How to Care for Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) Indoors

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Virginia Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana

Botanical name: Tradescantia virginiana
Family: Commelinaceae
Common names: Virginia Spiderwort, Common Spiderwort,

Virginia Spiderwort Description

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) also called Common Spiderwort or Spider Lily is a perennial herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, on tubular stems.

Virginia Spiderwort bears long, erect or arching bright green leaves. The plant is a prolific bloomer with each flower lasting only a day.

The Virginia Spiderwort flowers are blue, purple, magenta, or white and are borne in summer.

The Virginia Spiderwort spreads by means of underground stolons forming clumps and grows 2-3 feet tall by 1 foot wide.

Virginia Spiderwort Origin

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) is native to the eastern and central USA.

Virginia Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) Care Indoors

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) grows best in bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil. It prefers warm temperatures to thrive and has no need for high humidity.

The best soil for growing Virginia Spiderwort is free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Continue reading for more on the growing conditions for Virginia Spiderwort.

Virginia Spiderwort Light Requirements

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) grows best in bright, indirect light. It can also grow under a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

Keep your Virginia Spiderwort away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Virginia Spiderwort

Water Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) thoroughly during the growing season and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Reduce watering for your Virginia Spiderwort during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.


Temperature for Virginia Spiderwort

Average warmth with a minimum 130C is ideal for Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana). A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.

Protect the plant from draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Virginia Spiderwort

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) has no need for high humidity. Moderate (average) air humidity is ideal for this Plant.

However, if the temperatures are too high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your plant. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Virginia Spiderwort

Feed Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Virginia Spiderwort during the cold season as the growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Virginia Spiderwort

Repot Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.

Soil for Virginia Spiderwort

The best soil for Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Virginia Spiderwort. Buy quality Potting Mix for your Virginia Spiderwort from Etsy.

How to Prune Virginia Spiderwort

Pruning Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To control the growth of your Virginia Spiderwort and encourage bushyness, pinch the growing tips. Cut back leggy stems of your Virginia Spiderwort at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) Propagation

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) can be propagated during the growing period by plant divison or from stem-cuttings.

How to propagate Virginia Spiderwort by plant division

Water your Virginia Spiderwort thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Take out your Virginia Spiderwort from its pot and carefully divide it into sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves.

Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the pot with loose, free-draining soil and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Virginia Spiderwort section.

Place the Virginia Spiderwort section in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base while taking care not to bury it too deep; maintain the section at the same soil level it was in the previous pot.

Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place until the new plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Virginia Spiderwort from stem cuttings

Virginia Spiderwort stem cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone. Take a stem cutting from a healthy Virginia Spiderwort of about 4-6 in. and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves.

Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of the Virginia Spiderwort cuttings to prevent rotting.

Fill your rooting container with loose, free-draining soil to a depth of about 4 in. Lightly moisten the soil.

With a pencil or similar object make a hole that is wider than the diameter of the Virginia Spiderwort cutting. Carefully insert the Virginia Spiderwort cutting in the hole made previously to a depth of about 3 in.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Virginia Spiderwort to be well established before transplanting to individual pots after which you can begin routine care.

Virginia Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) Problems Indoors

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults like improper watering, improper feeding and inadequate light. Read on for remedies and solutions to these problems.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) loss of leaf color

Loss of leaf color in Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) is caused by inadequate light (too little light).

Move your Virginia Spiderwort to a brighter spot, as it grows best in bright, indirect light but away from direct sunshine or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) dropping leaves

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) will readily drop its leaves if the light is inadequate (too little).

Ensure to place your Virginia Spiderwort in a brightly lit place while protecting it from direct hot sunshine to avoid scorching of the leaves or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

Virginia Spiderwort leggy growth (elongated stems)

There are three possible causes of leggy growth in Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana). One possible cause of leggy growth in your Virginia Spiderwort is too little light.

Move the plant to a brighter spot as it needs bright, indirect light to thrive or instal a grow light if you do not have adequate light in your home.

The second cause of leggy growth in your Virginia Spiderwort is underwatering resulting too little moisture in the soil and thus the plant does not get enough water and nutrients necessary for growth.

Water the plant thoroughly to maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season and reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

The third cause of leggy growth in your Virginia Spiderwort is inadequate feeding (underfeeding). Feed your Virginia Spiderwort every 4 weeks with a balanced, liquid fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Virginia Spiderwort limp stems, yellow leaves

Limp stems and yellow leaves in Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) are due to underwatering.

Water the plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) dying

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) dying is caused by root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Also, reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and thus the plant does not require a lot of water.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) diseases

Common diseases in Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) are root-rot disease and leaf spot. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat the plant appropriately for the disease.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) pests

Common pests in Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) are Mealy Bugs, Aphids and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant and treat appropriately. Mist the leaves regularly to reduce infestation by these pests.

Is Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) toxic?

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) is mildly toxic to humans and pets.

If Virginia Spiderwort is ingested the plant sap can cause burning in the mouth, tongue and throat. The sap may also cause skin irritation in sensitive skin; always wear gloves when handling Virginia Spiderwort.

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