Botanical Name — Chlorophytum comosum
Common Name — Spider Plant
Plant Family — Asparagaceae
Chlorophytum comosum, or Spider Plant, is a delightful, popular houseplant beloved by beginners and experienced gardeners alike. Easy to grow into maturity, this plant readily produces small, white flowers and pup plants along long, dangling inflorescences. To propagate, simply snip the pups from the limb and plant directly into soil.
- Spider Plants grow best in bright-indirect sunlight. However, an hour or two of direct sunlight in the morning could benefit this plant and encourage it to grow faster. An east facing window would be ideal.
- Chlorophytum comosum thrives in high humidity environments, but it doesn’t require high humidity for growth. Dryness will sometimes result in crispy leaf edges or tips. To avoid this, place near a humidifier or mist daily.
- A temperature of about 70°F is ideal, avoid anything below 60°F.
- Let this plant dry out slightly between waterings. Water when the top two inches of the soil feels dry to the touch.
- At home, Spider Plants function well in a fresh all-purpose potting soil. Amend with coco coir to lighten the soil as needed, and compost to boost nutrients.
- Mature plants develop inflorescences, long limbs that blossom with small white flowers under good conditions. At home, this usually occurs in spring or summer.
- Fertilization is generally not necessary, but if you choose to fertilize, feed your Spider Plant once every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted at half the recommended strength.
- Chlorophytum comosum can be easily propagated by division. When inflorescences develop, watch for small leafed and rooted pups called plantlets. Once roots have developed, snip the plantlets from the inflorescences and plant them directly in all-purpose potting soil.
- Spider mites are the most common pest you’ll encounter on a Spider Plant. Aphids, mealy bugs, and scale are also possible. To treat, wipe leaves with rubbing alcohol or diluted neem oil.
- If infestation is especially bad, washing the foliage with a gentle soap is known to be effective. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water following any treatment.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Repot when the plant is rootbound, and only during the spring and summer. Move up to a pot only 1-2” wider than the previous pot.
- Even in the most ideal conditions, lower fronds will brown and eventually die. Pruning these away will allow the plant to dedicate energy to producing new growth.
- Chlorophytum comosum are non-toxic to both pets and humans.