The Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum variegation, is another of those excellent. Easily grown plants which has a dual role as a cool greenhouse and a room plant. Its common name comes from the rosettes which develop on the ends of the flowering stems. It is grown mainly for its attractive green-and-cream striped foliage as the white, starry flowers, borne on long, arching stems, are insignificant. They are soon followed, however, by rosettes of leaves which add to the decorative value of the plant. It is this attractive waterfall effect which endears the chlorophytum to so many gardeners.

This is, indeed, a most tolerant plant which will thrive in sun or light shade and quite a wide range of temperatures. It does, however, need plenty of water and a rich compost is appreciated.


As the plants age and decline in vigour the rosettes of leaves can be detached. These are. In fact, small plants and root initials are usually present. If they are placed in small pots of good soil new roots will soon develop. Eventually they can be moved on to 5- or 6-in. pots.

Indoors, it may be more convenient to place the rosettes in the top of a jar of water into which new roots soon develop.

Another way to increase this plant is by simple division in spring. Chlorophy-tums have a tuberous root system and the tubers, with shoots attached, can be separated and potted individually.

Feeding and Repotting

These plants soon use up all the goodness in the soil and to keep them growing steadily when they are established in their final pots, it pays to feed regularly with a liquid or soluble fertiliser. The best time for repotting is in spring and this should be done when inspection shows that the plants have filled their pots with roots.

Decorative Uses

With its rather distinctive appearance. C. comosum variegation gives opportunities for attractive display. A position should be found for it which will show off the elegant trailing growths to full advantage, such as the edge of the staging, or a hanging basket.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Chlorophytum


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