Tradescantia x 'Sweet Kate' Spiderwort/Widow's Tears



Tradescantia x 'Sweet Kate' has arching, iris-like, bright chartreuse gold leaves that are folded lengthwise. Terminal clusters of three petaled, royal blue flowers are produced for much of the summer. The spent blooms turn into deep purple drops of liquid, hence the common name, Widow's Tears. This perennial is easy to grow and can tolerate a wide range situations. Cut back foliage after flowering to encourage fresh leaves and compact growth.

Also known as Spiderwort, Tradescantia has 33 species and is native to most of North America. Various species are naturally found in distinct areas, but many have been introduced into various other parts of North America. Many of the Tradescantia varieties in the trade are crosses of various species.

Tradescantia x 'Sweet Kate' prefers part sun or light shade with moist, rich soil, but will tolerate full sun with consistent moisture. It will grow in clay and it can withstand coastal conditions. 'Sweet Kate's foliage maintains its best color in some sun.


  • Common Names: Spiderwort, Widow's Tears
  • Zones: 5-8
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun to Light Shade
  • Soil Preference: Prefers moist soil
  • Height at Maturity: 18-24
  • Width at Maturity: 24
  • Bloom Color: Blue
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to early fall

Special Features

  • Attracts: Butterflies.
  • Tolerates: Deer. Rabbits. Clay Soil. Coastal Conditions. Juglone.
  • Other Features: Native to North America.

Care and Growing Tips

Check out our blog for more gardening tips!

Shipping Info

 Spring 2023 shipping schedule:

Zones 9, 10: Starting Mon. March 20th
Zone 8: Starting Mon. March 27th
Zone 7: Starting Mon. April 3rd
Zone 6: Starting Mon. April 17th
Zone 5: Starting Mon. May 1st
Zones 2, 3, 4: Starting Mon. May 8th

If you'd like to receive your plants now, you can request it in the 'shipping requests' box on the order or email us. (Please note that we will not ship dormant plants, and we do not offer any sort of guarantee for plants overwintering.)

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We ship via UPS & USPS (the Post Office), and their ship rates are automatically generated through our site. We do not profit on shipping costs. We are working with these providers to get our customers the best rates possible.

All ship times are subject to change if extreme weather conditions are present here at the nursery or at the shipping destination.

Please note: Depending on the time of year, the foliage of the plants may be trimmed to fit into our shipping boxes. This could delay the flowering of the plant, but many perennials actually benefit from being cut back.

We are currently not able to ship to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and outside of the US.