Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 7:57 pm

Stopping Spiderwort

I moved into my home about two years ago. The previous owner began as an avid gardener, but she became disinterested and stopped spliting her plants. What I'm left with is spiderwort that has actually, somehow gone to seed (our nursery man says it doesn't go to seed, but he hasn't seen my yard!). It is in every garden in my yard, actually growing in my yard, and it's also invading my neighbors yeards and gardens. I've dug out hundreds of plants, but to no avail, they're actually new plants in my gardens now, in September! I don't want to have to use harsh chemicals because the reason I want to get rid of them is that they're choaking my roses, lilies, daisies, etc. All the information I've found says how lovey they are...any ideas on stopping/killing them before my gardens become pastures of cow slobber :x Thanks!

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Hey RC,

Souonds like a handful; despite the coaxing of some of my native planthead friends I've never liked tradescantia and now I know why.

It is perennial and usually propagates by division, which is why your nurseryman said it wouldn't seed (like most perennials it will), but I bet the worst of it has spread stolon by stolon, foot by foot. Thus the best way to rid yourself of it is to dig it out! (I know, not what you wanted to hear). You've been leaving root divisions behind and those are your new plants; get all of them and they'll start to dissappear.

If that's too much digging, dig the ones you want to keep and Round-up the rest. NO, it's not my usual eco-friendly advice (that would be covering the beds with black plastic for a few months), but it will do the job quickly and without to much residue. Let your conscience (and your back) be your guide...


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