Wandering Jew – a gardener’s jewel

Living in the garden city of India, Bangalore, is a boon if you are into gardening. I have always been interested in gardening but I didn’t dedicate too much time and energy towards it. I had a few plants which would die in the excessive heat of Chennai or in the rainy, grey, cold weather of London.

A few years ago when I moved to Bangalore, the opportunity to try my gardening interested presented itself. But other things got in the way. I was in a very demanding stint and was fully absorbed in it. And I was rarely at home and if and when I was at home it was to sleep. I managed to still bring a few plants to my rather decent sized balconies one weekend and managed to take the bare minimum care of it.

I moved homes a couple of years ago to my current abode. Its a home I love. Its green all around. And I had 2 huge patios/balconies crying out for some colour. It was around this time that I had decided to wind my stint so I had much more time. And even when I travelled there was someone always at home to water my plants. All that meant I could finally give my gardening interest and outlet. And all excuses not to were taken away from me.

Before I began, as I usually do with everything, I drew a plan of how my garden was going to look. I made lofty drawings and beautiful images in my mind. But this time, I promised myself I was going to take it slow and not expect my garden to look like that picture I had in my mind the next day. I started buying my supplies slowly and steadily, building it on. If gardening needs one thing from you then that would be patience. So I was going to develop patience in order to achieve my goal of the garden(s) I drew up.

I planned to have 2 separate gardens – one balcony was to be my flower garden, the other vegetable and herb. Slowly but steadily I built on both my gardens and over the course of around 6 months I came as close to the image I drawn up in my mind. I am very happy with how I have done with my gardens.

I would love to share my gardening journey, my favourite plants and some tips with you in my gardening series. I hope you enjoy them.

Today I want to share the story of my Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew, also known as purple heart is a house plant that is very non fussy and a rapid growing plant. They have beautiful purple leaves and dark green with purple and white stripes as well. As long as there is good light and watered at a reasonable frequency, the plants grow into beautiful vines that can add a charm to your garden.

Wandering Jew or Purple Heart

Its interesting that I don’t recall how I came about this plant. But a couple of years ago I remember receiving a gift from a nursery and I suspect I was given this as a gift then in a small hanging pot. Today I have 5 different containers of different types holding these beautiful purple hearts.

I am slightly ashamed to admit I didn’t know much about these plants then. So how I ended up with 5 of these pots in my garden, apart from gifting them to a few people is a bit of serendipitous occurring.  One particularly windy day, my hanging pot fell down and the plant uprooted. I felt bad and tried my best to rescue it. I took a few intact stems of these plants and placed one stem cutting into an empty pot I had and the other stems back into the hanging pot. I don’t know what made me do it, but instinctively I felt that it would work.

A few days later I saw both the plants growing well. And lo behold, in a couple of weeks the new pot with a single stem, that I had just precariously inserted in the mud, had grown into a full blown beautiful vine. And just like that they became one of my favourites. I know, a mother doesn’t/shouldn’t have favourites but these plants are just so delightful in every way. They plants that are rapid, surprising and colourful. It feels to me like they are a plant that would be my spirit plant.

And not to forget their beautiful flowers, that actually started to bloom only about a few months ago, after almost a year and half of the vines growing, that had me. The purple heart flowers are so pretty and quaint. I am in love.

Wandering Jew Flowers
Wandering Jew Flowers

If you like gardening but are worried about not having green fingers or about killing your plants, then I highly recommend you start with these wandering jews vine. They will add colour and depth and beauty to your space and are fairly low maintenance.


Wandering Jews do need light and watering once in 2-3 days.

Depending on the space available for you to grow them, they look beautiful as railing plants or hanging plants.

In order to keep the plants healthy, prune them regularly as they grow rapidly.

If you have a huge outdoor garden they will work really well as container plants dotting your green areas bringing in a beautiful purple hue. 

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