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I have had a Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) plant for several years, but it has never flowered.

  • It is in a hanging basket outside during the warm season, and indoors during winter.

  • The temperature gets down to 45°F (7°C) in Miracle Grow potting mix.

  • It gets lots of water from the rain, but during the dry period I water it.

  • I make worm (compost) tea from my vermicomposter and use that as a liquid fertilizer feed.

Q. What should be done to get it to flower?

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Apparently there are three species of spiderwort that are called Wandering Jew. 1) Tradescantia pallida 2) Tradescantia fluminensis and 3) Tradescantia zebrina. From your description (houseplant, indoors during winter, hanging plant), it looks like T. pallida and I've included the wiki link to that plant. If I'm mistaken, please correct the link accordingly –  Lorem Ipsum Oct 12 '11 at 2:27
    
@jmusser When outside is it in a windy location? Outdoor or indoor is it ever subjected to temperatures below 50°F (10°C)? What potting medium is it planted in? How often do you water it & how much water per watering? Do you apply a fertilizer? If yes, what fertilizer, how much & how often? Also, could you please post a photo or two of the plant... –  Mike Perry Oct 12 '11 at 4:29
    
This is Zebrina Pendula. The temperature gets down to 45F in Miracle Grow potting mix. It gets lots of water from the rain, but during the dry period I water it. I apply compost tea from my vermicomposter. –  J. Musser Oct 13 '11 at 1:08

1 Answer 1

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Having read up a little on Tradescantia zebrina:

  • In cooler (non native) climates, flowers are a rare sight.

Q. What can you do to increase the chance of flowering?

  • Plant requires plenty of light, but does best if kept out of direct sun (especially during the heat of Summer).

  • Subjecting the plant to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) isn't recommended.

  • Constant moisture during the growing season (Spring and Summer) is recommended.

  • Reduce watering in the Autumn (Fall) and Winter.

  • Potting medium should offer good drainage.

  • Potting medium should be replaced once a year, early Spring is the best time of year to perform this operation.

  • Once ever 3 to 4 weeks during the growing season apply a "mild" liquid fertilizer feed.

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@jmusser From the Wikipedia link above: "Tradescantia zebrina, formerly known as Zebrina pendula..." –  Mike Perry Oct 17 '11 at 2:38

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