Chlorophytum is one of the most popular of all house plants. This popularity is not surpraising – it is quick growing with attractive arching leaves, and in spring ans summer the cascading wiry stems produce small white flowers followed by tiny plantlets. Left on the mother plant, these plantlets grow to give an attractive display, especially in a hanging basket. Removed from the mother plant they can be used to produce new plants.

Above all the Spider Plant has the prime requirement for popularity – it is extremely adaptable. It will grow in hot or cool rooms, in sun or shade and doesn’t mind dry air.


Chlorophytum comosum has been grown as an indoor plant for over 200 years and is available everywhere. Arching leaves form an attractive rosette, and the long stalks bear plantlets. Several varieties are available. Vittatum is the usual one – variegatum gas green leaves edged with white. Mandaianum is compact with yellow-striped leaves.


Secrets of success

Temperature: Average warmth – minimum 45°F in winter.

Light: A well-lit spot away from direct sunlight.

Water: Water liberally from spring to fall. Water sparingly in winter.

Repotting: Repot, if necessary, in spring.

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Problems and diseases

Leaves with brown tips. Most likely reason is underfeeding. Don’t forget to feed with every watering. Other possible causes are bruising and excessively hot air. Cut off damaged tips and correct the fault.

Leaves pale and limp in winter. Causes are too much heat and too little light.

Leaves with brown streaks in winter. Cause is too much water under cool conditions when the plant is not growing. As we said, water sparingly in winter.

SEE ALSO:   Bergamot Plant


Leaves curled with brown spots and edges. The soil around the roots has dried out. Chlorophytum needs a plentiful supply of water when it is actively growing.

No stems. Probably the plant is too young; stems bearing plantlets will not form until the plant is mature. If it is mature, then lack of space is the most likely cause; avoid overcrowding.

Read more about plant collapse HERE.



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