Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum
Synonyms: Spider plant, Hen & Chicken, Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant Spider
Common Spider Plant Symptoms
- Brown tips: It is relatively common for Spider plants to develop brown tips and it is often not a cause for concern. Brown tips can be a result of salt buildup in the potting soil from fertilizers or fluoride in the water. To prevent salt build-up, flush the soil once in a while with either rain or distilled water.
- Dull foliage / crisp tips: Dull foliage can have two causes: a) Too much direct sunlight which leaves your plant looking bleached. If this is the case, relocate your indoor plant to a filtered bright light position. b) Too little water, which will also be presented in crisp tips on the foliage. Rectify this by watering on a more regular basis. Read up more on Under / Overwatering here.
- Yellowing leaves/ centre is brown: Overwatering leads to yellowing leaves and rot. This can be identified by leaf yellowing and the stem of your plant turning brown and possibly mushy. If you are overwatering, adjust the frequency of watering and allow the soil of your plant to completely dry before watering again.
Pests: Already stressed Chlorophytum are highly susceptible to pest infestations from common houseplant pests such as mealybug, scale and spider mites which can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Spider Plants are also irresistible to slugs, snails and caterpillars. The best course of action is to identify which pest has infested your plant, remove them "manually" where possible, and then apply a good organic pesticide such as Neem Oil or Pyrol. Be sure to also adjust any environmental stressors, such as watering issues, for your house plant to help with faster recovery.
Spider Plant Care Instructions
- Origin Southern Africa
- Height: maximum of 1m height and spread, indoors and in its natural habitat.
- Light: Bright Indirect light is best. Will also tolerate low and artificial lighting.
- Water: Water once the soil has dried completely to prevent root rot.
- Humidity: Average to medium room humidity is sufficient, as long as the plant is kept out of a cool draught.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 24°C.
- Soil: A well-draining organic potting soil amended with extra perlite for drainage is sufficient.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once a month during active growth during Spring and Summer.
- Repotting: Spider plants are fast-growing and will need regular repotting once they have become root bound, you can identify this when roots start appearing out of your planter's drainage holes. It is best to re-pot in spring or summer when the weather is warm.
- Propagation: If you care for your Chlorophytum correctly, it will produce many offshoots for you on their spent flower spikes. Remove these offshoots once you can see small roots developing. Press into pots filled with a well-draining potting mix and place in filtered bright light. Keep the soil damp to the touch until your plantlet has established. Read up more on Houseplant Propagation here.
If in stock, shop for Spider Plants here.