Spider Plant: A Study into the Growth, Care and Varieties of the Plant

Spider Plant: A Study into the Growth, Care and Varieties of the Plant

A popular and common plant

Spider plant is one of the most common and popular indoor plants. The Spider plant is commonly found in almost every household as it is easy to grow and care for.

Native to the tropical regions of Southern Africa, the Spider plant is an evergreen perennial. The plant has grown to be neutralized in several parts of the world and is scientifically referred to as the Chlorophytum Comosum. The Spider plant is also popular by a bunch of different names. The most common and popular of these names are listed below.

  • Airplane Plant
  • Hens and Chickens
  • Ribbon Plant
  • Spider Ivy

Spider Plant Flowers

Produces beautiful white flowers

Contrary to popular belief, the Spider plant is a perennial flowering plant. The plant produces beautiful Spider plant flowers that appear only if the proper care requirements of the plant are effectively met. Now, caring for a Spider plant is not that difficult, and so neither is the task of getting the Spider plant to bloom.

The Spider plant flowers are of a greenish-white colour and are generally in bloom during 

Green Spider Plant Benefits

Offers a host of benefits

The Spider plant is not a much-hyped plant for nothing. The plant has a host of benefits to offer that makes it a rather common and popular plant, all across the world.

Here is a look at some of the most eminent Spider plant benefits.

  • The Spider plant is very difficult to kill. It is considered to be almost impossible to mess up growing the Spider plant. The plant can pretty much grow well on its own and thrives even in negligence. Even people having little to zero experience in gardening can very well grow healthy and mature Spider plants.
  • The Spider plant has also been endowed with the superpower of being a natural air-purifying agent. The plant is even a NASA-recommended air-purifying plant. It cleans makes sure that the level of indoor pollution is maintained at a minimum. The Spider plant can help to get rid of harmful toxins from the air, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
  • According to several conducted pieces of study and research, the Spider plant can positively affect the recovery of patients. Having the plant around in hospitals is known to speed up the recovery process of patients that had undergone several kinds of surgeries.

Spider Plant Care

Easy to grow and care for

As mentioned above, the Spider plant is one of the very few houseplants that have minimal care requirements. Caring for the Spider plant is genuinely a piece of cake and can easily be done without any extra effort. Here are some basic Spider plant care requirements of the plant that you should know of before getting a Spider plant home.

  • The Ideal Planter: For any plant, the ideal planter is true to the current size of the plant. It should neither be too large nor too small for the plant, or else the growth of the plant might get compromised. Moreover, planters should always have holes at the bottom to drain out the excess water.
  • Potting Mix for Spider Plant: Make sure that the kind of potting mix that you use for growing Spider plants is well-draining. You can use any general potting mix as the potting soil for Spider plants. Just make sure that the soil consists of 50% perlite, loam or sand.
  • Spider Plant Light: The Spider plant does best in a room with moderate lighting. The plant can also tolerate the bright sunlight, but a curtain or some similar sort of filter must be used in such exposure. The Spider plant can also grow quite well in low light, but might not produce blooms in such a setting.
  • Spider Plant Watering: The Spider plant should be watered enough to maintain moisture in the soil. The soil must be moist and not over-watered. Use rainwater or distilled water as the fluoride present in regular tap water might hamper the growth of the Spider plant. Spider plant watering must be done just once a week or so.
  • Temperature and Humidity: The Spider plant can sustain well in normal or room temperatures. The ideal temperature range for the growth of Spider plants is 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime, and above 55 during the night. The plant prefers low humidity levels but can sustain average humidity as well.
  • Spider Plant Fertilization: Fertilization is essential to make sure that the plant gets all of its required nutrients. A Spider plant should most ideally be fertilized during the spring or summer seasons as these denote the growing period of the plant. Liquid fertilizers should be used for fertilizing the plant.

Growing a Spider Plant Indoors

Commonly grown indoors

The Spider plant is one of the easiest plants out there to grow indoors. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of effectively growing a Spider plant indoors.

  • Take a planter that is around 4 inches wide towards the bottom and has enough drainage holes.
  • Fill the planter with some good quality and well-draining potting soil.
  • Gently moisten the base of the plantlet and place it in the potting mix. You can also apply rooting hormone at the bottom to boost growth.
  • Level the planter with some more potting soil.
  • Move the planter to an appropriate spot and water it enough to keep the soil moist.

In around 4 to 6 weeks, the plantlet will have established itself with the growth of roots.

Growing a Spider Plant in Water

Easy to grow in water

The Spider plant is one versatile perennial flowering plant that can grow well on land as well as in water. Although it might sound a little tricky, growing a Spider plant in water is not such a tough task after all. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of growing a Spider plant in water.

  • Take a container, be it a bottle, a cup or a jar, and fill it up with water.
  • Let the container sit for 24 hours with the water in it.
  • Gently place a Plantlet into the water.
  • Change the water in the container every day.

Given the transparency of water, the growth of the plantlet into a plant is easily noticeable.

Spider Plant Varieties/Types of Spider Plants 

There are several different Spider plant varieties. Each of these types of Spider plants is uniquely different from each other in different perspectives. Here are some of the most common and popular Spider plant varieties listed below.

Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegata’

Most common variety

The Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegata’ is one the most common variety of the Spider plant. The plant consists of streaked, variegated foliage that has a light yellow lining running across the middle of the bright green foliage. The Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegata’ is known to have the best air-purifying properties.

Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Reverse Variegatum’

Known as Reverse Spider plant

The Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Reverse Variegatum’ is more popularly known as the Reverse Spider plant. As the name suggests, the Reverse Spider plant looks the exact opposite of the Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegatum’. Here, the middle of the foliage bears a green lining with yellow outlines.

Cleome Hassleriana/ Purple Spider Plant

Also known as Violent Queen

The Cleome Hassleriana is a variety of Spider plant that is popular by a host of different names such as Purple Spider plant and Violent Queen. The Cleome Hassleriana or the Purple Spider plant is a fast-growing annual plant and bears beautiful aromatic leaves. The plant produces beautiful flowers in the winter season.

Blue Spider Lily

Also known as Tie-Dye Lily

The Blue Spider lily, although bears the name ‘spider’ is not another variety of the Spider plant but that of the Lily plant. The blue Spider lily is more commonly known as the Electric Blue Spider Lily and is often known as the Tie-Dye Lily as well.

Spider Lily White

Resembles a spider

Yet again, even though it has the term ‘Spider’, this is another variety of the Lily plant and not the Spider plant. White lilies are rather beautiful plants. The plant is named so as the petals of the flowers resemble the legs of a spider.

Spider Plant Propagation

Easy to propagate

The Spider plant propagation is a fairly easy task. It does not require much work as most of the work is done by the plant itself.

The Spider plant can propagate well on its own. It is this one quality of the plant that sets it apart from the other general houseplants. The Spider plant shoots out other baby spider plants, known as Spiderettes.

For ideal growth, the Spiderettes should be allowed to stay attached to the mother plant. So, the question appears, how can we propagate the plant without moving it apart from the mother plant? Here is a step-by-step breakdown of propagating the Spider plant through Spiderettes.

  • Gently pot any Spiderette of your choice near the mother plant, without disturbing the tie that connects the both of them.
  • Water the plant regularly. Make sure that the soil remains moist and not soggy, nor completely dry.
  • Once it is obvious that the Spiderette has taken root as a separate plant, you can very well cut it away from the mother plant.

Spider Plant Problems

Browning of leaves is very common

The Spider plant is easy to grow and care for. The plant is also easy to propagate as it does most of this job on its own. Thus, it can be said that the Spider plant does the job easy for its plant parents.

But that is not all. Even though the Spider plant does the job easier for us plant parents, the plant might have to experience several plant problems. The persistence of these Spider plant problems can eventually lead to the death of the plants.

Here are some of the common problems that trouble Spider plants.

  • Browning of the Leaves: The leaves of a Spider plant tends to take on a brownish colour as a result of over-watering or under-watering. It is important to be cautious while watering the plant. Do not let the soil turn completely dry; neither should you completely drench the plant with water. It is enough to maintain a moist consistency of the soil. The use of heavily chlorinated water in Spider plant watering can also lead to the browning of the leaves of the plant.
  • Aphids, Mealybugs and Scales: Aphids, mealybugs ad scales are rather common pests that often trouble several houseplants. Rinsing the plant with cool or lukewarm water can be an effective trick to get rid of aphids. In case of heavier infestations, spray some insecticidal soap on the plant. Mealybugs and scales can be removed with the help of cotton balls dipped in alcohol.

Hanging Spider Plant

Looks great in hanging planters

Be it indoors or outdoors, Spider plants are known to look their best when grown in hanging planters. The hanging planters give a proper display of the whole of the Spider plant, unlike traditional planters wherein one part of the plant remains hidden.


Do spider plants need sun?

Yes, Spider plants do need sunlight. Indeed, the plant thrives well in low light as well. But sunlight is necessary to make sure that the plant blooms and also to encourage healthy growth.

How do you care for a spider plant?

To care for a Spider plant, place it at a spot that receives bright yet indirect sunlight. Maintain moisture in the soil. Never let the soil turn completely dry nor make it soggy by over-watering.

What are the benefits of spider plants?

Spider plants offer a host of benefits. Spider plants are NASA-recommended plants that have great air-purifying capabilities. The plant is also very difficult to kill and thus easily be grown by everyone.

Is Spider plant an indoor plant?

The Spider plant can be grown as an indoor as well as an outdoor plant. Just see to it that the plant is not exposed to the harsh direct sunlight and is watered enough.

Why are the tips of my spider plant leaves turning brown?

The tips of a Spider plant tend to turn brown as a result of overwatering and under-watering. It can also be caused due to the use of heavily chlorinated water for watering the Spider plant.

Is it okay to cut the babies off the Spider plant?

It is advised to not cut the babies off the Spider plant. These babies or Spiderettes can very well be propagated into separate plants even cutting it off the mother plant as it appears.

What is the ideal indoor location to place a Spider plant?

A Spider plant should be placed at a spot that receives some sunlight. Make sure that this sunlight is bright yet indirect. You can use curtains or something similar of that sort to filter the sunlight.


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