Spider Ivy, botanical name Chlorophytum comosum, is one of the most common and well-known houseplants. It is trendy among beginners. It is also known as an airplane plant because its long leaves hang from the parent plant. Care for spider plant is necessary for their growth and to enhance their beauty. The reasons for its liking are:
- It is easy to grow and propagate.
- It can survive in nearly any type of condition.
Also, read; Small watering can with long spout
What do spider plants look like?
It gets its common name from the long leaves produced on long stems, so it roughly looks like a spider. Their leaves spread in all directions like spider leaves.
Spider Plants as Indoor
The indoor spider plant is straightforward to grow in medium to bright light throughout the year. It grows well with average moisture and cools to moderate temperatures. However, it can also tolerate warmer conditions, but If you give warm weather to perennials, they will survive less.
Indoor spider plants can be grown in a general-purpose potting soil or soilless medium. They grow and form long, slender leaves stretching 12 to 18 inches. The leaves color can be green or striped green and white. Mature ivy stretches out long stems that bear small, star-shaped flowers. If the flowers are fertilized, a small fruit is formed. Once the flowers fall off, they start tiny leaves in their place, which grow their roots and can be removed to create newly potted plants.
How to grow spider plants
Seed propagation isn’t widespread, but spider ivy is so easy for vegetative propagation. It is a graceful plant because it can grow everywhere, from a tabletop to a mantle or with its lovely arching leaves as a hanging plant.
- By planting the long leaves.
- By dividing the roots.
Growth of spider plants from seeds
Cross-pollination of spider flowers takes place to produce fertile seeds. Therefore, the brushing of flowers should proceed to ensure the transmission of pollen at every bloom.
After the flowers fade, you can see some small green seed pods in the place of the flowers. When these dry, you can pluck them from the plant and break them open to collect the seeds.
Plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep in a small pot filled with potting mix, and keep the mixture warm and moist until the seeds sprout. Fertility will vary, so make sure to plant many sources to ensure some success.
Potting of Spider Plant
Spider ivy can be planted in pots or containers with the following characteristics.
- Grow them in containers that are no more than 1/3 larger in depth.
- The containers should have ample drainage holes.
- Use a loose potting mix.
- They typically need repotting every two to three years.
Repotting of spider plant
The best time to repot is in the spring. Avoid repotting during the fall or winter. We should wait until spring comes when the plant is actively growing. We should carefully remove the plant from its container, then use our fingers to loosen and remove soil from the large white roots. Then, fill around it with fresh, well-drained, general-purpose potting soil and a container with several drainage holes.
Propagation of Spider Plants
The propagation of spider ivy is very easy. Even a beginner can do this.
- As the long leaves on a plant’s stem develop roots at least an inch or two long, it’s time to propagate. Use sharp pruners, carefully cut the long leaves from the stem and keep the roots intact.
- Pot them in a well-drained clay or plastic container filled with the potting medium, and ensure the soil is moist and not watery until the plant starts to grow.
- For long leaves which don’t have developed roots, place a small pot filled with potting soil near the parent plant. Place the long leaves on top of the ground in the new pot, and keep the soil mo ist. Within a few weeks, roots should develop. Cut the long leaves from the parent, and a new plant grows in a unique pot.
Mature plants can be grown by digging and isolating the roots. For this purpose, pull the roll balls into many parts and keep the roots intact as possible. Then, replant that part of a plant.
How to care for spider plant
While using this information on spider plant care, we can take care of this cascading plant because it requires additional care to grow. The factors necessary are sunlight, temperature, humidity preferences, and others.
Outdoor plants are specifically grown in the light shade light. They can also bear bright sunlight, but their growth becomes less. The scorching light turns their leaves brown. In contrast, indoor spider ivy requires indirect sunlight or a sunny window to grow.
The spider ivy can grow in many soils of all types, but the best for their growth is clayey soil containing all minerals and stoneless soil. This soil has more drainage value. Water can reach every part of the soil. They can grow best in neutral pH but tolerate slightly acidic and basic soil conditions. If the quantity of salts is higher in the soil, the leaves twitch to change their color by turning brown. They prefer a reasonably neutral soil pH but can tolerate slightly acidic and alkaline soil. High salts in the soil can cause the leaf tips to turn brown.
They grow best in moist soil. They don’t contain much water for their growth. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot and flaccid, resulting in the plant’s death. These plants show sensitivity towards chlorine and fluorides in water because they cause the toasting of leaf tips. For better growth, use distilled or rainwater as it contains fewer salts. The tubers of this plant retain water, so giving less water will not harm them.
Temperature and Humidity
For growth, regular watering and warm temperature are required. The temperature should be greater than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When the plants are grown indoors, they should be protected from air-conditioned ventilations. Otherwise, the leaves start to turn brown. Even if the humidity is kept low, it also turns the leaf brown. Regular spraying can help the plant to grow well.
The spider ivy likes an average amount of feeding, that is, once a month during the active growing seasons of spring and summer. Adding too much fertilizer to the soil causes leaf tips to be brown, but the growth will be low if we add a small amount of fertilizer. The fertilizer of all-purpose is used in this plant. An all-purpose granular or water-soluble fertilizer is used during the growing season. We can adjust the amount of fertilizer if required, depending on our plant’s growth.
Common Problems with Spider Plants
To care for spider plant diagnosing and treating some problems is necessary.
Dropping Leaves or Slowed Growth
The browning root tips and slow growth shows soluble salts in the soil. These salts inhibit plant growth. The roots are not able to take water from the soil. So, in this case, softer water in our homes or distilled or rainwater should be used to grow the plants well.
If the salt is build-up on the surface of the soil, remove it by scrapping off the white salt crust. Then, use the pot with a draining hole and water the plants deeply.
The water needs of plants result in the browning of leaves. If there is underwater or overwater in the soil, the leaves start to brown. Water them if the soil is dry, but allow the plant to dry if the ground is wet. The quantity of water shows the plant’s root problems.
The water containing fluorides or chlorine also causes the browning of leaves. To avoid brown leaves, use distilled, rainwater, or filtered water.
When the roots come to the soil surface, and the soil remains continuously dry even after watering, the plant needs to report. This is because the water doesn’t go deep into the ground, and the roots move out of the drainage hole. So, this problem is treated by repotting them in large containers with fresh soil and fertilizer after pruning the roots.
The low-maintenance plants show sticky nature to leaves that represent the presence of scales or aphids. Insects excrete a sticky material called honeydew on the leaves. The flat brown ovals called scales on leaves are to be removed by cotton swab or by rubbing with alcohol. The aphids or mealybugs (which resemble a fluffy white mass) can be removed by spraying the plant with neem oil or by spraying the leaves with insecticidal soap.
Gardening Tips for spider Ivy
- By planting them in well-drained soil.
- By providing bright and indirect sunlight.
- By not providing too much water, their roots will become flaccid.
- By providing them with cooler temperatures from 55 to 65F.
- By giving pruning and cutting from the base.
- Spider ivy proliferates and quickly becomes pot-bound, so they will grow faster by repotting about every other year.
- In the spring and summer months, keeping the soil moist enhances growth. However, do not let the soil dry out too much.
- By giving Fertilizers up to twice a month in the spring and summer.