Spider plants are an essential part of any household or office plant collection. Its long leaves grow from the center of the plant and are usually green at the edges with a creamy white stripe down the middle. Spider plants are one of the most common houseplants, and are extremely easy to grow and propagate. Overall, spider plants are excellent for beginning house plant enthusiasts.
The spider plant is really a great house plant to learn about plant care and is an excellent plant teacher. Spider plants have also been shown to improve indoor air quality by removing formaldehyde from the air around it. Spider plants reproduce extremely easily when they are given the right conditions to grow in and when you know how to transfer the young shoots from the mother plants, you will be able to get many individual plants from one. If you take proper care of your plants, and propagate them, you will soon have a house full of spider plants with many to share with your friends and family.
Spider plants need an easy draining, well aerated potting mix. A general-purpose potting soil or soil-less medium works well. Be sure to allow the soil to dry slightly between thorough watering. Root rot can result from a soil mix (or container) that does not drain quickly or from overly frequent watering. Also be aware that many houseplants can be sensitive to the chlorine and salts in most tap water, so using distilled or a mixture of both can prevent problems later on. Watering your houseplants from an alternate source such as your fish tank, a compost tea, or your outdoor rain barrel is beneficial.
These plants are lovely when grown in hanging baskets where the curve of the scapes and leaves, and the cascading plant-lets produce a draping effect. Hanging pots with open holes in the base will dry out fast when plants are actively growing so check the soil often. Put your plant in a hanging pot and you will have dozens of new plants in no time. Spider plants prefer to have little room in the pot, so a small pot for a small plant is perfect. Spider plants will produce the most plant-lets when they are slightly overcrowded in their pots, or pot bound. Since they prefer a semi pot bound environment, re-pot them only when their large, fleshy roots are visible above the soil and watering has become difficult. The main root mass can be divided to make new plants. However, the roots are really strong and grow in a tangle, so you might have to use your fingers or a tool to gently dig into the root ball and separate them.
This popular houseplant will seem to freely “toss” baby plants into the air on long flowing stems in a way that is beautiful and somewhat unique to this beneficial houseplant. Once the plant is large enough, it begins sending out light colored hardy cylindrical stems or runners, from which new baby spider plants grow. As the new individual plants appear, they can be left alone, or you may fill a small pot with soil and a small amount of fertilizer and plant them until they take root. After this the stem should be cut and the newly freed plant may be given away as a gift or moved to it’s own location in the house. If you want to root them in water, use a narrow neck bottle or something like Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers or chop sticks to create a square support over a jar with a wide mouth so that only the bottom of the young plant touches the water.
Spider plants thrive on high, indirect sunlight with temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Native to South Africa, these plants are grown in households all over the world, and they will also do well in many outdoor gardens, depending on the zone in which the garden is located.