Here is my collection of spider plants (chlorophytum comosum, also called airplane plants) that I’ve been growing over the last 2 years, after being given a baby plant from a lovely lady called Sarah. The main plant has been growing steadily over this time (photo below), although I think I put it in a pot that was slightly too large to begin with. Over the last six months or so it’s properly filled out the pot and started flowering and shooting out baby plantlets, and of these, I have rooted/repotted four.

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Spider plants are air filtering plants which have been shown to improve indoor air quality. The most common types are both variegated, the subtle difference being the way the leaves are ‘striped’. My plant is the chlorophytum comosum ‘vittatum’ which has a central white stripe on mid-green leaves and the long stems that carry the flowers and plantlets are white. The other popular variety is the chlorophytum comosum ‘variegated’  which has an inverted pattern to the former type and is generally smaller plant. It has darker leaves with white edges and the stems are green.

I always like how spider plants look when they have a number of  plantlets hanging off the main plant, so I might not cut any more off for a while. At present the plant sits really nicely on some metal suitcases, but as it matures I think I’d like to hang it from a height.

I’ve been experimenting with finding the best environment for the spider plants because they are really easy to grow as houseplants and are well known for being able to withstand a variety of surroundings. As I have a few growing simultaneously, I’ve been able to compare which environment the plant favours the most. None have had any growth problems so far, but something I have noticed about the plant I hang in my bathroom is the the leaves are not as thick and have a slight translucence to them, as a result of the increased moisture levels and lower light levels. To counteract these issues I move the plant into a warm sunny spot occasionally which seems to help. I also water this plant less than the others because the moisture in the bathroom actually seems to almost be sufficient for the plant at its current size, and it’s not good to leave the soil too wet for prolonged periods. Unsurprisingly, the plant that’s grown the best is one I gave to my nan [photograph below – top], as the photograph shows it sits on a warm sunny windowsill with no draughts.
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CARE TIPS:

Spider plants are really easy to care for and don’t really have any special requirements. I water mine once a week, twice if it’s very warm, and feed it once every 7 – 10 days with Baby Bio.

In terms of rooting the baby plantlets when they appear, I initially rooted them in water for two weeks before potting in compost. I have also read though that they root ok just placed straight in compost when cut from the main plant …I tried this with the plant in the photograph of the bookshelf [above] and it seems to be doing ok so far!

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Thanks for reading!

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Posted by:Laura HPH

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