Table of Contents
- Overview of the Spider Plant
- Varieties of Spider Plant
- Benefits of Spider Plants
- How to Care for the Spider Plants
- Common Problems Affecting Spider Plants
- Final Thought
Spider plant is known as a prevalent outdoor and indoor plant with attractive broad striped leaves. Besides the beautiful leaves, spider plant benefits you by purifying the air. It is easy to grow because it can adapt to any weather condition.
It is famous for cleansing the air and medicinal quality. That’s why most people often place it in their office window or at home. You can also put it in hanging baskets because its leaves slouch downwards.
Overview of the Spider Plant
The houseplant got its name from the small pups that are similar to the spider’s body. It can produce tiny white flowers from the long stems which bloom in the summer. This makes it a precious houseplant and its ability to purify the air.
It was primarily found in South Africa’s tropical rainforests as a ground cover. There are about 65 different species of spider plants in that tropical forest. It is in the lily family category that produces broad-curly leaves and hangs beneath the mother plant.
When most people discovered spider plant air purifying capacity, they moved it into the homes as an indoor plant. It can eliminate approximately 90 percent of toxic substances in the atmosphere. When your home has pure air courtesy of spider plant, you can minimize stress and improve your mental health.
Varieties of Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum is the scientific name of the spider plant. Its types are based on texture variations and design patterns. There are about four different types of spider plants:
- Chlorophytum Comosum Variegated: This species has white stripes that run across the long curly leaves. It also has a white line between the plates with a green coloring in the middle. Consequently, it has a thin green stripe along the edges and a broad white stripe in the middle.
- Chlorophytum Comosum Green: It is a prevalent indoor houseplant and grown in most homes across the world. It’s a species that’s easy to care for because it is considered the best air freshener. It produces a lot of chlorophyll that gives the leaves bright green color, unlike other species.
- Chlorophytum Laxum Zebra: It resembles the variegated type of spider plant species. The big difference is that it has yellow stripe color along the edges that can turn white later. It can flourish under full indirect sunlight and fractional shade and is known to have the shortest lifespan. It grows wide and up to the height of about 20 to 30 cm.
- Bonnie curly leaf spider plant: Most gardeners call it a ribbon plant because of the curly leaves that look like a bunch of fresh flowers. Its narrow curly leaves can grow up to 10 to 20-inches in height; hence it is suitable for compact balconies and bathrooms. Bonnie spider plant benefits you in various ways, such as acting as the air freshener in your home, producing beautiful yellow flowers, and giving your home an exquisite look.
Benefits of Spider Plants
There are several incredible spider plant benefits that can make you like it. It can survive in different weather conditions. Apart from being safe to pets such as cats, it has other additional advantages such as:
1. It Removes Toxic Substances from your Home
This houseplant is the easiest species to grow. It effectively eliminates harmful and poisonous chemical substances such as xylene, carbon monoxide, toluene, and formaldehyde from the atmosphere.
It is excellent at eradicating formaldehyde, a household chemical compound found in leather goods, plastic products, clothes, adhesives, manufactured wood products, etc. It helps minimize carbon monoxide levels, thus reducing anxiety, constant headache, and common colds. It can prevent severe health risks such as loss of attention, vision impairment due to toluene.
2. Increases Level of Humidity
It is a perennial plant with a high rate of transpiration. Its roots absorb water, and then the moisture is circulated via leaves and stems. The water evaporates into the atmosphere after reaching the leaves, hence increasing the humidity level. This, in turn, minimizes the risk of being infected with airborne diseases such as cough and sore throats. If you keep it in your office or at home, it increases productivity and your level of concentration.
3. Speeds Up Recovery
Several research studies reveal that placing spider plants in hospital rooms with surgical patients speeds up their recovery. These patients need minimal pain prescription, and they do not suffer from high blood pressure or some issues related to heart rate. They also experience a reduced amount of depression or anxiety; hence they can be discharged from the hospital sooner than later.
How to Care for the Spider Plants
You can propagate spider plants indoors to make it easy for you to care for them. It requires water, air, sunlight, and nutrients to thrive, just like other plants.
Therefore, to give it proper care, you need to understand what it requires:
Spider plants cannot grow well in bright and excessive direct sunlight, although they can adapt in any lighting conditions. So, it can grow well under indirect sunlight. You can also use artificial light if you plant it where they cannot access natural sunlight.
It requires at least 12 hours of constant indirect sunlight to flourish and grow healthy. You should maintain the room temperature above 50 F and so keep it away from heat vents. During the winter season, you can relocate the spider plant indoors. Excess direct sunlight makes the leaves scorch, therefore ensuring it is not exposed to such kind of light.
2. Fertilizer Application
You should not fertilize the spider plant regularly because it doesn’t need too many nutrients. But if you must apply fertilizer, feed it with water-soluble fertilizer to grow more robust and healthy. If you have organic compost, then add it to your potting medium.
Apply fertilizer once or twice a month, particularly in the spring and summer. Fertilizer adds more nutrients required for proper growth and strength. Apart from the water-soluble fertilizer, you can use fertilizer pellets or liquid fertilizers.
Normalize watering your spider plant as it grows. Do not overwater it to prevent soil saturation. In case of overwatering, drain excess water by holding the pans beneath pots, or else the roots can rot.
Do not allow the soil to get completely dry; instead, you should maintain watering it at least twice a week as you change the amount of water needed as it grows. It needs the right amount of moisture; therefore, to determine if it requires water, insert your tallest finger up to 2 to 3 inches into the potting soil.
If your finger remains dry, then water it and then recheck it after three days. During winter, allow the soil to get at least dry before watering it with lukewarm water. You should water a mature spider plant at its roots instead of the leaves.
Use a mist sprayer to water the leaves to keep them moist to prevent their tips from drying off and eventually die. The mites cannot attack your spider plant if you keep it moist. Use purified water because it is susceptible to harmful chemicals.
Prune your houseplant to maintain its good and attractive looks. Use sterile pruning shears to trim the leaves and stems during the summer and spring seasons. To prune curly spider plant leaves, cut them off from the base, while for the roots, trim the stem from beneath.
Trim the spiderettes produced by mature spider plants and transplant them. Effective pruning allows you to maintain the size of the plant and improve its health. Moreover, pruning extra roots reduces the number of nutrients needed by your houseplant.
Spider plants can propagate well in unvarying potting soil. Use the regular soil with a pH that ranges between 6.8 to 7.2. If you are planting a mature spider plant, you should compact the ground and enhance proper drainage.
Common Problems Affecting Spider Plants
Mealybugs are small and agile white-colored insects. They feed by inserting their long sucking tongues and draw sap from the plant tissue. They are dangerous in large numbers and can suck your plant dry within a few days. After feeding on it, they leave a honeydew sticky-like substance on its surface, thus causing the growth of fungus and molds on curly leaves.
To control the infestation of mealybugs, minimize fertilizer application and reduce watering your houseplant. This is because high moisture and nitrogen level induces softness enabling mealybugs to overgrow. Once you eliminate the mealybugs, use leaf shine to wash your spider plant to prevent future infestation.
2. Spider Mites
These are the most common pests that always attack spider plants. The mites always use the web for protection from other insects. This insect feed on soft tissues, which turn the leaves yellow and finally dry.
The mites always hide beneath the leaves, which can be hard to observe while caring for spider plants. Use lukewarm water and a pressure bottle to remove the insects. Treat your plants with pesticides if the infestation proves to be severe.
They are tiny insects that flourish on spider plants latex. They blend with the color of the plant, and this makes it challenging to observe them. If you notice the leaves starting to curl and then die off, then know that aphids have infested your plant.
The aphids secrete honeydew sticky substances on the leaf surface. Therefore, these substances are sweet and attract other harmful pests and insects that damage the spider plant even more.
You should prune the infested leaves to eradicate the aphids. You can as well remove them by cleaning the spider plant with pressurized water. Use chemical treatment such as pesticides or soap spray if the infestation proves severe.
Apart from the incredible spider plant benefits, it looks attractive as a houseplant provides you with numerous health benefits. It can give you clean and purified air. You can propagate it on hanging baskets, traditional pots, or balconies to add on some greenery to your home. If you are interested in growing spider plants, then this article can be helpful to you.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is spider plant toxic to cats?
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) classifies the spider plant as a non-toxic plant to human beings and animals such as cats. Cats are attracted to it due to its curly white stripes on the leaves and insignificant hallucinogenic property.
It does not pose any severe health problem to cats, but if it chews the plant, it can vomit o experience mild stomach upset. The best thing to do is to keep it away from the cats and children.
Why is my spider plant turning yellow and eventually dying?
Most spider plants die because either you overwatered it or you placed it under direct sunlight. If you are growing it in a planter, ensure several water drainage holes below your potting medium. Drain excess water immediately from the collection bucket of your planter.
Its roots are susceptible to overwatering, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. The leaves can also turn yellow due to excess fertilizer and insufficient light and eventually die.
What is the lifespan of my spider plant?
The spider plant doesn’t have a limited lifespan. Infections from fungus and pests and external environments such as water, fertilizer application, and sunlight can determine its lifespan. Most of these plants often die due to exposure to direct sunlight, poor drainage, and under-watering or overwatering. If you avoid these small mistakes, then your plant can live for many years.
Can spider plants repel bugs?
It tries its best to repel these bugs because, like other plants, it is constantly disturbed by insects. It might suffer from infestation from various insects such as mites, aphids, and scales.
How can I save my overwatered spider plant?
Although this plant prefers the sun, move it to an area with partial shade, then you can remove the dead leaves. Then you should check if your pot has appropriate drainage and remove the dead roots to create air spaces between them. If possible, treat your soil with fungicide, or you can water.