A vintage favorite in the houseplant world, spider plant has been enjoyed in Victorian parlors as much as in studio lofts a century later. It’s easy to see why this plant has stood the test of time: They’re super-easy to grow, tolerate all levels of light, and they don’t mind if you miss a weekly watering. Spider plant, also called airplane plant, grows well in containers or hanging baskets.
Spider Plant Care Must-Knows
A spider plant likes bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it has the potential to scorch the leaves. Spider plants will grow in low light but they will grow slowly and may not produce plantlets.
Spider plants prefer if their soil dries out a bit between watering. Check the soil every 4 or 5 days. If it is dry to the touch, water plants thoroughly until excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Fertilize spider plants monthly in spring and summer using a water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the label recommendations for application. Brown leaf tips are a sign of over-fertilization.
While spider plants are usually trouble-free, they are occasionally troubled by whiteflies, spider mites, scale, and aphids. Good air circulation, adequate water, and bright light prevent most insect pests from getting a toehold on the plants. If they do show up, wash them off with a strong spray of water in a shower or outside.
Multiplying Your Plant
Healthy, thriving spider plants send up long wiry stems with little plantlets at the end. The plantlets can be removed and placed on top of moist potting soil where they will quickly take root, forming a new plant. Another option is to tuck the plantlet into the soil around the mother spider plant and create a container full of spider plants.
There are many great varieties of spider plant. The unique cultivars sport differing degrees of variegation and leaf shape and texture. For example, 'Bonnie' has green leaves that curl and twist. 'Hawaiian' has variegated green and white young leaves that fade to all green as the leaves age. It has a striking multicolor look. 'Variegated Bonnie' has curled green leaves striped with creamy white. 'Zebra Grass' has straight, long green leaves edged in white.
More Varieties of Spider Plant
Chlorophytum orchidastrum 'Green Orange' presents a sharp contrast to other spider plants. Its deep green lance-shape leaves more closely resemble those of Chinese evergreen than common spider plant. Its orange leaf stem and central vein glow in bright indoor light.
Chlorophytum comosum, with solid green leaves, is much less common than variegated forms. Grow it just as you would one of the striped varieties.
Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum' has bright green leaves with a central white stripe. The width of the stripe varies from nearly the entire width of the leaf to a narrow band along the main leaf vein.