How Long Can a Wandering Jew Live in Water?

The wandering Jew, also known as the inch plant, is a beautiful plant in the creeping plant species. This plant is known for its ability to grow and spread quickly and is highly adaptable. However, how long can it live in water?

A wandering Jew can live in water indefinitely with the proper upkeep. Although most people prefer to propagate wandering Jew cuttings in water only until it roots, others enjoy growing the plant in water year-round. You can do this with the proper care, including water changes and root trimmings.

The rest of this article will discuss how long it takes for wandering Jews to root in water and how to grow a wandering Jew in only water. I’ll also review different, more exciting ideas for growing wandering Jews in water.

How Long Does a Wandering Jew Take To Root in Water?

When you take a clipping from a watering jew to propagate in water, you’re probably wondering how long it’ll take to begin to root. One of the best things about the wandering Jew plant is how quickly it can root and spread.

A wandering Jew takes 1-2 weeks to root in water. The roots will begin to form as early as one week in water; however, the roots must grow a few inches long before you can plant the newly rooted plant in soil.

Although many people like to propagate a wandering Jew cutting in soil rather than water, the wandering Jew, like other thick-stemmed plants, propagates just as well in water. However, I’ll get more into that in the next section.

Is It Better To Propagate a Wandering Jew in Water or Soil?

While the thought of propagating a plant without soil seems odd, wandering Jew plants are thick-stemmed plants that are easy to care for and grow. Despite this, are wandering Jew plants better to propagate in water or soil?

It’s better to propagate a wandering Jew in soil, especially if you eventually plan to place the plant in soil. However, propagating a wandering Jew in water works just as well, and you’ll be able to watch the roots grow. 

The best way to propagate a wandering Jew mostly comes down to preference. Both methods will require enough indirect sunlight, and using soil will require adequate watering. But, if you propagate a wandering Jew in water, can it survive in just water? I’ll get more into this next.

Do Wandering Jews Like To Be Root Bound?

Wandering Jew plants do like to be root bound. While most plants suffer and even die when they’re root-bound, wandering Jews like being root-bound. Other plants that like being root-bound include peace lilies, jade plants, Boston ferns, and aloe vera plants.

While wandering Jews like to be root bound and don’t require much assistance in general, there are some things that you should do to ensure your plant grows to the best of its ability. 

For example, pruning the stems often will help the plant branch out and become bushier.

Can a Wandering Jew Survive in Just Water?

Whether a wandering Jew can survive in just water seems to be controversial. While many people will claim wandering Jews can’t live in water indefinitely, others have experienced growing wandering Jews in only water for very long periods. So, what’s the truth? Can they survive in just water?

A wandering Jew can survive in just water for several weeks or longer, depending on the upkeep. With regular water changes, pruning, and root trimming, a wandering Jew can survive in only water. However, not every plant is the same, so its health depends on how long it can survive.

So, a wandering Jew may not survive as long in water as it would in soil (depending on the upkeep of both). However, many wandering Jew plant enthusiasts will disagree and continue to grow their beloved plant in water for long periods. 

How To Grow a Wandering Jew in Water

Whether you want to propagate a wandering Jew cutting in water to plant in soil later or grow it in water indefinitely, knowing the proper procedure is essential to a healthy plant.

So, to grow a wandering Jew in water, follow these steps:

  1. Take a cutting (or several cuttings) from a wandering Jew plant. It’s best to cut the stem at an angle and directly under a leaf node.
  2. Remove any leaves too low on the branches. Removing leaves that are low enough to sit in the water is essential, as any leaves in the water will rot.
  3. Fill a container with water. This container can be a glass, jar, or vase, as long as there’s room for the plant’s roots to grow.
  4. Place your cutting (or cuttings) in the container. Ensure the bottom stem is wholly submerged in the water and stays that way.
  5. Wait a couple of weeks to see root growth. As this is a fast-growing plant, you’ll see root growth as early as one week later.
  6. When the roots have grown around 3 inches (7.62 cm) long, remove the cutting and plant it in the soil. You can continue to grow the wandering Jew in water if you wish. However, frequent water changes and root trimming might be necessary.

Ideas for Growing a Wandering Jew Plant in Water

If you love the look of the wandering Jew plant, and you want to be able to grow it in water, there are several ideas you can consider for growing the plant. With a little bit of water and a lot of creativity, there are so many exciting possibilities.

Take Cuttings To Sell

Of course, if being a florist or flower vendor appeals to you, you can always grow new wandering Jew plants for others. Taking cuttings from your existing wandering Jew plant and putting them in water to grow can quickly leave you with several plants.

While this isn’t the most creative approach, it can make a lovely gift to your other plant-loving friends or family, or you can make it into a relatively profitable business. You could even try to sell some cuttings to a local flower shop.

Create a Decorative Vase in Your Home

I saw this idea in a YouTube video by Adela B, which you can watch if you’re interested:

In this video, Adela takes three different wandering Jew cuttings and puts them in decorative glass bottles. She then creates a wall hanging out of the bottles to add decoration to her home.

As wandering Jews are extremely easy to grow, they had no problem rooting in these glass bottles, and according to the comments on the video, they can live and thrive like this for a very long time.

Add the Wandering Jew to an Aquarium

One of the most creative and interesting things you can do with a wandering Jew cutting is to allow it to root in an aquarium. As they can live and grow in water alone, placing the cutting in an aquarium-like setting makes for a unique decoration.

This YouTube video by Random Bits shows the process of creating a wandering Jew aquarium garden:

In this video, wandering Jew cuttings were taken and propagated in water from May to September. And according to the comments, the plant thrived despite no water changes. Once the plant began to root, they moved it to a water vase filled with guppies– creating an attractive aquarium-like garden.

Adding guppies or snails to a water source with your wandering Jew creates an exciting and creative way to showcase your plant.

Common Problems With Growing Wandering Jews in Water

Although wandering Jews are very easy to grow, there are some common problems people can encounter when growing them. While you may easily fix these problems, it’s essential to determine the problem before finding a solution. Here are some common issues you may run into:

  • Rotting leaves: Many people experience rotting leaves when growing their wandering Jews in water. Rotting leaves happen when you submerge the leaves in the water along with the stem. So, to fix this, cut off the leaves that are in the water.
  • Pests: While growing wandering Jews outdoors doesn’t usually attract bugs, growing them indoors can. Mosquitos, flies, and gnats are some of the common issues surrounding this plant. Make sure you change the water every few days to prevent pest problems or invest in some essential oils to pour around the area.
  • Overgrown roots: If you’ve noticed the roots on your wandering Jew plant have grown like crazy and are a bit unsightly in your water container, trim them. They’ll grow back, so cutting them now and then isn’t a problem.

Final Thoughts

Wandering Jew plants are one of the easiest plants to grow, and their unique ability to grow and live in water for long periods makes them a favorite of many. 

Although other factors can hinder the plant’s growth, they typically will root in water within two weeks and can live in the water indefinitely. However, many people prefer to propagate the plant in water only until it roots and plant it in soil afterward. 

There are many creative ways to grow this plant in water, whether a wall hanging or an aquarium, making the plant all the more special to own.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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