Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana, also known as the spiderwort plant, is a spreading perennial that is used in borders and container plantings. Spiderwort comes in several colors and shades. Find facts on how to grow and care for spiderwort plants.
What is Spiderwort? Facts and Information
Spiderwort is a perennial that may have blue, purple, pink, or white flowers, depending on the variety, that are made up of three individual petals. They grow in Zones 4-9 and reach heights of 18-24” and may grow just as wide.
Spiderworts prefer full sun or light shade during the afternoon and moderately fertile, well-drained, moist soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0. Their flowers appear in many shades from early summer to early autumn. Their flower production is higher in full sun than in partial shade. Place them in groups in the informal border, cottage garden, or bright woodland garden, or use in container plantings.
Good companion plants for spiderworts include: ‘Ice Queen’ torch lily, ‘Kobald’ blazing star, and ‘Yankee Lady’ rugose rose.
Growing and Caring for Spiderworts
Plant spiderworts 18-24” apart in spring or fall. Apply a slow-release granular plant food in spring at time of planting. Plants flop or fall apart if the soil is rich and plant food is high in nitrogen. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch in spring and fall and try to maintain moist soil.
After the first flowering, feed the spiderwort again and shear back the plant to promote compact growth and to encourage flower production. This plant is self-cleaning and does not need regular deadheading to appear attractive. You can deadhead this plant if you do not want self-sown plants in your landscape.
Propagation of Spiderworts
Divide them in spring or autumn at least every 3 years to maintain vigor. In late spring or early summer, before full bloom, take cuttings from new growth. Be sure to cut pieces that contain at least two or three healthy leaves and three nodes. Root the cuttings in water or soil. Seed germination occurs in 7-14 days at 72 degrees. They can be transplanted 20-30 days after sowing. The temperature can be reduced to 62 degrees after transplanting.
*The only problem associated with spiderworts are occasional viruses they might get.
Varieties with White Flowers
- ‘Innocence’- clear white
- ‘Snowcap’- extra large white
Varieties with Blue Flowers
- ‘Blue Stone’
- ‘Caerulea Plenta’- double blue
- ‘Isis’- deep blue
- ‘Zwanenburg Blue’- deep blue
Varieties with Red Flowers
Varieties with Multi-Colored Flowers
- ‘Iris Pritchard’- white flowers stained a pale blue
- ‘Purewell Giant’- purplish-pink flowers
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