Plants

Spider plant

Chlorophytum comosum

Verena Schmidt Verena Schmidt

The Spider plant is a classical indoor plant and hardly needs any care. It is suitable for hanging baskets and can be easily propagated by shoots and sprouts.

Growth type
  • Perennial plant
Growth characteristics
  • overhanging
  • Kindel
Flower color
  • white
Flower shape
  • Cluster
Leaf color
  • green
  • multicolored
page format
  • grassy
  • oblong lanceolate
Sheet properties
  • evergreen
Light
  • sunny to semi-shade
Soil Moisture
  • fresh to moderately humid
Lime compatibility
  • lime-tolerant
Nutrient requirements
  • nutrient-rich
Humus
  • rich in humus
Decorative or utility value
  • Leaf ornaments
Winter Hardness
  • frost-sensitive
Use
  • Interior greening
  • Planters
  • Winter garden
  • Warm House
Garden style
  • Pot garden

Origin

The robust Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) belongs to the Lily family (Liliaceae) and originates from South Africa. Around a hundred species grow in the tropical regions. The spider plant is a popular indoor plant and office plant, because it is low maintenance and can thrive in almost any room in the house. The long shoots with its numerous spiderettes flourish in a hanging basket or pedestal planters. The botanical genus name is made up of the Greek words "chloros" for green and "phyton" for plant, "comosum" means "head-like" and refers to the dense head of leaves of the spider plant.

Growth

Spider plants are low herbaceous plants; it forms clusters of thick and fleshy roots. They form a dense cluster of leaves out of which long hanging flower stems grow. They quickly spread over larger areas in the tropics, thanks to their spiderettes.

Spider plants in various pots

Whether in a hanging basket or on a stool: Spider plants are time-tested green plants for the room

Leaves

The largely oblong-lanceolate leaves of Chlorophytum comosum, which develop from a rosette, are basal, up to 15.74 inches long and about 0.98 inches wide. Depending on the variety, they are striped green, green-white or green-yellow.

Flowers

The white, star-shaped flowers of the Spider plant are quite small and appear all year round. They are found in dense or loose clusters on a single stem or branched stem. As the flowering period progresses, the inflorescence grows up to 3.28 feet long and hangs down like an arch. Shoots with rooted young plants, known as spiderettes, are also formed on the inflorescence.

Location

The Spider plant prefers bright places where it is not exposed to direct sunlight. The green-leaved variety of the Spider plant can be kept in shaded locations, while multicolored leaves tend to turn green in such locations. In summer, Spider plants thrive at room temperatures of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit; they can also be kept in the open. In winter, a cooler location is more suitable. However, the indoor plant should not be kept at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; this might lead to stunted growth.

Substrate

As an indoor plant, the Spider plant prefers a substrate rich in nutrients and humus that is fresh to moist and fairly loose. Slightly loamy indoor plant soil from specialist shops is ideal.

Care

The robust Spider plant has to be watered regularly during the growth phase — from spring to late summer. Thanks to its water-storing roots, Chlorophytum comosum also survives dry periods, but waterlogging should be avoided. During the resting phase in winter it should only be watered sparingly. A weekly dose of green plant fertilizer is recommended from March to August. It is best to add liquid fertilizer to the water.

Repotting

The indoor plant must be repotted in spring, and only if the root ball can be easily pulled out of the plant pot. Place the Spider plant in a planter that is two finger-width wider and not too deep.

Pruning

No regular pruning is required for the spider plant. You can cut off the flower stems with the spiderettes at any time if they get too long. The tuft of leaves of Chlorophytum comosum remains compact even with age and therefore does not need to be pruned. But it is also possible to divide the plant when repotting in the spring if it takes up too much space.

Propagation

Spider plants can be propagated easily by cuttings. Because Chlorophytum comosum forms ready-made offsets(spiderettes), on the long flower shoots, which only have to be potted after snipping them off the plant. For better rooting, you can also first put the Spider plant's spiderettes in a water glass. Once you plant the spiderettes in a pot, it is important that you keep the soil well moist until it takes root. It is safer to first pot the cuttings and only separate them from the mother plant when they are well rooted. You can see this by the sudden growth spurt in the plants.

Varieties

The “Milky Way” variety has grass-like, white-edged leaves. “Vittatum” is striking because of its almost snow-white colored center, whereas “Streaker” has deep green leaves with a very light stripe in the center. The compact "Bonnie" variety has strikingly twisted leaves.

Diseases and Pests

Spider plants are very robust, but they are occasionally infested by aphids or mealybugs. Brown leaf margins occur in case of waterlogging or if the room air is too dry. Leaves wrinkle if the plant is fertilized in winter warmth or in case of insufficient air.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big does the Spider plant get?

However, Spider plant can reach up to 15.74 inches tall.

What type of soil does the Spider plant prefer?

Spider plants prefer slightly loamy indoor plant soil that is rich in both nutrients and humus.

How often do you have to water a Spider plant?

The Spider plant should be watered regularly from spring to summer (growth phase). However, avoid waterlogging. In winter (dormant phase), water the plant sparingly.

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