempt. It’s okay to prune back your Zebrina’s growing vines - simply pinch and remove them, and your Zebrina will start to grow bushier.

Got questions?

We are here for you! If you have a Zebrina, show us a pic on Instagram when you tag @wild_interiors. We’re here to help answer all your Zebrina questions.


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