Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 13, 2007

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Tradescantia as a water plant
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a spiderwort plant, and when I found it at the nursery, it was in water by the pond plants, (I had no idea what kind of plant it was at the time) So I bought it, took it home, and repotted it with aquatic plant soil, and stuck it in my pond. Now after some research about it, I realized that somebody probably set the plant down in the wrong spot at the nursery, but I have had it in my pond for about a week now...so far it seems fine. My question is, what do you think? Should I remove it from my pond? I certainly don't want to drown it, it is a lovely plant, one of my favorites right now! Please let me know what your advice for this would be, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you.

ANSWER:

Spiderwort is a member of the genus Tradescantia which is characterized as a prairie wildflower, so if you haven't done so already, I suggest getting the plant out of the pond.

The genus contains as many as 71 species, several of which bear the common name Spiderwort, so it is difficult to know which species you may have. Many of the commercially available spiderworts are in the Tradescantia-Andersoniana group. This group contains several cultivars of complex hybrid orgin. Two native spiderworts that are found in Florida are the Ohio Spiderwort Tradescantia ohiensis (bluejacket) and the Zigzag Spiderwort Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort).


Tradescantia ohiensis

Tradescantia subaspera
 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Evergreen Groundcovers for a Sunny Clay Soil in NC
April 15, 2015 - We have a landscaping business in Stanfield, NC. We are looking for suggestions for evergreen groundcovers for a sunny clay area. They need to fill in quickly and stay low for 1,600 square feet. Than...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time for trimming Fall asters
July 04, 2014 - RE: fall asters What is the latest date in the summer that I can trim my fall asters and still get a good amount of blooms in October?
view the full question and answer

Interesting native orchids in MS.
August 21, 2012 - I have a stand of 18 Cyp. parviflorum orchids which I tell only few people about. I've been an hobby grower for over 15 yrs. Recently, I noticed I has some Spiranthes growing which thrilled me. Now, ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Kingsland TX
October 11, 2012 - I am looking for a list of native ground covers and grasses(not lawn grass).
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like oranges in Alpine, TX
August 16, 2012 - There are patches of flat bushy like plants in lawn, smells like orange. Areas may be 10" and spreading, but when pulled has small root. How can I get rid of this plant and what is it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.