The Ribbon Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), also referred to as the Spider Plant, is a tropical houseplant found in nurseries worldwide. It’s beautiful, easy to grow, and perfect as an ornamental indoor plant. The leaves of a Ribbon plant will sometimes droop downwards, giving them the appearance of a fountain. This cascading effect looks excellent when the plant is hanging by a planter—sort of like a mid-air greenery fountain. In addition, Ribbon Plants are great additions to any home because of their ability to clean the air of common household toxins (Proven by NASA studies).
Are you considering adding a Ribbon Plant to your garden? This care guide will teach you everything you need to know about growing and caring for Ribbon Plant. From planting to trimming to watering, we’ll cover it all! So, whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced green thumb, keep reading for tips on how to grow the perfect Ribbon Plant.
- Ribbon Plant Main Characteristics
- Ribbon Plant Care
- Types (Cultivars) of Ribbon Plant
- Propagating Ribbon Plant
- Potting and Repotting Ribbon Plant
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- How to grow a ribbon plant – a complete guide (Video)
Ribbon Plant Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Ribbon Plant, Spider Plant, Spider Ivy, Walking Anthericum|
|Botanical Name||Chlorophytum comosum|
|Synonyms||Anthericum comosum, Hartwegia comosa|
|Native Range||Southern Africa|
|Common Cultivars||Vittatum, Variegatum, Milky Way, White Stripe|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet;Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet|
|Bloom Time||Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter|
|Propagation methods||by seed; by plantlets; by division|
|Sun||Part shade to full shade|
|Soil||Moist but well-drained|
Ribbon Plant Care
Ribbon Plants are excellent houseplants for just about anyone. They’re low maintenance, and they don’t have too many needs. They are hardy and easy to grow. They are even tolerant of the occasional mistake. But they still need a few critical things to thrive.
Light and Location
It is advisable to keep this plant in a bright but indirect location when it’s not winter. Hanging baskets are perfect for displaying their unique foliage patterns. But be sure to avoid direct sun. These plants can quickly get sunburnt. They can be planted outside as ground cover in winter but need to be moved inside before the winter season. These plants grow best in filtered light, so they are perfect for rooms with windows or skylights all year round.
They need moist soil, so be sure to water them every week or two – more often if you have arid air. It’s essential to keep your Ribbon Plant watered enough to prevent drying out completely between watering sessions, but don’t let the soil get soggy either, as this could lead to root rot or other problems. A good rule of thumb is to not water if the soil is already moist. Water sparingly during winter.
The Chlorophytum comosum is native to Africa and grows in moderate temperatures. The ideal range is between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (7 and 24 degrees Celsius), but it can tolerate temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).
These plants prefer a moderately humid environment to thrive properly. But they are hardy and can handle low humidity levels. So their health won’t be affected even if the humidity drops below recommended levels.
The best way to fertilize these plants is with half-strength fertilizer every month. Depending on how healthy your soil appears, you can also use full-strength feeds three or four times per annum. Overfertilizing is a genuine concern with these plants. They store plenty of nutrients in their tubers, AND they have a good knack for taking care of themselves – there’s no reason to overfeed.
Types (Cultivars) of Ribbon Plant
There are four widely recognized cultivars of the Ribbon Plant.
- Vittatum – Dark green leaves with thick white center; slower to grown
- Variegatum – Broad green leaves with white borders
- Milky Way – White center with green on the borders
- White Stripe – Thin white line down the center with white stems instead of green
Propagating Ribbon Plant
The Chlorophytum comosum plant can be propagated in a few ways: by potting the plantlets (informally called “pups”), which flowers evolve into after they’ve bloomed. You can either pot them without separating from the parent plant. Or cut off the plantlet and plant it directly into a new pot. Both work, but the first one produces quicker results.
Propagating through seeds is iffy at best, but division works with larger samples. However, the recommended way is still to use plantlets as the base.
Potting and Repotting Ribbon Plant
When a spider plant has outgrown its container, it is time to repot it into a larger pot. Choose a container larger than the current pot. When repotting, be sure to use fresh potting soil. Do not reuse the old potting mix. Soil that is very dry from the start will result in harsh growing conditions. The plant will most likely still grow but not as readily as it would have in moister soil. Also, look out for unwanted chemicals or salt accumulation in the potting mix.
Begin by removing it from its current pot. If the plant is root-bound, gently loosen the roots before placing them in the new container. Next, fill the new pot with fresh soil and place the plant. Be sure to water thoroughly after repotting. Spider plants are tolerant of many soil types. You can use general-purpose potting soil as the medium. But they need plenty of drainages, so be sure to pick a pot with holes in the bottom or drill some yourself.
Chlorophytum comosum is not poisonous to horses, dogs, or cats. And it has no adverse effects on humans.
It’s not uncommon for spider plants to experience a few pest problems, but these are generally easy fixes. Scale insects and mealybugs can be noticeably worse than whiteflies or aphids, so try to notice them early enough in the lifecycle before they’ve done too much damage.
Brown tips on the leaves?
There are a few possible reasons why this may be the case
- Hot and dry air – increase the humidity or move to a chillier location
- Underfeeding – Check the soil condition and add more fertilizer as necessary
- Underwatering – Water more regularly and check the soil for moisture
Brown streaks on the leaves in winter?
The plant is most likely suffering from excessive watering in a colder location. To avoid this, don’t water as often during winter; the plant needs a lot less water. So proper care must always include keeping the potting soil moist but never soggy or damp (never let it get bone dry).
Your plant may be looking for a new home. First, check the sides of the pot to see if it seems to be bulging, which means you need to repot it. If not, then the most likely scenario is root rot somewhere in the soil layer below where they’re growing!
Leaves that are too pale can be a sign of environmental stress. Move the plant away from direct sunlight and water well during dry periods, or move it into an area with more moisture if possible. In wintertime, make sure to bring them inside before temperatures fall below-recommended levels, so they don’t experience the harsh chill of the exposed outdoors.
How to grow a ribbon plant – a complete guide (Video)
How to plant spider plant babies?
When planting a spider plant, it’s best to do so in two ways. The first option is to move an empty pot of soil closer towards the parent plants. Then place the baby plantlets (without separating them) into that new dirt/soil combination–they’ll start putting down roots soon, after which you can cut off any connection between baby and parent plant. Or you can cut off the baby plantlets before the planting process. Both methods work, but the first one usually has better results.
Why is my spider plant turning brown?
Browning leaves indicate several different problems with the plant, including too little water or feed. Brown areas at leaf tips can be caused by hot and dry air, while other causes include overwatering during winter months when plants do not need as much moisture to survive cold snaps.
How to repot spider plant?
When repotting the spider plant, you should first remove it from its current pot and then fill the new one with the soil. Gently loosen any roots bound to prevent damage during relocation; be sure to water thoroughly after repotting, but don’t overdo it.
How to propagate spider plants?
Spider plants are not difficult to propagate, and you can go about this a few different ways. One method is to use a baby plantlet from the mother’s pot and replant it in a new container (either by separating it beforehand or afterward). Another way is by division. When the plant becomes very large, you can divide it into two new plants. Then, replant each piece in a different pot and water well. This plant can also be grown using seeds from a parent plant, but the plants grown this way may end with different colored leaves from the parent plant.