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Chlorophytum Chlorophytum comosum

Previously known as:

  • Anthericum Comosum
Phonetic Spelling
kloe-roe-fy-tum koe-MOE-sum
Description

Spider plant is an evergreen herbaceous perennial that is commonly grown as a houseplant for its adaptability to many conditions.  It does particularly well in hanging baskets where the leaves and stems can cascade down the side. It has attractive striped green and white leaves and small white flowers. Spider plant prefers bright, indirect light and propagates easily by plantlets or division. 

Spider plants grow best in medium light levels and can tolerate deep shade, but they are intolerant of direct sunlight. They grow best in moist soil and medium air humidity, though they are tolerant to drought and dry soil. Keep temperatures above 45F. Give the plant a moderate amount of water during the growing season, reducing watering during the winter, and do not over-fertilize as this decreases plantlet formation. Avoid watering with tap water as the chlorine and fluorides can cause leaf tip burn. Mist leaves occasionally in the summer. Stolons and plantlets are light-dependent and develop when the mother plant receives short days and long, uninterrupted nights– less than 12 hours of light a day– for at least three weeks.  Relatively pest-free.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Green linear leaves often striped white
  • Long stolons produce plantlets and flowers

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Milky Way'
    Cream leaves edged in green.
  • 'Picturatum'
    Leaves have central yellow stripe
  • 'Variegatum'
    Leaves edged in white or cream.
'Milky Way', 'Picturatum', 'Variegatum'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#white leaves#interiorscape#hanging baskets#cascading#stripes#herbaceous perennials#striped leaves#fantz#ebh#ebh-h#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants#hsc#hsc-f
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Milky Way'
    Cream leaves edged in green.
  • 'Picturatum'
    Leaves have central yellow stripe
  • 'Variegatum'
    Leaves edged in white or cream.
'Milky Way', 'Picturatum', 'Variegatum'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#white leaves#interiorscape#hanging baskets#cascading#stripes#herbaceous perennials#striped leaves#fantz#ebh#ebh-h#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants#hsc#hsc-f
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chlorophytum
    Species:
    comosum
    Family:
    Asparagacea
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    W. Tropical Africa to Cameroon, Ethiopia to S. Africa
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Cascading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small capsule after flowering.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small white star-shaped flowers form in loose panicles, the stolons sometimes bearing plantlets at nodes. Flowers erect to typically arching-pendulous, white, 1/4 in, tepals 6, spreading, free.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Strappy green or striped green and white leaves up to 12-18 in long. Sessile, crowded, linear to lanceolate, grass-like, often striped white longitudinally, 12-15 nerved and a deep groove in the middle.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Leaves emerge from a short, compressed stem. Stolons are long and green, producing flowers and plantlets.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heavy Shade