The beautiful purple foliage of Wandering Jew loves hanging under a tree during summer here in Alabama, but it’s a tender plant and simply cannot take cold and the frost will kill it. Being the thrifty gardener that I am, I like to try to save it each fall so that I don’t have to buy another one next summer.
If your home has lots of light, you can just bring the plant inside to overwinter it, and of course if you have a greenhouse it could also live there. But what if your house is dark? What if you don’t have a greenhouse? What if you have no room for a 2 foot diameter basket full of Wandering Jew? Just how do you overwinter Wandering Jew?
My hanging basket is large. It is approximately two feet in diameter. No room in my house is big enough for me to take the whole basket inside. Someday I hope to glass in my screened-in deck and make it into my office/sunroom. THEN I will fill it with tropical plants. And a
daybed desk. But what to do while I am waiting to hit the lottery?
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SAVE THE PLANT:
I put a couple of sturdy cup hooks in the ceiling of my basement near the small windows and I hang my basket there for the winter. There is not enough sunlight to keep it full and beautiful, but there is enough to keep it alive,
If I remember to water it. It will get long and leggy and ugly, but it will survive even though it’s not heated down there. And come next spring when I take it back outside, it only takes some strategic pinching back and it a couple of weeks it will be gorgeous again. And DON’T throw those pinched pieces away! Stick them in the dirt and you’ll have instant new plants!
Just in case I forget to water the huge basket hanging in the basement, it is best to have a backup plan to overwinter my wandering jew plant. Pinch off all the long hanging pieces of the wandering jew and strip the leaves from the lower 6-10 inches so that it has a bare stem. Place these pieces in a container of water. They will grow roots all along that stem and be ready for planting when you are.
Mine go into an antique rooting vase, but any container will do. Rooting vases are usually clear glass so that you can witness the miracle of growing roots! You can use a canning jar, any vase, or you can purchase a cute one like these:
WIWAPLEX Hanging Glass Terrariums, Pack of 4 Heart, Star, Mushroom, Diamond Shape Glass Hanging Hydroponic Vase for Indoor Plants House Ornaments, Courtyard or Veranda (3 Foot Hanging String Included)
3-Glass Boiling Flask-Style Flower Vases with Rustic Wood & Metal Tabletop Stand
START NEW POTS:
Just to be triple sure that I still have wandering jew next year, I also pinch off some pieces and stick them in a small flower pot that CAN sit in my house near a window. Again, they won’t stay full and beautiful because they just won’t get enough sunlight in my dark house. But they will live and be ready to move outside come next March.
Such a beautiful EASY plant!
long as you remember to water.
Wonder what to do after winter is over? Especially if you forgot to water it during the winter months…. Read How to Rejuvenate your Overwintered Wandering Jew.