The Bolivian Jew ‘Callisia Repens’

Callisia Repens Image

Callisia Repens (the ‘Bolivian Jew’ plant or the ‘Turtle Vine’ plant) is a delightful houseplant known for its charming trailing growth habit and vibrant foliage. It’s native to the Americas, from South America through Mexico, and grown for its ornamental appeal.


Callisia Repens comes from lots of places in South America, Central America, and Mexico. It’s used to living in different spots, like rainforests and deserts. This ability to handle different homes shows how tough and adaptable it is, making it a good fit for homes all around the world.

Appearance and Growth Habits

The Bolivian Jew looks cool with its special appearance. It has small, shiny leaves in bright green on top and usually purple or burgundy underneath. When it gets sunlight, the colors get even brighter.

Plant Physical Part of Callisia Repens Image

Callisia Repens is a crawling plant that sends out long stems, almost like a green waterfall. It’s great for hanging baskets or pots on high shelves because it grows and hangs down nicely. When you put it in the right spot, it really looks like a flowing cascade of greenery.

Even though the Bolivian Jew is mostly known for its awesome leaves, it can also make small, not very noticeable white flowers when it gets plenty of light. The flowering doesn’t happen all the time, and the flowers aren’t as cool-looking as the leaves, but they still add something extra to this already charming plant.

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Care Requirements

Light: It prefers bright, indirect light but is flexible and can tolerate various light conditions, from a sunny windowsill to a spot further inside the room. However, it’s important to note that brighter light will bring out the best in the plant’s vibrant leaf coloration.

Soil: The plant prefers well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging and subsequent root rot. Use a succulent or cactus mix, or add perlite or sand for better drainage. Make sure the pot has holes at the bottom.

Watering: Check the soil regularly. Water when the top inch feels dry to the touch. During the active growing season in spring and summer, water approximately every 1-2 weeks, adjusting based on environmental factors. As fall and winter approach, ease up on watering. When watering, target the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry.

Humidity: While Callisia Repens appreciates humidity, it doesn’t require the high humidity levels that some tropical houseplants do.

Temperatures: Regarding temperature, Bolivian Jew is a bit of a Goldilocks – not too hot or cold. It thrives in a temperature range between 65°F and 75°F (18°C-24°C). Frost is a definite no-no, so moving the plant indoors is essential to protect it from the chill in regions with colder winters.

Toxicity: it can be harmful if eaten. Keep the plant where it’s not easy for anyone, especially pets or little ones.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Propagation and Sharing

One cool thing about having Bolivian Jew plants is how simple it is to make more of them. Just cut a piece and put it in water until it grows roots, or stick it right into damp soil. Once it has good roots, you can plant it in its pot. Callisia Repens is great for giving to friends, family, or anyone who likes plants.


Callisia Repens, also known as the Bolivian Jew, is a nice and easy indoor plant with hanging colorful leaves. It’s not picky about light, temperature, or care guide. Just be careful not to eat it. With some care, it’s a great plant for anyone who likes having indoor greenery.

Along with Callisia Repens, there are many beautiful plants from the Callisia genus. Let’s see the suggestions below: 

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents