Wandering Jews or inch plants are popular ornamental plants due to their vibrant foliage and pretty flowers. These are quite low maintenance but a bit sensitive to different environmental stresses.
Cold stress is one of them and today we’ll discuss this. As per preference, this one is grown both as houseplants and garden herbs.
Wandering jew indoor care might be a bit easier as you can manipulate the surroundings a bit. But what about the ones growing in your garden? Don’t worry, I’m here to take care of it.
Before getting into the article, let’s check some climatic preferences of wandering jews.
Temperature & Climatic Factors
Wandering jews are adapted to warm summers and moderate winters. Sometimes they may survive the scorching hot days but the freezing temperature is a big no for them.
The temperature tolerance of wandering jews lies between 15.5°C to 26.6°C. However, temperature below 4°C and above 32°C is quite challenging for them. Mostly the outdoor grown ones are the major victims.
Coming to the climatic requirements, they grow pretty well in between the USDA zone 9 to 11. The weather is never too extreme here. Also humidity level is quite suitable for growing an inch plant. In such regions wandering jew can live outside and due to their trailing habit, these are used as excellent groundcovers.
Wandering jews prefer high humidity, mostly 70% is necessary for their better growth and development.
Growing wandering Jews in winter
Already I have mentioned that wandering Jews are not that hardy to tolerate extreme cold. But if your region is providing some cool winters still you can give them a try. In the mentioned USDA zones they can flourish beautifully even in winter.
Now, this query must be swirling in your mind Can Wandering Jew live outside in winter? Well, this totally depends on how you handle them. Let me help you with this.
It’s always a wise decision to place your plants in pots even outdoors. This will allow moving them in sudden frost or cold and will cut half of your job in wandering jew winter care.
But what will happen if you have already planted them in the landscape? In such a case you need to provide them with some windshield to keep the wandering jew alive in the winter. On extremely cold and breezy days, you can put some thick poly sheet or cardboard protection on them.
However, if it still becomes challenging to protect them from extreme cold, it’s better to cut some branches and grow them back indoors.
You can also place your wandering Jews on your outdoor balcony with some supporting poles. As they grow, they’ll start climbing up and spreading vines.
In winter wandering jews can suffer from low humidity problems. This can dry up your plant leaves and turn them brown. You can check the other reasons that can result in the same in my article (wandering_jew_leaves_turning_brown.com)
I know it’s quite hard to manipulate humidity outdoors. But here’s a trick. Grow your wandering jews with other plants having a higher transpiration rate. Peace lilies, devil’s ivies, spider plants, and corn plants can help to increase humidity in the surroundings.
Another suggestion would be to grow them under the shades of dwarf palm trees. This will provide both; partial sunlight and some humid conditions for your wandering jews. So, if you have them in your garden, don’t forget to give them a try.
Wherever you grow the wandering jews, consistent watering is needed to cope with the environmental stresses. With proper watering, your plants will be able to compensate for the rapid transpiration loss during low humidity in the environment. As winters are dry weather, you may need to consider this fact so far.
Pests are quite common in winter. Sucking insects like aphids and mites can take over your garden during this time. Though these are not that serious at the initial stage, they can destroy the beauty of your vivid wandering jew foliage.
To protect your plants from such pests, apply the first dose of any garden insecticides at the start of the winter. If pest attack increases, you can put in another dose just after 15 days. This will work fine. Apart from this, organic insecticides like neem oil concoctions can be sprayed right after the appearance of any insect in your garden.
A Splash of Nutrition
Winters are a bit tricky for wandering jews to deal with. To give them a boost you can treat your plants with a dose of fertilizers for regular growth. Such applications should be done during summer or after winter has passed. Leaf shedding causes leggy plants during the winter. Using fertilizers at this time will only encourage the leaf dropping.
In the outdoors, wandering jews are okay with some garden fertilizers. Slow-releasing organic fertilizers also work great. These are not that harsh for your delicate plants. (My recommendation: )
Some growers also swear by fish emulsion and liquid kelps as great nutrition sources. These are effective and also you don’t have to worry about the odors while growing up wandering jews outdoors.
Wandering jews need to be propagated often to manage their spreading nature. Normally plants become leggy during winter. This may raise one concern: will my wandering jew come back every year? Well, it’s normal for them to sprout again after winter.
However, if there is no leaf returning till spring, it’s better to relocate the plants through cuttings. You can prune off some vines and place them in another place to encourage growth. This also works if you are thinking of making your wandering jews bushy. Both pinching off and pruning can help.
Wandering jews can live up to two to three years. So, to keep them alive you have to practise pruning and relocating them often.
Question- Is it hard to grow wandering jews?
Answer- Wandering jews have brilliant adapting capacity. However, it might be a bit tricky to grow them indoors. I would suggest you keep them indoors in the cold winter and outdoors during the rest of the year. If you still wish to grow them outside in winter I have all my suggestions for you above.
Question- Will frost kill my wandering Jews?
Answer- The initial and very first frost can kill the wandering jews. However, still they can be grown in cool winters with proper care and maintenance.
Question- Which one does wandering jews like? Sun or shade?
Answer- Wandering jews mostly prefer full sun to partially shaded conditions for their growth. They flourish under the shades of large trees outdoors during summers. But indoor ones will need full bright yet indirect sunlight.
Wandering jews can tolerate cold only to a certain level. So, it’s always wise to keep them away from extreme cold for longer.
In this article, I’ve discussed how you can help them grow outside during the winter. If they still fail to survive, my recommendation would be to relocate them indoors. Wandering jews can grow happily outdoors the rest of the time.
For any query regarding gardening, come back to my articles. Best of luck.
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