Spider plants are fantastic perennial plants that originally come from southern and tropical Africa. They have slim leaves that grow long and then arch down. The leaves can vary from a medium green to a darker green with a characteristic paler shade running down the centre in a line or bordering the edges. Even though they do have white palish green flowers, these generally die off quickly and it is really the plant and leaves itself that carry the beauty.
They are also known as ribbon plants, airplane plants, spider ivy, Saint Bernard’s lily and hens and chickens. If you are familiar with spider plants, it’s clear why they could be associated with hens and chickens. The primary plant will eventually be surrounded by lots of little plants that dangle off the main plant. The little plants are called spiderettes and come with tiny protrusions and their own roots underneath each individual spiderette. There are two ways of rooting spider plants and it is so simple that even a child or someone just venturing out into the world of gardening can easily do it.
If you are a fan of rooting plants in water, you can put the spiderette in a glass of water and leave it for a few weeks on the windowsill before planting it in soil. Many believe that this step is unnecessary and follow the second method of planting the spiderette directly into soil. You can leave the runner (the part that attaches the spiderette to the main plant) attached to the primary plant until it takes off, although this is technically not necessary.
Planting quite a few spiderettes in one pot will guarantee a thick, bushy effect. You might want to add a few spiderettes in next to the mother plant, if it is beginning to look a bit sparse. Be sure to use a lightweight potting mix when propagating the spiderette and don’t forget to make sure that it drains sufficiently. Take care not to over water. Adult spider plants should only be watered moderately without letting the soil dry out. A newly planted spiderette should not be too wet, only a bit moist until it has taken off and you can see that the plant has healthy new growth. Don’t leave them directly in the sun. Spider plants only need medium sunlight, but love humidity. The fact that they are tolerant of many conditions make them the perfect house plant.
During the 70s, everybody had these plants hanging in a macramé basket, but these days you will find them all over plant lovers’ bathrooms, windowsills and desks. Spider plants have a wonderful ability to clear the air and drain it of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Propagating these easy growing spider plants will not only leave you with a sense of achievement, but will also clean the air in your house.