Air Cleaning Plants – Spider Plant

All plants naturally produce Oxygen from CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), but some houseplants also absorb benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene. Plants with more surface area filter toxins from the air faster. If the plant takes in the toxins before they get in your nose and lungs asthma and allergies can be reduced.

Spider Plants Clean Air Polutants

The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) takes the styrene, carbon monoxide, benzene, nicotine, and formaldehyde out of any 200 square foot space. Once the Spider Plant is established it is easy to maintain this natural air cleaner with little care. We can thank South Africa for the gift of the Spider Plant, a native to that country.

Display

Spider Plants can be plain green, green with white edges, or the same with a central white stripe. One of the best ways to display Spider Plants is by hanging them in a pot. Their leaves will sprawl over the edge with their variegated green and white patterns. While they may bloom from time to time, their tiny white flowers often go unnoticed.

Light and Temperature

Place them in indirect light somewhere close to a window. Keep the temperature above 60F and avoid drafts on your Spider Plant.

Propagation

The small stalks that pop up can be planted to grow new Spider Plants. As the baby plants form on these stalks, pin them down against soil in a small pot. You can use a toothpick. The roots will begin to grow, which is the time to cut the babies free. If you are having troubles getting the babies to live, try a little Rootone to encourage root growth. As for soil, use a quick draining soil that is aerated quite well.

Water and Humidity

Make sure you water your Spider Plant weekly, but never leave it soaked through and through. These are the kinds of plants that you never have to worry about missing a watering. They really do not mind going dry for a while.

To maintain proper humidity, try misting it many times a week and even bringing it into the bathroom while you are showering.

Cats

It is true that some cats adore eating Spider Plants. Evidently, there is good reason for their popularity among felines. They act as a hallucinogenic in a similar way to catnip. Keep them away from the cats by hanging them high and away from other objects.

Brown Tips

Occasionally, the tips of the leaves might brown. This is typically due to either too much sunlight or insufficient humidity. It could also be due to chemicals in the water. Try switching to distilled water and this should solve the problem. Cut off the brown tips as they appear and adjust the light, humidity, or water quality.

Growing

Starting with the growing season you should fertilize a Spider Plant weekly to twice weekly with half strength house fertilizer. Quit the fertilizer as Winter begins. It is easy to underfeed or underwater a Spider Plant during its growing season. Spider Plants love filling their pots with roots. So you never have to worry about Spider Plants becoming root-bound.

There are two complimentary sets of requirements that must be observed to grow your Spider Plant to its maximum health. Keep it out of direct sunlight but keep it in bright light. Keep the soil dry, but give the plant a lot of humidity.

Problems

Spider mites can be attracted to Spider Plants when the air is warm and dry. To rid your plants of these pests use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Repeat this after 3 or 4 days. In order to keep them at bay you might repeat a third time.

Greenflies are known to chomp on the edges of the leaves. Apply insecticidal soap or pyrethrum, then do it again a couple of weeks later. Clip the leaves off at the soil, that show this damage.

When a variegated version begins to turn a solid color, it simply requires a bit more sunlight. The variegation will return.

Cold will turn the leaves transparent and soft. Assuming the roots have not frozen, you can clip off the damaged leaves and let it regrow.

The Final Word

Spider Plants really are quite simple to grow. Follow the few guidelines explained here and you will have cleaner air. Since propagation is so simple you can turn one plant into an army of Spider Plants and clean the air for your whole house.

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