What is Wandering Jew?
Wandering Jew (also known as Tradiscantia and Wandering Willie) is a trailing, soft, hairless, perennial groundcover weed. Succulent, soft, creeping stems root at nodes where they touch the soil, the leaves are dark green (sometimes black), shiny, smooth, and are oval with pointed tips. White flowers are produced from December to January but no fruit or seed is produced in New Zealand. Wandering Willie is originally from South America.
Wandering Jew can be difficult to control because it usually takes 2-3 treatments to kill it fully and it readily sprouts from any live and dropped vegetative material. It does not set seed in NZ, but spreads readily. Working towards the centre, rake and roll up small areas of weed, best done in a drought period, dispose of at a refuse transfer station, burn or bury deep (Dropped fragments can spread infestation.)
Spray with McGregor’s Amitrole Plus Weed Killer or McGregor’s Weed Out Advanced. Follow up with a second treatment in 2-3 months. Take care not to drop fragments when removing the plant and dispose of at a transfer station. Do not use in compost or as mulch.