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Garden Topics: Tropicals & Houseplants

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum Comosum

Spider PlantWhy you may want to grow it: The spider plant is among the most popular and easiest to grow of all hanging or trailing houseplants. While these exceptionally hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, in perfect conditions they are stunning. A mature plant will form tight rosettes of arching leaves with a profusion of hanging plantlets on long stems, up to 3 feet, somewhat like a bushy green mane. Although there is a pure green variety, the most common variety we sell is the green-and-white striped 'Variegatum.' Mature plants have small white flowers. Excellent in hanging baskets where the fountain-shaped plant can send up its long stems topped by small white flowers. Eventually, the stems will bend under the weight of tiny plantlets that develop. In the wild, these would root as they hit the ground. Indoors, they can be detached to form new plants or left on the stems for effect.

How to care for it: It's pretty laid back about lighting, so place it where it will get a good amount, but not in direct sun. It prefers adequately moist, but well-drained, soil. As with most houseplants, some drying out between watering is better than overwatering. Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you'll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. Room temperatures of 60 to 75 Spider Plantdegrees keep them thriving. If you begin to notice browning of the spider plant's leaves, there's no need for worry. Browning of leaf tips is normal and will not harm the plant. This is oftentimes the result of fluoride found in water, which causes salt buildup in the soil. It usually helps to periodically leach the plants by giving them a thorough watering to flush out excess salts. Be sure to allow the water to drain out and repeat as needed. It may also help to use distilled water or even rainwater on plants instead of that from the kitchen or outside spigot.

Health benefits: With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. They're a beautiful addition to any home owner seeking cleaner air. This plant is on NASA's list of the best air-purifying plants.  

For More Information Check Out Wikipedia:  Spider Plant


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