Friday, June 4, 2010

Grow Tradescantia Subaspera Spiderwort

Tradescantia subaspera common name is the spiderwort. This native wildflower grows in shade to part shade in woodland areas. The foliage of the tradescantia is dark green with arching leaves that are long and slender. When fully grown this plant is 20 to 26 inches in height with a spread of two feet. The stems grow out of the center of the plant and bud cluster forms in April followed by flowers in May. This plant will produce blooms through July.
I discovered the spiderwort growing in the woods by my home.  The area was rocky and growing amongst the rocks was a pretty pink spidorwort.  I picked the flower and a milky substance emerged and the flower became weak and died.  Spiderwort is a woodland wildflowers that are meant to be admired. 

The spiderwort produces a small three-petal flower that comes in the colors of white, rose, purple and dark blue. This flower has a long bloom life.  Grow the tradescantia along a border, in a shady rock garden or in a container.   I grow my spiderwort in the shady section of my rock garden and I also grow it with my Hosta plants.

I cut back my spiderwort after the blooms are spent.  Spiderwort's go into a hibernation during the heat of summer and I will apply  leaf matter, pine needles or wood chip mulch around the plants to aid in moisture and to protect it from excess weed growth during the summer months.  The first week of September I will remove the mulch and fertilize the spiderwort.  It will then re-bloom in fall.

The long lived  spiderwort wildflower will add color and interest to your yard and garden.  

View this video about the native wildflower spiderwort:

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