How to Grow and Care for Spiderwort (Tradescantia plant) at Home

How to Grow and Care for Spiderwort (Tradescantia plant) at Home
How to Grow and Care for Spiderwort (Tradescantia plant) at Home

Among lovers of bright colors, the Spiderwort or Tradescantia plant has long been a legend. Although the range of colorful houseplants has expanded enviably, no novelty has yet to eclipse this simple “grandmother” plant. Although Spiderwort is once again classified in the genus Tradescantia, it is still special. Bright, easy to grow, fast-growing, and very reliable. The distinctive shade of blue-purple and the complete absence of green are the advantages that make Spiderwort never go out of style. You will learn How to Grow and Care for Spiderwort in the ThumbGarden article.


Spiderwort, representing the Commelinae family, is a plant that is almost typical in character and structure, but certainly not in color. This bright purple wonder comes from Mexico. Native to the highlands, it is a primitive groundcover for subtropical climates. Spiderwort has become a real favorite of landscapers and florists in the West. Its popular nickname, “Purple Heart”, best describes its appearance.

Tradescantia pallida (synonyms: Tradescantia purpurea, Setcreasea pallida, Setcreasea purpurea), also known as Purpleheart, belongs to the Tradescantia pallida species according to modern classification.

It is a perennial herb with long, thin, rather brittle shoots. Initially, the shoots of Spiderwort grow upright, but the more they elongate, the more they droop. Broad lance-shaped stemless leaves, reaching 8 inches (20 cm) in length and a maximum width of 2 inches (5 cm), enclose the stem. The unusual, very pleasant to the touch “corduroy leaves” of the young leaves only emphasize the unique color and blue hue of the plant.

Spiderworts’ color palette can only be compared to that of the rainbow, another plant classified as Tradescantia. But while Spiderworts’ purple is only a complement to more classic colors, in Spiderworts it is the dominant, almost exclusive color. The green hue appears only on the back of the leaves. A few varieties have more striped, green, or pink color variations.

Spiderworts are also considered an ornamental flowering plant, although flowering causes disturbance of shoot shape and loss of compactness, and is very attractive without sacrificing the beauty of the green plant for flowering. The small, inconspicuous apical inflorescence has pink “triangular” flowers up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter that blooms on eustoma throughout the summer.


Growing Conditions For Indoor Spiderworts Plants
Growing Conditions For Indoor Spiderworts Plants

Bright light and average temperatures are all Spiderworts need. They are not even afraid of ventilation and temperature changes and adapt well to different rooms.

Lighting and placement

Spiderworts are one of the most light-loving houseplants. It is worth treating Spiderwort as a garden plant – place it on the brightest windowsill and protect it only from the hot midday sun. Lack of light can lead to loss of color.

Setkresias are best suited to southern and partly southern windowsills and least suited to eastern and western windows. When choosing a location for them, it is worth noting the fragility of the shoots: placing Spiderworts in such a way that they will not cause leaves and shoots to break when accidentally poked or actively moved. As a rule, plants should be placed remotely in a sheltered area.

Temperature control and ventilation

Due to its enviable hardiness, Spiderworts can withstand severe cold spells – up to 41 °F (5 °C) for short periods of time – and are not very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. It grows more vigorously and vividly in the steady heat and high temperatures of summer.

Any room temperature is suitable for Spiderworts. if it can be lowered to 59-68 °F (15-20°C) in winter, the aging process is slowed down. In summer, Spiderworts will not refuse to move into the fresh air. It will grow more actively on the balcony or in the garden.

However, if Spiderworts are kept only as houseplants, their exposure to fresh air must be increased in summer. Regular ventilation should be done at any time of the year when Spiderworts is kept warm – temperatures above 59 °F (15 °C). In hot weather, ventilation should be constant or very frequent.


Caring For Spiderworts Plants At Home
Caring For Spiderworts Plants At Home

Many say that this plant can compete with Chlorophytum in terms of plainness as well. However, in practice, Spiderworts are not so tough. Admittedly, it is even suitable for beginners, but it still has basic wagering requirements that must be met.

Watering and air humidity

Despite its unconventional color and enviable growth rate, the fixerwort is surprisingly drought tolerant. It forgives the lack of irrigation and is even suitable for flower growers who move around a lot. But there is a “but”: Spiderworts does not like even the slightest overwatering or waterlogging. In winter, reduce substrate moisture by watering less frequently and drying the soil sufficiently.

When watering with hard water, color intensity is compromised and excess water should not be allowed to stagnate in the trays. However, the most important rule for watering water hyacinth is to protect the greenery from water droplets. If you are not careful, white spots will be left on the leaves. The water around the pot without dripping.

Spraying Spiderworts and showers are not allowed. A brush should be used to gently dust the plant. Spiderworts do not need high humidity, but it also does not like dry air. Mist humidification or placing damp pebble trays around it will maintain a comfortable average level.

Fertilizer and fertilizer ingredients

Spiderworts should only be fertilized with mineral, mixed and organic fertilizers during their active growing season. Feeding at a frequency of every 15 to 20 days at half the concentration recommended by the grower, or at a more heavily reduced weekly concentration, will suit this crop.
Setters do not like long-lasting fertilizers or foliar sprays. Excessive fertilizer can cause loss of color.

Pruning and shaping setcrease

This is one of the plants that tend to lose its form quickly and needs constant rejuvenation or replacement with new shrubs. Pivot pruning – trimming too short stakes – can stimulate new green growth and renew the plant in spring. However, if the oleander is too misshapen, it is easier to take rooted cuttings and plant new plants to replace the old ones.

Transplants, containers, and substrates

Spiderwort is an excellent plant to fill large containers, boxes, in-ground beds, complex succulent combinations, and indoor beds with its textured foliage. Unlike many crops, it is not afraid of transplants and bare roots.

When choosing containers, consider their stability and give preference to containers that are not too deep rather than classic proportions. Repot every year and replace old plants if they have lost their ornamental qualities. Repotting can be done in spring and summer.

For this indoor plant, any general-purpose, slightly acidic substrate that does not tend to lose its permeability will do, or a simple soil made of sand, sod, leaf soil, and peat in equal proportions, or a substrate for summer plants, or a mixture of ornamental and deciduous crops. spiderwort grows well in hydroponic and inert substrates.

Place a high drainage device in the bottom of the container. Be sure to add perlite or other soil loosening agents to the soil.

Pests and problems of growing Spiderworts

Under indoor conditions, Spiderwort is virtually disease-free – until care and feeding conditions become severely disturbed. In the wrong light and without ventilation, they wilt, stretch, lose their color and become bare. If the air is too dry, the shrubs can suffer from spider mites.

Propagation of Spiderwort plants

It is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Whether top or stem, plugs of Euphorbia can be easily rooted in water, sand, perlite, or substrate without any skill. Cuttings can be rooted in spring and summer.
If the plant is not established, long shoots can be rooted as grafts and separated from the mother plant after 3-4 weeks.

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