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caring for your indoor spider plant

Caring For Your Indoor Spider Plant

Caring for your indoor spider plant is simple if you follow the tips below.  However something to keep in mind is spider plants are sensitive to chlorine, fluoride and salt which can cause the tips of the leaves to brown.   So, filtered, rain or tap water that has sat for 24 hours in the sun is best for watering.  

Since this plant’s grass-like leaves can grow downward it can make quite the statement in a hanging basket.

Spider Plant (aka airplane plant, bernard’s lily, spider ivy, ribbon plant, hens and chickens)

Botanical Name & Family: Chlorophytum Comosum from the Asparagaceae

Other spider plant species include: Vittatum Chlorophytum Comosum (Variegated Spider Plant), Bonnie Chlorophytum Comosum, Zebra Chlorophytum Laxum, Variegatum Chlorophytum Comosum (Reverse Variegated), and the Chlorophytum Viridescens (Hawiiaan Spider Plant), 

Photo: Andie Cumber

How To Car For Your Spider Plant

  1. Light: Moderate to bright light indirect light and some partial shaded light.  Try to avoid direct south facing light because it can scorch the leaves.  
  2. Benefits: It absorbs carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and xylene as well as produces oxygen to purify the air.
  3. Soil: A general purpose potting soil.
  4. Watering: Water 1x weekly during the summer.  Water less frequently in the winter.  The spider plant likes even moisture so don’t let the soil get too moist or become too dry.
  5. Fertilizer:  During the spring and summer growing season fertilize the spider plant once a month.
  6. Repotting: This plant can grow quickly so it may require frequent repotting so it’s best to give yourself about four – six inches in diameter from the plant. Avoid clay pots because as the roots spread out they can crack the pot.  That’s why a pot with drainage holes is best for this plant.  A good indication when it’s time to repot is if you see roots growing on top of the soil. 
  7. Toxicity:  This plant is not toxic to children or pets.  In fact it’s an edible plant that pets like.  While it’s not toxic a pet over indulging in too much of it may cause an upset stomach.
  8. How big it will grow:  It can grow between 2 – 3 feet long.
  9. Propagating: Cut one of the spiderettes with at least two inches of the root intact.  You can recognize the spiderette easily because it looks like an offshoot baby spider plant.  Fill a small pot with potting soil and place a small hole in the center.  Place the spiderette root(s) into the hole and cover with the planting soil.  Lastly water your cutting and continue to water as recommended.  Cutting the spiderettes are also a great way to prune your spider plant if you want to control its growth size.  Another way to propagate is to separate a section of the plant with the tuberous root intact.
  10. Temperature: Ideal temperatures range between 55°F – 80°F/13°C- 27°C.  It doesn’t do well in temperatures below 50°F/10°C.

This plant loves humidity, so while you are caring for your indoor spider plant consider hanging it in a bathroom.