Spiderwort Plant Care

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Spiderwort is a perennial plant which is commonly considered an invasive weed. It grows in small clumps between 1 and 2 feet high, and blooms between May and July. The blooms are small, violet flowers that last only a couple of days. Spiderwort can spread rapidly and can take over a yard in just a few seasons.

Spiderwort in Bloom
Spiderwort in Bloom

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Planting

Plant spiderwort in potting soil with good water drainage. African violet mix is ideal, but a homemade potting soil can also be prepared by mixing one part peat, one part perlite, and one part sphagnum moss. Plant the spiderwort plants spaced no less than two feet apart. Spiderwort can be planted in direct or indirect sunlight. If planted in the shade, it should be monitored for sagging, which can occur if the plant is not getting enough sunlight. If planting in a pot, ensure the pot has an inch of gravel and drainage holes on the bottom.

Pink Spiderwort
Pink Spiderwort

Watering

Soak the soil surrounding the spiderwort with warm water after first planting. Spiderwort doesn't require regular watering due to its high tolerance for drought, but it should be watered at least once per month during very hot summer months or dry spells. Test the soil around the spiderwort with your finger on a monthly basis. If the soil is dust dry, soak thoroughly with warm water. However, if the soil is moist, do not water the spiderwort, as it is susceptible to root rot.

Blue Spiderwort
Blue Spiderwort

Weeding

The main source of competition for spiderwort plants is other spiderwort plants. Weed the soil around the plants regularly to minimize competition, as seedlings produced by spiderwort can deprive the parent plant of nutrients and water. Spiderwort seedlings can be easily pulled from the ground by hand. Failure to weed new growth can also result in rapid expansion and invasive growth.

Virginia Spiderwort
Virginia Spiderwort

Pruning

Spiderwort plants don't require much pruning. However, every two or three years, the plant needs to be divided to keep them healthy and strong. Spiderwort can be divided by digging up the entire plant, including the root structure. Use a hatchet or another sharp gardening tool to split the entire plant in half. The plant will be injured by this procedure, but it will flourish after you replant it.

Immediately after the spiderwort plant blooms, unattractive foliage will be present. This foliage should be pruned back, which will help the plant conserve energy by reducing the amount of nutrients it requires to stay healthy.

Ozark Spiderwort
Ozark Spiderwort

References

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