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The search for the spider plant.

December 31st, 2012 by Jon Leonhardt

Chlorophytum comosum varieties cultivars

Everyone has heard of the spider plant right? The airplane plant?  Chlorophytum comosum for all the plant people.  Ok right everyone knows what I am talking about. There are different types of spider plants.  So I decided to see how many different varieties there were out there.  This is what I have found.

Chlorophytum comosum all green spider plant

Lets start with the most basic all green version.  This was actually the hardest to find!  Just because its all green doesn’t make it boring.  Its got a great color of green and because its all green without the variegation it is actually a healthier plant.  All variegated plants are weaker due to the fact that the white part on the leaf doesn’t produce chlorophyll.



Variegated Spider Plant  Chlorophytum comosum Variegatum

This plant here is Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum”.  The most commonly found version of the spider plant.  The leaves have an interesting variegation kinda streaky.



reverse variegated spider plant Chlorophytum comosum Reverse Variegatum

Now this one is probably the second most common airplane plant. Chlorophytum comosum ‘Reverse Variegatum’. This one has a green center with white edges.



Chlorophytum comosum zebra spider plant

This one looks a lot like Chlorophytum comosum ‘Reverse Variegatum’ but has a yellower edge that eventually turns to a white. I bought it under the name of Chlorophytum laxum “Zebra” I find that it seems to stay a little shorter then then rest.



Chlorophytum comosum hawaiian spider plant (2)

I recently found this Chlorophytum comosum but was told its called the Hawaiian spider plant. The coolest part of this plant is that the plant will start out with variegation and finally turn all green again. Then producing the babies, with variegation again.  These if potted will grow into a large plant that is variegated before turning all green again. If the babies are left on the plant they will eventually turn green as well.  So the plant will have various different combinations going on!


All of the spider plants prove to be super easy to grow being able to survive what most plants can’t.  There are other varieties out there, but seem harder to purchase.  There is a “bonnie” which has more curly leaves. But many people say its just a stressed plant.


11 Responses to “The search for the spider plant.”

  1. Grenville Dixon says:

    I once bought a plant which was labelled Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’. It eventually produced flowers, then seeds.

    I planted the seeds and this resulted in having plants with all green leaves. Does this mean the latter are Chlorophytum comosum?

    • Jon says:

      Correct. Most plants with variegation can only be propagated by cloning, cuttings, and division. Seeds will almost always produce regular green plants, exception being annuals.

  2. C.Wright says:

    Hi, I was searching through your blog and noticed your really cool varietys of spider plants, and I currently have a mature green specimen and a specimen recently identified as ocean.. I wish to make to make an order for 2x plantlets of each variety, as I feel these plants are amongst the greatest indoor plants and would be so exited to own all possible variations. Please email me.

  3. C.Unger says:

    You’re correct that there is a spider plant cultivar with curled leaves, but curly leaves are genetic, not an environmental condition. I own this plant and have been breeding it with other straight-leafed, variegated cultivars for several years. Both the curliness and variegation are recessive, but I’ve gotten a few offspring with wavy leaves and light variegation after many, many crosses.

  4. Robert Leblanc says:

    i used to live in a house and we had spider plant that would reproduce via vine like branch with a small version of the mother plant. when we moved into an apartment we got someone to give a a sample a spider plant 2 in fact and we planted them in pots, but they haven’t produce any of those vine branch like those in our old house. could it be that those are 2 different kind?

  5. Clay T says:

    Chlorophytum “Bonnie” is definitely a separate variety. In addition to the curly leaves, the babies are held on gold or yellow stalks. I know commercial growers that produce it by the acre.

  6. Andrea M says:

    I think I might have a spider plant because it looks like the plants you have found, except that it has purple lines on the edges of the leaves. Can you please help? I also need to know what type of care is needed for this plant.

  7. Autumn says:

    You’ve got a couple scientific names mixed up. The variety with a wide white center that you’re calling ‘ variegatum’ is actually ‘vittatum’. ‘Variegatum’ is green with a narrow white margin. There is no Chlorophytum comosum cultivar called ‘reverse variegatum’. That is an error that’s been repeated on the Internet by people who haven’t fact-checked their sources.

    The curly, variegated cultivar is called ‘Bonnie’, and the variegated cultivar that becomes green is called ‘Hawaiian’. There is also a solid green variety with cirked leaves, and a variegated variety with just a sliver of white down the center. I don’t know whether either of the last two have been named, but I grow all of these varieties.

  8. Autumn says:

    “solid green variety with CURLED leaves” #%&$ auto-correct! 😉

  9. Hi Autumn, l’m a) trying to collect all the types and b) write a basic book on houseplants that are easy to grow. any possibility that you could email me pictures of each variety you have grown….. is it just me, or does anybody else find it odd, that such a common house plant doesn’t have much information about it online!??? thanks jeremy :)

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