Although you can find almost 200 species of Chlorophytum (191 at last count) the most popular is the well known spider plant Chlorophytum comosum. Using a variety of different houseplants in your home can help remove a wider variety of environmental toxins. Chorophytum or spider plant is easiest to grow houseplant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant is one of the top most plant approved by NASA for air purification indoors. That said, spider plants can combat quite a few such as Formaldehyde, Carbon monoxide and Xylene. The spider plant significantly removes carbon monoxide from the air. In turn, this create more oxygen in the home. The NASA clean air study recommended 15-18 oxygen producing plants and air cleaning plants for an 1,800 square feet house or office space.
At work or home, bring a “spider” to work! It will make a nice “desk or table plant”, takes up little space and does not need sunlight. A happy Chlorophytum comosum can live for decades. Spiders plants make wonderful “test plants” for those looking to learn about houseplant care.
Light: Spider plants prefer bright light, and tend toward scorching in direct sunlight. However, they will grow in conditions ranging from semi-shady to partial direct sun. If you have a bright sunny window you want to fill with plants, your Ribbon Plants will do well there, too! They also do nicely under fluorescent lighting (as in an office or school setting) or with full spectrum artificial light or grow lamps. A spider plant that receives at least 12 hours of bright, indirect light per day will produce more spider plant babies. Too direct sunlight can be detrimental and will tend to burn the leaves and may cause brown tips.
Water: These plants don’t require lots of water. Your specific watering schedule will vary depending upon the temperature and level of lighting you maintain. Generally speaking, check the soil weekly by poking it with your finger. If the top inch of soil is dry, give your plant a moderate watering. Keep the soil lightly moist during the warmer months when the plant is actively growing and reproducing. Cut back watering in the cooler months to give the plant a chance to rest and go semi-dormant. Do not over water this as it may cause root rot. Too less water or drought may lead to brown tips. Spider plants also like slightly warm or room temperature water — cold water could damage the roots. This plant is particularly sensitive to fluoridated water; if your water is treated with fluoride, watering with rainwater or distilled water is best for the health of your plant.
Temperature: Keep the spider plant in a room above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It will die if you expose it to frost. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 55 and 75 degrees F. Below 50° the plant will survive but it will go dormant and will stop growing. The time when the favorable conditions return the spider plant will spring back to life and grow back fast.
Humidity: Mist the spider plant once or twice daily during the growing season and twice weekly during the winter months in temperatures over 60 degrees F. These plants adore 45- to 60-percent humidity, and most homes and office environments lack the necessary atmospheric conditions to provide it. Misting will also help stave off red spider mites, which prefer a dry place to live.
Pruning: To keep them looking their best, you can trim spider plant leaves in the spring or summer. If you want to keep them under tight control, you should also prune the spiderettes or spider plant babies. Letting the babies grow increases the amount of water and fertilizer you'll need to keep the plant nice and healthy. Cut foliage at the base of the plant and get rid of dead or diseased leaves, including leaves with severely damaged yellow or brown tips.
Luckily, these sturdy little plants are versatile and can enjoy luxuriant growth in any home, office or garden setting. Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you'll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. Even if you have never kept a plant before, you are very likely to have good luck with a spider plants. Only the most egregious neglect and abuse can kill them, and when you start with one, you are sure to have a whole family of little spiders in no time at all. Growing spider plants is an enjoyable, easy, satisfying, affordable way to fill your home with happy greenery.