The Ultimate Guide To Growing Spiderwort Plants

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
spiderwort plants
Photo by courtesy of Yoyochow23

Are you a gardening enthusiast looking to up your game? The spiderwort plant is the perfect addition to your green-thumb repertoire. These plants are straightforward to care for and add a beautiful pop of color to your garden. This guide will teach you all the essential tips and tricks to growing your spiderwort plant. From the basics of what spiderwort is and where to plant it to the more detailed information about sun requirements and pruning, you’ll be an expert in no time. So, let’s learn how to grow and care for a spiderwort plant!

What Is Spiderwort?

Spiderwort plants are part of the Tradescantia genus, which is made up of more than 75 species of perennials. Spiderwort is native to the eastern United States but can also grow in other parts of the country. The plant gets its name from the spider-like appearance of its flowers, which have three petals with very long thin stamens that give it a spider-like appearance. The flowers range in color from blue, purple, pink, and white, which can be the spiderwort plants’ most spectacular feature.

Spiderwort is an easy-to-grow perennial and often self-sees in open, sunny locations. It is an excellent choice for adding color to a garden and naturalizing in large areas. The plants tolerate a wide range of soils, from sandy to clay, and thrive in full sun and shade. Spiderwort plants are fast-growing and can reach up to two feet in height, so they should be planted in an area that allows for plenty of room to spread out.

The blooms of spiderwort last only a day, but the plants are prolific bloomers throughout the season, producing a nearly continuous show of flowers. The plants can be left to produce seeds and will come back year after year. Spiderwort plants are also drought-tolerant and deer resistant, making them an ideal ornamental choice for gardeners with diverse needs.

How to Grow Spiderwort Plants

Spiderwort (Tradescantia) plants are an excellent choice for various gardeners, from beginners to experienced green thumbs. Spiderwort is a genus of plants native to the eastern United States and Mexico, with over 70 varieties. Its most popular varieties produce some of the most stunning and unique blooms. Growing a spiderwort plant is relatively easy, rewarding, and doesn’t require much maintenance.

Where to Plant Spiderwort

The best place to start is to find a spot with plenty of sunlight. Spiderworts flourish in sunny areas with well-draining soil, so they’re perfect for planting in flower beds, along pathways, and along the edges of walkways. Plant them in a spot where they’ll have plenty of fresh air and direct sunlight for most of the day.

Spiderwort is also easy to plant in containers, such as window boxes, planters, and hanging baskets. If you’re planting in containers, use a soil-less potting mix that contains organic matter and fertilizer. Make sure the soil is kept consistently moist but not soggy.

Spiderworts also make a great addition to a wildflower patch. If you don’t have the space for a flower bed, you can plant them along the edges of a woodland area. They also enjoy slightly damp soils and will thrive in partial shade.

Wherever you plan to plant your spiderworts, ensure it is away from areas where children and pets play. While they are not known to be toxic, it’s best to keep them at a safe distance to avoid any potential risks.

If you’ve decided to plant spiderwort in a spot that gets direct sunlight, you can use reflective material to help deflect the sunlight and keep the ground cool. This will protect the roots of the plants and ensure they get enough moisture to thrive. You can also try planting them in a spot that offers shade, such as near a tree or in a spot shielded from the wind.

Sun Requirements

Sun requirements are essential when growing spiderwort plants; these plants need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day, but the ideal amount of sunlight will depend on the variety you choose.

For example, some varieties tolerate more shade or even full shade conditions, such as ‘Neon’ or ‘Queen of the Night.’ For other varieties, such as ‘Violet,’ ‘Dawn,’ or ‘Rose,’ a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight is required for successful flowering. If you live in a scorching climate, it may be beneficial to provide additional shade for your spiderwort plants; a large tree, an awning, or an umbrella may work perfectly.

Furthermore, spiderwort plants need to be planted in an area that provides adequate air circulation. This will help to reduce humidity and prevent disease. Crowding the plants together too tightly can also inhibit air circulation, so allowing enough space between each plant is essential.

Finally, it’s essential to remember that too much sunlight can damage spiderwort plants and too little. If the plants appear stunted or the leaves are sunburned, the plants may be getting too much direct sunlight. If this occurs, move your spiderwort plants to a shadier spot, or provide additional shade with a lightweight fabric or lattice.

Watering Requirements

The best gauge is to water until it runs out of the drainage holes in the pot. Once that happens, the soil should be moist but not soaking wet. If there’s standing water, that could lead to root rot.

Spiderwort plants prefer filtered or rainwater rather than tap water, as this will provide them with the most beneficial minerals. If you’re using tap water, let it sit out overnight to let the chlorine and other chemicals evaporate.

It’s also important to remember that spiderwort plants don’t like to be drenched from the top; water from the bottom allows their roots to draw in moisture. Watering from the bottom helps ensure that the soil stays evenly moist.

In hotter climates, spiderwort plants may require more frequent watering. If the soil starts to dry out, it’s time to give your spiderwort a drink. Be sure to check the soil before watering – if the soil is still damp, skip the watering for that day.

For added moisture, you can also lightly mist the spiderwort’s leaves and stems every few days. This is especially beneficial during the summer when humidity levels are low.

Fertilizing and Soil Quality For Spiderwort

The best approach is to test the soil and determine which type of fertilizer is best for the particular soil conditions of your garden. Generally, a balanced fertilizer made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is recommended. Fertilizers with a higher nitrogen content are generally beneficial for helping the development of foliage.

Soil quality for spiderwort is also essential. Spiderwort grows best in well-draining soil that combines loam and sand. To achieve the correct soil quality for spiderwort, adding some compost or other organic matter to the soil is essential. This helps add nutrients to the soil and makes it more nutrient-rich. Additionally, it helps with drainage and can help plant roots get more oxygen.

As well as adding organic matter to the soil, it’s essential to ensure that the soil is not too acidic or alkaline. A pH tester can be used to determine the pH of the soil. Spiderwort thrives best in soils that have a slightly acidic to neutral pH. If the soil is too acidic or alkaline, you may need to adjust the pH accordingly.

Pruning and Deadheading Spiderworts

You should start by removing the old, dead flower heads. This encourages the plant to focus on creating more blooms rather than wasting energy trying to keep old flowers alive. It also helps to keep the spiderwort looking tidy. Pruning should also be done to control the size of the plant. If you want your spiderwort to stay small, you can prune back the stems and leaves to the desired size.

Deadheading is the process of removing faded flower heads to encourage the plant to continue blooming. Deadheading is beneficial to the spiderwort’s health as it helps ensure the plant is getting the necessary nutrients. Start by trimming off the faded flower heads with scissors or pruning shears. It is essential to remove the faded flowers carefully, not damaging the stems or leaves. After deadheading, your spiderwort should continue to bloom for several weeks or months.

Spiderwort Pests and Diseases

One of the most common pests for spiderwort plants is the spider mite. Spider mites are tiny arachnids that can cause damage to the leaves of your spiderwort. If you notice slight webbing on the leaves, yellowing, or bronzing, these could be signs of a spider mite infestation. To treat a spider mite infestation, use a natural insecticide that is gentle on the environment, such as neem oil.

Another common pest of spiderwort is aphids. Aphids are small insects that feed on the spiderwort plant’s sap. Aphids can cause the leaves to turn yellow and stunt the plant’s growth. To treat an aphid infestation, use an insecticidal soap or spray neem oil.

Fungal diseases can also be a problem for spiderwort plants. The most common fungal diseases are powdery mildew and leaf spot. Powdery mildew appears as a white powdery growth on the leaves, while leaf spot appears as brown spots on the leaves. To prevent these diseases, ensure your spiderwort plant is not overwatered or planted in an area with poor air circulation. If your plant does develop a fungal disease, use a fungicide to treat it.


Spiderwort plants are a great addition to any garden. They are easy to care for and require very little upkeep. With the right amount of sun, water, and soil quality, your spiderwort plants will thrive for years. Additionally, these resilient plants are known to tolerate both pests and diseases, making them an excellent choice for even novice gardeners. Growing spiderwort is quite simple, and if you’re an avid gardener, it’s a great choice to try out! With proper care and maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy their beautiful flowers and unique foliage for years to come.


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