Spiderwort, properly called Tradesantia, includes 71 species. These perennial plants grow naturally in wooded areas as well as in fields. While this plant is often considered a weed, many who have this plant growing wild on their property allow it to continue, because it is quite pretty.
With more than 70 varieties, it is not surprising that spiderwort comes in several colors. You may see it in shades of white, purple or pink, but the most common variety produces vibrant blue petals.
This is a plant that is popular for use in borders or just to add a pop of color to landscaping or a garden. It can be grown from seed or by propagating the plant, which is best done in the spring. It is quite easy to grow, but there are some things that you need to keep in mind.
• Provide well-draining soil as the plant will not do as well if it is sitting in water.
• It should be planted in a spot that receives either full sun or partial shade.
• If you live in a climate with particularly dry summers, you will need to take care to provide extra water.
• You must be careful that the soil is not too rich in nutrients. If it is, the plants will grow too quickly. This will cause them to droop before they even reach their full height. If you provide the right conditions, then your spiderworts will flower for a number of years. Just be sure to cut them back once they start to droop and you will be able to enjoy them again next year.
In addition to being a popular choice for certain landscaping projects, it is also popular for use in containers. It works well in both pots and in hanging baskets. Keep in mind the same tips as above such as placing the plant in full sun for several hours a day, not using soil that is very rich in nutrients and providing adequate water. As a general rule of thumb, if the soil feels moist then you will not need to add water at that time.
• You can get seeds for some varieties of this plant at your local nursery or from online seed catalogs. If you can’t find the one that you want locally, check online. There is a good chance that you will find what you want.
• Certain varieties may cause allergies in dogs and cats, so keep this in mind when choosing this plant for your home or garden. If you notice your pet has red, itchy skin, that may be a sign of an allergy to spiderwort.
• One type, called Western Spiderwort, is considered in Canada to be an endangered species.
• The plants can grow up to one foot tall, but they often flop over or droop, especially if they grow too fast. Whether you use this plant to enhance the beauty of your garden or for use in containers, it is a lovely choice that adds color and charm. The best news is that it is relatively easy to grow and, in many cases, will return year after year.
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