The spider plant is a popular houseplant, and is most often grown as the variegated cultivar that has two white stripes on each leaf. The spider plant a great plant for beginning container gardeners because it is easy to grow and propagate. Plant is tolerant of many conditions and will even survive when neglected. The grasslike spider plant look best in balcony gardens when displayed in hanging plant containers with their plantlets draping down.
About Spider Plant
Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’
Plant Type: Evergreen perennial
Light: Bright indirect sun
Water: Keep the spider plant’s potting soil constantly and evenly moist during the summer when the spider plant is actively growing. In the winter, water this plant sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
When houseplants get brown tips on their leaves, it’s generally an indication of poor watering habits. The best way to water a houseplant is to thoroughly flush it until water runs freely out the drainage holes. Shallow watering can cause brown tips on the leaves.
Fertilizer: If you fertilize your plant, use half of the recommended amount. If you fertilize (which is not necessary with this prolific grower), only do so every three or four months with houseplant fertilizer.
Temperature: The spider plant does best when grown in cooler garden temperatures, but it will do fine in warmer temperatures. Ideal temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees, but this range is not necessary for this plant to thrive; just do not keep it outside during freezing temperatures.
Pests and Diseases: The spider plant is not susceptible to disease or garden pests, although pests and disease may occur.
Propagation: The best way to propagate the spider plant is to allow a plantlet to root in potting soil while it is still attached to the mother plant. It should root in about a week or 10 days, then you can cut it from the mother plant. If you can’t keep spider plant plantlets attached to the mother plant, choose a plantlet that has healthy roots (don’t choose based on foliage), and plant it in potting soil, but it will root slower – in about a month.
Although you can divide an overgrown plant into multiples, you don’t have to wait for the plant to double in size to propagate it. The flowers that form in response to increasing day length will develop into mini spider plants, called “spiderettes,” which are easy to grow into new plants.
The best way is to leave the spiderette attached to the mother plant, but place it on a new pot of soil so that the nodules and tiny roots on the bottom of the plantlet are touching the soil. Keep the new soil moist, and cut the stem between the new and old plant after the spiderette has rooted.
Spiderettes can also be cut off and rooted. If you see spiderettes on a plant in a business or a friend’s home, asking if you can take a baby plantlet is a great way to increase your home jungle size. They can be rooted in soil or water. They will root faster in water, but sometimes plants rooted in water have difficulty adapting to soil, especially if they’ve been in water for a long time.
Even if you don’t want more plants, if your adult plant isn’t as full as you’d like, you can root spiderettes and plant them in the same pot as the mother to help fill it out.
Misc. Info: Overfertilizing or fluoride in your tap water can cause tip burn (when leaf tips turn brown) on the spider plant. To solve this problem, use distilled water or leave water out for at least 24 hours to allow any tap water chemicals to dissipate. The spider plant is one plant that can remove air pollutants when kept in indoor gardens. It can get bleached leaves from too much light or too-high temperatures.
Spider plants can be grown outside in zones 9-11, where they prefer light shade and well-drained soil. Indoors, they thrive in lots of indirect light, between 55 and 80 degrees F, and they love humidity. So the perfect spot is near a sunny window in a steamy bathroom, but as long as they have access to some sunlight, they’re relatively tolerant to many conditions. If the temperatures are right, a summer vacation outdoors in the shade can help an indoor spider plant put on some growth.