SPIDER PLANT CARE AND WATERING
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I recently had the opportunity to redesign an indoor container garden that was in dire need of a makeover. A big indoor atrium with large Ficus trees and towering Norfolk Island Pines, there were some low containers that needed plants that would fill out but not up. Wanting to add some contrast to the all-green foliage in the atrium and minimize the stark container lines, variegated Spider Plants fit the role perfectly!
Today, that account in Charlotte, North Carolina is being used to film some of the indoor scenes in the Showtime series Homeland. If you watch the show, keep an eye out and you may catch a glimpse of those Spider Plants, Ficus and Norfolks!
One of the first times that I had to care for Spider Plants was in the 1980's. Just starting in the indoor plant care business, one of my daily routes began at Il Pescatore Restaurant in Jack London Square, Oakland, California.
The most memorable thing about this account, other than the beautiful harbor view, was the many Spider Plants they had hanging over the bar counter. Since restaurants always have to be cared for early, as they generally open around 11 AM to start serving lunch, you could find me, once a week, standing on a bar in the early morning, watering lots of Spider Plants.
That was quite some time ago, and although Spider Plants are still very popular as houseplants, they are not seen as often as they used to be in commercial indoor plant design. Enough of the stories now, on with the plant care!
Although not used as frequently in the interior landscape industry as it used to be, the Spider Plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, is still a very popular houseplant. This is mainly because it is one of the more tolerant and easy to grow houseplants.
Spider Plants will adapt to a variety of indoor conditions. It can be grown in shade or partial sun, hot or cool temperatures. Spider plant does not require the high humidity that some houseplants prefer. In my opinion, one of the best things about Spider Plants is their grass-like appearance that you don't see in many other indoor plants. It is quite an attractive plant.
Watering Spider Plants - In bright light, spring through summer, water when top of soil has just dried out. In lower light, allow soil to dry down one-half of its depth, before watering. Please check out the information on lighting for your plants and watering of your plants. These are most important to the well-being of your indoor houseplants. Available light directly affects watering.
Other Notes on Spider Plants - Chlorophytum elatum, or Green Spider Plant, was used in the NASA clean-air study and found to be quite efficient at removing the common chemical, Formaldehyde, from the air. Quite an accomplishment for such a little plant. These test were done with plants in soil, not plants grown in water or hydroponic media. It is believed the microorganisms in the soil contribute to the results.
Average temperatures for Spider Plants should be at a very minimum of 45°F in the winter, too cold for me! Watering should be reduced in fall and winter, allowing your Chlorophytum to dry down three-fourths the depth of the soil before watering.
Lighting for Spider Plants should be bright indirect light and Spider Plants will tolerate some sun. For a nice full plant keep in bright light. Spider Plants can be maintained for awhile in lower light but the plants appearance will suffer.
Spider Plants have a tendency to develop black or dark brown leaf tips, usually on the older, lower foliage. I have found it quite beneficial to make a regular habit of just removing some of the older leaves completely as they start to "tip". This will keep your plant looking better and help promote healthy new growth.
If you are getting dark tips on new growth, review your watering practices, you may be watering more than the plant requires. Also, Spider Plants are susceptible to soluble salt damage which can occur if you are applying fertilizers too often. This is often seen as dark tipping of leaves.
I seldom find I need to feed or fertilize indoor plants, preferring to add fresh, nutrient rich soil instead. Fertilizing should be an uncommon event and is definitely not for new plants.
Brown streaks on the leaves in cool temperatures or in the winter are often from too much water, reduce watering frequency.
Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. Hope this helps keep your indoor tropical plants and flowers happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site PlantAndFlowerInfo.com.
If you have indoor plant questions you can send a plant question or visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own comment or questions or share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo.com Facebook Page or Google+ Page, also great places to post comments and questions! Thanks again...