Everything You Need to Know About the Uses and Benefits of Spider Plants
As one of the most popular houseplants, spider plants are beloved by many. However, not everyone knows all the benefits these plants provide! Along with being a joy to look at and care for, they can also improve the environment and human health. Keep reading to learn more about some of the top spider plant benefits.
- About Spider Plants
- The Benefits of Spider Plants
- Wrapping Up
About Spider Plants
Known for their thin, arching leaves and adorable little “spiderettes”, spider plants are some of the most popular house plants out there. Although individual varieties vary in appearance, all spider plants are members of the species Chlorophytum comosum.
These plants are native to much of Africa, growing in tropical forests. However, you can now find them across the world as houseplants.
To keep these plants happy, you’ll want to provide a warm environment, with a temperature between 65-85ºF. They are tolerant of various humidity levels but prefer moderate to high humidity.
Although they like lots of bright light, they prefer indirect rather than direct sunlight.
To help your plant thrive, plant it in a well-draining soil mix and water when the top few inches of soil is dry.
The Benefits of Spider Plants
Not only are spider plants gorgeous, but they also offer numerous benefits. They can improve your health, enhance your home’s appearance, and more.
1) Remove Air Pollutants
The 1989 NASA Clean Air Study is often cited as proof that houseplants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Indeed, this study shows that houseplants, including spider plants, can remove formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air. However, it’s not the only study out there!
A 1984 study examined how plants could help remove formaldehyde, a common indoor pollutant, from the air. They chose golden pothos, nephthytis, and a spider plant as their test plants. Results showed that spider plants were the most effective at removing formaldehyde.
More recent studies support spider plants’ ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. It’s important to note that soil microorganisms associated with spider plants have a significant role in air filtration.
While spider plants do remove air pollutants, most studies perform experiments in small, sealed chambers. That means the impact of one plant in a room would be minuscule.
2) Tolerant of Lead
While some plants cannot grow in soils contaminated with heavy metals like lead, spider plants can. One study showed that spider plants could grow well in soils that contained up to 500 mg lead per kg of dry soil.
Another study showed that spider plants might be helpful plants for lead phytoremediation. They remove lead from the soil and also have the benefits of high biomass and low cost.
3) Useful in Feng Shui
With busy lives and stressful days, it’s helpful to design our homes with balance in mind. That’s where the practice of feng shui comes in.
Spider plants have a solid connection to the Earth element. Therefore, placing a spider plant in your bedroom or living room may help you ground yourself. They can also be valuable additions near studies or desks, as they can help you connect with learning.
Since dead and dying plants may bring bad energy to your home, make sure to take good care of your spider plant. If you notice a problem, aim to fix it ASAP.
4) Easy to Propagate
One of the best things about spider plants is how easy they are to propagate. If you’ve ever seen a healthy spider plant, you may know that it can produce hundreds of plantlets.
These plantlets, also known as offsets or spiderettes, grow at the tips of the plant’s leaves. They form after the plant produces flowers.
If you leave offsets on the mother plant long enough, they will form roots. At this point, all you need to do is remove the plantlets and place them in soil. It’s as simple as that!
You can share these new spider plants with friends or place them throughout your home.
5) Okay for Most Allergies
Both fragrant plants and those with certain types of pollen can lead to runny noses and headaches. Fortunately, spider plants don’t bother most people.
While the plants do produce flowers, they are tiny and don’t have much of a fragrance. With that said, some people are sensitive to the pollen the flowers produce. Therefore, it’s good to test out any sensitivities before adding one of these plants to your home or office.
6) Low Maintenance
If you often travel or don’t have much of a green thumb, the spider plant could be the perfect plant for you! They don’t require much care and typically don’t have too many issues with pests and diseases and only need repotting every 18 months or so. Light pruning of your spider plant will also keep them in a somewhat uniform shape if that’s your thing.
Spider plants can tolerate a wide variety of temperatures, and can even survive brief periods as low as 40º! While they prefer moderate to high humidity, they can also tolerate short dry periods. In general, average household humidity is acceptable.
They can also handle change quite well, so you don’t have to worry about moving them from one room to another.
Additionally, they can tolerate the occasional overeating or underwatering. With that said, it’s best to water spider plants when the soil is slightly dry and you’ll want to fertilize occasionally in spring and summer.
Finally, spider plants can adapt to a wide variety of light conditions. While they prefer bright, indirect light, they can also survive in darker areas.
7) Improve Your Home’s Appearance
While it’s probably obvious, spider plants are gorgeous! Whether you are looking to spruce up a bright office or add a natural element to your bedroom, these plants will do the trick.
Since spider plants have a weeping form, they work well in hanging baskets and in pots atop plant stands. Smaller plants also look lovely in pots on desks or tables.
You can also choose from different types of spider plants. The common variegated spider plant has white and green leaves, while the curly Bonnie variety has long curling leaves.
8) Can Reduce Stress
If you think you feel relaxed when you spend time around plants, you’re not imagining it. Looking at plants such as spider plants can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
One study examined the effect that indoor plants and a window view had on participants. Results found that participants experienced less nervousness and anxiety when they were watching nature out a window or looking at indoor plants.
Plants may also be able to buffer us from the stresses of interacting with technology. A 2015 study separated participants into two groups: one transplanted plants, and the other completed a computer task.
After the task, the group that interacted with plants had lower diastolic blood pressure. They also reported they felt more comfortable and relaxed. So if you want to relax during work, adding a spider plant to your office may help.
9) May Improve Focus and Productivity
If you’re struggling to remain focused at work and find your productivity waning throughout the day, a spider plant may help. Increasingly, adding plants to your workplace can lead to positive outcomes.
One study examined the effects of placing plants in a windowless room. Participants who completed tasks near plants had reaction time that was 12% quicker than that of participants in a plant-free area.
Not only can plants help improve your reaction time, but they can also improve your ability to focus. A 2011 study showed that plants can help prevent the fatigue that comes with working, making it easier for you to stay focused throughout your day.
10) Inexpensive and Easy to Find
While finding and buying a rare houseplant can be a thrill, it can also be a hassle! And that’s not even taking into account how you feel if you kill a $100+ plant.
Spider plants are inexpensive and easy to find both in garden centers and online. And since they’re so easy to propagate, you might be able to get one of these plants from your friends.
These attributes make them great plants for beginners as well as those on a tight budget.
11) Non-toxic to Dogs and Cats
While adults know not to eat houseplants, we can’t say the same for dogs and cats. The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to munch on a toxic houseplant.
Fortunately, the ASPCA reports that spider plants are non-toxic to both dogs and cats. While you shouldn’t let your pets chow down on these plants, you don’t have to worry if they take a little nibble.
Now that you know the many benefits of spider plants, it’s time to capitalize on them! Add one of these easy-to-care-for plants to your home and enjoy all they have to offer.