Wandering Jew Leaves Fading? 5 Tips to Make it Colorful Again

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Here are 5 useful tricks to retain the shine and color of your Wandering Dude so you can showcase your plant in all its glory!

Reasons for Faded Leaf in wandering jew 3

Houseplants like the Tradescantia Zebrina are known for their colorful foliage, but sometimes, those wonderful colors fade. Why? What is the reason? How can you get that color purple back and metallic stripes glowing again? Everything is answered in this article.

Reasons for Wandering Jew Leaves Losing Color and Fading

There are four main reasons why your wandering Jew plant is losing color and fading. The biggest reason is light! These plants love bright, indirect sunlight, warmth, and shade; anything less or more can affect their appearance.

1. If it’s tucked away in a corner or doesn’t get much natural light, the leaves will appear dull. Leggy growth, with long spaces between leaves, is another sign of light issues.

2. On the contrary, exposure to direct sun can also be bad, bleaching those pretty colors.

3. Another reason is when your plant is mature and has a lot of old growth, then the leaves could also start losing their color.

4. Apart from that, it can be due to dust accumulation as well.

6. Lastly, there can be a watering issue: Underwatered Wandering Dudes will get droopy, and the leaves will lose their shine. But be careful not to overwater either, as that can lead to pale leaves and root rot.

As you can see, there are many explanations for why this happens, and if there are explanations, there are solutions as well to bring back the shine and color of your favorite houseplant.

The No. 1 Trick to Retain Shine and Color of Wandering Jew Plant

Wandering Jew Leaves Fading 2

The key to maintaining your Wandering Dude plant’s color and shine is good, balanced lighting. Too much direct sun can scorch the leaves, while low light will cause them to lose their vibrancy.

So find a happy place for your plant where it can get 8-10 hours of indirect sunlight and watch those colors pop! It would be great if it receives 2-3 hours of mild sun, either in the morning or evening.

Locate them near an eastern direction. A south or west-facing one would also work if you save the plant from direct exposure. This guide will help you with all of it.

Tricks to Retain Shine and Color of Wandering Jew Plant

2. Rotate Weekly

Rotate Wandering Jew Plant

These plants love to sprawl or cascade freely with their beautiful striped leaves. But just like us humans, they need a little help to grow nice and even, especially when growing in a pot.

Without rotating, the side facing the light will grow better, while the other side might get leggy (stretchy and thin) because it isn’t getting enough light.

By turning your plant every week, all sides get a chance to bask in the sunshine. This encourages the plant to grow full and bushy from all sides with even coloration.

3. Prune it for Bushier and Colorful Growth

This is important to give your Wandering Jew a colorful and bushier look! Old growth looks less saturated and vibrant, and removing it gives way to fresh, new, colorful growth.

When the plant is actively growing, keep doing this periodically–Grab your sharp scissors or pruning shears and look for old growth, overgrown or faded stems, and leaves that are yellow, brown, or just don’t look happy anymore. You can snip those right off.

For leggy and mature growth, find the long stretches on the stems with few leaves. Just above a healthy leaf node (the little bump where a leaf meets the stem), cut off the stem clean. Later, these pruned cuttings can be propagated in water or soil to multiply your plant.

If it’s still leggy—you can do many more things to fix it.

4. Fertilize with a Liquid Fertilizer

Tricks to Retain Shine of Wandering Jew Plant

To keep those colors popping and the leaves shining, you should not miss giving them a boost with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

Look for any water-soluble fertilizer with equal NPK, like 10-10-10 with trace elements. Wandering Jews aren’t picky about any special brand, so you can use anyone that’s available.

Apply a 1/4-strength fertilizer solution regularly—it is one-quarter of the full strength recommended by the manufacturer on the packet. Feed this to your Wandering dude every 15-20 days in the active growth season (spring and summer). It’s more than enough. Reduce fertilization in fall and winter when the plant goes dormant.

5. CleaningCleaning Wandering Jew Plant 54

Whether your plant is swooping the floor freely or perched atop an elevated location like a hanging basket, it accumulates dust over time.

So, it would be best to wipe off the leaves with a soft cloth. Or, you can give it a quick shower in the sink to clean the foliage every couple of months. When doing this, follow these basic tips to clean it.

The Mayonnaise Trick

You might find it surprising, but there’s a Mayonnaise trick you can use to clean your Tradescantia Zebrina and restore the shine on the leaves.

Mayonnaise does a decent job of wiping away dust and leaving a temporary sheen due to its oils. Now, it won’t harm your plants in small amounts, but it’s more of a quick fix.

You cannot use it always because it’s not good for the plant in the long run—it can clog stomata on the leaves, hindering the plant’s ability to function.

So there you have it! With proper sunlight, rotation, fertilizer, and occasional cleaning and yes! Pruning, which is very crucial to trim old growth, your Wandering Jew will thrive and showcase its pretty colors. If you, too, have a home remedy to retain the color and shine of this houseplant, do let us know in the comments!

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