Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spiderwort, Virginia Spiderwort, Lady's Tears
Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Red Cloud'

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: x andersoniana (an-der-soh-nee-AH-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Cloud

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Apr 16, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An aggressive, high-maintenance perennial grown for its long season of bloom.

Individual flowers last only a day, and while flowering goes on over a long season, the accumulating black deadheads make the inflorescence look ugly within a week. It isn't practical to deadhead each flower individually---you need to cut the stem to the ground. The plant will respond well to cutting back with more stems and often more flowers.

The habit is leggy and sprawling. Plants need cutting back frequently.

This is a tough weedy plant that can spread aggressively by self-sowing. Resistant to glyphosate, and very difficult to dig out completely, as plants can regenerate from small bits of root.

To keep it looking acceptable, this plant requires more work than it's worth, in my opinion. This plant has been heavily promoted far beyond its garden value. It looks like the pictures only briefly, and looks a mess for most of the season. There are too many better garden plants to bother with this one.

Most cultivars are Tradescantia x andersonia, a group of complex hybrids developed from T. virginiana, T. ohioensis, and T. subaspera.

Positive Jeanio1111 On May 25, 2012, Jeanio1111 from Carmel, NY wrote:

This plant has popped up all over my yard. I thought it was a pretty weed so I collected it several places where it looks lovely. Now, it is officially a "plant" with a name! LOL I have to say that it doesn't seem to need to be consistently moist. It does as well in my dry shade as in clay hillside. Very hearty and the deer seem to leave it alone. That makes it invaluable in my book.

Positive henryr10 On May 30, 2005, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

'Red Cloud' like all the Spiderworts is an easy grow.
A nice red/pink that makes it really stand out against the purple or blues of other T x A's.

What sets it off from 'Pauline' is the very thin strap-like foliage.
This plays well against any other of the T x A's.
The foliage can be a bit weak in a heavy rain though this is not a problem as the clump matures.

Positive PLANT_NUT On May 22, 2004, PLANT_NUT from Charlotte, NC wrote:

My mother gave me several stalks of this 3 years ago. Within the following year it had tripled in size! I finally divided it into thirds this spring 2004. Each third bloomed in this same season. I would highly recommend this plant as its flowers are never-ending and the plant itself is very hardy. INTERESTING NOTE: The petals of each flower do not fall off as they die. Instead there is an enzyme within the plant that dissolves the flowers!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Deltona, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Solsberry, Indiana
Olathe, Kansas
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Stephenson, Michigan
Olive Branch, Mississippi
Belgrade, Montana
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Carmel, New York
Cicero, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas
Hartford, Wisconsin

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