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Why Spider Plants Are the Perfect Houseplants

Jennifer is an environmentalist from Ohio. She is passionate about advocating for the planet and wildlife through gardening and education.

Why Spider Plants are the Perfect Houseplants

Why Spider Plants are the Perfect Houseplants

What Are Spider Plants?

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are one of the most popular houseplants, and for good reason. There are many benefits to choosing a spider plant as your next houseplant. These tropical, leafy plants are incredibly easy to care for and are very difficult to kill. They are believed to be one of the most effective houseplants for cleaning the air and removing indoor air pollution. Spider plants are also one of the best houseplants for pet-lovers, as they non-toxic to cats and dogs. These plants are very easy to propagate from naturally growing offsets, so you can quickly fill your house with baby spider plants. These baby spider plant plantlets also make wonderful gifts for your friends and family. Here are some of the reasons why spider plants make the perfect houseplants.

Spider Plants Clean and Purify the Air

Many plants are able to clean the air by absorbing airborne pollutants as part of their “breathing” process, and spider plants are one of the most effective easily available houseplants to do this. In a study by NASA, scientists tested the abilities of three common houseplants, including spider plants, to remove formaldehyde from the air. The study found in preliminary tests that spider plants were the most effective, removing 95 percent of the toxic substance from a sealed Plexiglas chamber in 24 hours. Other pollutants shown to be removed from the air by spider plants include xylene, toluene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone.

Though their in-home effectiveness won’t match that of the sealed test environment, due to ventilation and other variable factors, spider plants can still remove their fair share of toxic chemicals from the indoor air of your home.

Bonnie spider plants

Bonnie spider plants

Spider Plants Are Easy to Care for and Difficult to Kill

One of the best reasons to choose spider plants over more finicky, difficult to care for houseplants it that they are so easy to take care of. These plants only need bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and occasional watering to remain happy and healthy. Only water your spider plant when the soil is dry. These plants are tolerant of dryer conditions, and too much watering can lead to root rot. Spider plants prefer to be semi-rootbound, so you only need to repot them when you can see their roots coming out of the pot, or when it becomes too difficult to water them.

Spider plants often start to brown because of excess fluoride in the water. If this happens to yours, simply thoroughly water with distilled or filtered water (you can also use tap water that has been sitting out for 24 hours) to flush out the excess salts from the soil.

Even if you accidentally neglect your spider plant, it is easy to bring it back to health by properly watering it, moving it somewhere with more light, and trimming off any brown leaves.

A spider plant flower and spiderette

A spider plant flower and spiderette

Spider Plants Are Easy to Propagate

Mature spider plants produce many baby plantlets, also called spiderettes. During the spring, spider plants produce flowers. If left unpollinated, these flowers turn into baby spiderettes, which are genetically identical to the mother plant. These babies will eventually start to grow roots. Once you see roots, the baby can be cut from the mother plant and planted in its own pot.

If the flowers are pollinated, however, the flower will turn into a fruit containing seeds. These seeds can be planted to grow new spider plants. What the baby spider plants from these seeds look like will depend on the traits of both parent plants.

Another way to propagate spider plants is to divide established plants. To divide a mature plant with crowded roots, simply use a clean, sharp knife to divide the healthy roots into multiple pieces. Re-pot both or all of the pieces as separate plants.

My cat Freyja is obsessed with my plants.

My cat Freyja is obsessed with my plants.

Spider Plants Are Safe for Pets

Spider plants are non-toxic and are safe to have around if you have cats or dogs. Even though these plants are pet-friendly, it is still a good idea to keep them where your pet can’t reach them. If your pet eats too many spider plant leaves, they can still get an upset stomach. It is also much better for your plant if animals don’t chew on its leaves.

Just two of the many varieties of spider plants.

Just two of the many varieties of spider plants.

Spider Plants Come in Many Varieties

There are quite a few cultivars of spider plants, each with their own unique looks. Some have solid green leaves, while others feature stunning stripes. Some spider plants have straighter leaves, while others are very curly. Whatever your tastes, there is probably a spider plant for you!

Spider Plants May Have Medicinal Properties

Spider plants are believed to have medicinal properties in treating a number of different medical conditions. In Chinese traditional medicine, the roots of spider plants are sometimes used as part of the treatment of bronchitis, burn, and bone fracture. Some preliminary studies have also shown potential uses of spider plants in treating inflammation of the liver and certain cancers. Spider plant leaves may also act as a potential prebiotic substance for healthy digestion, as they have been shown to help establish healthy intestinal microorganisms.

Additionally, in a study by Kansas State University, surgical patients were shown to recover quicker when spider plants and other houseplants were placed in their recovery room. Patients in rooms containing plants had lower systolic blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue.

Resources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jennifer Wilber

Comments

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on August 30, 2021:

The subject is interesting. With enriched stellarI shall contact any of my horticulture for some cultivators. Thanks

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2021:

I like these plants, but I grow them outside in our climate.

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