There are plenty of different plants that people like to take in for one reason or another. Some people prefer plants that flower, as this can add a splash of vibrant color to any planter indoors or outdoors. Other people may prefer plants that have interesting leaves, such as the spider plant.
Contrary to what some people think, the spider plant does not commonly harbor or attract spiders. Instead, it earns its name from its long, spindly leaves that erupt from the plant’s base. These long leaves often feel much like a spider’s legs, leading many people to aptly call the plant a spider plant as opposed to its scientific name of Chlorophytum comosum.
People often keep spider plants in their home to help keep their air fresh and clean. As with some other types of plants, the spider plant is considerably proficient at producing oxygen, considering its size.
This can result in purified air, less carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and other problematic compositions in the air of your house. For families that have curious children or rambunctious pets, a spider plant is often a common decoration because of its nontoxicity.
With all of that being said, most people don’t expect too much from the spider plant’s appearance. Aside from its long and wiry leaves, it doesn’t really do much else, right? The truth is that many people are surprised to realize that their spider plants can begin to produce flowers.
Do They Grow Flowers? What Do They Look Like?
In short, spider plants are indeed capable of producing flowers. These flowers are often small and so short-lived that most people don’t even notice, especially given the fact that spider plants need next to no attention.
If your spider plant does feel up to producing flowers, the flowers will be located toward the ends of their stems and leaves. The flowers will be relatively small in appearance, being no larger than a common U.S. quarter. Some spider plants will produce one or two flowers at the end of a stem, and other spider plants will actually produce clusters of flowers, although this is entirely dependent on the variant of spider plant that you have taken in.
These small flowers are almost exclusively white in appearance, although they may have a faint tint to them depending on how your plant is growing and its overall health. These plants will have what are known as three-six petals. Three-six petals are petals that are often long, thin and symmetrical both horizontally and vertically.
The flowers themselves will have little to no smell, and will die off relatively quickly. If you aren’t paying much attention to your spider plant, then there’s a very good chance that you will end up only seeing the flowers when they wilt and fall off the stem.
When Do They Grow Flowers?
As all spider plants are different, it can be hard to determine when your spider plant will feel keen on producing flowers. Some varieties of spider plants will frequently produce flowers when they are young plants, becoming a sight to see for anyone who enjoys plants, but then will never produce a flower again. Most other varieties will only begin to flower when they are fully matured and when, interestingly enough, they are slightly pot-bound.
For those who may not be familiar with gardening terminology, when a plant is “pot-bound,” it refers to the fact that the roots no longer have anywhere to go and begin taking the shape of the pot it’s in. It commonly occurs when plants are put into small pots when they are young, and are never moved to a larger pot to accommodate the growing root system.
Trying to Get Your Spider Plant to Produce Flowers
If you want to try and entice your spider plant to produce flowers, you should be well-prepared for the situation that it may never produce flowers. Spider plants are not a plant that is known for its flowering capabilities. Some plant breeders may have specific breeds of spider plants that are more prone to flowering, but these may be hard to find depending on where you are located.
You should also keep in mind that there are some varieties of spider plant that only produce flowers when young, and when those plants pass that flowering age, they will never produce flowers again. This will mean that, even if you are providing the optimal conditions for your spider plant to flower, it may never flower.
With that in mind, you can begin trying to meet the conditions that the spider plant needs to have a chance at producing the flowers that it can. It may take a bit of extra care and work, and if you bought a spider plant for the fact that you can often get away with providing little to no care, then this may not be the best for you.
Similar to other flowering plants, the spider plant also has a few conditions you will need to meet if you want it to have any chance of flowering. For one, it will need to have the right amount of sunlight. This can be hard as spider plants enjoy bright sunlight, but only indirectly.
The best way to get around this hurdle is to move the plant around your house along with the seasons. This will ensure that, throughout the year, the plant is getting as much bright indirect sunlight as it can possibly get. Its need for light will also change with the seasons, meaning it will need even more light during the summer and less light in the winter. It may take some practice to keep up with these needs.
You should also make sure you are using a low fertilizer for your spider plants. Unlike many plants, too strong of a fertilizer can actually cause your spider plant to decide that it does not want to flower, instead producing very green leaves rather than flowers. You will want to opt for 4-4-4 or even a 2-4-4 fertilizer for your spider plant.
If you are desperate for flowers from your spider plant, it may be worth adding a bloom-boosting fertilizer to your plant’s soil during the spring season, when it may be more prone to flowering than during other seasons.
Keeping the Plant Healthy
Understandably, you will also need to make sure you are keeping the plant healthy while you are trying to do this. If your spider plant is using all of its resources and energy trying to stay alive, it is not going to have any spare energy left to even try and produce flowers.
Because of this, while you are accommodating its needs for light and a low fertilizer, you are also going to need to take care of making sure the plant’s basic needs are met. This includes getting enough water (but not too much) and also making sure that if the plant is outside, you are keeping it pest free and treating any problems with the plant as soon as you see them.
Spider plants, originating in South Africa, have evolved to be able to store considerable amounts of water in their roots and stems. This is what allows them to survive on little to no care, but it also means they are very prone to overwatering. You will want to be cautious when watering your plant, only giving it more water when it appears as if it needs it.
It isn’t prone to pests, although you should still keep your eyes on the leaves and stems to make sure that nothing is trying to eat away at your spider plant. Always be on the lookout for signs of trouble and make sure you can accommodate any potential problems as soon as possible. By keeping your plant healthy, you have the best chances of seeing it flower.