How to grow and care for Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Indoors

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Spider Plant Care, Chlorophytum comosum Care

Botanical name: Chlorophytum comosum
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Common names: Spider Plant, Airplane Plant, Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant

Spider Plant Description

Chlorophytum comosum commonly called Spider Plant, Airplane Plant, Spider Ivy or Ribbon Plant is a popular houseplant, fast growing and easy to grow even for a beginner.

Spider Plant is extremely adaptable and will grow in hot or cool rooms, in sun or shade and it will withstand dry air. It is one of the hard to kill plants that will withstand some level of neglect.

Mature Spider Plants produce numerous long stems which bear tiny plantlets that can be used to propagate new Spider Plants. The young and small plantlets root faster than the large and old ones.

Spider Plant Size

Spider Plant bears slender, arching leaves which grow from a central crown and can reach up to 1 ft long which make it ideal for a hanging basket or a pedestal.

Spider Plant Origin

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are native to tropical and southern Africa and naturalized in other parts of the world including western Australia.

Spider Plant Varieties

Several varieties of Spider Plants are available with varying variegation form like 'Variegatum' with green leaves trimmed in white and 'Vittatum' with a central white stripe on green leaves.

Spider Plant Air Purifying

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Chlorophytum comosum was found to get rid of common VOCs like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toulene from indoor air.

Spider Plant for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) from Etsy.

Spider Plant Care, Chlorophytum comosum Care

Photo Credit: PlantVine

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Care Indoors

Spider Plant Light Requirements

Spider Plant grows best in bright, indirect light inorder to maintain variegation but it can still adapt to lower light conditions.

Protect your Spider Plant from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Spider Plant

Water Spider Plant liberally during the growing season and keep the soil evenly moist through out.

Reduce watering for your Spider Plant during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist.

Use water which is at room temperature to avoid shocking your Spider Plant as they are tropical plants.

Spider Plants are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in the water; use chlorine-free water for your Spider Plant.

Avoid soggy soil for Spider Plant as it can lead in root-rot and eventual death of your plant.

Ensure the pot for your Spider Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Spider Plant

The best temperature for growing Spider Plant indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Protect your Spider Plant from cold draughts to avoid sudden drop in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Spider Plant

Average room humidity is ideal for Spider Plant. Spider plant has no need for high humidity.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Spider Plant by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Spider Plant

Feed Spider Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Spider Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil of your Spider Plant by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainages holes. Let the water run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Spider Plant

Repot Spider Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger for your Spider Plant.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot diseases.

The large Spider Plants can be split up and potted into individual pots during repotting.

How to Prune Spider Plant

Pruning Spider Plant involves frequent removal of any dead foliage.

Cut back the leaves at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth of your Spider Plant. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Propagation

Spider Plant propagation can be done at the beginning of the growing season from plantlets or from splits.

How to propagate Spider Plant from plantlets in soil

Peg down the Spider Plant plantlets into soil while still attached to the mother Spider Plant.

Cut the Spider Plant stem when rooted and pot in moist free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Use a pot that has drainage holes to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.

The plantlets can also be detached from the mother Spider Plant and planted in moist free-draining soil until rooted and then transplanted into individual pots.

For a full and bushy Spider Plant, plant several plantlets in the same pot.

The mother Spider Plant can also be made more full by planting several plantlets alongside the mother.

How to propagate Spider Plant from plantlets in water

Spider Plant plantlets can also be rooted in water.

Detach the plantlet from the mother Spider Plant and place the plantlet in a jar of plain water. Ensure the tiny roots at the base are touching the water.

Place the set up in a well-lit place and change the water every 5-7 days.

Wait until the roots are about 4 in. long before transferring to soil.

For a full and bushy Spider Plant, plant several plantlets in the same pot.

The mother Spider Plant can also be made more full by planting several plantlets alongside the mother.

How to propagate Spider Plant from splits

Divide the Spider Plant into several sections while ensuring each section has some roots.

Pot each section in its individual pot in moist, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot.

Place the set up in a cool, shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Spider Plant to be well established before transfering it to its permanent spot.

Spider Plant Care, Chlorophytum comosum Care

Photo Credit: Blue Diamond

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Problems Indoors

Spider Plant brown leaf-tips

There are six possible reasons for brown tips in Spider Plant.

One possible reason for brown tips in Spider Plant is underfeeding.

Feed your Spider Plant every 4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

The second possible reason for brown tips in your Spider Plant is excessively hot air.

Mist the leaves more regularly during the hot season or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Spider Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The third possible reason for brown tips in your Spider Plant is underwatering or overwatering.

Maintain the soil moist for your Spider Plant but never allow the soil to get soggy or to dry out completely.

The fourth possible reason for brown tips in your Spider Plant is overfeeding or accumulation of salts in the soil.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil of your Spider Plant by running a steady stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage hole. Repeat several times.

The fifth possible reason for brown tips in your Spider Plant is bruising by human or animal traffic.

Place your Spider Plant away from the line of traffic to avoid bruishing of the leaf tips.

The sixth possible reason for brown tips in your Spider Plant is bacterial leaf spot.

Bacterial Leaf Spot starts as light spots on the leaf tips which turn brown and eventually black.

The disease is prevalent in hot and humid conditions. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering.

Spider Plant not producing plantlets

There are two possible reasons why Spider Plant will not produce plantlets.

One possible reason why your Spider Plant will not produce plantlets is that the plant is too young.

The stem bearing plantlets only form on mature Spider Plants. The plants also need to be pot-bound, therefore, avoid frequent repotting.

The second possible reason why your Spider Plant will not produce plantlets is overfeeding.

Withhold feeding your Spider Plant in order to stress it so that it can put out the plantlets.

Spider Plant curled leaves with brown spots and edges with some yellowing and leaf drop

Underwatering Spider Plant is the reason for curled leaves with brown spots and edges while some leaves yellow and drop.

Water your Spider Plant liberally and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Spider Plant brown leaf streaks

Too much water during the cold season is the cause of brown leaf streaks in Spider Plant.

Reduce watering for your Spider Plant and maintain the soil barely moist during the cold season.

Spider Plant pale limp leaves with some yellowing and leaf drop

Exposure of your Spider Plant to too much heat and too little light are the cause of pale limp leaves with some yellowing and leaf drop.

Keep your Spider Plant away from hot direct sunlight and maintain an average room temperature.

Spider Plant Pests

Spider Plant is rarely attacked by pests but a weak plant can be attacked by Spider Mites, Aphids, Scale Insects and Mealy Bugs. Ensure your Spider Plant is healthy at all times.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) toxic?

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. Spider Plants are safe to grow indoors.

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