Name: Chlorophytum comosum aka spider plant
Type of Plant: A very common houseplant, probably because it’s easy to grow and propagate. Native to coastal South Africa, and found in solid green or variegated forms. This clump-forming plant produces long, trailing stems with small plantlets along and at their ends. These plantlets will root and grow where they touch soil, and this ability to reproduce themselves so prolifically is why the humorist, Erma Bombeck used to call this “the plant that doesn’t know the meaning of the words ‘birth control.’”
Why I Love This Plant: I love this plant not only because it’s an easy houseplant, but because it’s been widely studied for its ability to take up and degrade/detoxify various pollutants in the air.
It’s also the perfect plant to poke into containers and window boxes in the early summer, especially in part-shade to shady container. The variegated forms add both color and texture, and their hanging stems cascade in beautiful ways to bring that beauty down past the containers’ edges.
A Word to the Wise: As a houseplant, grow this in bright, indirect light or in eastern or northern windows. Use this outdoors in containers that are in shade or mostly shade. Water these regularly, keeping them well hydrated on a routine basis but not constantly wet nor dry.
Spider plant makes the perfect contrasting color and texture plant for full shade containers outside.