The wandering Jew (Tradescantia Zebrina), also known as the inch plant is a fast-growing species of creepers usually cultivated as ornamentals. The stems of the plant contain tendrils that cling to objects, resulting in spreading growth patterns. Read on and find out since we have researched if inch plants can climb a trellis.
The wandering Jew is a popular houseplant commonly grown in a hanging pot. Due to its creeping nature, you can train the trailing stems to scale a trellis. Fine wires or strings can be used to support the plant until it eventually clings to the structure on its own.
Inch plants are typically raised in hanging pots or elevated containers to display their draping foliage. We have researched ways how to train and make it possible for them to scale a trellis. We hope the article helps you with some new, creative ideas.
Trellis Ideas For Wandering Jew Vines
If you have an existing trellis, the simplest way to make an inch plant scale the structure is to provide a wire mesh between the supports.
Place pots or planters containing your preferred variety at the bottom, next to the trellis, and secure the trailing stems with strings or fine wire.
Eventually, the plant's tendrils will cling to the mesh and climb the structure, creating a wall of colorful foliage. It is not advisable to grow them directly on the ground since inch plants spread rapidly and do become invasive. Potting will help control the propagation and contain the development.
What Materials Can You Use As Trellis?
If, on the other hand, you are planning to build a trellis, there are several ways to design the structure and various materials to choose from. The first thing to consider is its location since the plant prefers partial shade and indirect or filtered light. Pick an area in your yard or garden that is not exposed to direct sunlight.
A wooden trellis is a favorite among gardeners and landscapers because of its natural appeal that blends well with plants. Depending on the dimensions you prefer, several posts can be erected several feet apart and reinforced with cross braces.
Attach a wire mesh that spans the ends and the height of the trellis, then place the containers with your inch plants.
A single-walled structure would create an excellent backdrop for other elements in the landscape, but an L-type arrangement would provide more depth, ideal for corners.
Basically, any material that can act as a post and provide support could be used as the trellis framework. Unused lumber, bamboo, or even existing fence terminals can be converted into a climbing wall for shrubs, ivies, and creepers.
With inch plants, a wire mesh or fine lattice is necessary to provide a scaling base until the tendrils develop.
How To Build Your Own Basic Trellis
Determine the best area in your garden where a trellis would complement the design as well as a partially shaded space where inch plants thrive. Decide on the dimensions that the structure would span and cover. Plot the position and spacing of the posts that would act as the framework.
Whichever material you opt for, keep in mind that a third of the post will be underground to provide enough stability. Connect them with horizontal braces spaced equally to distribute the weight and tension.
Fasten a wire mesh that features a relatively tight configuration to create more climbing support. It would be necessary to tie the trailing stems to the wire mesh until the tendrils eventually cling to the trellis.
Wandering Jew: Care Requirements And Growing Tips
How Much Water Do Inch Plants Like?
Inch plants prefer moist environments. Hydrating them regularly is necessary. Keep the soil damp but never waterlogged. Do not let the potting mix be completely dry in between watering.
During periods of long dry spells, you may need to moisten the plant more often than what is required because water evaporates quicker. The opposite is true in the winter, so hydrate occasionally or when the topsoil seems dry.
How Much Sunlight Do Inch Plants Like?
Inch plants require plenty of natural light to produce vibrant leaves and flowers, and yet, they are fairly sensitive to direct sunlight exposure. Place them in a partially lit area in your garden to prevent the foliage from being scorched.
If you wish to grow them indoors (especially for potted trellises), choose an east or west-facing window so that they receive ample morning and afternoon light. This way, the plant will still receive the light conditions it generally prefers.
What Kind Of Soil For Inch Plants?
The plant can thrive in almost all soil conditions since it can grow in ordinary soil and regular garden potting mix. You can even make cuttings easily and plant them directly onto the ground or a container.
Although this is the case, adding organic matter into the mix is still applicable for the best growth and development. Amend the soil if it dries quicker by incorporating peat moss and coconut fiber into the potting medium.
What Temperature And Humidity For Inch Plants?
Being a tropical plant, inch plants prefer temperate climates with a fairly high humidity level. If the opposite situation ensues, the foliage will begin to discolor and the plant will eventually wilt.
The plant can endure exposure to cold temperatures for a relatively short period. They thrive best when the figures range between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep your inch plants safe, cover them with a garden fabric when temperatures begin to drop or before the winter frost begins. Container-grown plants can easily be placed indoors.
Humidity is low during the winter season which is why the air becomes too dry. To increase air moisture, you may place a humidifier near your plant or surround them with vegetation and other growths.
Should I Fertilize Inch Plants?
Inch plants do not necessarily require fertilizers. However, similar to all plants, occasional feeding will benefit overall and help them produce more flowers.
It is recommended to use organic fertilizers as opposed to synthetic ones since the latter is composed of chemicals harmful to the plant. Avoid feeding during winter and spring as it will result in unusually looking long and weak stems.
Should I Prune Inch Plants?
Pruning is essential in maintaining the plant’s shape and keeping the vines compact and thick since the act itself stimulates more growth. Prune during the spring and summer months. You may remove any dead, dried, discolored, and damaged leaves or stems at any given time.
Since inch plants will be difficult to repot, especially when grown and trained in a trellis, pruning of new growth and stems overlapping the support is necessary.
How Do You Propagate Wandering Jew Plants?
The plant is fairly easy to propagate. However, you must first install a garden stake in the soil to prevent damaging the root system once it has been planted.
You can use the overlapping cuttings you have pruned or simply cut pieces of its stem that are at least 3 to 4 inches long. Place them in a pot or on a garden bed, but make sure that the soil is moist. Hydrate your plant as required and ensure that the humidity level is high.
Do Inch Plants Get Pests Or Diseases?
Inch plants may attract spider mites, aphids, and fungus gnats. Once infestation begins, you can remedy the problem by using neem oil, a mixture of mild liquid soap and water, and an insecticidal soap.
Neem oil is used to remove pests that otherwise feed on leaves. Soaps and insecticides are sprayed on the plant to kill the bugs. If gnats however hover near the trellis, the soil is too moist - cut back on watering but ensure that your plant still receives adequate hydration.
Why Is My Wandering Jew Growing Straight Up?
Inch plants tend to grow straight up because they do not receive adequate light exposure. The stems expand and grow toward the direction where sunlight is available.
If your trellis is placed in a shaded area, you may want to remove any vegetation or structure that covers your plant. If perhaps the plant is grown in a container, you may easily move it to a better location.
Inch plants are vining vegetations that require a trellis for support. You may use recycled structures or wooden foundations and install a wire mesh or net on your chosen material. We hope the article helped you care for and build a trellis for your plant. Happy gardening!
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