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looking for a houseplant clipping - wandering jew

 
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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For the last couple of years I've had my eye out for a purple leaved wandering jew.  Just a houseplant.  Something from my younger days. 

I finally saw one for sale yesterday, but the leaves were about three or four times bigger than what I recall.  Asked somebody and they said that for the last three years all they have received in stock are the ones with the bigger leaves. 

Maybe somebody has one with smaller leaves and I might get a cutting?

 
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I know someone with one, I will see about getting a cutting but I am not sure if it is big leaved or not in comparison to what you are after.
 
            
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Location: Louisville, KY
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Hey Paul--

I can get a clipping for you here in Seattle. 

The particular plant I have in mind was itself cultivated from a clipping.  The parent plant had much smaller leaves than did the propagated version.  I don't know if that was due to the fertilizer I used while propagating or if that's just what happens when one propagates this particular plant from clippings. 

And it is the purple variagated variety (as shown on p. 167 of Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon--Revised edition). Or here, if the link works:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v149/adamsmom/My%20Plants/Tradescantia/MVC-156S.jpg

--Will
 
paul wheaton
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That is the one with the bigger leaves. 

Maybe I'm just being silly.  Maybe it is the same plant, only when I had mine in college I was torturing it somehow so that the leaves were smaller and the stems between the leaves were longer.

 
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"Wandering Jew" is one of those common plant names that is sometimes referred to 3 different plants (at least!) in the genus "Tradescantia" (T.), a species of spiderwort. The plant in Will P's post is T. Zebrina, the variegated variety. There is also T. fluminensis & T. pallida, both of which have other common names. Are ya confused yet? Well, I sure was when I worked in tropical plants! 

Anyhoo, age & light really affect the growth of these plants in that they become leggy as they age, especially if kept indoors, under typical light exposure. The different varieties can handle varying amounts of light; but in low light, the leaves are less colorful, smaller, further apart from each other & the plant will look more like a vine over time. (As Paul described.)

Once "leggy", it's recommended to rejuvenate the plant by taking cuttings & basically start the plant over to get a bushier, more robust plant. Cuttings root easily! T. pallida does well outdoors here in NE Okla. but you have to bring it in or take cuttings in the fall. A hard freeze will kill it, but it tolerates a light frost. My plant is a shadow of it's summertime self when it spends the winter indoors. When it gets used to the sun again (it will sunburn if you don't expose it gradually) the change in it is amazing! I am anxious to get it repotted & outdoors so it can go crazy! 
 
paul wheaton
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In that case, maybe I should just buy the one I saw (or, better yet, steal a wee bit) and see how it grows out.

 
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Go for it! I won't tell, your secret is safe with me! 
 
                            
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These things grow like weeds!  LOL  My mother started with one when I was a little kid and ended up with them all over the house in HUGE hanging baskets by the time I was in high school.

If you have one with the small leaves, it is probably really root bound and just needs renovated.  Tear the pot apart!  Take of cuttings and restart them in water, tear chunks of the whole plant in pieces dividing it from the root up, repot them and THEY'RE OFF!!  Another issue is fertilizer.  A good fish fertilizer or worm poop with bring out the purple underside and veining.  Without proper nutrients, they tend to get a little "washed out" looking.

We all but killed one here recently and brought it back by dividing it and giving away entire pots to our neighbors… it's like some immortal plant…

Let us know if you find the one you are looking for.  Oh… and pieces fall off of those suckers all the time in store and nurseries… derndest thing!
 
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I'm trying to kill mine off.  They do grow like weeds and they're not particularly attractive unless you have the time to prune and primp them everyday.  I even left two of them in hanging baskets outside that got burnt by the frost and they're coming back to life again.
 
paul wheaton
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I found one at a mediocre restaurant and stole a snippet.
 
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Location: North Central New York
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Well?  Six weeks later.  How is it doing?
 
paul wheaton
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Awesome! 

It didn't like the move, but it seems to be springing back from that.

 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Great.  Sharing plants is so wonderful.   
 
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