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Spiderwort—love it or dig it up?

After nine years of writing the “Gardening Corner,” I inevitably find myself repeating certain topics, sometimes by design, like hydrangea pruning, and others by accident because I have forgotten to add it to my ever-growing list of already used topics.

Today, I had planned to write about native groundcovers that can be used to cover soil bared by English ivy removal, but discovered that I had written on that topic in 2022, so I started looking around my garden and realized I had never written about Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort).

I will be the first to admit that spiderwort is not everyone’s favorite garden perennial. Attractive in late spring, the arching, sword-like leaves grow floppy by mid-summer. The flowers last only a day; clumps tend to appear where you don’t want them; and the thick, white, wormy-looking roots are almost impossible to dig up without breaking.

Why would anyone want T. virginiana in the flower garden? Well, the dainty flowers are lovely, and the...

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