Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 11 Types of Chlorophytum Plants
- 2.1 Chlorophytum Amaniense ‘Fire Flash’
- 2.2 Chlorophytum Bichetii “Backer”
- 2.3 Chlorophytum Borivilianum
- 2.4 Chlorophytum Capense
- 2.5 Chlorophytum Comosum
- 2.6 Chlorophytum Comosum var. Comosum
- 2.7 Chlorophytum Comosum var. Atlantic
- 2.8 Chlorophytum Comosum var. Vittatum
- 2.9 Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegatum’
- 2.10 Chlorophytum Laxum
- 2.11 Chlorophytum Viridescens var. Hawaiian
- 3 Chlorophytum Plant Care Guide
- 4 Common Problems with Spider Plants
- 5 FAQ
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 References
Chlorophytum plants are among the most beautiful indoor houseplants, pretty standard in tropical regions.
These plants have lovely long and thin leaves having green-white stripes.
These green-white stripes vary from one species to another.
The most amazing fact is that these fast-growing plants don’t have too many demands, and you may easily grow them in your garden.
Chlorophytum, also known as spider plant, is a genus that has approximately 200 species of perennial and evergreen flowering plants.
Each plant may grow around 10 to 60 cm tall, but its leaves will reach 75 cm long if sufficient room and space are received.
The Chlorophytum species are widely grown in subtropical and tropical regions, including Africa, Asia, and Australia.
These plants are excellent air purifiers. According to the researches, these plants can detoxify or degrade different pollutants present in the air.
Among all the contaminants, particulate matter is the most dangerous for human beings.
Scientists have revealed that spider plants can efficiently accumulate fine particulate matter on their leaves .
Looking for other types of houseplants? Read further about:
11 Types of Chlorophytum Plants
Chlorophytum Amaniense ‘Fire Flash’
Chlorophytum amaniense ‘Fire Flash’ is an impressive variety that may reach nearly 45 cm in height.
This clump-forming herb is widely found in the African regions. It has an ornamental foliage pattern.
The irregularly spaced leaves have beautiful silver colors with deep green stripes.
You can easily identify it by observing its orange or red-colored petiole, also known as leaf stalk.
In addition, you will also notice its wavy margins on the leaves that are elliptic and elongated. This is how you can easily recognize this tropical plant.
This Chlorophytum plant should be placed in semi-shaded areas because direct sunlight can damage the leaves.
However, if you ever notice that the leaves are getting yellow or pale, it is a search sign of more light. In this condition, you may move them to a bright spot.
While planting it in a container, you should ensure that the container has several drainage holes.
To prepare an ideal soil mix, you should use organic and inorganic materials. This plant prefers moderate water.
They love temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can move them to a warm place to maintain the temperature correctly.
For maintaining humidity, you can use a humidifier or mist the leaves.
There is no need to fertilize them during the fall, but you should keep feeding them with liquid fertilizer from spring.
Chlorophytum Bichetii “Backer”
Chlorophytum bichetii “Backer” is another popular variation of spider plants native to West Africa, preferably tropical climate.
Like the other spider varieties, these species belong to the Asparagaceae family. You may also know it by another name – Saint Bernard’s Lily.
Chlorophytum bichetti “Backer” has a perennial lifespan with a shrubby shape.
This clump-forming herb has beautiful linear leaves with fascinating colors.
You will notice the combination of green and cream colors on the foliage. The center of the leaves is green, whereas the edge has a cream color.
These plants produce beautiful small white flowers that have six petals. You can grow them on the terrace as they suit the most on the terrariums.
However, you may also find these plants sold as aquarium plants. In this submerged condition, this species can survive up to 2 months.
People grow this spider plant mainly because of its ornamental foliage pattern.
If you plan to grow this species in your indoor garden, we suggest planting it in moist and well-drained soil.
It may even survive in infertile soil because of its hardiness.
You can either plant it in a hanging basket or a small container. Chlorophytum bichetti enjoys indirect light, and it grows at a moderate rate.
You can carefully plant the spiderettes (baby offshoots) in a small pot for propagation.
Make sure that the container has several drainage holes to remove excess moisture.
Chlorophytum borivilianum is a popular herb in India and is widely known as Safed Musli. This tropical spider plant is used for medicinal purposes in India.
It has green leaves with a very narrow white colored border. The leaves and roots of this spider plant are considered white gold in India.
The edible roots are used for different therapeutic applications, such as curing physical illness, diabetes, boosting immunity, etc.
The roots are also an alternative medicine to Viagra as the plant has a spermatogenic attribute .
Growing Chlorophytum borivilianum is as easy as other plants. You only have to make sure that the soil is moist and well-drained.
They grow perfectly between the temperatures of 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is an important factor that controls the beauty of their leaves.
You can also propagate this plant by separating the offsets from the mother plant.
It would be best to feed them with a balanced liquid fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing season.
Chlorophytum capense is another beautiful variety of the Chlorophytum genus.
Remember that there are two varieties of Chlorophytum capense, and you need to distinguish one from another by observing the leaf colors.
Generally, it has solid green leaves with white star-shaped flowers with six petals.
However, there is another variety called Chlorophytum capense “Variegated Leaf.” This variety has green leaves with white stripes at the center.
Remember that you may often confuse it with Chlorophytum comosum variety.
So, look for the plantlets because Chlorophytum capense does not have hanging plantlets like Chlorophytum comosum.
Use a well-drained potting mix for growing this plant, and avoid placing the variegated one under direct sunlight.
In addition, you also need to avoid using tap water for watering this indoor plant.
You can also propagate it from its produced spiderettes. If you notice the tiny spiderettes, don’t separate them too quickly.
Instead, let them remain attached to their mother plant.
After a few weeks, place them in a good mix of well-drained soil in a small pot close to the parent. Water the soil properly, and they will develop the roots.
Chlorophytum comosum is widely popular with its other names – spider plant, spider ivy, hen and chickens, or ribbon plant.
The leaves of these plants have similar variegation to the Dracaena varieties.
You can find these evergreen flowering plant types in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia.
This plant can reach around 60 cm tall, and due to its cascading nature, we suggest you plant them in a hanging pot.
The tuberous and fleshy roots can grow a maximum of 4 inches long, and each leaf can be around 45 cm tall with green and white leaves.
This tropical plant produces beautiful flowers in its long branches.
This species is extremely easy to grow because of its fewer needs. Interestingly, this particular species has a lot of varieties because of different variegation.
The flowers are mainly green or white-colored and form an attractive boat shape at the tips.
These plants are straightforward to grow because of their fewer needs.
Interestingly, Chlorophytum comosum comes up with many varieties, such as Chlorophytum comosum ‘comosum‘, Chlorophytum comosum ‘sparsiflorum,’ Chlorophytum comosum ‘bipindense,’ Chlorophytum comosum ‘bonnie,’ Chlorophytum comosum ‘vittatum,’ and so on.
Each of them can be distinguished easily by their variegation type.
For example, C. comosum ‘comosum‘ has narrow leaves with strap shape, ‘bipindense‘ variety has petiolate and broader leaves with stripes at the underside, and ‘sparsiflorum‘ has a narrower base and doesn’t have a petiole.
Chlorophytum Comosum var. Comosum
C. comosum var. comosum is a popular houseplant, which has come up with lanceolate-shaped green and white variegation.
It is the most common variety of Chlorophytum plants. During the blooming period, this plant produces small star-shaped white flowers.
There are around six petals that keep spreading freely.
Although comosum variety is drought tolerant, you may show brown tips or enclosed leaves when there is a lack of moisture.
That’s why we recommend you keep the soil evenly moist for growing them.
This plant prefers indirect medium-light, and direct sunlight can scorch the leaf tips. It is better to keep them under the filtered sunlight.
If you live in a tropical region, there is no need to worry about humidity.
Still, those who live in the arid areas must maintain a moderate to high humidity level for this spider plant.
You may either use a humidifier or mist the leaves to increase humidity.
Avoid using tap water because it often contains fluoride or chloride that can ruin the beauty of the foliage.
Chlorophytum Comosum var. Atlantic
Chlorophytum comosum “Atlantic” is another impressive cultivar of Chlorophytum comosum.
Like most other spider plants, this one also has green and white leaves with white at the center and green at the edge.
Growing it in a hanging pot is ideal because of its appearance. It can grow 25-40 cm tall if it receives sufficient space.
These plants can be root bound, so you may have to repot them after two or three years.
Don’t forget to mix coarse materials, coco peat, and peat moss into the soil because these materials will improve the drainage and water retention capacity.
This species prefers thriving in moderate to high humidity levels, and to enhance the humidity level, you can mist the leaves with water or use a humidifier.
Chlorophytum comosum “Atlantic” likes to grow in warm conditions. You can move them under the warm spot and bright sun if you live in a cold climate.
You should fertilize them from spring to the later summer as these plants grow in this period actively. During the blooming period, these plants create white flowers.
Chlorophytum Comosum var. Vittatum
This Chlorophytum comosum spider plant variation belongs to the Angiosperms plant division and Asparagaceae family.
Like the other varieties, it is also popular because of Chlorophytum comosum var’s leaf pattern.
Vittatum is native to subtropical and tropical climates because of the warm temperatures and moderate to high humidity levels.
This plant can reach nearly 10 cm to 50 cm in height and width if you can provide it with sufficient room.
This clump-forming herb has beautiful leaves with white stripes at the center and green margins.
The leaves have an excellent arch and form like a fountain. They produce fascinating small white flowers on thin stalks during the blooming period.
You should plant Chlorophytum comosum var. vittatum in a well-drained potting mix and ensure sufficient room for their growth.
The temperature should be warm, and the humidity should be moderate. You should place this tropical plant in the shade as it likes shady locations.
Exposure to the direct sun can damage the leaf color for a prolonged period.
If you notice the baby spider offsets, you should carefully separate them from the mother plant.
You should avoid using tap water that contains fluoride as it can damage the leaves.
Instead, you can use distilled water or store rainwater for this spider plant.
During the spring, which is considered their growing period, you need to feed them with liquid fertilizer.
Avoid using any chemicals as they are harmful to the garden. Also, you should provide them with enough space to grow.
Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegatum’
Chlorophytum comosum variegatum is one of the most beautiful varieties of Chlorophytum plants.
This spider plant grows quite fast if it receives favorable conditions.
This plant can reach nearly 50 cm tall and is native to southern and tropical zones in Africa.
This houseplant is extremely easy to grow, and people grow it mainly because of its variegated leaves.
It has light green and white leaves with green at the center and white at the edge. The foliage absorbs harmful chemicals present in the air.
This spider plant needs sufficient space to grow. They are best planted in a hanging pot in the living or study room.
Remember that many people confuse this variety with “vittatum” cultivar. You should carefully observe the foliage pattern to distinguish them.
Vittatum cultivar has white leaves with green margins and white stripes at the middle.
You don’t have to feed it during the winter because, in this period, the plant becomes dormant.
You may apply liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer to encourage their growth. Fertilize them once every two weeks.
Chlorophytum laxum is also known as the zebra plant because of its white margins and green center.
This plant is one of the easiest species to grow as a houseplant.
It has long, arching, and attractive leaves that are pretty stylish and add a soothing touch to the room. This spider plant is ideal for growing in a small pot.
Plant this species in well-drained soil and add organic materials to it. Avoid placing these varieties under the direct sun, damaging the leaves.
However, if you notice pale leaves, you can move them to a bright spot for them to ensure the spider plant receives more light.
Under intense light, the white margins can be damaged.
You don’t have to worry about the insects but look for the mealybugs as they are pretty hardy and hard to eliminate.
The spider plant is susceptible to a few diseases, and black leaf spot is the most common problem.
You can either use the seeds or separate the babies from the parent plant for propagation.
Feed this beautiful plant once every two weeks during summer and spring.
Chlorophytum Viridescens var. Hawaiian
Chlorophytum viridescens “Hawaiian” is a hybrid variety because it combines all the types of Chlorophytum plants.
The leaves have a beautiful green and white variegation during their earlier stage, but it fades away as the plant matures.
If you notice this single characteristic in a spider plant, then you can be confident that the plant is Chlorophytum viridescens “Hawaiian.”
The best season to plant this variety is spring to the summer. If you notice the baby plants, you need to separate them carefully and grow them in a small pot.
Water these babies appropriately. They will develop roots within a few weeks if they receive favorable conditions.
This variety of Chlorophytum grows at full potential when placed in a bright spot, appropriately watered, and fertilized at the right time.
Remember that this species cannot tolerate direct sun like the others. Therefore, you should keep them under the dappled or indirect light.
Keep the soil evenly moist, or the leaves will become narrower to reduce their surface areas.
Hawaiian spider plant grows quite fast, and it may reach up to 30 cm tall if provided sufficient room.
Chlorophytum Plant Care Guide
Chlorophytum plants have a few demands, but their beauty may ruin if you fail to fulfill their needs.
Let’s take a look at their basic requirements for growing indoors.
Chlorophytum prefers bright indirect light. Intense light for a prolonged period during the summer will ruin their beautiful variegation.
You may keep them under direct sunlight in the morning for a few hours. You need to place them in a place that receives indirect light.
We suggest you put them at the east-facing window so that the plants get direct sunlight during the morning.
You should move them to west-facing windows during the summer month to receive afternoon light, which is fine.
For preparing the soil for Chlorophytum plants, you should carefully mix inorganic and organic materials.
Inorganic materials are perlite, vermiculite, pumice, etc., while organic materials are coco peat, peat moss, dead leaves, etc.
Use more organic materials to enhance the water retention capacity of the potting mix.
Water and Fertilizer
Keep the soil evenly moist during spring and summer.
If you ever see that the leaves of spider plants are curling or closing, you have to supply water immediately because it is the first sign that the plants are not getting water.
If this condition persists, then these beautiful plants may die. Use distilled water for watering these plants.
If you use tap water for them, make sure that it is free from fluoride. Fluoride makes the leaf tips brown, which is indeed disturbing.
Also, waterlogging can be fatal for these ornamental plants as this condition can cause root rot.
Avoid providing them excess water because it will create inundated conditions if your container doesn’t have drainage holes.
Spring and summer is their growing period. That’s why you should feed them with a balanced fertilizer during this time.
Feed them once every two weeks with liquid fertilizer. However, you may also apply inorganic fertilizer to these ornamental species.
Temperature and Humidity
Average temperatures for growing Chlorophytum plants range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and these tropical plants grow best in this range.
If you live in a colder region, try keeping them in a warmer place because they don’t like being exposed to less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is an essential factor in maintaining its beauty. At lower humidity levels, the leaves may turn brown.
If you ever notice brown leaves in spider plants, you should increase the humidity by misting the leaves or using a humidifier.
Repotting and Propagation
The roots of spider plants can be dense and form root balls that need much room to grow further. Hence you should repot them in a larger container.
Make sure that there is a minimum of 2 cm area left between the roots and the bottom of the pot.
People can easily propagate these plants, and it is an exciting activity among the gardeners.
The mature plant produces new offsets that can be carefully separated from the mother plant.
You need to propagate the variety by planting these new plants in the soil.
The spider plants’ babies are called spiderettes, which grow from the stems. Gardeners can also propagate them by using their seeds.
Read further on how to propagate your spider plants:
Common Problems with Spider Plants
Spider plant is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful indoor plants because of its beautiful variegation and green and white margins.
However, a few common problems can ruin this beauty, and it becomes pretty hard to identify and tackle this problem.
Let’s look at some of their everyday issues and how you can get rid of them.
Brown leaf tips
Brown leaf tips can occur for three main reasons: too much chlorine or fluoride in the water, low humidity, and too much sunlight. These are the most common problems that gardeners face.
Read further on why your spider plant has brown tips:
Yellow or pale leaves
Leaves will turn yellow or pale if the plants don’t receive sufficient light. Provide them with more light to solve this problem.’
Enclosed leaves are signs that the plants aren’t receiving enough water. They close their leaves to reduce moisture loss from the respiration process.
Leaves may turn black if there is excess water. Try improving the drainage conditions or reducing the watering frequency.
There are a few common diseases like root rot, fungus gnats, leaf tip burn, bleached foliage, etc.
These diseases can frequently occur if you keep the soil soggy for a prolonged period.
Can spider plants grow in water?
You may not grow spider plants in water but can propagate them from the cuttings by keeping them in water. Spider plants are easy to propagate in water for a short period of time. In just a glass of water, these cuttings root quickly. Once rooting has occurred, the new plant requires nutrients for future growth. Water alone is unlikely to keep the cutting going for very long.
Can I water the spider plant during the fall?
During the fall, spider plant generally goes in a dormant condition. Therefore, we suggest you not water it during the winter. However, when the top of the soil feels dry, water spider plants with a liberal soak of water. Always water thoroughly, allowing excess water to seep out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. To boost humidity, mist the leaves with water on a frequent basis.
Can I prune their roots?
Yes, you can prune the roots if the plant becomes root-bound. Also when repotting your spider plant may require trimming the roots as well, although this may only be necessary once or twice a year at the most. A basic trim is performed to examine for root rot. However, the roots should not be trimmed too far back. The process of removing the baby spiderettes is fairly simple.
How can I identify the spider plant Chlorophytum comosum?
You can quickly identify it by observing the foliage pattern and color combination. The leaves of the spider plant are simple and linear, bright, smooth, and often white-banded. They’re organized into rosettes. At the end of a stolon, a little plantlet grows. Despite their small size, the blossoms are white and measure up to three-quarters of an inch wide.
When does the spider plant produce flowers?
Spider plants have small white flowers. They can also appear at any time of the year indoors. When a spider plant is young, it may produce a large number of blossoms, but as the plant grows, it may cease to produce flowers altogether. Most spider plants, on the other hand, will not blossom until they are grown and somewhat pot constrained.
Can spider plants survive at low temperatures?
Spider plants can withstand temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit without harm, but they do not grow well at temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit do not directly harm spider plants, but they may increase transpiration and the intake of potentially hazardous micronutrients.
To sum up, growing spider plants or Chlorophytum is relatively easy if you can properly maintain it.
Many people find this plant hard to maintain because any imbalances cause the leaf tips to brown and even ruin the beautiful variegation.
We recommend you look for the insects and the common diseases caused by the fungal attack, which is quite hard to control.
Ensure that the plants are placed in a sunny location to maintain the excellent foliage colors.
If you can adequately take care of your spider plant, it will add a vibe to your room and purify the air.
-  Gawronska, H. and Bakera, B. 2015. Phytoremediation of particulate matter from indoor air by Chlorophytum comosum L. plants. Air Quality, Atmosphere, & Health, 8(3): 265-272.
-  Thakur et al. 2009. Chlorophytum borivilianum: a white gold for biopharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 10(7): 650-666.
- North Carolina State Cooperative Extension. Chlorophytum comosum. NC State University Extension, Gardener Plant Toolbox.
- Mahr, S. Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Horticulture, Division of Extension.
- About/mentions: Spider plant, houseplants
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.