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The search for the spider plant. Different types…

December 31st, 2012 by Jon Leonhardt

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 many different types of spider plants. So I decided to see how many different varieties were out there. This is what I have found.



Let’s start with the basic all green spider plant
Chlorophytum comosum all green spider plant
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This was actually the hardest to find!  Just because its all green doesn’t make it boring.  It’s got a great color of green and because it’s all green, without 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.




This is Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’, or common Spider Plant
Variegated Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum Variegatum
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This is the most popular variety of the spider plant. The leaves have an interesting variegation, kinda streaky. It’s a great houseplant because it’s easy to grow, doesn’t need much care, it’s beautiful and it’s a natural air cleaner.




Below is Chlorophytum comosum ‘Reverse Variegatum’
reverse variegated spider plant Chlorophytum comosum Reverse Variegatum
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Now this one is probably the second most common airplane plant. This one has a green center with white edges. It’s still easy to care for and a good air cleaner, with a more interesting variegation, if you’ve worn tired of the common spider plant.




Chlorophytum laxum “Zebra”
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 “Zebra” I find that it seems to stay a little shorter than rest. I like this variety.



I was told that this is called Hawaiian Spider Plant.

Chlorophytum comosum hawaiian spider plant
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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!




Chlorophytum comosum varieties cultivars

All the different types of spider plants prove to be super easy to grow, 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 it’s just a stressed plant.

Houseplants are so wonderful for the soul and the mind, especially during the drab winter months. I hope this information helps you start your very own houseplant collection.

houseplant collection







35 Responses to “The search for the spider plant. Different types…”

  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.

    • Melissa says:

      Hi, C.Wright, I realize this post a few years old, but if you happen to still have your ocean spider I would love to trade some babies with you! I have a hawaiian spider and 4 other varieties. If your interested we can exchange emails.

  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.

    • C.Stewart says:

      Hi! Could you tell me more, or do you know any resources regarding how to breed different cultivars of the spider plant?

  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?

    • Meagan Sneeringer says:

      Robert- the “vine like branches” are the runners that support the baby plants. It’s my understanding that plants have to be mature and root-bound before they’ll start making runners. So your plant isn’t broken, you just need patience!

  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.

    • Christy says:

      i was wondering if u could help me, im trying to propagate the curly spider plant from a shoot with a few small babies on it that a friend gave me, i know now it would have been easier to propagate if they had roots started already.. they dont though 🙁 can you help me please!?

  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 🙂

  10. michelle says:

    Hello, I am writing to ask for a little HELP!!!! PLEASE
    Ive bought a few spider plants a Bonnie a all green one I also have one I bought that has a bonnie and a all green on in the same pot 🙂 the one I bought I don’t know what to do I received it and it was a mess the postal people just don’t care about FRAGILE signs at all 🙁 anyways I know now that I have to use distilled water or else ill be stuck with a lot of brown tips and yellowing leaves.. My hope is to be able to get the 1 bonnie I bought that was beaten half to death in its box to look as beautiful as the rest of mine do. ive only had it a short time but I’m embarrassed by the looks of it. I talk to her daily and I make sure I tell all my beautiful plants how beautiful they are LOL thou it may sound crazy my mother used to talk to all her plants and they did amazing.. if there’s a way I can show you a picture of all my ones that look amazing and then show you the bonnie curly I’m so worried about. I have also been told that they wont grow the baby plants until they are atleast a year old well I have found that to be a fib because I planted two babies and one has already started to have a yellow vine with a baby plant growing and its doing and looks so awesome I don’t want to touch it but cutting anything off.. I thank you for allowing to me join this group and I hope someone’s able to help my 1 bonnie curly that’s scaring me I don’t want to lose one of the easiest plants to grow LOL but I’m so sad and worried. Thanks so very much 🙂

  11. michelle says:

    I also am not to computer friendly and please forgive me I don’t know what the website block means I am truly sorry. I was not and I’m still not rich so where I’m from computers are not that easy to come across so I’m not that smart with all this computer stuff. Please forgive me thanks alot

  12. Jon says:

    Pot them up with some potting soil, water them well the first time as some potting soil takes a lot of watering to become moist… Sometimes I’ll let the soil sit in a bucket with some water first till it’s good and moist. Cut off any brown tips with an angle cut. Spider plants are very tough and will recover quite quickly. A window with bright light, and water when dry is all you will have to do. When the baby spiders (That hang) start growing roots you can cut them off and plant in the same pot to fill it in quicker.

  13. brian says:

    I have 2 spider plants that are heirlooms. One is solid green, the other is variegated. My grandmother bought the mothers to these plants in the ’70s, in the late ’80s I took babies and planted them up for my mom. Now 27 years later I’m still taking babies from those. I also acquired a curly one. I got a couple babies from a friend. They are a year old and look beautiful, and they stay nice and compact.

  14. Lee says:

    Does anyone know what spider plant’s are the winter- hardiest , & who sell’s : ( 1.) Heirloom Green – Chl. Spider plant ,(2.) Zebra Grass spider plant -chl.Laxum ‘ Zebra Grass ‘ , (3.) Fast growing spider plant – chl.Vittatum , (4.)Lush Spider plant – chl.variegatum , & (5.)the Hawaiian spider plant – chl. Comosum ‘ Hawaiian ‘ ? And how much they cost each , & who are opened 24/7 , year round , who sell’s them in U.S.A. . Nurseries ? .

    • S Claggett says:

      Ebay has alot of listings for spider plants, many of the different varieties are available. Several online nurseries have them also. I’ve managed to collect 13 named varieties.

  15. Tammy says:

    I have a solid green spider plant with white flowers and blue curling petals and brown spot coloring inside What type of spider plant ?

    • S Claggett says:

      Solid green Spider could be the “original” Chlorophytum Comosum. This is the species that most varieties originate.

      • Virginia Hylton says:

        Can you tell me if this plant is safe to place in a toddler classroom. Arnuela variegada. I am a toddler classroom teacher and need to find a plant safe for my children to be around. Feedback appreciated.

  16. Roman says:

    In the 1970’s my then girlfriend took care of a greenhouse on the grounds of Orange County Community College (In NY) The greenhouse was from the turn of the last century and was part of “The Million Dollar House” which became the basis for the college.
    As I was helping her irrigate one day I saw a tiny piece of all green spider plant lying in the pathway. I put it in my pocket. Now, 40 years later and on the west coast, I have about a dozen large pots of the original. The biggest chore is keeping the stems cut off so as not to make still more.
    I didn’t know it was the rarest type.

  17. MM says:

    Picked up this little guy at a neighbourhood fruit and veg market that also sells plants in the summer. It didn’t have a marker, and they lady at the store didn’t know what it was, but it looks like a non variegated spider plant. The leaves seem a little wider than typical spider plant leaves, but it does have that similar runner w/ mini guys attached to it.

    Here’s the link to the image:

    Would love to get some input.

  18. Azam says:

    I bought a spider plant recently, learning it uses. But seems to look like I’m not doing justice to it. I dont over water or under water but it l. eaves still turn brown. I have to cut so many leaves. I have near the door with medium light. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    • Azam – Spider’s need a certain amount of humidity (at least 50 percent) on a regular basis to keep their leaves moist. To in sure this, keep a large bucket of water (preferably warm) as near the Spider as possible, especially in the Winter months when indoor air tends to become very dry. Also, either too little r too much watering, on a regular basis, will cause browning on the leaf ends. No matter what, ALWAYS be sure the Spider is in the brightest light possible for at least several hours a day. Never put directly over nor near a heat source. Make sure the chlorine is out of the water, when watering, as much as possible. Keep animals away from Spider tips.

      Good luck with your babies!! May they be many!

  19. Joyce says:

    We have a plant that looks sort of like a spider plant, but the underside of the ‘leaves’ is a mauve pink or purple. We have always called it a ‘pink spider plant’ but wondering what it really is?


  20. Freya says:

    I came across this blog as was trying to identify my plant. Not sure what plant I have. Also it has got browns pots on the Base and yellowing leaves.

  21. Freya says:

    I came across this blog as was trying to identify my plant. Not sure what plant I have. Also it has got browns pots on the Base and yellowing leaves. How can I upload the pic to find out more about my plant?

  22. Mary says:

    Hi, I have three types of spider plants that are doing very well. The all green is my most prolific. The common one doesn’t seem to like it’s spot where I have it hanging but it does okay. Reverse Variegatum I have growing profusely as well. I’d love to trade with you for a Hawaiian and a Zebra if you would like?

    Also, do you see the ones they use to catch people in the stores that seem EXTRA curly and they market them as such. I notice their babies don’t seem to root very well, if at all, and they lose their curl. What does the store (supplier) do to get such curly spiders?

  23. Mary says:

    As a side note, I once planted all three in one pot. The Reverse Variegatum took over the pot, killing the green and the variegatum ones and then, it turned completely white but grew very well. It was in an east facing window and, I think, got too much sun.

    Also, I’d love to know how your ocean spider plant did and if you have any cuttings you would like to trade?

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