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PlantFiles: Spiderwort, Virginia Spiderwort, Lady's Tears
Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Zwanenburg Blue'

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: Zwanenburg Blue

One vendor has this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

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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Thumbnail #1 of Tradescantia x andersoniana by henryr10

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
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 rivularis On Nov 9, 2013, rivularis from Nanoose Bay, British Columbia
Canada wrote:

This Spiderwort was a a rescue from a garage sale, and am I ever glad we found each other. Now I know the beauty of Spiderworts and have added them to the perennial garden whenever I find them in the nurseries. Here on Vancouver Island they bloom from May to frost in October. SUPERB plant for this climate. Lots of mulch keeps their soil moist and makes them very happy.

Positive mehitabel45 On Jun 23, 2011, mehitabel45 from Whidbey Island, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I so love this plant! I bought it on a whim, because I loved the color of the blossom, never guessing that it would present me with a flower or two a day all summer long, although I ignored it. I had just stuck it in below a large rhododendron, where it only got direct sun after 2 or 3 in the afternoon. What a treat!

Positive gapchwillow On May 29, 2009, gapchwillow from Macomb, IL wrote:

Love the color of this flower! I've found this to be a very reliable bloomer that wears itself out by mid-July, but if cut down to almost ground level and watered sufficiently will put on a big fall show of repeat blooms. The foliage is attractive and different than anything else I have in my garden, too.

Neutral friskers On Jun 16, 2007, friskers from Excelsior, MN wrote:

I love the beauty of this flower, but I've noticed that in south-facing sun, the flowers close up so you can't see the petals. Is hot sun too much for the zwanenburg blue? I live in south-central Minnesota. Cil Cullen

Positive henryr10 On May 29, 2006, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

A very strong grower.
Thick stems and never lax even in partial sun.
Well suited to Containers.

The term Spiderwort stems from the Middle Ages.
The suffix 'wort' denotes a medicinal herb.
It was thought to be a cure for Spider bites.

Positive SudieGoodman On May 30, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Oh, I really appreciate this lovely Blue-Violet plant that is drought, disease resistent! Spiderwort is also self-sustaining. They are naturalized on my 3 acres and add great beauty and interest.
Can't imagine why the name Spiderwort for such a lovely flower, however.


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

Montevallo, Alabama
Eureka, California
Oakland, California
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Macomb, Illinois
Buckfield, Maine
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Canton, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Novi, Michigan
Excelsior, Minnesota
Hopkins, Minnesota
Kansas City, Missouri
Fargo, North Dakota (2 reports)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Uniontown, Ohio
Gresham, Oregon
Broaddus, Texas
Arlington, Virginia
Freeland, Washington

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