Help a reader: Can you prolong the bloom of a spiderwort?

spiderwort in Buffalo NY
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

I received this question from a reader:

I have several spiderwort (transcandentia) in a variety of colors. I love the plants, however, their bloom only lasts until late afternoon, then they close up.

Is there anything I can do to extend their bloom time or is this just typical of the plant?

Also, can they be cut back to bring another full blooming young plant at a certain time during the summer?  

Thanks,

Dawn Brennan

I have spiderwort, and mine close up in the afternoon, too.

My spiderwort seems to be done for the season, so if there’s a way to get more blooms out of it, I’d like to know!

Readers, can you help with these spiderwort questions? If so, please share by leaving a comment below.

Background:

I’m not a gardening expert. I’m a writer by profession who interviews knowledgeable people in order to provide you with great articles on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.

So when someone asks a question I can’t answer, I post the question and rely on my readers to share their expertise.

A more efficient route for getting your questions answered is to turn to Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or to turn to your local garden center.

For Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, call (716) 652-5400 from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays or email them at mgerie@cornell.edu. For Chautauqua County, email your question to CCEMGCC@gmail.com; call the Helpline at (716) 664-9502, ext. 224, or stop in to the Ag Center, 3542 Turner Rd., Jamestown,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.

There are helpful Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in other counties, too. Find contact information here for your county’s Cooperative Extension office.

The businesses that support this magazine have very knowledgeable staff. Check out our Gardening Directory and Garden Resources or click on an ad to get their contact information.

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12 Comments on “Help a reader: Can you prolong the bloom of a spiderwort?

  1. They are usually an earlier bloomer, in late spring. Not fond of the summer heat and they do like it moist. I have tried to remove this plant because it is far too aggressive for my small city property. It keeps coming back even in odd places.

  2. Why don’t you just try cutting it back and see if it blooms again. I have found several perennials that are not advertised to do this actually do. Carolina Lupine is one example.

  3. I don’t grow my spiderworts in full sun. They seem to prefer a sun to shade location with lots of compost. When they finish blooming I cut them back about two-thirds. One year they rebloomed two more times! Normally they rebloom only once. Mine are well behaved…. no seedlings probably because the seeds don’t get the chance to mature.

  4. I have them in a shadier location and they do seem to close up for the evening. I have deadheaded spent blooms and they have flowered again but not to the same extent as the first.

  5. One of its common names is ‘dayflower’ bkz each bloom last for a day. If planted in rich, well-drained, evenly moist soil should re-bloom if dead-headed. Shadier area will prevent drying out.

  6. Thanks for all that helpful advice. I have my spiderwort in one of the sunniest spots in my yard. I can definitely find a shadier spot for it give it lots of compost.

  7. We have a few varieties of Spiderwort in our city gardens and have never dead headed them. You can only expect them to flower in the early morning through early afternoon. Our tall purple variety started blooming early June and will continue through August. All are planted in full to part sun.

  8. Perhaps the variety of spiderwort has something to do with it. After mine finished blooming, the plant died. Or I could be doing something else wrong– poor soil, etc.

  9. Oddly, several people had mentioned to us while on the Hamburg Garden Walk that their Spiderwort had stopped blooming all together which I could not explain but found it unusual that they only lasted about a month when ours bloom all summer!

  10. Mine will close early on the warmest days of summer and they are grown in mostly sun. They don’t seem to spread and they bloom most of the summer.

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