Asked on Jan 16, 2014

Help identifying plant

Sherry Knott
by Sherry Knott
Someone gave me a single stem of this plant planted in a pot about 6 years ago. They didn't know what it was themselves, and I have never known. It grows easily, roots easily in water (haven't tried direct root), but stems are easy to break off. When that happens I root, plant and give away. Some of the leaves will turn a purplish color at times and seems to indicate good health. It has outgrown many pots since its inception into our happy home. Thanks for any help!
help identifying plant, gardening, Sometimes gets a purplish color but no more saturated than this
Sometimes gets a purplish color but no more saturated than this
q help identifying plant, Plant growing in pot some stems trail down out of pot almost like a vine
Plant growing in pot -- some stems trail down out of pot almost like a vine
q help identifying plant, Stem of plant thick and hard
Stem of plant, thick and hard
  29 answers
  • I believe it looks like either a wandering jew or moses in the cradle. There are many types of them and they do grow crazy! They will root in water or they will easily root on the ground or in a pot. Has it ever gotten flowers?

  • Dhagash Bhavsar Dhagash Bhavsar on Jan 16, 2014
    Well, i think as u say its look like baby bamboo

    • See 1 previous
    • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 17, 2014
      @Dhagash Bhavsar I just looked up images of baby bamboo and it's definitely not that. I may take a cutting to a local nursery and see what they say.

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 16, 2014
    Thank you for responding Renee! I have had it in pots inside the house since I got it because without knowing what it was I wasn't really sure if it would grow outside. It has never flowered, though. Around a lot of professional buildings, I've seen something similar to this before but is completely purple with small pink flowers. This one doesn't go purple, but will sometimes get a purple hue to the leaves. No flowers or buds of any kind, though.

    • @Sherry Knott If I remember correctly wandering jew leaves are across from each other too. If it looks like the purple with flowers then I am leaning toward moses in the cradle. It blooms during the summer on a porch, morning sun, or covered canopy. So this year you may want to put it outside early spring and then you will see how crazy it will grow and probably will bloom! I use this for container gardening in my yard. good luck!

  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 16, 2014
    I agree looks like the green version of Purple Queen wandering jew.. I have both the green and purple version in yard (zone 8) it dies back in winter but comes back every spring and they get huge-- cover ugly cinder block bed outline-- root easily water or just sticking a piece in dirt.

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 16, 2014
    Thanks for response Cynthia! If these can grow outside, even more better for me! I have so many of them and they multiply, multiply, multiply!

    • See 1 previous
    • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 17, 2014
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee I am going to plant some outside in the spring and see what happens!

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 16, 2014
    Thanks, Renee. These have never bloomed, but I have never had them outside. Hmmm...

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 17, 2014
    I'm not sure how big the leaves are on your plant. I had something that looked like that, which hitched a ride on a staghorn fern someone gave me. At first I thought it looked kind of pretty but then it started showing up everywhere. It roots from every tiny little piece of stem. I predict I'm am going to be pulling out stragglers for a very long time. I'm not sure what it is, but if that's what you have, you don't want it!

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 17, 2014
    I don't think this is a hitcher and it's a really beautiful plant, worth having. From some of the other posts, it might be something I could even plant outside for ground cover. Thanks for your post!

  • Lisa Damoff Lisa Damoff on Jan 17, 2014
    Wondering Jew, I have tons of it. Just break off a piece and stock it in the ground and you will have it everywhere!!!

  • Kathy T Kathy T on Jan 17, 2014
    Sherry, It is a wandering jew. Not sure exactly which one. I have one I have had for a few years. I'm in Gadsden, Al., so my climate is such as yours. I put some in an outdoor flower pot that didn't survive the winter. The basket that I bring in for winter has done beautifully. It will show more purple and will bloom with more sun. Doesn't do as well with direct sun. Very hardy, can be invasive in warmer climates. It might survive the winter in a protected spot.

  • Brenda Clark Brenda Clark on Jan 17, 2014
    If it has little purple flowers I had one. it's easy to grow and under the right conditions will grow like crazy. I was told it's a Wondering Jew. I had to leave it behind when I moved.

  • Melanie T Melanie T on Jan 18, 2014
    Look up Moses in the Bullrushes. Either that or a purple variety of a Wandering Jew.

  • Deborah R Deborah R on Jan 18, 2014
    Green wandering jew...if neglected it will spread all over.

  • Lori Jovan Lori Jovan on Jan 18, 2014
    Looks like something we use to call "Moses in the Cradle".

  • Diane Diane on Jan 18, 2014
    well....I want to know how to get rid of it! Some sneaked into my flower beds in some mulch and have tried to take over! I want it OUT!

  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Jan 18, 2014
    It's called "Moses in a Basket" and gets little "pouches" of seeds, hence the "basket" name. I've only had mine as a house plant, but now that I know it can be grown outside am going to start a border come spring.

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jan 18, 2014
    When we bought our most recent home, we found a huge purple clumpin in the front flowerbed. I like it in pots,but not in a flowerbed. I pulled it outand it started coming back within a few weeks. Finally, I really had to dig it out. If in a pot, it will come back next spring.

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 18, 2014
    Hey Neighbor! I actually live in the Southeastern End of Floyd County, Rome, GA so I'm only 45 minutes from Gadsden and have been there many times! So yes, we have the same climate. I have never put these outside, and they have never bloomed. I'm wondering if they don't bloom because I have kept them inside? Since I do have so many (they propagate easily!), I'm gonna try planting some outdoors in the spring. I think I've got a great spot where it would get minimal direct sun and make a great ground cover addition to my landscaping. Thanks!

    • Kathy T Kathy T on Jan 18, 2014
      @Sherry Knott Hello, 'as the crow flies' we are pretty close neighbors. I have a split porch/deck on the front of my house facing east. In the summer I hang my basket slightly under the porch roof. It gets direct morning sun, I don't know how it will do with direct midday sun. I would guess it might be too much. As fast as it multiplies, you could try it anyway. I actually live in Southside on the water, with the cold wind we get off the water in winter, could be why mine didn't make it through the winter. In a protected spot it most likely would.

  • Fenya Kashergen Fenya Kashergen on Jan 18, 2014
    tradascanchia. My botany teacher said 'Ladies and Gentlemen, if you can't learn the name Tradascanchia, at least call it 'meandering Hebrew' rather than 'wandering Jew'

  • Seena Seena on Jan 18, 2014
    @Sherry Knott ~ I'm REALLY thinking more of the 'Dracaena' family. And, that particular family of plants is HUGE! LOL ~ it looks to me to be some sort of 'Lucky Bamboo' or 'Ribbon Plant' in that it's stem is so thick, the leaves are very similar to one etc. In this case, check out 'Dracaena sanderiana', it's CrAzY the things you can 'train' this plant to do!! Have fun :) **Word of caution, Dracaena sanderiana is poisonous to Cats

    • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 19, 2014
      @Seena After viewing images of Lucky Bamboo and Ribbon Plant on the net, I pretty much don't think that's it after all, but thanks for an avenue to pursue.

  • Sonya Rose Sonya Rose on Jan 18, 2014
    if this is wandering jew as we call it in Australia just remember dogs are allergic to this plants I would get rid of it before it takes over

  • April E April E on Jan 18, 2014
    it is Tradescantia or wondering jew the variety is tri-color it may or may not comeback for you if grown outside you are borderline for this variety to be hardy there are varieties that are hardy all the way to zone 6 but this is not 1

  • Charlsie Sparks Blocker Charlsie Sparks Blocker on Jan 19, 2014
    Moses in a boat is what I was told...very hearty and lives in any climate.

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 19, 2014
    So far the vote is going to Wandering Jew. After searching hundreds of images on the net for all the different suggestions, I found this one single picture that looks exactly like my plant, only my plant doesn't (or hasn't) bloomed. May be because I have always kept it indoors? VERY much want to be sure since a few of you have said that it can be dangerous for both dogs and cats. Mine all sit in windowsills, unreachable by the dog, but the cat has been known to lie in the windowsill beside it. Still, now I'm concerned about planting it in the ground, so I'm going to take a sample to a nursery.

  • Judith Thomas De Neville Judith Thomas De Neville on Jan 19, 2014
    you need to follow P. Allen Smith on facebook and his website ..... he is a garden designer and decorator and seems to know everything there is about plants.... check it out .......

  • Sherry Knott Sherry Knott on Jan 20, 2014
    Thanks for the advice Judith!! Looked on FB, there are several P. Allen Smith's. Do you know which one it is? Or possibly his website address?

  • Felicity Woodruffe Felicity Woodruffe on Jan 20, 2014
    i think this is tradescantia it grows longer and longer and can grow hanging down eventually it grows tiny flowers very pretty it thrives in humid damp warm places such as bathrooms

  • Seena Seena on Jan 20, 2014
    Not a problem Sherry :)

  • Nancy S Nancy S on Jan 20, 2014
    I do not know what it is.. but whatever you are doing.. keep doing it.. it is beautiful where you have it and it must be getting everything perfect because it is beautiful.. love it.. wondering jew i thought was more purple but there are probably more kinds that the purple.. it's beautiful..