Chlorophytum – Spider Plant

Chlorophytum – Spider Plant

Chlorophytum Spider Plant 7 deg C (45°F). South Africa.

This very graceful green and cream striped grass-like foliage plant can be seen on the windowsill of almost all who keep plants indoors.

The two varieties most readily available are C. comosum ‘Variegatum’ with leaves up to 30-45 cm (12-18 in) long, and C. elatum, whose leaves grow up to 60 cm (24in).

Chlorophytums need little more than a light windowsill position, ample watering in spring and summer, and feeding with a liquid manure once a week in the summer. These accommodating plants are also very effective for hanging baskets.

Excessive watering in winter when temperatures indoors are generally lower will cause brown streaks to appear in the centre of some leaves.

Chlorophytum Spider Plant It is advisable to pot chlorophytums on into larger containers annually in March or April using a loam-based compost.

Propagation is simplicity itself. Plants soon produce long arching stems which bear in» conspicuous whitish flowers and tiny plantlets which root extremely readily. Just peg them down into a pot of compost until they root.

More on the Spider Plant

This easy plant has grass-like leaves with a white centre stripe and clear green edges. Small plantlets produced at the ends of long arching stems make it suitable for wall display or hanging baskets.


Growing season 15-22 °C (60-72 °F)

Minimum winter 7-10 °C (45-50 °F)

Soil: A well-drained soil-less compost. However, it is not fussy.

Where to position: A very light position. Direct sun will cause the leaf tips to dry. It resists draughts and temperature changes.

Watering requirements: Always keep soil moist and springy to thumb pressure. It is thirsty and needs frequent watering if the weather is hot or the plant big. Needs no special humidity treatment or spraying.

General care: see that it has adequate room to grow, as stems bearing the young plantlets are not supple. The insignificant flowers should not be removed until dead. Feed weekly with diluted liquid fertilizer while growing. Before it becomes too big and coarse, pot up two or three of the plantlets; they root easily and will replace the mother plant once they are growing steadily. No other treatment is necessary.

Rest and care: No obvious rest period. Growth slows as light and warmth reduce in winter. Less water will be needed to maintain the soil condition. In winter feed at four-weekly intervals.

When it looks sick:

The leaf tips go brown and dry : This may be over-watering. This must be corrected. It could also be the result of sun scorch. If the soil condition is good, move the plant to a less sunny window.

The leaf tips brown and the plant begins to look unkempt : Re-pot; it has probably outgrown its existing one.


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