One of the fastest-growing houseplants out there, the Wandering Jew Plant will provide you with plenty of new growth all year round. However, if your plant has started to lose leaves, then this might be a sign that something is wrong. Losing leaves is a part of the Wandering Jew Plant’s natural cycle so this can happen quite regularly. However, you shouldn’t always assume that this is what is going on with your plant as there are a few other, more harmful, causes that have the same effect. Below we will guide you through each of the reasons, so you can figure out if the leaf drop on your Wandering Jew Plant is down to natural shedding, or if something else is to blame.
A lack of sunlight
Wandering Jew Plants thrive in bright, indirect light and can struggle to adapt well to anything less. Insufficient light levels will start to cause your Wandering Jew Plant to shed some of the older leaves to keep their energy reserves for the new healthy growth. It’s simply a process of prioritisation and is actually a very common trait of the Wandering Jew Plant.
Luckily, this should be quite an easy fix compared to some other causes and problems as you just need to find a more suitable spot for your Wandering Jew Plant. Ideally, you want somewhere with ample light but no direct light as this can scorch the leaves and get rid of their beautiful pattern. You might also need to think about moving your plant around depending on the seasons and how the light levels change in your home throughout the year.
Another environmental factor that can lead to your Wandering Jew Plant losing a few of their leaves is inconsistent temperatures, particularly cold temperatures. If your plant is exposed to low temperatures, anything below around 18°C, it can often cause them to go into shock and some leaves will drop from the plant as a result. Not only is the cold air harmful to your plant, but it can also mean the potting mix takes longer to dry out and the roots begin to rot. So you want to be sure that your Wandering Jew Plant is getting enough warmth.
Cold drafts can be caused by a range of things but doors or windows with small cracks are your plant’s worst enemy. If they are too close to drafty windows/ doors then the cold air from outside during winter can be pretty damaging to your Wandering Jew Plant and could be what’s causing them to lose leaves.
But it’s not just during the colder months that you have to be careful about cold drafts; Wandering Jew Plants will struggle if too close to any AC vents so move them at least 1m away to prevent leaf drop.
It may simply be a natural process
As your Wandering Jew Plant matures, it may occasionally lose some leaves as a natural sign of ageing. This is actually particularly common for Wandering Jew Plants during autumn, where they preserve their energy for the winter. If the rate of leaf drop is relatively slow, and not paired with any other problems, then this shouldn’t be anything to worry about
However, if you feel your Wandering Jew Plant is losing too many leaves, double-check the environment around your plant as it could be a sign of one of the issues detailed above. There is no harm in giving everything a once over to check for any other possible causes.
Those are the three most common reasons why Wandering Jew Plants lose their leaves. We always take the stance of assuming that it is not natural ageing until proven otherwise. This ensures that you rule out the other two problems and don’t miss something that can potentially lead to your plant dying. Getting into the habit of measuring the environmental factors such as lighting, humidity, moisture and temperature will go a long way to avoiding problems such as leaf drop, but also other common issues, occurring.
To learn more about how to keep your plant happy, check out our Wandering Jew Plant care guide.
Written by Billy Dawson