Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, is one of the most common houseplants. They are easy to grow, require minimal care, and grow quickly. Plants can get as large as three feet wide, and when full of flowerets, around two to three feet in length.
These plants are typically kept hanging so that when the stems shoot, and the flowerets hang, they will not touch soil. If they do touch soil, they will root.
Spider plants can be grouped into three categories:
- Variegated spider plants: Dual colored with long straight leaves. This is the most common variety.
- Green (non-variegated) spider plants: Solid green with long straight leaves. These are heirloom/rare varieties.
- Curly spider plants : Typically variegated and leave are curled.
Light: Leaves can burn in direct sunlight so outdoors they are best kept in shade. Indoors, sunny windows with indirect/diffused sunlight are best.
Soil: Loamy soil with good drainage. Neutral soil pH. Salty water can cause tips of leave to brown.
Water: Keep soil moist but not wet. Overwatering and/or poor drainage causes root rot. When possible use distilled or rain water. Spider plants are sensitive to salt, chlorine and fluoride, all found in tap water.
Temperature: Temps above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, moist air, and avoid drafts from windows, fans, and air units.
Fertilizer: Use fertilizers in moderation. I typically do not fertalize in the warmer months when my plants are outdoor. Overwintering plants, lightly fertilize once per month. Although I frequently use my own mix of feeds, Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food is a good go-to.
Propagation: Spider plants are propagated by allowing the flowerets to grow on stems until the roots are about an inch or longer, cutting from the stem, and transplanting into moist, well drained soil. You can divide adult plants by simply pulling the root ball apart and transplanting into separate pots.
You can tell when it’s time to repot when you see roots growing of the bottom of the pot. When transplanting, use pots slightly larger than the plant root ball and position in the new pot at the same depth soil line.
Pests: In general, Spider plants are easily managed but can be susceptible to aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Infestations can typically be remedied by a good spraying off with clean water. Use insecticides only in extremes cases.