Spider Plant: A Beautiful and Easy-to-Care-for Houseplant

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Lawn & Garden

The spider plant, also known as the airplane or ribbon plant, is a popular houseplant that is prized for its long, grass-like leaves that often have a white stripe down the middle. It is easy to care for and can be grown in both hanging baskets and on tables.

One of the unique features of the spider plant is that it produces plantlets on its stems, which gives it its common names. The plant also produces long, hanging flower stems with small white flowers.

The spider plant prefers bright, filtered light and evenly moist soil. Its thick roots can make watering a bit difficult, so it is best to take the plant to the sink and let it soak in water. It does well in average home humidity and in temperatures ranging from cool to warm.

Spider Plant Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Common Names: Spider Plant, Airplane Plant, Ribbon Plant
  • Light Requirement: Bright to Filtered Light
  • Water Requirement: Evenly Moist
  • Humidity: Average Home
  • Temperature: House to Cool
  • Fertilizer: High Phosphorus
  • Potting Mix: All-Purpose
  • Propagation: Division, Layering, Plantlets
  • Decorative Use: Hanging Basket, Table
  • Care Rating: Very Easy

Learn About House Plants by Type

  • House Plants
  • Full Sun House Plants
  • Bright Light House Plants
  • Filtered Light House Plants
  • Light Shade House Plants
  • Hanging Basket House Plants
  • Floor Plant House Plants
  • Table Plant House Plants
  • Terrarium Plant House Plants
  • Very Easy House Plants
  • Easy House Plants
  • Demanding House Plants
  • Temporary House Plants
  • Flowering House Plants
  • Climbing or Trailing House Plants
  • House Plants with Colorful Foliage
  • Fragrant House Plants

Caring for House Plants

  • Lighting
  • Watering
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Fertilizing
  • Potting
  • Grooming
  • Propagating
  • Decorating
  • Preventing Pests and Diseases
  • Vacation Care
  • Gardening

About the Author: Larry Hodgson is a full-time garden writer based in Quebec City, Canada. He has written many books on gardening, including “Houseplants for Dummies” and “Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants.” He is also the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s 2006 Garden Media Award.


1. What is a Spider Plant?

A Spider Plant is a type of houseplant that is known for its long, thin leaves which resemble spider legs. It is also known as Chlorophytum Comosum and is native to South Africa.

2. How do I care for my Spider Plant?

Spider Plants are relatively easy to care for. They thrive in bright, indirect light and like to be kept moist but not waterlogged. They also do well in moderate temperatures and high humidity. It’s important to fertilize them every few weeks during the growing season to promote healthy growth.

3. How often should I water my Spider Plant?

You should water your Spider Plant about once a week. However, you should adjust the watering schedule based on the temperature and humidity of your home. If the air is particularly dry, you may need to water your plant more frequently.

4. How do I propagate my Spider Plant?

Spider Plants are very easy to propagate. All you need to do is cut off one of the “spiderettes” that grows on the mother plant and place it in a pot of soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist and within a few weeks, the spiderette will begin to grow roots and develop into a new plant.

5. Do Spider Plants purify the air?

Yes, Spider Plants are known for their air-purifying abilities. They absorb toxins like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene from the air, making them a great addition to any home or office.

6. Can Spider Plants be grown outdoors?

Spider Plants can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates. However, they are often grown as houseplants because they are sensitive to cold temperatures and can’t tolerate frost.

7. Are Spider Plants toxic to pets?

No, Spider Plants are not toxic to pets. They are safe for cats and dogs to be around, making them a great choice for pet owners.

8. How often should I fertilize my Spider Plant?

You should fertilize your Spider Plant every two to three weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer and follow the instructions on the label.

9. How do I know if my Spider Plant needs to be repotted?

If your Spider Plant is root-bound, it’s time to repot it. You can tell if the plant is root-bound by gently removing it from its pot and examining the roots. If the roots are tightly packed and there is little soil left in the pot, it’s time to repot.

10. How big do Spider Plants grow?

Spider Plants can grow up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. However, they can be kept smaller by pruning the leaves and stems.

11. Can Spider Plants be grown in water?

Yes, Spider Plants can be grown in water. Simply place the plant in a vase or jar filled with water and make sure the roots are submerged. Change the water every week or so to prevent bacteria from building up.

12. How long do Spider Plants live?

Spider Plants can live for several years if they are well-cared for. With the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer, your Spider Plant can thrive for a long time.

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