Tradescantia are grown in the garden as hardy or half hardy perennials.
They range in height from 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet).
Many Tradescantia plant species have attractive foliage. This may be variegated or a lovely plummy purple colour.
Plants bloom in the summer, and with a little effort can be encouraged to bloom a second time in the autumn.
Tradescantia ohiensis - Common Spiderwort by wackybadger.
Some Tradescantia species carry beautiful tri-petalled flowers; these may be purple, blue, or white.
Common names for Tradescantia include Spiderwort, Wandering Jew and Trinity flower.
Tradescantia zebrina syn. Tradescantia zebrina
Tradescantia zebrina (Wandering Jew / Silver Inch Plant), photograph by Dick Culbert; CC.
Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart / Purple Secretia / Purple Queen), photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
Tradescantia fluminensis (Wandering Trad / Wandering Jew / Small-leaf Spiderwort), picture by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
The seeds of Tradescantia plants such as Trinity flower, Wandering jew, and Spiderwort can be sown outdoors in either autumn or in early spring. The seeds should be lightly covered once sown.
Depending upon their size, Tradescantia should be spaced from 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches) apart.
Ideally the soil that they grow in will be moist, rich, well drained, and acidic (pH 5 to 6).
The plants do best in a partially shaded area, but will tolerate sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist.
If starting plants indoors, then sow about seven weeks in advance. It should take from 10 days to 6 weeks for Tradescantia seeds to germinate at a temperature of about 20 degrees centigrade (68°F). Transplant them outdoors about a week after the last frost of spring.
It is easy to care for Tradescantia species. They like a moist soil so water regularly.
Cutting back once they have flowered should result in a second bloom in the autumn.
To maintain vigorous growth, plants should be divided every three years. Cut back dead foliage.
If you require more plants then they can be propagated by division in the spring.