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Virginia Spiderwort

Tradescantia virginiana

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Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

Virginia Spiderwort flowers

Virginia Spiderwort flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  18 inches

Flower Height:  24 inches

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  Widow's Tears, Spider Lily

Description:

A clump forming variety that can get up to three feet tall; short lived flowers bloom from terminal clusters in succession; pretty violet blooms emerge over iris-like foliage; perfect for shaded gardens

Ornamental Features

Virginia Spiderwort has masses of beautiful clusters of violet flowers with blue overtones and a white flare at the ends of the stems from late spring to early summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Virginia Spiderwort is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Virginia Spiderwort is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Virginia Spiderwort will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity extending to 24 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features


Disclaimer - Rutgers Landscape & Nursery Plant Finder is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact Rutgers directly for current availability.