Chlorophytum comosum, airplane plant, or commonly known as spider plant is a common houseplant. You will find that caring for it is very easy. It is known as a beginner's plant as it is relatively easy to handle and grow. The only thing that can kill the plant is total and absolute neglect.
You will find these plants hanging over patios and as trailing plants. These plants are very hardy and are known to survive in difficult conditions. The plant forms tight rosettes of arching leaves. These leaves protrude as hanging plantlets on long stems. They are about 3 feet in height and are white and green striped variegatum. Mature plants have white, small flowers. These flowers will be followed by decorative hanging 'babies'. These are small plantlets that help propagate the plant. Just root out the little 'babies' or plantlets and transplant them to a summer bedding outdoors. Caring for the plant is very easy and you need to provide minimum care to watch the plant flourish.
Caring for the Spider Plant
By the time you finish reading these care instructions, you will find that the plant is rather undemanding.
First and foremost, use a sturdy container or pot that has a bottom drainage (place a saucer under it). This container needs to be filled with general purpose potting soil. Now, place the plant in an area that receives bright light, but do not place it under direct sunlight. The leaves are prone to scorching when placed under direct sunlight.
The soil needs to be checked daily and fed with warm water when the top soil becomes dry. You need to add water to the soil till it drains from the drainage hole. Let the water drain completely and remove the excess water from the saucer. Do not let the plant stand in the water. The room temperature should be about 65 to 75ºF. The night temperature should be 10 degrees cooler. The plant should be fed with fertilizers every week during summer and spring. Use a general liquid fertilizer for your indoor plants and follow the instructions given on the fertilizer bottle.
When growing the plants, it is very important to prune them regularly. This is because they will reproduce and propagate like a forest fire. The 'babies' are produced when the plant receives the optimum level of water and food. You need to prune back your plant to keep it healthy and propagate the new babies in a small pot near the mother plant. Do not cut it away from the mother plant, till it grows roots. Once the plant gets established, you can separate it.
You need to watch out for problems to help keep your plants healthy and alive. If you observe that the leaves are dull and grayish with webs, it means your plant is suffering from red spider mites. You can use natural pest control to get rid of this.
When your plant is floppy and dull, it needs balanced liquid food. When you find the 'babies' pulling the mother plant to one side, it is time to separate the babies and remove the extra babies. When the plant starts to rot in the center, it means you've been over-watering it. You need to allow the plant to dry out, before re-watering. Cold damage can leave the leaves transparent and soft. You need to place your pots in a warm area to help it live. The leaves turning brown, means you need to place the plant away from direct sunlight.
There is nothing too complicated to understand as the instructions are very simple and easy. You will find growing this plant to be an enriching gardening experience.