Hairy commelina

Hello, I’m Hairy Commelina

Botanical Name

Commelina benghalensis


Previously I was known as Wandering Jew, I am a long-lived creeping weed with bright blue flowers. I have two main varieties of hairy commelina, one with a three petaled flower and one with two petals. I can grow up to 30cm high forming a very thick mat and smothering any plants I cover. My stems can be smooth or hairy and are somewhat fleshy. And I regularly produce roots at the stem joints. I love drinking any weed killers that you spray on me. Instead of trying to eradicate me, you should use me in your salads, as I am edible and good for you.


As a weed, I am great in taking advantage of the poor condition of your soil. I like to grow in soils that are high in nitrogen but deficient in calcium and phosphorus. And I really love soils that are constantly moist! I can also be telling you that your soils are high in potassium, boron and iron but low in organic matter. So, add more compost and humus and I might go away!


I am high in nutrients including vitamins A, C and E. My young leaves are best as they are most appetising. I am a great sacrificial plant as caterpillars love feeding on me and may leave your other plants alone. My blue flowers attract a host of butterflies! I’m even useful in remediating contaminated soils as I soak up heavy metals.


I am best controlled by listening to what I’m telling you about your soil condition! And I can be well controlled by hand weeding. Just make sure you remove ALL of me as I will reproduce from any stem, leaf or root that remains. As I like to grow in moist.soils that are high in nitrogen, but deficient in calcium and phosphorus, you can change the soil by adding more humates. Try adding lots of compost! You can also buy liquid humates to add to your soil. Otherwise try hand weeding. Just make sure you do this before I smother any plants that I’m growing over.

I can also be controlled by using a biodynamic pepper ( see Biodynamic Peppers) However, weed peppers work best when combined with a weed tea. Weed teas take the nutrients I have accumulated in my leaves and feed them back to the soil.

I do respond to being sprayed with organic weed killer comprised of vinegar, salt and soap, but this needs care as I may be smothering a plant that you want to keep!