Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, is an excellent house plant, and is also known as an airplane plant or ribbon plant. You will find this popular house plant in hanging baskets. Find facts on Spider plants, including varieties and care.
Spider Plant Facts
Spider plants grow from 1’ high to 2’ wide. They are herbaceous plants that form a mounded shape. This group of plants are in the large genus, Chlorophytum, and are one of the most popular houseplants. They go well with other house plants such as, arrowhead plant, and aluminum plant, They are most often used in hanging baskets and as container plants.
Spider plants have long, slender leaves that come from a thick, fleshy rhizome. They prefer bright, indirect light. The plants have a tendency to sunburn or fade in direct sunlight. In lower light it will not produce plantlets unless you supplement the light to mimic outside lights in the fall. They thrive in a cool home 55 degrees but will tolerate average temperatures.
Cleaning the Air- NASA research proved that this plant does an excellent job of cleaning and filtering toxins from the air. This is a great plant to have in multiples, especially in the winter time when the house is closed up.
Spider Plant Care
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Allow to dry slightly in winter. Feed once a month with a foliage plant food. Spider plant fills the pot with water-storing thickened roots, so it needs to be re-potted regularly. This can be done as soon as watering becomes difficult. Wash off the plants regularly to keep them healthy and mite-free. Spider plants almost always gets brown tips, so trim them regularly. Eventually the leaf will become ragged looking and should be removed. When brown tips become rampant it is a sure sign of water stress. When this happens it is time to repot or divide the plant. Brown tips may also indicate excess salts in the soil.
Propagation : Propagate by dividing the root ball or planting offsets. To propagate by offsets, place a small pot nest to the parent plant, set the plantlet (still attached to the parent plant) on moist soil and pin it down with a hairpin. When the plant has extended its roots in the soil, sever it from the parent plant. You can also root the plantlet in the same pot as the parent plant. When it has rooted, dig it carefully and move it to its own pot.
Pests and Diseases- Scale and spider mites may be a problem when the plant is water stressed.
Spider Plant Species
- Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ has a creamy white margin.
- Chlorophytum comosum ’Vittatum’ has a central white stripe on each leaf.
- Chlorophytum comosum ’Picturatum’ has a central creamy stripe.