≡ Menu

Plant Profile: Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana)

tradescantia-31My spiderwort is probably the oldest plant in my garden. It was a division of a plant that my mother had since I was a child and I have always been able to depend on it for bloom and vigorous growth no matter what garden or container I put it in. It is very easy to grow, the blue color of the flower goes with everything, and it quickly forms a large clump when divided. In my Annapolis garden it grew to about 3’ high in part sun but here in the full sun and very good soil of my North Carolina garden it is at least 4’ tall and blooms earlier and longer. If you need a versatile plant that will give you a long show of flowers with few demands, consider spiderwort.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Blue, lilac, purple, pink, white flowers in late spring-early summer for about 8 weeks total.

Size: 24” W-36” H with ever enlarging clumps.

Light: Full sun to partial shade; in most climates will bloom better and be less lanky in sun.

Soil: Average well drained but tolerates most soils .

Fertilizer: Average soil provides all that is needed.

Hardiness: Zones 4-9.

Care: Cut back when foliage becomes unattractive to encourage another bloom.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance.

Propagation: By division in spring or autumn; self sows.

Companion plants: Grasses, daylilies, liriope, Siberian iris and hosta.

Outstanding Selections: ‘Zwanenburg Blue’(deep violet blue), ‘Red Cloud’ (rosey red), ‘Snowcap” (pure white), ‘J. C. Weguelin’ (light blue), ‘Isis’ (oxford blue), ‘Purple Dome’ (deep purple).

Plant profiles pointer