How do spider plants decide when to make flowers/offsets?
I recall reading on here that re-potting (proper re-potting, not up-potting) will often get a spider plant to put out some inflorescences (aka "stolons", although technically they aren't). But googling it, I find a page http://www.bubblews.com/news/417323-how-to-force-baby-spiders-on-spider-plants-chlorophytum-comosum where someone says common advice is to let them become root-bound. That page also says they need dark nights, whereas this one http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/foliage/folnotes/spider.htm says that interrupting the dark period stimulated "stolon" formation.
What's the truth of the matter, anyone know?
I don't think I had seen one that didn't put out plenty of plantlets, once it was well established, until my current one. It had three tiny plantlets on it when I got it. The inflorescence stalk was damaged on the way home, so I planted them and two of the three made it. It was ridiculously root-bound when I got it, and I just up-potted it for then. (Now I've repotted it, and cut it apart as well: it had four crowns, attached to each other below ground level.) In the intervening months it grew quite a bit, but didn't produce any new inflorescences.