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A picture of a Spiderwort


Tradescantia zebrina

Also known as

Inch Plant, Wandering Dude

Photo by TheArchwayPlanter (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Spiderwort

A photo of Spiderwort
A close up of a Tradescantia zebrina plant with shiny purple and green leaves
A close up of a Tradescantia zebrina plant with shiny purple and green leaves
A photo of Spiderwort
A close up of a purple Tradescantia zebrina leaf

Spiderwort Overview

Tradescantia zebrina is a trailing, evergreen perennial species which acts as a great ground cover and climbing plant in non-frost-prone climates. It has attractive, colourful foliage and produces rosy-purple, 3-petalled flowers. In mild climates, it's a garden ornamental, cultivated for borders and also used in beds and pots. It's also grown indoors as a houseplant, but this species requires bright, indirect light, regular pruning and won't cope with freezing temperatures well. Their flowers unfold one at a time to preserve energy, usually in the morning and will generally close with the afternoon sun. They may remain open on cloudy days. Care must be taken, as it may cause an allergic reaction in some pets, if ingested. Plants in the genus Tradescantia have until recently been commonly known as ‘Wandering Jew’. This name is no longer used by the horticultural world due to its historical use in supporting antisemitic stereotypes. Similarly, Wandelende Jood (Afr.) is also considered inappropriate.

Common problems with Spiderwort

Botrytis disease is the grey rot associated with wet/humid conditions. Can be prevented by drying plants out in between waterings. Otherwise, they are generally disease-free.

Spiderwort Companion Plants

Best planted on its own as it can overgrow other plants.

How to harvest Spiderwort

Not usually harvested.

How to propagate Spiderwort


Cover seeds with potting soil/organic matter. Sow in Spring or towards the end of autumn.


Take cuttings in the spring in cooler areas/autumn in warmer areas. Stem cuttings roots quickly placed in a smaller pot with moist potting soil in a warm, bright area.


Remove stems with roots and replant to new areas.


Wherever the shoots touch soil, it roots and spreads!

Special features of Spiderwort

Pot plant

Plant using potting mix or organic matter. Be careful not to over-water and do not let soil dry out completely, prefers evenly moist soil.

Indoor plant

Also grown as indoor plants with bright, indirect light.

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Spiderwort


Cultivated as a garden ornamental. It is often grown as a ground cover, mainly for its colourful foliage.

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