How to grow and care for Brown Spiderwort

Houseplant, Brown Spiderwort

Botanical name: Siderasis fuscata
Family: Commelinaceae
Subfamily: Commelinoideae

Brown Spiderwort is a small houseplant whose short bronze-colored leaves form a rosette. The plant has a high humidity requirement making it ideal for a terrarium. It can grow to a height of 1-1.5 ft and the leaves are only about 6-8 in. long. It bears attractive purple flowers about 1 in. across. It is endemic to the State of Rio de Janeiro in Southeastern Brazil, though it is also naturalized on the Island of Java in Indonesia. The common name "Brown Spiderwort" is in reference to the bronze-colored leaves.

How to Grow Brown Spiderwort (Siderasis fuscata)

Light

Brown Spiderwort prefers semi-shade (partial shade). Keep it away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Siderasis liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in cold weather to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead in root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum 160C is ideal for Brown Spiderwort. Protect the plant from cold draughts.

Humidity

Brown Spiderwort has thrives in a high humidity environment. Mist leaves frequently or set pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. The plant can also be grown in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium.

Feeding

Feed Brown Spiderwort with a weak balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Brown Spiderwort during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.

Pruning

Pruning Brown Spiderwort involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

How to Propagate Brown Spiderwort (Siderasis fuscata)

Brown Spiderwort is propagated by division during the growing period. Remove the plant from its pot and carefully divide it into sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least one set of leaves. Pot up the sections in individual pots in free-draining soil. Place the set up in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the plant to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Brown Spiderwort (Siderasis fuscata)

  • Brown and shrivelled leaf tips
  • The cause of this is too dry air. Brown Spiderwort prefers a high humidity environment. To raise humidity, mist the leaves regularly or set the pot on a wet pebble tray.

  • Yellow and spotted leaves
  • Underwatering is the cause. Water Brown Spiderwort liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Never allow the soil to dry out completely. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Brown Spiderwort Aphids and Red Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant and treat appropriately. Mist the leaves regularly to reduce infestation by these pests.

Toxicity

Brown Spiderwort is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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