Spiderwort or Tradescantia virginiana is native throughout the Eastern U.S. from Maine to Alabama, and was first introduced to Europe as a garden plant in 1629.
Arriving in my garden as a weed, it’s been a keeper for me, despite its famously unattractive appearance after flowering. The solution to that is to simply hack back the ratty-looking foliage, which produces regrowth and some reblooming — ain’t nature accommodating?
- Hardy in Zones 4 — 9.
- Happy in any exposure, sun through heavy shade!
- Grows in 2-foot high spreading clumps.
- Violet flowers from May into July.
- Cut back the ratty-looking foliage after blooming, and the regrowth will look much better.
- Spreads so vigorously in some areas — especially the Southeast — that it’s considered invasive. So watch out for that.
- Highly drought tolerant, so supplemental watering is rarely needed.
by Susan Harris