My Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) was beginning to look a lot like the one in the picture lately, with long scraggly vines and wide spacing between the leaves. To be honest, mine looked worse than the one in the picture, but I couldn't find one that looked as sad as mine did. I still got compliments on it because the vines were several feet long, but I knew my plant had seen better days.
It was suffering from too little attention and water and not enough sunlight. I began to pinch back the growing tips on the vines, but it still looked sad and disheveled so I did the only thing left to do and cut it all back. I'll admit I felt a twinge of pain when the scissors cut through the vines and they coiled in a mass in the counter, but I know it is the only way to revive my plant and bring it back to its original luster.
I trimmed the cuttings back to 2 to 3 inches and dipped them in rooting powder. I then tucked them into the pot with the original plant. Within a few weeks I should have a massive plant with thick, dense foliage - at least that is my plan.
If your houseplants are struggling to thrive this winter, don't be afraid to cut them back and give them an opportunity to send out new foliage. They may look a little unsightly for a few weeks, but they will reward you with lush new growth.