The Spider Plant botanical name Chlorophytum Comosum, is very easy to care for. It is considered one of the most adaptable houseplants. The reason is that this plant can grow in many different conditions: hot or cold, light or shade, it all matters little to the Chlorophytum. As long as it is not too extreme of course. A nickname for Chlorophytum Comosum the grass lily is the Spider plant. This nickname comes from the plant’s cuttings. These dangle like spiders from the mother plant. This effect is greater in its brother, the Chlorophytum Bonnie, because of the curled leaves.
The Spider Plant falls within the Anthericaceae plant family and is native to southern parts of Africa. Here the plant has been a popular addition to the living room for generations. Partly because the plant is easy to care for, or because you can easily cut it. We just think the Chlorophytum is a very nice plant! On this page you can read all about its special properties, facts and care.
Mode of growth
The Spider Plant can be recognized mainly by its leaves. New leaves grow from the middle and can reach 60 centimeters on a mature plant. The marking on the leaves varies per species, but always contains green and/or milky white. The leaves are narrow and meet at the end in a point. You may recognize this growth habit from the Dracaena, which is distantly related.
In practice, we often place this plant as a standing plant or let it grow into a hanging plant. Did you know that the Chlorophytum is a creeper in nature? It is a soil-covering plant. This can be deduced from its growth habit.
From an adult plant, stems grow on which flowers appear. These stems are “ejected” by the Spider Plant and can be up to one meter long. After flowering, young plants appear, also called spiders, which root again
Once mature, stems with flowers again appear. This is how the plant spreads in nature. You may recognize this from a strawberry plant, for example. These young plants are easy to take cuttings from, more on that later.
Pot and repot
Just like a Sanseveria, the Spider Plant has a very strong root system. The roots are very thick and fleshy and can hold a lot of moisture. This root system is one of the reasons why the plant is so strong!
It also ensures that the plant can grow quickly. A Spider plant has usually grown out of its current pot within a year. You can easily check this by looking under the pot. Can you see the roots through the drainage hole, or are they even growing through it? Then it is time to repot.
It is best to choose a time in spring for repotting. Then the plant has the entire summer to grow in its new pot. Make sure the new pot also has a drainage hole and place a layer of hydro grains at the bottom of the pot. Want to read more about the use of hydro grains?
Position and light for grass lilies
The Spider Plant does well in both lots or semi-shade, but make sure the plant is never in direct sunlight. This can cause their leaves to burn and become stained. Are you looking for a hanging plant that can hang in full sun though? Then perhaps the Chinese Lantern Plant or the Hoya is for you.
You can see from the leaves whether the plant is getting too much or too little light. TheSpider Plant turning brown, or brown spots on the leaves, means direct sunlight, which is not good. If the white color on the leaves fades, it means too little light again. A place with little light is different from a place in the dark!
If you have a bathroom with a window, and a lot of light comes into the room, place your Spider Plant there. The warmth and high humidity make the bathroom the perfect location.
Others, on the other hand, like to put the Spider Plant in the bedroom because the plant is air-purifying. NASA research showed that the Spider Plant is air-purifying by purging harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, from the air. Thus, this hanging plant provides extra oxygen and thus a nicer environment to sleep in.
Spider Plant does not like drafts
Another point to consider when choosing a location: drafts. It does not like that. Incidentally, there are few houseplants that do appreciate draughts. Draughts can be caused by an open window, but air movement from an air conditioner or radiator should also be prevented.
Watering the Spider Plant
A Spider Plant is a thirsty plant and can consume quite a bit of water. However, this does not mean that the soil should be constantly boggy. With a soggy soil, the roots will rot and eventually the Spider Plant will die.
How much water do you give? It is best to water according to the “soak and dry” method. This means: give a lot of water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Then let the pot drain. For this it is necessary that there are holes in the bottom of the pot. In this way you never give too much water.
Then you wait with watering until the upper part of the soil is dry. Stick your finger in the soil and check if any soil sticks to your finger. If that is not the case you can water again. In practice, this usually comes down to twice a week.
It is especially important in spring and summer that you never let the soil dry out completely. The need for water is then great. You can recognize a thirsty Spider Plant by the leaves becoming dull. It may also be that the leaves start drooping. If the grass lily is pale or drooping, it is thirsty!
Because the soil is usually moist, you run the risk of flies. It is good to keep an eye on this and to combat it if necessary. Often the first sign of a moist soil is the development of mold on the soil. The best way is to give it rainwater. If that is difficult, use tap water, but let it come to room temperature first.
Best temperature for Spider Plant
An easy plant to take care of, as we already said. It does great at the average room temperature. This temparature is normally between 13° and 27° Celsius. Warmer is not a problem for a while (not too long), but then also give some more water. Colder is also not a problem, but not for too long.
Can you keep a Chlorophytum Comosum outside?
All Spider Plant species can be kept outside, but be aware that it absolutely does not tolerate frost! It is also wise to grow young plants indoors first until they are stronger. The same advice for light as for indoors applies to outdoors as well: no direct sunlight.
This plant is a great addition to your garden or balcony. It is best to put them in a (hanging) pot and not in the ground. The reason: the Spider Plant is not hardy. They can withstand a little cold, but as soon as winter begins you have to bring the plant inside. This is of course easier if it is in a pot. If the temperature drops, this is not immediately a problem, but frost is. Overwintering should therefore be done inside. As soon as spring begins the plant can be taken outside again.
The spider plant has few demands on the soil in which it stands. A potting soil for houseplants will do just fine. Please note that it only contains a limited amount of nutrition. Depending on the brand of potting soil, this is usually for about 2 to 3 months. After that, extra fertilization is necessary.
Feeding the Zebra grass
Fertilize up to twice a month in spring and summer. This is when the plant grows fastest and the need for nutrition is greatest. This can be done with liquid plant food. The advantage of this is that you can easily mix it through water.
However, avoid over-fertilizing. Your Spider Plant is in a pot and excess fertilizer has nowhere to go. This can seriously damage the roots of the plant. So always read the instructions carefully and avoid applying too much.
Too much is harmful, but a shortage can also cause the plant to grow less well. If the Spider Plant turns pale it is often a first sign of a food shortage. Nutrition is therefore an essential part of the maintenance of this plant.
Spider plant as a hanging plant
Under the right conditions, the grass lily can grow considerably. The plant grows quite large, but also shoots out quite a few offshoots. When the plant is mature, and cared for under the right conditions, there can be a lot of them. The nickname “Spider plant” then becomes quite clear! With good care the grass lily can grow into a real hanging plant! The English name also comes from this: The fun part is that you can let these “spiders” grow into new plants. Want to read more about cuttings from the grass lily?
Actually, your Spider Plant will never grow too big. If you don’t feel like turning the Chlorophytum into a hanging plant, you can prune the grass lily. The first step is to remove all the spiders, the babies. Then you can remove the largest leaves from the base. Use a sharp knife for this. Then you can move on to the slightly lesser leaves. You continue this until you are satisfied.
In the summer period, you can be extra rewarded for taking good care of the Spider Plant. This is when the plant produces small white flowers that reach down on long stems. You can leave them on, or choose to cutt them! The blooms on this plant are definitely worth leaving on! Are they blooming out? Then you can remove them.
Buying grass lilies
Where can you buy the Spider Plant? Because this houseplant is so popular, it is offered in many different online stores. This is an advantage because you can easily compare. These suppliers are mostly listed on Bol.com. An overview of the current offer can be found by clicking on the button below:
Is this plant safe for my child?
The Spider Plant is not poisonous to children and therefore safe to have in the house.
Can rabbits eat from the Spider Plant
The Spider Plant and the rabbit are a good combination. In fact, all rodents love this plant. The Chlorophytum Comosum is sold as an edible plant for animals under the name Snuffle Leaf. This is available in many garden centers. Thus, this plant is edible for many animals such as the rabbit, hamster and guinea pig. If you buy this plant for your pet, choose an organic variety
Yes: the Spider Plant is safe for your dog. However, the chance that your dog will show an interest in the plant is rather small. If you want to be sure that animals cannot reach the plant, you will have to hang it up. Looking for more colorful hanging plants? Check out the Tradescantia or the Maranta.
The Spider Plant feels limp
It’s never fun to see that your beloved plant is starting to get limp leaves. Fortunately, in most cases there is still something you can do about it. Usually, a limply hanging sprig plant is a thirsty plant. Is the soil dried out? Then give it a good gulp of water. After a few hours the limp leaves should spring up again.Is the soil not yet dried out? Then the Spider Plant probably needs nutrition. This plant has a high growth rate and can run out of available nutrition fairly quickly. Of course a plant builds up reserves, but then when they are depleted you will notice this. Give some liquid plant food and you will soon see the plant full of life again!
The white stripes of Chlorophytum disappear
Most likely the leaves are becoming dull because the plant has received too little light. With dark leaves, it can better capture the little light. Move the plant to a place with more light and you will see that the new leaves have white stripes again. This principle applies to all plants by the way, even the brightly colored ones like a Calathea.
Leaves of the Spider Plant are translucent
The Chlorophytum has been too cold or is still too cold. Move it to a warmer place. Preferably do not place it near a heater. There the humidity is very low and can cause the leaves to dry out.
Do you need to water the Spider Plant?
Yes it does! Spraying is important to increase the humidity. If you do not do this, the Spider Plant will get brown points on the leaves. Set the plant sprayer to the mist position and mist the leaves until they are completely wet. In addition, watering is also good for the overall health of the plant. Pests such as lice have less of a chance of establishing themselves, and dust doesn’t stay on the leaves.
Spider Plant gets yellow leaves
Do you see a yellow leaf appearing on your plant? That is a signal from the plant that there is an excess of water or nutrition. Check for yourself if you have been feeding or watering the plant regularly for the last few days/weeks.
It takes a long time for an excess of nutrition or soggy soil to reduce by itself. If this is the case, it is best to remove the Spider Plant from the pot for a while. By replacing the soil as much as possible you can solve the problem quickly. Then the plant will get a fresh start again.
My Chlorophytum is not growing
Haven’t you seen any new leaves forming in a while? Then it’s logical that you might be worried. First of all, it is good to note that this plant grows a lot slower in autumn and winter than in spring and summer. Because the number of hours and the strength of the light decreases, the plant goes into dormancy (read more about plants and light requirements?). Sometimes plants don’t even grow at all during this period.
If it is spring or summer, and your plant is not growing, then we need to look further. Several things may be going on then. It’s good to check if the plant still has enough space, maybe it’s time to repot. On this page you can also read how often and how much water and nutrition the plant needs.
There are rotten leaves on my spider plant
This is a serious problem. Rotting leaves means the roots are rotting too. That’s where it starts. The rotting is (very likely) caused because the Spider Plant has been in too soggy soil for too long. Then you’ll see the leaves turn pale. If the problem continues for a long time you will even see black leaves and eventually dry leaves.
Can you still save the plant then? With a bit of luck you can! Take the plant out of the pot and remove as much soil as possible. Now that you have the roots exposed you can remove the rotten parts. Also take out the rotten leaves. Read the instructions on this page carefully for the maintenance. With a little luck the plant will grow again.
Does the Spider Plant fall out or lose leaves? This only happens under special and stressful situations. If you have just brought the plant into your home, this can happen: it still needs to recover after the move and get used to the new situation.
Is it still losing leaves after a while? Then it may be that the location is too cold. Low temperatures (below a minimum of 14 degrees) are generally not appreciated. You see this with more (hanging) plants by the way: This is also a common problem with the Lipstick plant.
With which plants can you combine a Spider Plant?
The best way to combine a Spider Plant with other plants is by looking at its origin. Like the Spider Plant, many other popular houseplants come from tropical regions. For example, consider the Philodendron or the Calathea. These plants all evaporate moisture. By combining them, they benefit from each other’s evaporation. Thus you create, as it were, a microclimate. You will notice that you have fewer problems with those typical brown edges that occur due to dry air.
Why are drops on the leaf?
Do you see a drop on the leaf of your Spider Plant? Sometimes the leaf bends a little further, due to the weight of this drop. This may look sad, but it is not. This process is called guttation and occurs in many plants such as the Monstera and the Banana plant. Due to a temporary high water pressure in the roots, the plant sweats out the excess water through the leaves. Nothing to worry about.
The Spider Plant and allergy
Can you have an allergy to the Spider Plant? Generally speaking, no. In fact, the Spider Plant purifies the air. If you suffer from hay fever, for example, the advice is to put air-purifying plants in your home.
The plant has aphids
If your Spider Plant has aphids you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. These lice suck the moisture from the leaves, causing the plant to grow less well and eventually even die. This is because lice multiply very rapidly. Removing lice is easy by rinsing the plant under the tap. Then remove the remaining lice with a cloth. Also check the plants in the same room: lice are contagious!
|Latin name||Chlorophytum Comosum|
|Also known as||Grass Lily, Zebra Grass, Spider Plant, Sprite Plant, Grass houseplant|
|Place||Light, not direct sunlight|
|Toxic||Read more: is the Grasslily-toxic-for-cats?|