There are house plant enthusiasts who are a little dismissive of the spider plant, preferring to use what space they have for species that they like more.
There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but spider plants are more interesting than we give them credit for, and this especially goes for the Curly Spider Plant.
Known botanically as Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’, the curly spider plant can feature solid green leaves or variegated foliage with a bold white stripe through each leaf.
As you might imagine, the leaves don’t drape straight down like a normal spider plant. Instead, they form fantastic shapes, each leaf an interesting curve, adding another dimension to these beautiful plants.
Not sure if the curly spider plant is for you? Here’s everything you need to know.
How To Care For Spider Plant ‘Bonnie’
Spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to care for, and this also goes for the curly spider plant, too.
Sunlight And Position
Spider plants are one of the most tolerant houseplants when it comes to lower light levels, but they will do much better in brighter light.
It’s worth noting that the variegated form of ‘Bonnie’ will fade if the plant doesn’t get enough light, and it may even revert to solid green altogether if the light is poor enough.
This is the more extreme end of things. For the most part, this plant will do well in most light conditions, and can even tolerate a couple of hours of direct sunlight.
Whatever kind of light your home has, it’s worth placing a spider plant as close to the window as possible, and this will ensure that it gets all the energy it needs.
While this plant isn’t as sensitive to drafts as other houseplants, it’s worth keeping this plant away from drafts and sources of heat, as this can damage the plant.
In terms of temperature, spider plants are houseplants for a reason. Keep the temperatures above 55°F (or 13°C) as a bare minimum, but average household temperatures will be fine for this plant.
Soil Requirements And When To Repot
Regular houseplant compost will do for a curly spider plant, but you can improve it by mixing in some perlite.
This will help aerate the soil and keep the roots strong. It’s a simple trick, but it makes all the difference in the health of the plant.
A healthy root system means that the plant will be more tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions, and it’s also more resilient to pests and disease.
You should check the drainage holes for roots every few weeks, as spider plants grow incredibly quickly in the right conditions.
Always repot when the plant is actively growing, either in spring or summer, and only go up one pot size.
When To Water Spider Plants
Spider plants like the soil to be damp, so don’t let the soil dry out between watering.
You may be worried about root rot as keeping the soil moist can be a balancing act, but if you let the top quarter of the compost dry out in between watering, this will help prevent problems.
It’s worth knowing that the leaves curl more as the soil dries out, which you can also use as a sign that the plant needs water, but don’t just rely on this. Always use your finger to measure the soil moisture.
Don’t be tempted to only give this plant a trickle of water, or sit it in a dish of water. Both extremes can cause problems, the first means that the roots will be weak and shallow, and the second will lead to fungal problems.
Should You Feed Spider Plants?
Spider plants will benefit from an occasional feed in the growing season, but it is very easy to overdo it.
If you do overfeed your spider plant, you’ll notice that it will hardly produce any plantlets, and it won’t flower, either.
Use a balanced liquid houseplant feed, following the dosage instructions, every fourth watering or so.
Do not feed any of your plants during the winter, and avoid feeding them at all if the soil is very dry, as this can damage the root system.
How To Propagate Spider Plant ‘Bonnie’
Spider plants will produce offsets with abandon, and ‘Bonnie’ is no exception. The plantlets will cascade over the sides of the pot, making a great display, and it also makes this plant much easier to propagate.
There are a few different methods when it comes to propagating spider plants, and it depends on your preferences.
One of the easiest ways is to prepare a container of soil underneath a plantlet or several, and use paper clips to pin them to the soil.
Good contact with the soil will encourage the offsets to form roots, and once this happens, cut it from the original plant.
If you prefer, you can cut the plantlets off straight away, placing them in water to develop roots. Once roots have become about an inch in length, you can transfer them into the soil.
Things To Consider When Growing A Curly Spider Plant
Is This Plant Safe For Pets?
Spider plants are considered non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses (see also 30 Non-Toxic Houseplants To Grow).
Of course, that doesn’t mean that these plants won’t be a curiosity to your pets, but if your pets decide to take a nibble of one of the leaves, it won’t be anything to worry about.
Curly Spider Plant Losing Its Curl
The leaves of a curly spider plant will straighten if you provide it with all the water it wants. Drier conditions lead to curlier leaves, but you need to be careful not to let the compost dry out completely, as this will damage the plant.
The Benefits Of Growing A Curly Spider Plant
Curly spider plants are just as simple to care for as normal spider plants, and it helps that they are easy to propagate, giving you new plants for free with very little effort.
Spider plants are also known to help purify the air inside your home a little, removing harmful pollutants from the air such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
Brown Leaf Tips And What They Mean
Spider plants can develop brown leaf tips if the soil moisture is wrong, either being boggy or bone-dry, but it can also be an indication of other problems. It can be low humidity, overfertilizing your plant, or even a sensitivity to tap water.
Yellowing Or Brown Leaves On A Curly Spider Plant
If you find that the leaves on your curly spider plant are going yellow or even brown, the most common reason is that the soil is either getting too wet or too dry for too long.
Check the state of the soil with your finger. If the compost is too dry, give it a thorough soaking. If it’s too wet, move it somewhere warmer to dry out better, and scale back the watering.
The curly spider plant doesn’t require any special treatment, and creates a focal point in any home, whether that’s in a hanging basket, on a shelf, or in a plant stand.