bd
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Help please: indoor hanging wandering jew

I have a wandering jew which hangs so that 1/2 is under a skylight in the bathroom. I just about killed it from underwatering, but I took out all the dead parts, re-rooted the good ones in water and replanted them.

It is growing very well now. The problem is, the plant is growing straight up instead of down the sides. Some of the stems are 9 inches tall already.
How can I make them grow downward like they were when I first bought the plant?

BTW I am a complete novice at this.

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Kisal
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The stems will begin to drape over the sides of the container when they get long enough. I have one right now that I just started from some cuttings. The stems seem to begin to trail when they get to be about 10 or 11 inches long.

Could you post a picture of yours? It might help give us some ideas. You'll find instructions for posting pictures on the forums [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724]here[/url].

bd
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Thanks

Here is the photo. You can see a bit of the skylight overhead. The skylight is direcltly over one half of the plant.

[url=https://s600.photobucket.com/albums/tt86/bdk1234/?action=view&current=0624091233.jpg][img]https://i600.photobucket.com/albums/tt86/bdk1234/th_0624091233.jpg[/img][/url]

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Kisal
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Because the light source is above your plant, the stems may grow a bit taller than the stems on mine, before they begin to trail over the side of the container. My plant is hanging beside a window, so the stems grow in that direction. I turn it daily, to keep it even.

I think your plant looks fine, myself. :)

mngrdngrl
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This thread is perfect timing. I keep watching the WJ that I replanted this year in a mop bucket (ok it was supposed to be a joke but you know how that goes...) lean toward the sun and I keep having to turn it around everyday too. Good to know that those ltems will be turning downward in a good way pretty soon...

bd
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It is looking better, but you should have seen it before.

Is there any way to "train" it to change direction, other than setting up a light source from below which my kids would probably find inconvenient when getting out of the tub :D

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Kisal
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I don't think so. It will drape on it's own when it's ready. Plants will always grow toward the light.

Here's a picture of mine. I think you have more cuttings than I was able to talk my friend out of, but you can see that some of them are growing straight upward:

[img]https://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh27/Kisal_photos/100_0252.jpg[/img]

bd
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When I first purchased the plant, all the stems draped downward and there were so many leaves that you could not see the pot.

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Kisal
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Your plant will be that way again. It will take awhile, however. The plant you purchased was more mature, and had probably been growing in its pot for several months. I just potted up my starts about a week or so ago.

As your plants stems begin to drape over the edges of the container, you'll want to pinch them back a bit. This will make new side shoots sprout from the stems, making your plant fuller and bushier. You could even start pinching the stems back now, if you wanted to.

I'll bet within 6 or 8 months, your plant will be just as beautiful as the original one, if not more so. :)

bd
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How do I pinch it back.

Please be very specific about the technique since I am completely new to this.

Thanks for all your help so far.

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Kisal
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You can use your fingers to pinch the stems back, or you can use a sharp scissors. I just take the stem between my forefinger and thumb, and press my fingernails together to cut through the plant stem. If it's easier for you to use a scissors, or even a sharp knife, that's fine, too. :)

You want to cut through the stem just above a node. The node is the kind of swollen part of the stem, where the leaf emerges. I think I would cut about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch above the node where you want your new stem to start to grow. You can remove the leaves from the bottom part of the cutting you removed, and just stick them into the pot with the rest of your plant. (Use a pencil to poke a hole in the soil.) The cuttings will grow new roots and create even more stems for you, adding to the fullness of the plant.

If you prefer, you can use the cuttings to start new plants. Just root them in water, or stick them in a small pot of moist potting mix, sand, or vermiculite. (I just take a little pot of potting mix, use a pencil to poke a hole, and stick the cutting in. Put several cuttings in one pot. Water it well to settle the potting mix, and place it in a bright spot, but away from direct sunlight, until new roots form.)

Does that help? :)

bd
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It sure does help. Thank you very much.

I don't know if there is an answer to the following question: :roll:

I am assuming that as the stems get longer, it is the weight that causes it to droop over the sides of the pot. Or to put it another way, gravity overcomes the tendency of the plant to want to grow straight up towards the overhead skylight.

If I cut the stems now, will it take longer for the stems to droop because they will be shorter as a result of my cutting them? Or will the side shoots that result from my cutting them add weight to the stem and speed up the drooping process.

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