spider plants: the soilders of houseplants

teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)November 4, 2012

My spider plants have withstanded the worst types of houseplant culture that will leave other plants choking

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Those look great!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:41AM
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raelynn09(5b MI)

I wish mine were! I can't seem to keep them alive for more than two weeks... maybe a month tops! I've bought a couple of 4-ichers, taken a ton of babies from friends and work... they just never seems like me. :(
It actually bums me out quite a bit. I think spiders are just so darn cute.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:46AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I agree. What would we do without them? This one is in a basement kitchen with very little light but it doesn't seem to mind.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:59AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Flora, nice spider! Is that a real old radio, or just a retro-styled newish one? Are those all gardening books? Looks like one is called "Plant names explained." What is that book like? Is it getting frustratingly outdated? Begonia to the left? Not sure I wanna know but I gotta ask, what's in the jar next to the radio?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:35AM
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summersunlight(5b)

raelyn, what kind of conditions were you growing yours in? I bet we could figure out how to get them to stay alive for you. :)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:18PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

It's a modern digital radio, Purple. The books are on gardening, nature and cookery. These are the kitchen bookshelves. 'Plant names explained' was a present from my daughter. It is not a taxonomy, just an explanation of the meaning of botanical names. The jar is an old chemist's jar and contains cinnamon sticks. It does look like something rather unpleasant pickled, doesn't it? Yes, that's a Begonia bowerae to the left. Very easy to propagate. Mine was a piece from my Dad's and his came from a neighbour.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Radio!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:31PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

purple, you are soooooo funny!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Ever since the first time someone asked me about something in the background of one of my pics, it's become a thing I always try to do. IDK why, I'm just incorrigible I guess. But who wants to corrige or be corriged anyway? I don't even know what that means.

I like that radio! It reminds me of new Mustangs and Camaros, which is a pretty sad analogy speaking to someone in UK. Are y'all helping to bail us out? Do you have those cars there? That book sounds like the kind of gardening book I would actually refer to often, those are usually interesting anecdotes. Glad that's the one where I could read the title. Ok I see cinnamon NOW that you say that. Ha!

At the left is a spider plant I repotted recently, I thought the pot was too full of roots to survive until spring, it looked terrible. It would be a lot easier to put it in the ground here for the winter, but I was hoping it might make some flower stalks while it's inside this winter. That would be pretty exciting:

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:22PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Here you go Purple - put it on your Christmas list! I like your Sansevieria - I have my eye on one at work. I'm sure it could spare a leaf. I actually saw a bright red Thunderbird drive past me on the way to work two weeks ago. But not driven by Thelma and Louise. And we do have TV and films here, you know. ;-) I know what you mean about the backgrounds - I am also very nosey, oops, I mean interested, in other peoples homes and habits. So feel free to ask away.

Here is a link that might be useful: Book.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 1:50PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Purple, look at your San's go! Wowowowowo. Such a nice bunch of plants!

Flora, it looks like you have a few GROWN spiderplants hanging on one. Incredible. I love it.

MIke

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:06PM
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ozarkia(6b-ish)

Hi everybody! I've been lurking for a long time, but I thought this would be a fine chance to start an account and introduce myself, since spiderplants are what got me into houseplants. My great-aunt gave some plantlets to my grandmother, and my grandmother gave some plantlets to me, and now I've given plantlets to my mother. Since the babies are clones, I guess my family is kind of sharing the same plant from Illinois to Florida and Arkansas in between!

Anyway, I'm attempting to upload a picture of my plant. It's a little sad right now after moving indoors and then across town, and it desperately needs to be re-potted. It flowered profusely, and I'm growing some from seed! It's a fun experiment, even though most people just say "but... why?" :P

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:04PM
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ozarkia(6b-ish)

Oh, and here's my variegated one! I got it from a big box two or three years ago as an "annual groundcover." These plants can DEFINITELY take a battering; it withstood weeks of 95-105F temps and was swarmed with locusts during the drought. Yikes.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:09PM
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raelynn09(5b MI)

summersunshine - I've tried a few different ways.
My first round I had 6 or 7 babies in a west facing window w/ sheer drapes this summer, temperatures were about 65 at night and up to high 70's during the day. They were in a mix of turface(NAPAfloordry), pine bark fines, and perlite. I watered every 4 days or so. Half of them were withered within 3 weeks, the rest were done after a month an a half.

I later tried a bunch of larger babies each in perlite, perlite/vermivulite mix, and regular potting soil with perlite. I had 6 4" pots, 2 of each kind of container mix. 3 went in that window, and three sat on my TV about 3 feet from the window, similar temperatures. The ones on the TV lasted longer, the one in perlite/vermiculite lasted about two months.

I noticed with the first round they became wilted and soft, wile most of the second round grew brown tips.
I also used distilled water

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 4:40PM
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raelynn09(5b MI)

Sorry it got cut off.

I used distilled water most of the time, which I cannot do anymore if I were to try again, which I will. I was offered to bring home about ten babies tomorrow night, but they are a bit smaller than the last ones. I'd say between 2 and 4".
I should also mention my house is rather dry in the summer, and we try our best to not use air conditioning, we often had three or four fans blowing at once. Not directly on the plants, but I'd say they definitely had a little breeze.

Any suggestions on the soils this time? I have perlite, vermiculite, pine and fir bark fines, Napa floor dry, charcoal and haydite. And regular potting soil, but I'll shy away from that. I also have a few Plants lights I use because of the less light coming through the winters.

I certainly do appreciate any pointers! I fell so silly that I can't seem to grow these guys!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 5:12PM
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goren

I thought I had a green thumb when, many years ago, I looked after a spider plant, and others, for my sister-in-law who spends six months in Florida. It hung in the center of a room, with a western exposure fronting a lake so no barrier to good sunlight was given it.
I watered it dilligently--always with respect for how I thought the plant was using it.
The plant did marvelous, stayed green the whole time, didn't drop a bit and I felt pretty good when I showed her how I had paid attention to it and other plants.

She thanked me, gave me a hug, then told me the spider did look good...it always looks good.....

its artificial.

*&@#$%@&^%_+ ...

See! You cant win no how!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 8:33PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

ozarkia - can you explain how you could possibly describe your spiders as 'a little sad'?! How enormous are they when they're happy?

p.s. I think you've pinched my kitchen rubbish bin.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 3:50AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Oh my! I didn't know they were this popular. I encouraged someone to join what a honor

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:11AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

High-five, Teen!

Hi ozarkia, welcome to Gardenweb! I also think your plants look great! But if you've noticed a decline, the pots are probably too full of roots with nowhere left to grow. Did any of the plants you put in the ground show up again the next spring?

Goren, your story had me laughing so hard I was crying! I did something like that to a friend once when I went away for the holidays for about 10 days. I asked her to come by about a week after I left and check on things, water anything dry. Before I left, I made this cute little stake that said "Rosie" and stuck it in a dead rosemary plant I had in my basement. (Don't ask.) I put that plant in a prominent spot, then called her the evening I asked her to check stuff. As soon as she answered, I said, "Hey, how's Rosie?" She said, "How did it look when you left?" I started babbling about how beautiful and full of lovely-scented greenery it was, looked like it might be starting to make some flower buds, been on my mind a lot... until I started cracking up. That was fun!

This is what the roots looked like from the plant pictured above, recently repotted. Crowded!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

And this is what I did about it. Back in the same pot.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:59AM
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petrushka

don't let me get started on spiders... i had one for a year in semidarkness, hardly any water. it was pale but alive. now i leave them in pots outside on the balcony until it drops to frost. it's my grass substitute: like how they sway in the wind. one just survived sandy - was gusting to 45miles at least, but no problem, no breakage. oh, and yesterday was 33F - that's not a problem either. LOVE THEM!
the more crowded they are, the more babies produced. some i cut off and just stick in small plastic cups among other plants like clumps of grass sprouting in the base - they can live on min of water (or totally dry) for weeks, months. they can drown, dessicate and still come back.
raelynn, you need to neglect them totally, or put them in a jar of water. i keep some in the bathroom as decoration - no windows, just reg usage lights, they go on forever.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:38AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes, spiders truly are soldiers, not fazed by cold, to a point, somewhere around Z7a as far as I can tell. I started tearing out this now-taking-over-at-a-mind-boggling-rate patch at my Mom's house yesterday and wondered if anyone here might like any for postage or trade. If so, see exchange page post. The patch somehow has twice the mass as it did less than a month ago. I guess all of the babies have grown a LOT, and in very dry conditions, a lesson to us all. I at least liberated the wax Begonias from their clutches.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:06PM
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summersunlight(5b)

raelyn, did the babies already have roots when you potted them? I have always found it a lot easier to start spider plant babies in water than soil, and they can survive in water for a long time.

My experience has been that spider plants are not very fussy about soil and will do well even in ordinary potting soil without any special amendments - although maybe some of the soil experts here will have more specific advice.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Lamora(4)

Hi all! I've been wanting to show my Bonnie Spider off, this seems like a good chance. Remember how sick and sad it was when I first came here? I did not think she would make it.. but thanks to all of you.. here she is now!

Very pretty plant~~ IMO~~
Marjie :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:00PM
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ozarkia(6b-ish)

Thanks for the welcome, everybody! Glad I finally de-lurked. I've gotten so much wonderful information from this forum over the past year.

purpleinopp:
>>I also think your plants look great! But if you've noticed a decline, the pots are probably too full of roots with nowhere left to grow. Did any of the plants you put in the ground show up again the next spring?Well, they were being *sold* as an annual groundcover (rather than a houseplant), but I didn't try any in the ground. Last winter was mild enough (I'm on the verge of 6b) that I bet they would've come back if protected -- I saw Tradescantia zebrina/purple heart come back from beneath mulch in several locations this year, so I bet spider plants would have made it, too. I'm a renter, though, so I didn't try it.

Thanks so much for the photos of root pruning! That is exactly what I plan to do come spring (and also replace whatever dust of peat may be left with a better medium), but I'd never seen it done before. I'll take photos when it's time.

Love your blog! I just moved from an apartment with a shaded north-facing porch to a duplex with north, south, and western exposures (and actually lived in MI/OH/IL before moving down here), so I'm very inspired now.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:17PM
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ozarkia(6b-ish)

Oh! What a cheerful Bonnie! I've really been wanting one, but I've heard that under good care (such as yours, I bet) they aren't very curly. Frankly, my 'regular' one produces curly leaves when I can't keep up with daily watering in July/August! LOL.

And oh man, these stories of the plastic spiderplant and the dearly departed Rosy keep making me chuckle. I pity the next person who plant-sits for me . . . *wicked grin*

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:26PM
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CassieMagoo

Hi everyone! Just registered but as someone said above I've also been lurking a long time. I just bought a Bonnie spider plant and am so excited about it. Also have had a baby regular spider plant for a month - repotted it but it's not doing much yet. My only problem is keeping them up and away from the cats. Lamora and Ozarkia your spiders are beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi Cassie! Welcome to Gardenweb.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:03AM
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greendale(6B)

Mine sits on the top of a book shelf, it on the side of a southern window, no directly at all. There are three different kind - a variegated one, another variegated one with more green on the edge and all green one - the later two are cuttings that rooted. For a very long time, we just looking at the pot.:) Hope it is filling out the pot soon...

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:07PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Welcome to gardenclub. Surprised to see this post from two month ago. i started by lurking on gardenweb fo four years imagine!@#$%^&*(_)+!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 2:48PM
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delidiva

They are wonderful - we call them "Henne en Kuikens" translated to "Hens and Chicks" here in South Africa where they come from. I have them outside and they look beautiful summer and winter - can't keep up with all the "chicks" they produce that has to be replanted !

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:51AM
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mycubsx3

I wish I could post a picture of my spider, but I don't own a camera.

I bought it 2 years ago...about this time of year. I hung it outside all that summer and it went nuts. I took it to my bedroom where it sadly died over the winter (lack of light I decided) all but 1 leaf. Last spring, I cut everything off above the soil except the 1 leaf and hung it back outside and it went nuts again back to a full plant with babies! This year i hung it in the living room in front of a window and it did okay. Its not a gorgeous plant and it does grow babies, but the babies never get very big before they start turning brown and die.

Watering was getting very difficult. Very root bound so I pulled it out of the pot tonight, gave it a good soaking in a pail of water and then replanted in a 12 inch pot to hang back in front of the window. I dont have a clue what I am doing LOL. I did score the roots a bit when I repotted but I didn't cut anything off. Guess I should have come and read here before I did anything.

What makes the babies die at a very young age? It seems that it grows stolons fine, flowers nicely even if all the flowers dont produce babies, but the babies i get just dont last long. I did recently learn that if I spray the stolons regularly, babies will grow out of the brown withered spots the flowers left...no matter how old the spots are!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:01AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

how is everones plants

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:32AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

My spider plants survived 3 days of frost outside without even flinching. It dropped to near 32 one night

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:49AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

i guess nobody cares of spider plants?????

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 7:09PM
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cghpnd

I most certainly do! They are my favorite with snake plants having 2nd place. Right now my spider is under a lot of stress. =/

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:38AM
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cghpnd

I most certainly do! They are my favorite with snake plants having 2nd place. Right now my spider is under a lot of stress. =/

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:39AM
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cghpnd

I most certainly do! They are my favorite with snake plants having 2nd place. Right now my spider is under a lot of stress. =/

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:40AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I had to remove some plants with no good destination - don't ask - anyway I put some outside in a carport. A spider plant with this little protection survived a frost that killed off all the buds on nearby fruit trees.

Oh, teengardener1888, if you are really keen on spider plants inquire about someone called Eva, perhaps, Swedish perhaps. Look up her site. All my links are no longer valid. You may have to learn to use the Wayback Machine: Internet archives.

This post was edited by albert_135 on Sat, May 18, 13 at 9:00

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 2:17PM
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CassieMagoo

Hi everyone, I put mine out last night on shepherd's hooks, watered them well, and late this afternoon checked on them...I don't think they liked where I put them! I put them in the backyard which is fenced in (we've had some trouble with thieves) and it is on the west side of the house. Shady back there, but I think they got 1 or 2 hours of mid day sun. Anyway they were really pale. I hope I didn't fry them. They're back inside now. They'd probably love the front porch (east side) but I don't want them to get stolen. One is a regular variegated and the other is a curly Bonnie. I have another that said Spider Plant on the tag, but I am not sure that is what it really is. It is so...soft and fluffy. It seems more like grass. Anyway I'll get some pictures soon and post them. Hope everyone's spiders are doing well! :)

This post was edited by CassieMagoo on Tue, May 21, 13 at 0:01

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:43PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Mines are. Got rid of most of those spideys in my photo. Is atarting some babies thought

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:01AM
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CassieMagoo

Here are all my spider plants. They have not grown too much since I got them...maybe a little bigger but not much. first one is my old fashioned one.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:49PM
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CassieMagoo

Here's my Bonnie spider plant. There are four in there. When I bought it, there were 7 spiders in a little hanging pot! I broke them up and gave the other three to Mom. They don't look as curly as they used to.

This post was edited by CassieMagoo on Tue, May 21, 13 at 0:02

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:52PM
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CassieMagoo

Finally, here is my other spider plant that I got - the tag in it says "Spider Plant, Zebra Grass." It is short, fluffy and the leaves are very soft.

This post was edited by CassieMagoo on Tue, May 21, 13 at 0:03

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Enterotoxigenic00

I love all the spiders, gee I love a lot of things lately.
I think Bonnie's are my favorite of all the spiders.
The ones that survive the frost, snow, 60mph winds and
110 temps aren't too bad either.
Cassie, I have one like the one in your last pic, the stolons
grow straight up and the 'babies' grow off at 90 degree angles.
All great pics.
K

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:21AM
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CassieMagoo

Thanks K! I am excited for them to grow. Maybe at the end of the summer I will post updates on them. I think I have a little bit of addiction to these. :) Well, all plants really. My house looks like a jungle.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:45AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I have wanted bonnie babies for a long time

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:48AM
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plantasdevida(6)

I just manged to kill one of my spider plants. :( I think it might be due to over watering it way too much.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:11AM
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