Giant Spiderwort

Tradescantia gigantean

There are many native spiderworts, including giant spiderwort (Tradescantia gigantea), an herbaceous prairie land perennial that makes a great addition to any shady or part sun garden in all soil types—though not in rock.

It spreads quickly to about 18 inches, and brambles over itself to two feet tall, or taller when in bloom.

Tuck it among perennials that go dormant in winter for its strappy clumps of leaves until bloom time

It emerges from dormancy in fall and flowers from late winter to mid-spring. Since plants easily hybridize, colors range from blue to lavender and pink, dependent on soil pH. Bees and butterflies will head right over!

Not deer resistant!

Hardy to Zone 8, giant spiderwort returns reliably each year in Central Texas. It can be easily divided to share or move to other parts of the garden in fall or after blooming. You can move in early spring but you may sacrifice flowering that year.

After flowering, you can cut the stalks to the base of the plant. If you want it to re-seed, or to collect seeds yourself to share with friends, wait until the seed heads are brown.

To collect seeds for next fall’s planting, cut them off into a bag or bucket and let them dry in shade for a week or so. After that, it’s easy to scoop up the seeds to store until fall planting. Be sure to remove all the chaff to prevent mildew.