Chlorophytum elatum Spider Plant; 7°C/45°F; South Africa

Every-one’s favourite, this very graceful green and cream striped grass-like foliage plant, also listed as C. comosam or C. capense, can be seen on the windowsill of almost all who keep plants indoors. There are several reasons for this and chief among them are the facts that the Spider Plant is extremely easy to grow, and can be propagated by a novice. To grow them successfully they need little more than a light windowsill position, ample watering in spring and summer, and feeding with liquid manure once a week in summer – it is also advisable to pot them on into larger containers annually in March or April using a loam-based soil. Excessive watering in winter when temperatures indoors are generally lower will cause brown streakmarks to appear in the centre of some leaves. Propagation is simply effected by pegging the small plantlets, that develop as perfect replicas of the parent in miniature, down in pots or boxes of soil and allowing them to root before severing the stalk that attaches the small plant to its parent. Plants that are starved of nourishment will develop brown tips to their leaves, which should be snipped off with scissors. However, little harm is done as new leaves are very quick to develop.

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