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How to Prevent Creeping Jew Plant from Rotting

Updated: June 28, 2022

Creeping Jew plants, also known as Tradescantia zebrina, are popular houseplants due to their vibrant purple and green leaves and easy-to-care-for nature. However, one common issue that plant owners face is rotting, which can be caused by overwatering, poor drainage, or pests. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to prevent your Creeping Jew plant from rotting.

Tip #1: Water Properly

The most common cause of rotting in Creeping Jew plants is overwatering. These plants require well-draining soil and should be watered only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. It’s important to avoid letting the plant sit in standing water or placing it in a pot without drainage holes. Make sure to use a pot with good drainage and empty any excess water that collects in the saucer underneath.

Tip #2: Provide Adequate Lighting

Creeping Jew plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight in the morning or evening, but too much can damage their delicate leaves. If the plant is not getting enough light, it may become weak and susceptible to rotting. Consider placing it near a window with filtered light or using artificial grow lights if natural light is not available.

Tip #3: Maintain Humidity

Creeping Jew plants thrive in humid environments and can benefit from regular misting or using a humidifier. However, too much humidity can also lead to rotting. If you live in a particularly humid area, make sure to provide adequate airflow by opening windows or using a fan.

Tip #4: Check for Pests

Pests like spider mites and mealybugs can damage Creeping Jew plants and make them more susceptible to rotting. Check your plant regularly for signs of infestation such as webbing, white fuzzy spots, or small black dots. If you notice any pests, isolate the plant and treat it with an appropriate insecticide or insecticidal soap.

Tip #5: Prune and Propagate

Regular pruning can help prevent your Creeping Jew plant from becoming too dense and retaining too much moisture. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to remove any dead or damaged leaves, as well as any stems that are touching the soil. You can also propagate the plant by taking cuttings and rooting them in water or soil. This not only helps keep the plant healthy but also allows you to propagate more plants for your collection.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your Creeping Jew plant from rotting and ensure it stays healthy and vibrant. Remember to give it proper care and attention, and it will reward you with its beautiful foliage for years to come.


What should I do if my Creeping Jew plant is already rotting?

If you notice signs of rotting such as soft, mushy leaves or a foul odor, it’s important to act quickly. Remove any affected leaves or stems and cut back on watering until the soil has dried out completely. If the rotting is severe, you may need to repot the plant in fresh soil and prune away any damaged roots.

Can I grow Creeping Jew plants outdoors?

Yes, Creeping Jew plants can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. They prefer partial shade and well-draining soil. Make sure to protect them from frost and bring them indoors during colder months if necessary.

Are Creeping Jew plants toxic to pets?

Yes, Creeping Jew plants can be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. Keep them out of reach of pets or consider choosing a safer houseplant option if you have pets that like to chew on plants.