Chlorophytum comosum

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 3 Professionals
Common Name: spider plant
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Southern Africa
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers freely
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought, Heavy Shade, Dry Soil

Culture

In warmer areas where outdoor cultivation is possible, grow in light shade in well-drained soil. Indoor plants need bright indirect sunlight and watering well when in full growth. Keep moderately moist and temperatures above 45°F. Ideal temperatures are between 55° and 70°. Do not over fertilize as heavily fertilized plants may not form as many new plantlets. Your plants will not run short of nutrients; its tubers store reserve food. Cut off yellowed foliage and brown tips which will occur unless conditions are perfect. Plantlets form when the spider plant receives short days and long, uninterrupted nights for at least three weeks. This plant has fleshy tuberous roots, so it will need to be divided and repotted before the roots burst your container, especially plastic containers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chlorophytum comosum is native to South Africa. It has linear leaves that are green or striped white. Flowering stems bear loose panicles of small, white, starry flowers. Plantlets are formed at the flowering nodes. When plants are full, they have an interesting, graceful, cascading habit.

Genus name comes from the Greek words chloros meaning green and phyton meaning a plant.

Specific epithet means furnished with a tuft.

‘Variegatum’ has margins of white or cream. ‘Vittatum’ has recurved leaves with a central white stripe and green margins.

Problems

Plants are susceptible to root rot if waterlogged, whiteflies, spider mites, scales and aphids. Leaf tips turn brown from too little water, too low humidity, too much salts and excess of fluorides in the water. The foliage will also scald if placed in direct sun.

Garden Uses

In warmer climates or during summer months in colder areas, spider plants are well-suited to use in planters or as a groundcover. The plantlets will cascade over a wall or planter forming a fountain effect. The variegated cultivars brighten up any shaded locations. It can be used as an edging along walks or in front of shrub borders. As an indoor plant, it is used primarily in baskets. It tolerates artificial light very well and therefore makes an excellent plant for offices and commercial settings.