Gail's Gardens

Let's take a stroll through Gail's house and her lovely array of specimens. Her Chlorophytum (Spider Plant) is one of the most popular of all houseplants. This popularity is not surprising, it is quick growing with attractive arching leaves, and in spring and 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 (Spider Plant) C. comosum vittatum C. comosum vittatum

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 has green leaves edged with white. Mandaianum is compact with yellow-striped leaves.

Secrets of Success And Special Problems

Temperature: Average warmth - minimum 45 degrees F. in winter. Light: A well lit spot away from direct sunlight. Water: Water liberally from spring to autumn. Water sparingly in winter.
Air Humidity: Mist the leaves occasionally in summer. Repotting: Repot if necessary in spring. Propagation: Peg down plantlets in compost - cut stem when rooted. Alternatively divide plants at repotting time. Insects:Chlorophytum is virtually pest-free. Aphid may attack if plants are weak. Leaves With Brown Tips: Most likely the 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. Pale, Limp, Yellowing Leaves:The cause of this is usually too much heat and too little light.

C. comosum vittatum C. comosum vittatum

Leaves With Brown Streaks: Too much water under cool conditions as this usually occurs in winter when the plant is not growing. Water sparingly in the winter. Curled Leaves, Spots, Leaf Fall, Yellowing: The soil around the roots has dried out. Chlorophytum needs a plentiful supply of water when it is actively growing. No Stems: The plant is too young and 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.

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