How do you get rid of spiderwort?

March 10, 2010

I have got spiderwort all over my yard how do you get rid of it? it has taken over my back yard we have tried round up to kill it but it still comes back killed the grass we have dug them all up bye the roots for years and they still come back what can we do to get rid of them they are so pretty but enough is enough!  I want to buy some nice plants hundreds of them ???�
desperate in south carolina.

Dear Kathy,

I sympathize with your plight.  I have just spent the last two years trying to get rid of spiderwort in my garden.  So far this spring I have not seen any signs of it.  Glyposphate, our friend in need-Round-Up, kills it, but it takes several applications.  Like other invasive plants spiderwort (tradescantia) spreads underground, and requires repeated applications of your favorite glyposphate to eradicate it.  Trying to dig out the roots will not be effective.  Any section of root left in the ground will sprout a new
plant.  Spiderwort thrives on sunshine and water and spreads best in these conditions.  If you do water your grass, it might be worth foregoing it for a season- the drier conditions might help discourage any reqrowth.  Thanks for your question and good luck getting rid of the plants.


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5 Responses to “How do you get rid of spiderwort?”

  1. Dee millimanMay 24, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    I have spiderwort coming up in my ground cover and every other place you can think of in the garden. Is there anything you can spray without damaging other flowers?

    • Chris KaufenbergMay 24, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks for your question Dee. Unfortunately we are not aware of a product that you can spray without damaging other flowers. If you are careful you can apply Kleen Up or Round Up directly to the plant (paint it on) or you could also try digging them up manually (when the soil is damp use a spade to get the root while pulling on the stem). Good luck!

      • SalApril 30, 2020 at 6:06 pm #

        I had a similar problem with a trumpet that was coming up everywhere and anywhere. Cutting/killing the baby shoots was easy enough. Nothing seemed to work and we’re not a huge fan of chemicals, esp when used in proximity to other plants.

        I forget where, but a friend suggested pouring boiling water, lots of it, (spaghetti pot, canning pot or other large pot) on the main trunk and any other substantial leaders etc. It took a few applications, and some time, but sure enough the vine is gone, no more shoots popping up all over, etc.

        That being said, I’m sure the immediate area around the vine was sterilized to some extent, but we’ve since amended the soil organically, have planted several perennials etc. And all is very well.

        Not sure how to get rid of the spiderwort as I have several other “friendlies” in the area. I’m considering removing all the “friendlies” then using the hot water purge in the bed itself.

        Any thoughts counter or otherwise appreciated.

  2. Denise SmithMay 31, 2019 at 11:03 pm #

    I’m in the same boat. I’ve found no success digging it up. It snaps off before I can get to the root. There’s such a controversy over Round Up lately. I’m stymied.

  3. Anne JohnsonApril 25, 2020 at 5:14 pm #

    I have had enough of these things. They are a pest in all sense of the word. Any help to terminate these once and for all would be greatly appreciated.

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