Spiderwort

Tradescantia spp.

Spider-Lily, Wandering Dude, Wandering Jew

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The genus Tradescantia consists of around 75, mostly evergreen, herbaceous perennials and is also known by the common names spiderwort and wandering jew. They are typically grown for their attractive, lance-shaped foliage, which is often green striped, with purple colouration and their small 3-petalled blue, pink-purple, sometimes white flowers. Highly valued as ornamental plants, these are grown worldwide and have been widely naturalised, with many hybrids and cultivars produced. They make great, low-maintenance houseplants with an attractive trailing growth habit that suits placement in hanging containers. Some species in this genus are considered weeds in certain locations and most plants in this genus are commonly called Wandering Dude or Spiderwort. Once known by the common name 'Wandering Jew' this name is no longer used by the horticultural world due to its negative connotations. It is provided for historical purposes only.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Not usually harvested.

Propagation

Seed

Cover seeds with potting soil/organic matter. Sow in spring or towards the end of autumn.

Cuttings

Take cuttings in the spring in cooler areas/autumn in warmer areas. Stem cuttings roots quickly placed in a smaller pot with moist potting soil in a warm, bright area.

Division

Remove stems with roots and replant to new areas.

Layering

Wherever the shoots touch soil, it roots and spreads!

Special features

Pot plant

Plant using potting mix or organic matter. Be careful not to over-water and do not let soil dry out completely, prefers evenly moist soil.

Indoor plant

Also grown as indoor plants with bright, indirect light.

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Compost, Loam, Peat

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Cultivated as a garden ornamental. It is often grown as a ground cover, mainly for its colourful foliage.

Personality

Family

Commelinaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Purple, Blue, White

Scent

None

Problems

Pest and diseases include spider mites. Botrytis disease is the grey rot associated with wet/humid conditions. Can be prevented by drying plants out in between waterings.

Companion plants

Best planted on its own as it can overgrow other plants.

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