Spider plant 'Variegatum' (Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum') Care Guide
Quick Care Guides
Water and Hardiness
Spider plant 'Variegatum' originates from southern Africa. It prefers warm and humid environments and has good adaptability. It grows at temperatures in the range of 13 - 27 ℃, preferably at 20 - 24 ℃. It may stop growing above 30 ℃ and grow slowly or be dormant at very low temperatures. Its overwintering temperature is not lower than 10 ℃ due to its poor cold resistance. It is more adaptive in a humid environment, but it is also tolerant of drought. It is better for the air to be moist when planting. If the air is dry, the leaves of the plant will curl or the leaf tip will turn yellow and withered.
Spider plant 'Variegatum' prefers partial shade environments and is resistant to low light, so it is suitable for growth under medium light conditions. Direct exposure to strong sunlight should be avoided in spring and fall. 50%-70% of the sunlight should be shielded when there is especially strong sunlight in summer. Otherwise, the leaf tips can turn yellow and wither. In winter, the light should be increased to ensure normal growth of plants and fresh, tender green leaves. It should be placed 61 - 152 cm from a sunny window in the room.
Spider plant 'Variegatum' has good adaptability to soil and is more suitable to grow in soil that is permeable and well-drained, loose and fertile, rich in humus, and with a pH value of 6-7. The potting culture medium should not be a single type of soil. It can be leaf mold or peat mixed with garden soil and river sand in equal volume. A small amount of fertilizer can be added as base fertilizer. The culture medium can also be composed of leaf mold and sandy soil mixed with a ratio of 3:7. Roots are prone to rot in cases of standing water and poor ventilation at the bottom of the pot. Changing the soil once a year is recommended and potting at least once every two years to ensure flourishing growth.
Spider plant 'Variegatum' is generally repotted in spring. The size of the flowerpot should not be too large, just a little larger than the root ball, because the roots of spider plant 'Variegatum' prefer to grow in a relatively closed environment. Cut withered, decayed, or redundant roots and replace the soil with new loose soil rich in humus when repotting. After planting, place it in a warm place with partial shade to allow it to recover slowly for 10-20 days. In the seedling stage, the root system is relatively weak and has poor nutrient absorption capacity. In environments with strong light or low temperature, it needs to consume more energy, which is not conducive to growth and recovery of the root system.
Spider plant 'Variegatum' prefers a humid environment and needs continually moist potting soil. In summer, watering is recommended once every morning and evening, and spraying of water to the leaves once or twice a day during vigorous growth to increase air humidity. Water once a day in spring and fall. In winter, the watering frequency can be appropriately reduced, and watering can be done once every 4-5 days. Without regular watering, it may turn yellow and withered and its ornamental value will be reduced. Water thoroughly every time until the soil is saturated and excess water is fully drained from the drain hole at the bottom of the flowerpot.
Nitrogen, phosphate and organic fertilizer are mainly used for spider plant 'Variegatum'. Apply organic liquid fertilizer every 7-10 days in spring, summer and fall. The growth of spider plant 'Variegatum' is slow at temperatures higher than 30 ℃ in summer and lower than 10 ℃in winter. Excessive fertilization will lead to accumulation of fertilizer and cause root rot. In that case, fertilization should be avoided or the frequency should be reduced.
Yellow and withered leaves should be pruned right away to avoid nutrient consumption and promote plants to grow new leaves.
The reproduction method of spider plant 'Variegatum' is generally division propagation, and seed reproduction is rarely used. Division propagation can be carried out in all seasons except cold winters. Dense mother plants can be divided into multiple clusters and planted respectively when repotting in spring; small stolon plants can also be cut for planting. It is recommended to select well-drained and permeable cultivated soil that is rich in nutrition and can maintain moisture and fertilizer during reproduction, and transplant the plant into flowerpots after the root system is mature. The size of the flowerpot should be adapted to the size of the seedlings during cultivation. If the pot is too large, the seedlings will recover slowly and not grow well, but if the pot is too small, it will not have enough nutrition supply.
Attention should be paid to shading when the light is strong in summer. 50%-70% of the sunlight should be shielded during the day to prevent the leaves from yellowing and withering. In hot weather, stop fertilizing, keep the potting soil moist, and spray water on the leaves to cool. Increase humidity in dry weather. In winter, spider plant 'Variegatum' grows slowly. Reduce watering frequency and fertilization, and prevent root rot caused by accumulated water and fertilizer to promote growth and flowering of plants the following spring.
Why do the leaves turn yellow and become withered?
Possible reasons for leaf yellowing are: ① lack of light over long periods of time; ② too high of a fertilization concentration, resulting in root damage; ③ wet soil over a long period of time. The possible causes of leaf withering are: ① too much light; ② too low of air humidity. Cut yellow and withered leaves and carry out corresponding treatment. Adjust the placement and give appropriate light. Avoid excessive fertilization or watering and replace culture medium by repotting. If air humidity is too low, increase it by spraying water mist.
Why do the leaf tips wither?
The air humidity is too low; the soil is dry and there is not enough water over a long period of time; direct sunlight or exposure; or excessive pesticides or fertilizers. The withered leaf tip is generally irreversible. Cut it gently with scissors. Keep the air moist, avoid long-term strong direct sunlight, and prevent the application of excessive pesticides or fertilizers.
How do you deal with root rot?
Reduce the water supply and control the amount of watering. Repot/transplant, namely, replace the soil with a well-drained and permeable culture medium, and use appropriate materials according to recommendations to avoid excess moisture in the soil. Ensure smooth drainage at the bottom of the flowerpot and avoid standing water in the tray. Use scissors to prune the root system and cut the rotten parts. Place the plant in a well-ventilated environment.
What should be given attention when repotting plants?
The roots of spider plant 'Variegatum' are luxuriant. The roots systems should be trimmed to remove rotten and redundant root when repotting. The size of the flowerpot should be adapted to the size of the plant, preferably one that is a little larger than the plant. Don't water a lot during the recovery period after repotting, which will shorten the seedling recovery time.
Pests and Diseases
Stem rot frequently occurs in old plants. In the early stage, the stem base turns brown, leaves lose luster and droop, and then spread upward, causing plants to die and stem cortex epidermal tissue to rot. There is no particularly good treatment for stem rot. Prevention should be taken as the main method. Before seasons with a high incidence of germs, try not to carry out division propagation or repot, and prevent the leaves from being wounded. In seasons with a high incidence of germs, keep the soil relatively dry and pay attention to light and ventilation. Fungicide can be used to sterilize the soil.
Root rot mainly occurs in the seedling stage, with no obvious symptoms at the initial stage, but the ability of the root system to absorb nutrients and water will gradually decrease. The plant leaves wilt in strong light and large evaporation, but they can recover by themselves at night. In serious root rot plants will not recover after wilting and may eventually die. The occurrence of root rot is mostly related to climate and soil conditions. Low temperature, high humidity, insufficient light, high soil viscosity and impermeability may all lead to root rot. The diseased roots can be watered with carbendazim solution once every 7 days (watering continuously 2-3 times each).
Southern blight occurs at the rhizome of spider plant 'Variegatum'. In the initial stage, water-soaked purplish-brown spots appear on the first rhizomes, which then spread. There are obvious white hyphae layers at the rhizome and the nearby soil surface, which are white at first, then gradually turn yellow or brown. The plant wilts and dies in serious cases. Remove the diseased plant and use medication right away once symptoms occur, apply lime powder and plant ash lixivium around the plant, and spray or water once every 15 days (watering continuously 2-3 times each).
Aphids always gather at the tender stems and leaves of plants and are visible to the naked eye. If the damage is not serious, spray them with cold water; if there is a large number of aphids, aphid killers can be used to spray.
Scale insects are common pests on plants and are difficult to clear away due to strong drug resistance. It is recommended to use horticultural oil or neem oil to spray them according to the recommended dosage on the package.
Whiteflies have strong reproductive ability, and can gather in groups to suck plant sap, resulting in withered and yellow leaves. Whiteflies have a strong tropism for yellow. Orange plastic plates can be smeared with insect adhesive and be put on top of plants to trap and kill whiteflies. Omethoate can also be used to irrigate roots of plants.
Other Uncommon Pests or Diseases
Moreover, there are some less common pests and diseases listed below that need your attention
- Mealy Bugs
- Spider Mites