Flower Facts

All About Zebrina Plants: What to Know

Tradescantia Zebrina Potted Plant

The zebrina plant is possibly one of the quirkiest plants out there! With striped leaves in beautiful shades of purple and silver, there’s just so much to love about these potted friends. However, there’s more to them than just their color.

We want to share all the wonderful qualities of the lovely tradescantia zebrina – from its interesting history and how you can take care of it!



1. These striped friends are native to Brazilian and Mexican rainforests, making them tropical plants. You can usually find them growing in shady, wet areas – especially by riverbanks!

2. They’re heavily admired for their 2-inch, shiny leaves; the upper surface is painted with silver stripes, but there are sometimes variations in stripe color like pink or cream.

3. It is commonly referred to as the Wandering Jew plant, or the inch plant. The Wandering Jew name comes from a historical character of Christian folklore from the 1300s. A Jewish man taunted Jesus on his way to Golgotha with the cross. Since then, the man has been cursed to walk the Earth until the second coming. The zebrina was named after this wanderer due to its long lifespan.

4. The nickname “Wandering Jew” actually encompasses three different species of the tradescantia family: tradescantia fluminesis, tradescantia zebrina, and tradescantia pallida.

5. These special greens are members of the spiderwort family.

6. The term “zebrina” is actually Portuguese for “zebra,” and we all can guess why this was the given name for these striped delights!

7. Zebrinas have roots that have the ability to sprout new surface growth on their own, meaning they can grow a completely new plant if they wanted to! This is quite rare, but still a possibility.

8. The zebrina can be used for medicinal purposes as well. In Jamaica, these helpful greens are used to treat high blood pressure, coughs, and other cold symptoms. In China, the striped leaves are applied to help reduce swelling. In Mexico, you’ll find a drink called Matali that contains lemon and sweetened zebrina leaves. This makes a refreshing, cold tonic drink!

9. If you leave them to grow independently, you’ll be surprised to see that these plants can grow up to six feet tall!

10. Some countries consider this gorgeous plant invasive or even as a weed because it can prevent the growth of other greens.


Lucky for us, zebrina plants are quite easy to take care of! This is why they’re starting to become everyone’s go-to houseplant lately, and we definitely don’t blame them. Here’s a few tips on how to keep your striped friends happy and thriving:

  • Zebrinas grow best in partially shaded areas if they’re placed outdoors; if you decide to have them freshen up your indoor space, they can tolerate full all-day light. Don’t hesitate to put them right by bright, well-lit windows!
  • They should be placed in well-drained, drier soil.
  • Our lovely zebra plants must be watered regularly. If you notice that the top inch or two of their soil is dry, give them a moderate soak!
  • Zebrinas require minimal pruning. They should be good to go after the occasional trim.
  • To ward off any pests (like zebrina-loving spider mites), keep humidity levels indoors high or mist the leaves regularly.
  • Because these striped friends are from tropical regions, they should be kept where temperatures are between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


Now that you’re in the know of everything the zebrina plant has to offer, we’re sure that you’re convinced to add one to your very own #PlantsFam! But as they say, the more the merrier – why stop at one when you can fill your whole space up with all kinds of plants?

From succulents to snake plants, we’ve got you covered with all your home décor needs. Not only are houseplants great for freshening up a room, they’ll make you feel more at home than a space without these green delights ever will!

Browse through our collection of the loveliest potted friends you can ever find today!

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