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Tradescantia occidentalis (Prairie Spiderwort)

Prairie Spiderwort, Western Spiderwort, Spiderwort

Tradescantia occidentalis, Prairie Spiderwort, Western Spiderwort, Spiderwort, Blue Flowers, Purple Flowers

An eye-catching addition to the landscape, Tradescantia occidentalis (Prairie Spiderwort) is a vigorous, clump-forming herbaceous perennial with long, arching, narrow leaves, up to 6 in. long (15 cm). From early to midsummer, the foliage is topped by small clusters of three-petaled, blue-violet flowers, up to 2 in. across (5 cm), adorned with showy yellow stamens. Blooming in succession, each flower lasts only a day, but there is such an abundance of flower buds that this plant is rarely out of blooms. Valued by native bees, this charming wildflower provides attractive seasonal color in shady or sunny areas.

  • Grows up to 12-24 in. tall (30-60 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45cm). This plant may self-sow aggressively in optimum growing conditions and become invasive.
  • Easily grown in fertile, moist, well-drained soils in sun or shade. Flower production will decrease in too much shade. Some drought tolerance.
  • Great for beds and borders, woodland gardens or as a groundcover under trees.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for aphids, mealy bugs. Deer resistant.
  • After flowering, cut back flowered stems to prevent seeding and to encourage further flowers.
  • Propagate by cuttings.
  • Native from Minnesota to Louisiana.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Commelinaceae
Genus Tradescantia
Common names Spiderwort
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 18"
(30cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Tradescantia (Andersoniana Group) ‘Sweet Kate’ (Spider Lily)
Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio Spiderwort)
Tradescantia (Andersoniana Group) ‘Concord Grape’ (Spider Lily)
Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia Spiderwort)
Tradescantia zebrina (Wandering Dude)
Tradescantia sillamontana (White Velvet)

Recommended Companion Plants

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf Tickseed)
Aquilegia coerulea (Rocky Mountain Columbine)
Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Aster)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy)
Gaillardia aristata (Great Blanket Flower)
Ratibida columnifera (Mexican Hat Plant)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Commelinaceae
Genus Tradescantia
Common names Spiderwort
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 18"
(30cm - 50cm)
Maintenance Low, Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah
Tolerance Full Shade, Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Tradescantia (Spiderwort)
Not sure which Tradescantia (Spiderwort) to pick?
Compare Now

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