The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Liliaceae.

Common name(s): Spider Plant
Chlorophytum Genus of about 250 species of evergreen, rhizomatous perennials with fibrous or fleshy roots, from a variety of habitats in South Africa and W. Africa. Chlorophytum is one of the most popular of all house plants. Spider Plant forms long runners bearing plantlets that are best displayed in a hanging pot. Best growth occurs in medium light intensity and any good potting soil. Keep the soil moderately moist and temperatures above 45 degrees. Ideal temperatures are between 55 and 70 degrees. Plantlets form when spider plant receives short days and long, uninterrupted nights for at least three weeks. After three weeks the plant may be moved into a room which is lit in the evening. Heavily fertilized plants may not form as many plantlets. Various cultural or environmental factors probably cause the browning of the leaf tips.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 45F in winter. Brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all time. Reduce watering in winter. Misting is necessary in summer. Divide plant or peg down plantlets in compost - cut stem when rooted. Sow seed at 64-68 F (18-20 C) in spring.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

spring hamblin
19th May 2006
it also likes to be leftalone and high on a shelf by a windo.
Larry Little
15th Jun 2006
This plant is very easy to grow. It will stand temperatures near freezing if the soil is dry. But it is best, of course, to maintain 40F or above. Keep them on the dry side in winter or anytime bright light is limited.
Illinois, USA
28th Sep 2006
My spider plant has looked awful for at least a year. My mother-in-law told me to cut it back to 1", I was scared to do it, but it not only grew back healthy, but it looks amazing! It took about five months.
Jean Dowdle
23rd Feb 2007
When My spiders desperately needed re-potting and I had no larger containers available, pruned about 1/3 of the root mass off of the plants and put them back in the same pots. They have been growing like crazy ever since!
David Levine
26th Jul 2007
Yes mine just flowered. At the end of the runner. That will become a baby spider. when it's a fair size, cut it and plant in damp soil. They grow fast.
29th Nov 2007
I was trying to find out if I should cut off the long runners after the spider babies are all off it?
30th Nov 2007
Ugh!!! My big spider plant that is just gorgeous is just starting to show brown tips!! Why??? It's got the right light, water, in a non-smoking home. It is in the kitchen near the bay window hanging from the ceiling. I cook, but not excessively. Thanks for any information you might have.
4th Dec 2007
Barbara, it sounds like the plant is either too dry or being overwatered. Spiders like to be misted, and in the winter only need to be watered about once a week at the most
17th Dec 2007
I have many spider plants, all do well in and outside, but I also cut smaller babies off and put them in my fish tanks, they grow well, the fish do not eat them ( though the apple snails will ) and they look great. The first few I put in there 8 months ago and are doing great!
Chicago, IL
6th Jan 2008
I've got some "babies" that I propagated in June & now they're over 3 feet tall. These seem to stay tall and not droop, but I've noticed some other types that droop and fall over the edge of the pot. Are these different species, or just the potting/care I'm giving them? I'm just learning I've got a heck of a green thumb, but am still learning and am anxious to learn more!
14th Feb 2008
When I was a little girl of 5 we grew spider plants at my headstart and took them home. My dad still has the spider plant I grew more then 20 years ago :^)
26th Apr 2008
I have a spider plant that is over 30 years old. It's babies have been passed down from my great grandmother. Every time someone moves out or has another child we give a plant to that person.
17th May 2008
Spiders are actually one of the best to have if you have cats! The cat can chew and the plant recovers quick, but I'd hang it or put it out of reach.
Washington State, USA
17th Feb 2009
I have two of these plants now, one that I just bought and another that was gifted to me by my father (who owns its mother still) 12 years ago! This plant has seen neglect for two of those years but was doing wonderfully as the conditions it suffered were just right for it to survive. It is soon to be in need or repoting, which mostly entails new soil (the soil it is in is probebly five years old) and the emersion of three short stemed babies that developed during its neglect into the pot with "momma". The one I bought has five plants in it, and each one is giving off a baby, the most developed ones (at this time two) also have the "seed pods" which I will harvest and save once all the babies are fully developed and ready to be repoted into their own little pot together. This plant loves its own company, and not alot of fuss!
3rd Apr 2011
The Spider plant is non-toxic to dogs and cats. It is related to the Aloe plant...
6th Jul 2011
I have grown these plants for years. I have people wanting the babies off of mine as they are so beautiful. As it was said they like light but not bright and to be left alone. It is a plant that even a rookie plant person can grow. If you are a starter start with these as they will encourage you to keep going and you will love to see your plants when grown. I also have one in my kitchen wihdow that gets morning sun and it is in nothing but water but it was a beautiful baby that fell off when I was watering my larger ones.
Alaska, USA
12th Jul 2012
I have 2 cats, one loves to chew babies off then leave them on the floor. I am just starting a couple of babies that Gabby chewed off the stems in a vase with a Beta, Siamese Fighting Fish and they look great and seem to be growing just fine. Was glad to see someone else using them in a fish tank/bowl. Thanks for the affirmation.
16th Jul 2013
This plane is very sensitive to chlorine in the water. Make sure you leave the water out over night al least before you water with it.
17th Dec 2013
I read yesterday abt this plant and found that my mom has already grwon trhis on pot. Its a beautifull & delicate plant.
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