Thursday, November 8, 2012

How to grow a Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum "Variegatum"






This is my brother's spider plant.  For his lifestyle, which is very busy, this is a perfect plant choice for him. It has grown well at his home, so much so, that it has been separated a few times into different pots.

Spider plants are like a profusion of graceful,and easy liveliness. They love to extend that liveliness with arching stalks that first produce white flowers and then new young plants that will begin growing at the tips of the stalks. It is easy to imagine them as small spiders!

There is a more common species that has yellowish-white center stripes known as  Chlorophytum cosmosum "Vittatum".  A species with a solid green leaf and one with a predominantly white with a minimum of green in the leaf, are also readily available. Fortunately, they are quite easy to grow.

You will often find them sold as hanging baskets.  That is so their new "babies"or "spiders can grow freely.  They have been a houseplant favorite for over a century. They are quite easy to grow and great for a beginner. Their whimsical appearance and tolerance to survive even with some neglect have made them a perennial favorite.

It's been proven that plants do clean the air and some appear to be more effective than others. Spider plants, also called Airplane Plants or Green Lily, are high on the list of air cleaners.  

Quick care instructions--
  • Bright indirect light to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun may be too strong. The solid green leafed spider plant tolerates lower light the most.
  • Water thoroughly when the top of the soil is good and dry.  For a plant in a 10"(25cm) diameter hanging pot, about one quart (or almost a liter) of water will suffice. 
  •  Fertilize regularly. 
  •  If their ends turn a little brown, they can be clipped off with a scissors.

Propagation-- 
  • New plantlets can be clipped from the end of the stalks and rooted in water.
  •  If they are showing roots 1/2" (almost 2 cm) or longer they can be planted directly in potting soil.  
  • Older plants can be divided into individual plants and repotted. 

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**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click below: Indoor Garden TV show