Perennials forum: Spiderwort friend or foe, and it's sneaky too

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Name: Sue Seymour
Escanaba Michigan (Zone 5a)
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suzysparklesalot
Jul 29, 2016 9:48 AM CST
Hi everyone,
last year I moved from my old house where I waged war with pink spiderwort. Although I thought it was pretty, it was so invasive I was always pulling it out and throwing it away and it always came back again and again.
When I moved to my new house I took some of my perennials but no spiderwort. I joked I had to move to get rid of it.
I planted a beautiful flower bed across the front of my house last fall and what did I see growing in my new garden this spring but pink spiderwort. A huge clump of it, I think it hitched a ride with my antique rose.
Now I have dug up the whole clump and put in an old enameled pot. I also dug up all the dirt in the area and sifted for roots. Do you think I tamed it? Me either. :)
What's your opinion friend or foe?
P.S. I was also crazy enough to take a clump of blue and gold spiderwort from my sister-in-law and put that in a different pot!

Sue
Thumb of 2016-07-29/suzysparklesalot/b3ffde

Sue from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 29, 2016 6:38 PM CST
I'm in a colder climate than you, but my Spiderwort barely grows in my shade garden. It has not gotten any bigger, and it seems to flower less each year. I bought two about five years ago. Bought a different coloured on this year.

Thumb of 2016-07-30/conniepr27/1164f0

This is the new one:
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[Last edited by conniepr27 - Aug 4, 2016 3:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Jul 29, 2016 8:01 PM CST

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Foe. I must fill up 2 garbage cans of it every year , the purple is the one that goes crazy on me. Pots do not help the seeds still get around.Biggest mistake I ever planted.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Jul 29, 2016 8:19 PM CST
Zone 4B, it grows ok, but not to extent that you have to throw it away!
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Jul 29, 2016 8:31 PM CST

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I have given some to every relative , neighbor and who would ever take some, but they just overrun the sun garden. They never show up in the shade garden or areas that retain water. The sun garden was set up for very good drainage for the Echinacea and is in full sun so mostly on the dry side, and they just seem to love it. The worse part is they pop up in the middle of other plants and that makes them very hard to get rid of with out hurting the other plants.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jul 30, 2016 8:55 AM CST
I agree with Bob. It's irritating to have to try to remove it from between desirable plants. It never seems to be eradicated no matter how diligent I am.

Definitely foe for me.
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Aug 4, 2016 11:16 AM CST
I planted some a few years ago, decided I didn't like the look of it after it bloomed, and dug it up. Or so I thought. I keep finding them here and there and keep digging them up. Not a huge bother, but they definitely don't go away easily.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Aug 4, 2016 3:39 PM CST
I'm kind of hoping mine will spread a little bit once my dying birch tree is gone, as they will be getting a bit more sun each day after that. They will never get full sun all day, as they are planted directly underneath a huge Mountain Ash tree, and another juvenile Mountain Ash, which was planted there to give shade when the old one is gone (was showing signs of that a few years back).
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Aug 4, 2016 9:33 PM CST
I have not had any problem with spiderwort, and I'm fairly certain mine is a very common one - plain jane purple. It increases slowly as most perennials do, but is not a thug. Funny how plants behave so differently in different climates.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Peggy
Belleville, NJ (June-Dec) & Po (Zone 6a)
Irises
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PeggyB
Aug 16, 2016 4:18 PM CST
Now that I know what my plant is......:).......I am glad that I planted my spider wort in random parts of the yard where I just needed "something" with some green and a bit of color. I read NJBob's post with care, and will be sure to keep an eye on my plants!
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Aug 16, 2016 5:36 PM CST
I have not found a plant that is a foe if planted where it should be planted or where you want it planted. Hilarious!

It is a friend in my garden because as someone posted above I have it in shade and I have not had any problems with it growing fast.

In a sun garden on a hillside I wanted it to take over but the rabbits love it so I am not getting the growth I wanted.
Name: Lindsay Smith
The thumb area of Michigan (Zone 5b)
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Lbsmitty
Aug 18, 2016 5:03 AM CST
Mine grow like weeds here, too. Biggest mistake planting them as well. They do look pretty in bloom with my historic irises in pic. below, though. I put rocks and expensive weed block around it. That was a joke. It's growing right through it.
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 19, 2016 7:40 PM CST
I have several spiderworts in the gardens
I have found they behave quite differently

The bright magenta like above photo , has the worst habit . It grows sparsely(not clump forming) and spreads more than I am comfortable with ....so It has been confined to a pot and doing well.

The wild form, taller and purple/blue behaves,and forms nice clumps although it gets ratty looking in late summer if grown in sun, in that case I just cut it to the ground.

I have one called ''billberry ice'' and It neither spreads or multiplies much at all.

''Osprey'' disappears completely(dies back) by mid July after blooming
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Aug 23, 2016 4:56 PM CST
I gave mine away, too. It just spread way to much and way too fast.

Karen
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Aug 23, 2016 8:04 PM CST
Not sure what I have but it stays put! Just increases a little each yr.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Sep 25, 2016 3:19 PM CST
Mine has blue flowers. Am I misidentifying it as spiderwort? I've never been sure about it. It was a 3rd party rescue. They gave me a sad limp sprout saying "save that". I did. It is thriving in poor soil and mostly rainfall (such as it it is here in Summer).
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 25, 2016 3:24 PM CST
Spiderworts come in many colors blue is one of them
several shades of blue/ purple

Do you have a photo?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Nov 1, 2016 2:30 AM CST
I have had this one Spiderwort plant for several years. Can't really remember what year I planted it. It stays in a clump and has never spread or produced babies that I can tell. It is in full sun. This bed has landscape fabric down under the mulch.
Taken Sept 2014
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Taken June 2015
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Taken July 28, 2016 The spiderwort is on the inside corner of both of these photos. Guess I didn't get one of just the Spiderwort.
Thumb of 2016-11-01/gardenglassgems/d25b4a Thumb of 2016-11-01/gardenglassgems/a99591

Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 17, 2016 10:01 AM CST
Trying to include all of the spiderwort-type Tradescantias into one behavioral description is a mistake. Among the various species, cultivars have been developed, some of which are sterile. Location would also be a huge factor in how any particular one behaves.

Look at how many plants, from several species of Tradescantia to various cultivars thereof, and even a few plants from other genera share this nickname:
http://garden.org/plants/search/text/?q=spiderwort

Such small, herbaceous plants are not difficult to evict from a garden, just dig up all of the roots. They can be bigger than expected, and always impossible to pull unless your soil is *really* soft down to about a foot deep:

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Nov 22, 2016 11:19 PM CST
Last Widow's Tears. Aptly named ? last 2016 bloom of the year before the sub freezing cold on 11-19-2016
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