The Purple Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is a beautiful houseplant with unique purple foliage and graceful cascading habit. It’s no surprise that this stunning plant adds a touch of elegance to any indoor space. But is this houseplant easy to grow and care for?
Read on and learn how to grow the Purple Spider successfully.
- 1 Features of the Purple Spider Plant
- 2 How To Grow the Purple Spider Plant
- 3 Care Guidelines for the Purple Spider Plant
- 4 Wrapping Up
Features of the Purple Spider Plant
|Common Names||Purple Spider, Violet Queen, Cleome Hassleriana, Purple Spiderwort|
|Scientific Name||Chlorophytum comosum|
|USDA hardiness zones||9-11|
The most striking feature of the Purple Spider Plant is its mesmerizing purple leaves. Unlike the traditional green spider plant, this variety exhibits vibrant shades of purple ranging from deep violet to lavender hues. The rich coloration adds a touch of drama and uniqueness to your plant collection.
The Purple Spider Plant boasts arching, cascading foliage that gracefully spills over the edges of containers or hanging baskets.
The long, slender leaves form a dense rosette at the base and feature a slight curl, resembling spider legs. This growth habit creates an attractive display, making it a perfect choice for suspended planters or elevated shelves.
Fast Growth Rate
Like its green counterpart, the Purple Spider Plant is a rapid grower. It can produce numerous offsets or “spiderettes” that dangle from long stems with the right conditions and care.
These spiderettes can be easily propagated, allowing you to expand your purple spider plant collection or share them with fellow plant enthusiasts.
How To Grow the Purple Spider Plant
To ensure the successful growth of your Purple Spider Plant, follow these steps:
The Purple Spider Plant needs bright, indirect light for optimal growth. Please place it in an area with moderate to bright light conditions.
Avoid exposing this houseplant to direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves. A north or east-facing window is often the best location for this plant.
Temperature and Humidity
The Purple Spider thrives in average room temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F. It can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but should be protected from cold drafts.
Maintaining a moderate humidity level is beneficial, but the plant can adapt to average indoor humidity levels.
Water the Purple Spider Plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Ensure thorough watering, allowing excess water to drain away freely. During winter, reduce the frequency of watering slightly.
Soil and Potting
Use a well-draining potting mix for planting the Purple Spider Plant. Create an appropriate mix by combining peat moss, perlite, and a small amount of organic matter.
This blend provides good drainage while retaining moisture. As the plant grows, transplant it into a slightly larger pot to accommodate its expanding root system.
Feed the Purple Spider Plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing season (spring and summer).
Dilute the fertilizer to half the required strength to prevent fertilizer burn. In winter, when the plant’s growth slows down, reduce or stop fertilization altogether.
Care Guidelines for the Purple Spider Plant
How do you care for your Purple Spider Plant? Here’s how to.
Pruning is an essential aspect of maintaining the appearance and health of the Purple Spider Plant.
Inspect the plant regularly and look for discolored, wilted, or damaged leaves. These can be yellow, brown, or have spots or blemishes. Identifying these leaves is the first step in determining which ones to prune.
Get a clean pair of pruning shears or sharp scissors. You can sterilize the tools by wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant.
Cut the damaged or discolored leaves at the base where they meet the stem. Make a clean cut without leaving any stubs or tearing the plant tissue.
If the Purple Spider Plant has grown too bushy or some stems have become excessively long and leggy, you can trim them to maintain a more compact and balanced appearance.
Identify the stems that need trimming and make a clean cut above the leaf node, which is the point where a leaf emerges from the stem. This encourages new growth and helps shape the plant.
If you notice that the Purple Spider is growing more vigorously in one direction, you can selectively prune stems to redirect growth. If it’s leaning to one side, you can prune on the opposite side to encourage more balanced growth.
After pruning, observe the plant’s response over the next few weeks. New growth should emerge from the pruned stems, and the plant’s overall appearance should improve.
If you notice signs of stress or further decline, reassess the plant’s care conditions and adjust as necessary.
Propagation of the Purple Spider Plant is straightforward and can be done using its spiderettes.
Spiderettes are small plantlets that develop on long, arching stems of the Purple Spider Plant. They usually have tiny roots at their base and are ready for propagation when they are about 2-3 inches long.
Get small pots or containers with drainage holes and fill them with well-draining potting soil. You can mix peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite to create a suitable medium for the spiderettes.
Gently detach the spiderettes from the mother plant. You can do this by carefully cutting or twisting them off the stem.
Make sure each spiderette has its own set of roots intact. If the spiderettes don’t have roots yet, place them in a glass of water. The roots should develop over time.
Create a small hole in the potting soil of the new containers and carefully place each spiderette into its own hole.
After planting the spiderettes, water them thoroughly to settle the soil and provide moisture. Place the pots in a location with bright, indirect light. Maintain a moderate humidity level and keep the soil moist but not overly saturated.
Leave spiderettes attached to the mother plant: If you prefer a fuller display, you can leave some spiderettes attached to the mother plant. They will create a cascading effect as they grow, enhancing the plant’s overall appearance.
Regularly inspect your Purple Spider Plant for signs of pests. Pests affecting spider plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.
Look for visible insects, sticky residue on the leaves, webbing, or distorted foliage. Inspect the undersides of leaves and the plant’s growing tips, as pests often prefer these areas.
If you detect a pest infestation on your Purple Spider Plant, isolate the affected plant from other healthy plants to prevent the pests from spreading.
Treating the infestation is crucial once you’ve confirmed the presence of pests. A practical method is to use organic insecticidal soap or a neem oil solution. These solutions are safe for indoor use and can effectively control pests.
Organic Insecticidal Soap
Purchase a ready-to-use organic insecticidal soap from a garden center. Alternatively, make your own by mixing mild liquid dish soap with water.
Dilute the soap according to the manufacturer’s instructions or use a solution of 1-2 teaspoons of soap per liter of water.
Spray the solution onto the affected plant, covering all surfaces, including the undersides of leaves. Repeat the treatment every 7-10 days or until the pests are eliminated.
Neem Oil Solution
Mix neem oil with water according to the product instructions, typically at a ratio of 2-5 tablespoons per gallon of water. Spray the solution onto the infested plant, ensuring thorough coverage.
Neem oil works by suffocating and disrupting the life cycle of pests. Repeat the treatment every 7-14 days or until the infestation is under control.
Along with treating the infestation, take preventive measures to minimize the chances of future pest problems. Regularly inspect your plants, especially new additions, before bringing them indoors to ensure they are pest-free.
Avoid overwatering your Purple Spider Plant, as overly moist conditions can attract pests. Maintaining good airflow around the plant and avoiding overcrowding can also help prevent infestations.
In addition to organic insecticidal soap and neem oil, some natural remedies can help control pests on your Purple Spider Plant.
Wiping the leaves with a mild solution of water and dish soap or using a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol can help remove pests like spider mites and mealybugs.
Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or predatory mites can also help control pest populations.
Over time, the older leaves of the Purple Spider Plant may lose their vibrant purple coloration and revert to green. To maintain the plant’s appealing appearance, periodically remove older leaves and encourage the growth of new purple foliage.
The Purple Spider Plant is a stunning addition to any indoor plant collection, adding a touch of allure and a pop of color. Its unique features, rapid growth, and undemanding care requirements make it an excellent choice for beginner and experienced plant enthusiasts.