A Good House Plant is a Spider Plant

The scientific name for a spider plant or air plane plant is Chlorophytum comosum (1). The reason that it is of some importance to know the scientific name of your plant is that some plants have many common names so it can be confusing to find more information on your plant.

Spider plants are native to the tropics (1). These plants have long slender leaves that tend to hang over the side of the pot. The leaves of this plant can come in either green, green with white edges, or white with green edges. The flowers of spider plants are rather plain because they are small and are white. One of the best features of this plant is that it produces miniature duplicates of itself that can be potted up to give you a new plant (1).

             Spider plant with other house plant                     Green Spider Plant                              

Spider plant with other house plant      Green Spider Plant


         Miniature Duplicates                 Just planted Duplicate

     Miniature Duplicates                 Just Planted Duplicate  


The spider plant prefers to have indirect light because its leaves can sunburn (2). This means that they are quite shade tolerant so this is one plant that can also live happily in your office. Spider plants may be grown out doors as annual or even as a perennial in certain parts of the world (3).

 Watering and Fertilizing 

These plants need watered only when they are dry. Fertilize only when the plant is actively growing, that is, when they are putting out new leaves, flowers or duplicates (2). The fertilizer you choose can be any type that is recommended for house plants. All fertilizers will have numbers on them like 15-20-15. This means that there are 15 parts potassium within the fertilizer mix (the first number). Potassium is a nutrient that plants require in order to flower.  The 20 means that there are 20 parts nitrogen (which helps the plants leaves grow) and the last 15 means that there is phosphorus (which promotes root growth).

 Temperature and Pests  

Spider plants prefer to have the temperature about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little cooler at night (2). They are relatively pest free except when they are over watered but they may prone to spider mites.


(1) Clark, David E. Ed. How to Grow House Plants.Sunset Books, Menlo Park, CA 1976.

(2) Prepared by Russs, Karen and Pertuit, Al “HOME & GARDEN INFORMATION  CENTER” Http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1513.htm

(3) “Plants of the UNF CampusHttp://www.unf.edu/dept/physfac/landscape/plants/Chlorophytumcomosum.pdf



  1. Katelin said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I think that your post is very informational. I know nothing about plants, but this taught me alot about a certain type of plant. You also cited everything that you mentioned, which is good since a lot of bloggers do not. You seem to be very informative about plants!

  2. Marianna Brandt said,

    March 6, 2008 at 10:33 am

    This is good information on the spider plant. I didn’t realize that you could pot the duplicates. I’ll definitely try it. The pictures always add to your post.

  3. Jami Cox said,

    March 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I also had no idea that spider babies could be potted. I will be getting another of these plants as the only natural predators they had in my house were the cats. It’s good to know that they like indirect lighting as I did try taking mine outside and its’ leaves sunburned to a pale color.

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