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Cobweb Spiderwort Tradescantia sillamontana

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Tradescantia pexata
Phonetic Spelling
trad-es-KAN-tee-uh see-yuh-MON-tah-nuh
Description

Cobweb Spiderwort or Tradescantia sillamontana, is a low growing perennial groundcover plant that is native to dry regions in Mexico.  This easy to grow plant prefers partial shade but will tolerate full sun with good soil moisture.  When located in an area that received full sun in the heat of the day, the leaves can burn.

It can grow in a range of soil and pH conditions, however, prefers well-drained acidic, loamy soils.  Pinching the tips back will promote a more bushy habit.  It can take on a trailing habit if the tips are not pinched.

They work wonderfully in containers, be sure to water regularly but do not overwater.  Allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering.  Overwatering, as well too much shade and excessive nitrogen can cause the plant to take on an unattractive appearance.   Avoid overhead watering.  After flowering, cutting back the plant will promote a second bloom, as well as preventing self-seeding.

Discontinue watering in the winter months.  

Although considered a tropical perennial, it can also be grown as an annual in locations that are in cooler hardiness zones.

More sun and less water will lead to a plant that will be more silvery and compact.

Quick ID:  

  • Leaves are in a precise geometric shape
  • White hairs cover the leaves, shoots and buds

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Reseeding itself can be an issue that can be avoided by cutting the plant back after flowering is completed.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#drought tolerant#low growing#succulent#easy to grow#silver leaves#showy leaves#mass planting#tropical perennial#deer resistant#hairy#potted#hairy leaves#potted plant#gray-green leaves#evergreen groundcover#border front#hairy stems#compact habit#tropical#hairy buds#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#drought tolerant#low growing#succulent#easy to grow#silver leaves#showy leaves#mass planting#tropical perennial#deer resistant#hairy#potted#hairy leaves#potted plant#gray-green leaves#evergreen groundcover#border front#hairy stems#compact habit#tropical#hairy buds#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tradescantia
    Species:
    sillamontana
    Family:
    Commelinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Magenta three-petaled flowers appear in summer in terminal leaf axils.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green to olive-colored sometimes with a blush of purple covered with dense, gray/white cobweb-type hairs making it appear almost silvery in the sunlight. The base of the leaf clasps the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The fleshy, succulent thick hairy stems can zigzag.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity
    Insect Pests