Houseplant Girl

The Spider Plant: Chlorophytum comosum

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

History

Most likely introduced to Europe by the Swede, Carl Peter Thunberg during the 18th century, the Spider plant is native to South and West Africa. It’s thought that Carl discovered this plant on one of his many travels to Capetown. It wasn’t until the Victorian era when this plant really took off, being displayed in parlors and hanging baskets inside the home.

 

thunberg

 Easy Living

Another one of the easiest indoor plants to care for, the Spider house plant is almost impossible to kill…almost. If you kill one, don’t feel bad. Just walk away slowly and try again.

The spider plant is tough and hardy, able to withstand your neglect (kidding). They also look great in hanging baskets and as a toy for your cat to bat its paws at. It looks like the ultimate indoor greenery, with long and flowing leaves it almost looks like an amazing 1970s hairdo.

There are a few species of Spider plants available, but the one meant for indoor use is the Chlorophytum comosum. Their leaves are long and ribbon-like, looking (obviously) similar to a spider. These are fast growing plants and don’t need much to reach a length of 3 feet.

A NASA Winner

This is one of the famous indoor plants that NASA studied back in 1989. NASA researched air filtering plants in an attempt to find cheaper and efficient ways of creating biological support systems on future space stations.

These amazing green friends clean the air for us, filtering out toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and other substances deemed bad for our health. The spider plant is one of the many plants which were deemed clean air winners, and should be used in your home to achieve a healthy breathing atmosphere!

Use this plant in areas where the air is less “clean” such as the kitchen where there are gas stoves or in rooms with fireplaces. Hey, bring it to the bathroom too!

Lighting: Bright, indirect sunlight. They are able to grow under artificial lighting if necessary. For the maximum growth and production of flowers and little plantlets, they should be kept in a very bright window or hung outside on the porch. However, full sun should be avoided.

Water: Maintain a consistently moist soil and don’t overwater. If watered too much, it’s sensitive to root rot. If you are using tap water, try getting distilled water from the grocery store to water these as fluoride will cause the tips of the foliage to turn brown. If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.

Temperature: Don’t expose the plant to anything below 40 degrees—otherwise it will thrive.

Fertilizer: Get a soluble fertilizer, don’t use it too much. You can fertilize twice per month if the plant is in high light and once every three months if it is in medium light.

Propagation: These are able to propagate very easily and can be done any time of the year or just rooted in water.

 

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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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