Chlorophytum comosum 

(clor-o-fii' tum co-mo' sum)

Common name: Spider Plant. Ribbon Plant

Family: Liliaceae, Lily

Height x width: 1' x 2', hangs 2-3'

Foliage: linear, lance-shaped, basal, variously striped or solid green for species; arching stems produce new plantlets with roots--the "spiders"

Flowers: non-showy white, small, in arching racemes or panicles

Light: bright to moderate

Temperature: cool to average

Watering: keep well-watered

Fertility: high

Humidity: humid

Soil: well-drained average

Pests and Problems: root rot (if waterlogged), whiteflies, spider mites, scales, aphids; leaf tips turn brown from too little water, too low humidity, too much salts, excess of fluorides; foliage scalds in direct sun

Growth habit, uses: hanging foliage indoors

Other interest: native to South Africa; from the Greek chloros meaning green and phyton meaning plant; may be seen as C. capense which is actually a different species

Other culture: fleshy tuberous roots, divide and repot before roots burst container (especially plastic), flowering and plantlets stimulated by short days (long nights); easily grown and adaptable as it tolerates a wide range of conditions, and very common

Propagation: division or from plantlets


'Picturatum'--central creamy stripes

'Variegatum'--white margins

'Vittatum'--white central stripes, more commonly seen cultivar

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course