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Chlorophytum comosum

Spider Plant: Low-Maintenance & Pet-Friendly Houseplants

Because of its ability to thrive in nearly any condition, this popular houseplant makes an excellent option for almost anyone, including beginners. Even if you are new to owning indoor plants, spider plant care is minimal, and they make a beautiful addition to any room in your house or office.

Other names for this plant...

Spider ivy Ribbon plant

About Spider Plant

Named for the tiny plantlets that grow from the long, trailing stems that resemble spiders, this easy houseplant is known for its air-purifying abilities. Their long, thin green leaves, often variegated with white stripes, give pops of color to your indoor space and are perfect for hanging baskets.

Botanical Name

The spider plant's scientific name is Chlorophytum comosum, and they are from the asparagus (Asparagaceae) family.

Plant Type

Spider plants are tracheophytes, meaning they are vascular plants that use true root, stem, and leaf systems to make nutrients. This type of plant has vascular tissues, which enable them to grow larger than non-vascular plants.

Their water and food are distributed throughout the plant via these vascular tissues, contributing to their growth.


Spider plants grow natively in the tropical and subtropical regions of South Africa (specifically the coastal regions), Asia, and Australia. 


Spider plants boast long, narrow leaves that are somewhat grass-like. They are usually bright green and have white variegations down the center of the leaves. Depending on the type of spider plant, the sizes of the leaves will vary. Some leaves are long and skinny, and others are thicker and shorter.

The lush green offset with the white stripes is aesthetically pleasing and looks great in a hanging basket because of how the long leaves naturally fall. 

When the mother plant is ready to produce new plants, small white flowers will appear at the end of the leaves, and after the plant has flowered, baby plantlets (or spiderettes) will begin to form on the long leaves themselves.

Spider plants have slender, curved variegated leaves.

Types Of Spider Plants

There are over 200 types of spider plants, with some of the most popular being:

  • Variegated spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘vittatum’)

  • Bonnie spider plant

  • Airplane spider plant

  • Zebra spider plant

  • Variegatum

  • Hawaiian spider plant

  • Bichetii grass spider plant

Spider Plant Styling 

Their long, often drooping leaves make them an ideal hanging indoor plant. Of course, there are several other ways to style these plants, like in large pots on the ground, smaller pots on an end table or bookshelf, or even in the corners of a sunroom or office.

Hanging spider plants add color and texture to a space, especially when paired with other hanging and vining plants, like ferns, Pothos, or string of pearls.

Spider plants are often styled in hanging baskets.


Spider plants do best in medium to bright indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided because it can burn the plant's leaves. 


Though they are relatively resilient, they have been called the "Goldilocks" of plants because they don't like to be too wet or too dry. It is best to water occasionally, allowing the soil to dry completely between waterings, as over-watering can lead to root rot.

Spider plants are sensitive to the chemicals found in tap water, so using filtered water is recommended.


Spider plants prefer cool to average temperatures (between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit), but they can tolerate warmer temperatures (up to 90 degrees) and colder temperatures (as low as 35 degrees), though they may not grow well in more extreme temperatures. 


These plants prefer average humidity. They don't like extremely humid climates but don't want to be very dry either.


You can use a general-use potting soil or potting mix for spider plants. These fast-growing plants may outgrow their pots, so frequent repotting may be necessary for them to thrive.


Occasional pruning can help maintain your plant's size and keep it healthy. Removing dead or diseased leaves should be done regularly to keep your plant hearty. Make sure to use clean, sharp scissors to prune your plant.

The roots should also be pruned every other year and done during repotting.


You can fertilize up to twice a month, but you will want to avoid over-fertilization. It is recommended to use a half-strength fertilizer, as excessive fertilization can lead to brown leaf tips.

Height & Growth

Spider plants will typically grow between 1-3 feet in diameter and length, though some variations may vary in size. 


Spider plants are non-toxic to people and safe for homes with children.


Spider plants are pet-friendly.

Common Problems 

  • Root rot: Over-watering can lead to the decaying of the roots, causing the plant to die eventually.

  • Sensitivity to tap water: There are chemicals in tap water that spider plants are often sensitive to, which cause the leaf tips to turn brown.

  • Too much sunlight: Spider plants do not like direct sunlight, as it can burn their leaves.

  • Pests: Though they don't usually have many pest problems, they are susceptible to scale and mealybugs.

How To Propagate Spider Plant

When a healthy spider plant reaches maturity, the mother plant will begin to produce new growth toward the end of the leaves. Sometimes called "spiderettes"” these baby spider plants are where the plant gets its name, as they resemble small spiders.

Wait until these babies are about two inches in diameter before removing them for propagation. You will cut the long leaf from the mother plant's base with clean shears or scissors and then repot or place it in a small jar or pot of water. 

If you are propagating in water, be sure to change the water every day. You can also keep the plantlet attached to the mother and place it in a small pot of soil next to the mature plant. Then, detach the small plant that has taken root.

Baby spiderettes can be removed and easily propagated into new plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to put your spider plant?

Spider plants should receive medium to bright indirect sunlight. Placing them near a window or in a spot where the light hits for at least part of the day is usually best.

What is the best way to clean my spider plant?

If you notice your spider plant's leaves are dusty or dirty, the best way to clean them is with a clean, damp rag or paper towel. Gently wipe the leaves with the rag, removing the dirt and dust.

How often should you repot a spider plant?

These plants are fast-growing and can easily outgrow their pots. It is best to repot them every year, or every other year if you don't notice that it looks like it is growing improperly.

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