Scientific name: Chlorophytum comosum
Synonyms: Spider plant, Hen & Chicken, Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant
The ever popular spider plant is a definite beginner plant for its easy care attitude and tolerance for neglect . It has long variegated strappy leaves that cascade elegantly making it an ideal hanging plant or shelf stunner.
Indigenous to South Africa these hardy plants have developed tuberous roots that retain nutrients and moisture for periods of drought. They are naturally found as an undergrowth plant so prefer bright indirect light to flourish as direct sun is damaging to their foliage.
Note: Please be aware that whilst the plant is non-toxic and pet friendly, it’s best to keep out of reach of children and pets (hanging it would be a great way of doing this!)
- 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 mix from fertilizers or fluoride in the water. To prevent salt build up leach the soil once in a while with either rain or distilled water.
- Dull foliage/crisp tips: Dull foliage can have two causes, the first would be too much direct sunlight which will leave your plant looking bleached, if this is the case relocate your indoor plant to a filtered bright light position. The other cause is underwatering which will also be presented in crisp tips on the foliage. Rectify this by watering more frequently.
- Yellowing leaves/ center 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 and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Spider plants are also irresistible to slug, snails and caterpillars. The best course of action is to identify which pest has infested your plant, remove manually where possible and then to apply a good organic pesticide such as a neem oil. Be sure to also adjust any environmental stressors for your house plant to help with faster recovery.
- Origin Southern Africa
- Height: maximum of 1m height and spread indoors and natural habitat.
- Light: Bright Indirect light. Will 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.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 24°C.
- Soil: A well-draining organic potting mix is sufficient.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once a month during active growth.
- 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 planters 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.
If in stock, shop for Spider Plants here.