To properly take care of spider plants indoors, it’s important to have a little understanding of the background and characteristics of this very popular indoor plant.
Spider plant is the common name for Chlorophytum comosum, a species of perennial flowering plants from the genus Chlorophytum that has more than 200 species.
This species originates from the tropical and southern Africa, but it’s also commonly growing in Western Australia.
Other common names for it are ribbon plant and airplane plant.
It grows up to 24 inches in height and its roots are fleshy and tuberous, about 2 to 4 inches long.
The flowers grow in long inflorescence.
They appear in clusters of 1 to 6 and every cluster is at the base of the bract. Towards the end of the inflorescence, they become smaller and smaller.
The foliage is greenish-white and there are 4 varieties of this species that differ in the texture and pattern of the plant.
Being quite adaptable, it’s a very popular indoor plant. It can adjust to numerous conditions and suffers very few problems.
The ‘spider plant’ name comes from its spider-like spiderettes that drop down from the plant like spiders on a web.
Being a strong plant, it’s great for beginners because they can tolerate neglect quite well.
With the increase of daylight in springtime, they will start releasing flowers which develop into babies or ‘spiderettes’.
The plant needs to be mature enough for this to happen. You can root these babies in soil or water or in soil and grow them further.
Good to Know:
Spider plants look amazing when grown in hanging baskets and add classic and attractive atmosphere to the room or office and wonderful greenery.
And like Flaming Katy, they’ll also help clean the air in the room, according to a NASA study.
The plant is safe and non-toxic to humans; however, they can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats that tend to nip on the plant.
Care of Spider Plants Indoors
For a spider plant to grow well, it needs indirect sunlight exposure.
A balanced and bright room or office that gets at least 12 hours of sunlight will ensure the plant stays healthy.
If there’s lack of natural light, you can use artificial light such as led grow lights as well.
This plant will do well during temperatures as low as 35 degrees F; however, it won’t grow much at temperatures that are lower than 65 degrees F.
Temperatures higher than 90 degrees F won’t damage your spider plant; but, this will increase the rate of transpiration and the intake of toxic micronutrients.
Spider Plant Watering
How often to water a spider plant indoors will often depend on the time of year.
In summer, water the plant on a regular basis (weekly) and keep the soil moist, but not soggy. In winter, only water the plant when the soil has started to dry.
Pour water directly into the soil, not on the leaves, using a watering can with a long narrow spout. Make sure you use room temperature water as cold water may damage the roots.
In most indoor spaces, there’s lack of humidity in the winter for this plant to grow optimally. To ensure it gets some, mist them regularly.
For an extra humidity boost, bring them in the bathroom during showers or invest in a humidifier.
Opt for a well-draining soil that can retain moisture.
This can be a premium potting soil or soil intended for African violets.
A good thing about this wonderful plant is that it doesn’t demand too much fertilizer to give good results.
Opt for several feedings per month with a regular liquid fertilizer. Dilute the solution to half of the recommendations by the manufacturer.
In winter when the plant isn’t growing, you can lower the feeding to once per month.
A spider plant can do quite well when root-bound in a small pot for some time. But, eventually, they’ll need a bigger home.
Choose a pot which is 2 inches larger than the current one. Make sure it has proper drainage system and that it’s made of a strong material.
This is important because their tuberous roots can burst some pots.
How to know when it’s time to transplantation? – The soil will be dry down to ½ inch within several days after you water it.
A spider plant isn’t difficult to propagate.
In summer, they’ll produce babies from the flowers. Cut these spiderettes and root them in water or plant them in soil.
You can also place small pots with soil next to the plant and secure the baby into the new soil. When it lets its own roots in the new soil, cut it away from the mother plant.
Best Spider Plant Species
This is the most common variety of this plant and it has white stripes in the middle of the green blades.
Just like the name implies, this variety has leaves with white edge and green stripes in the middle.
Zebra spider plant
This variety is similar to the previous one, the only difference being a more yellow than white edge.
Some additional care of spider plants to keep them looking their best, can include trimming the leaves in growing season.
Prune the babies with sharp pruning shears if you don’t want to increase the amount of fertilizer and water you’ll need to maintain it beautiful and healthy.
Cut the leaves at the base of the plant and cut the longest stems of the spiderettes back to the base.
If you’re having a hard time growing new plants from the spiderettes, add a bit of rooting hormone.
Trouble Shooting- Common Spider Plant Issues
Problem: Leaves are becoming brown
Cause: The fluoride in water causing salt buildup in the soil.
Solution: Give the plant the space to drain out after water or use rainwater or distilled water instead of tap.
Problem: Spider mites
Cause: They tend to attack this plant when the air is dry and warm.
Solution: Spray the plant with organic insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, 3 to 4 days in a row until they’re entirely gone.
Problem: The root is rotting.
Cause: Overwatering or poorly-draining soil.
Solution: Find out which of these two causes has led to the root rot and act accordingly- lower the watering or improve the drainage system (replace the current soil with better one and have a pot with drainage holes).
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article about care of spider plants.
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