Chlorophytum, Airplane Plant, Variegated Spider Plant 'Variegatum'

Chlorophytum comosum

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Chlorophytum (kloh-roh-FY-tum) (Info)
Species: comosum (kom-OH-sum) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegatum


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Plant is viviparous

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Lamar, Arkansas

August, California

Canoga Park, California

Canyon Country, California

Clovis, California

Coalinga, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Huntington Beach, California

Long Beach, California(2 reports)

Merced, California

Norwalk, California

Oak View, California

Oakland, California

Oakley, California

Pomona, California

Rancho Cucamonga, California

San Diego, California

Venice, California

Villa Park, California

Visalia, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Arvada, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Hamden, Connecticut

Norwich, Connecticut

Bartow, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Islamorada, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(4 reports)

Key Largo, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lake Panasoffkee, Florida

Lecanto, Florida(2 reports)

Melbourne, Florida

North Port, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Pensacola, Florida(2 reports)

Port Richey, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Stuart, Florida

Tampa, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Braselton, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Lilburn, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Waleska, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Chillicothe, Illinois

Itasca, Illinois

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Deridder, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Richmond, Maine

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Leakesville, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Independence, Missouri

Alden, New York

New York City, New York

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Rowland, North Carolina

Hilliard, Ohio

Newalla, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon(7 reports)

Saint Marys, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Lancaster, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Johnson City, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Alvin, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Baytown, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corsicana, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Dickinson, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Katy, Texas

Midlothian, Texas

Nome, Texas

North Richland Hills, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Portland, Texas

Richardson, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

Spicewood, Texas

Sulphur Springs, Texas

Wimberley, Texas

Saint George, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 30, 2015, Delayneplants from Grand Portage, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Totally love the Spider plants I have. They are excellent air purifiers and are great with sending out baby shoots. They actually thrive on abuse so are perfect houseplants for those who don't think they can grow anything. When mine get completely root bound I either re-pot into a larger planter or I cut off the very large, white tubers. Once they are root bound is when they start producing their baby sprouts. When you water them and notice the water does not drain into the dirt as it should, pull them out of their pot, because this is a prime example of being too root bound.


On Nov 9, 2011, agave57 from St. David, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've been experimenting with growing this plant outside in NYC. It was 15 degrees last winter but it came back. The roots seem to be pretty hardy.


On Aug 22, 2010, marksgrdn from Stockton, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

ok, so i have about 6 of these guys i had in a dish type pot that just didnt seem to be growing at all. stayed out on the exposed deck during the winter (nor-cal) got plenty of water from the rain. these are babies a friend from work gave me. been in this pot for about a yr now and no growth. so i decided to put them in a strawberry pot since it was collecting dust anyway. upon moving them to their new pot, i couldnt believe how the root system had taken over the old pot. so why no plant growth ? also within the root system, i noticed there are water reservoirs in the roots ! they seem to be happy in the strawberry pot, we'll see if there will be some new growth. are they generally this slow a grower ?


On May 7, 2010, pgcarroll from Belleair, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have always just called mine "spider plants" because I never knew the variety, however, from the photos of this variety, this is what we have. When we lived in Merritt Island, FL, we had these massed under live oaks. They took care of choking out all weeds since they form a dense mass. They are easy to keep in bounds, though, by simply pulling up the babies and even larger plants that continually form. I do this about once a year to keep them where I want them. These are great shade plants that provide lovely, contrasting color with their variegated form. Ours got a little nipped in the several freezes we had this year (they are in the ground - again very close to oaks), but they didn't suffer much at all. They are now (May) fully back to their beautiful form. When we moved from ... read more


On May 11, 2008, emcic from Austin, TX wrote:

I got one little spin-off of this probably 10 years ago from a friend, and I now use it as an accent plant outside in pots and borders various places, all outside. It dies back in our mild winters, and I do mulch over it, but it always comes back. It can get scorched in direct sun, and it does crowd out others: it's a beautiful, bright, interesting plant!


On Aug 14, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

this plant is quite hardy, mine went through an unexpected cold spell in spring, the lowest temp was 21 F, it even stayed green! not only that but it has 2 flower stalks, and is thriving in full sun .i would rate this plant in Zone 8. i will mulch mine this winter and see what happens

ups, i thin i killed it. i forgot to cover it, and it was un-expectedly hit by 7F. the forcast called for 14 F the night before. only time will tell


On Jul 20, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

I first encountered this plant at my aunt and uncle's house in Long Beach, California. My aunt called it an 'airplane plant'. These plants are very hardy. We have a big pot sitting outside with dozens of 'spiders' hanging down -- and this plant has had to endure huge swings in temperature. It apparently likes to share, because after I trimmed some spiders it began to produce 10 times as many spiders as before. We had a plant about 15 years ago that had been kept in an apartment with a cute little old lady who (unfortunately for her) smoked a lot (she developed throat cancer and died), and the plant that we inherited gave off smoke fumes for a long time. Anyway -- great plant...hangs well, sits on columns with elan, and is easy to care for...can't beat that!


On Nov 11, 2006, louisianamom from Southern, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Grows great here in Louisiana. Very easy to care for, not expensive either. Multiplies easily!


On May 11, 2006, amyl411 from Rancho Cucamonga, CA wrote:

I'm in So. California where it gets up to 115 degrees in the summer. I have this in the shade outside where it gets plenty of light and gets late afternoon shade. It has done very well for me in the 2 years I've had it. And have gotten approx 10 plants from each one. And had to split it twice in 2 years. I water it every other day. It does get brown ends in the summer but I just snip them off and it doesn't hurt it one bit. It does produce long outward stems with tiny flowers in the warmer weather. During the mid afternoon when the sun hits it, the leaves "lift" up. And goes back down in the shade. Very cute. Highly recommend it for all gardeners.


On Oct 27, 2005, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A great plant for the beginner or anyone who wants something easy, that multiplies fast and looks good in hanging baskets or cascading off shelves.
They benefit from spending the summers outdoors.
One of the best natural air cleaners as well.
Andy P


On Aug 30, 2005, KiMFDiM from Alden, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant is so easy to grow, it was one of my first plants when I was 10 years old. Will stand neglect, bounces right back when you get to it should you neglect...don't recommend, though!


On Nov 6, 2004, OCGF from Saint George, UT (Zone 8b) wrote:

I was surprised to find out that this plant is hardy in zone 8b. It dies back in winter but it comes back!!



On Jun 19, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here in San Diego this plant grows in the ground like a weed and can take over a large area in short order. Nevertheless it is curiously attractive in the way it propagates. WTH 6-19-04.


On Jun 18, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I never really was crazy for this plant. You see them everywhere, so they were "old hat" and "boring" to me. Then I found some on sale for $5 for a BIG basket and got one ~ had a lot of empty space to fill up on a new porch and figured it would work for now. I've fallen in LOVE with it since then and will never be without one again! I can't believe I've missed out on growing this wonderfully easy to grow, beautiful plant with adorable little white blooms for so many years because I was being a "plant snob". LOLOL! If you've never tried spider plants because they're too "ordinary", get one! Tomorrow!


On Jun 1, 2004, Osteole from Lamar, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

As a child my mother had these growing in containers, the "airplane" babies streaming over the side. She gave me my own airplane plant when I purchased my home.

One year while dividing my indoor plant some of the soil/roots were dropped into a southern facing area containing Hostas. The next year tada! Outdoor growing airplane plant! I never moved the plant and for the past 3 years its been growing outdoors with the Hostas.

It dies back with the winter, but come back up with the Hostas.


On Dec 17, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have 4 varieties of this plant. Do not know the names - just call them "plain green" (streamers grow very long), variegated, reverse (streamers shorter) and one that vaguely resembles the variegated has shortest streamers.

I used to bring mine inside in freezing weather until a friend of mine showed me one she has growing in standing water which remains outside 24/7/365. In the winter the water in the container freezes over. Since then I quit bringing mine in and they've been fine.

A plain green planted in a very large planter sits on the railing of my upstairs deck and the streamers hang down below the floor of the deck. It's "babies" had produced "babies" which had produced "babies".

This fall I was inspecting the mass of streamers and not... read more


On Dec 16, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I have kept my spider houseplants going since the late 1980's. I currently am growing them in colored, glazed, ceramic "strawberry" pots that I put on plant pedestals. When I plant one I put the larger spider plants in the top of the pot, and the smaller ones in the little openings around the sides of the pots, and after a year or so they all have cascading babies. My oldest pot is quite large now.


On Dec 16, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is claimed to have remarkable abilities for removing indoor air pollutants.

I've seen it used here as a shade tolerant groundcover with mixed results. It is very easy to grow and spreads rather quickly, but because of its somewhat thin cover, weeds can quickly encraoch. In areas of intense sun exposure, it always looks ragged.


On Jul 7, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

i have two beds full of the spider plant in the shade. no pruning, or dead heading, a great self propagating plant.


On Jun 21, 2003, EvelynDeR from Montgomery, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had success with this plant as a house plant even though air is rather dry in my home with heating system I have. Also have some in a flower bed underneath the cover of my carport. It gets killed in winter but comes back quickly when weather gets warm and the bed is watered again. Runners make more plants each season.


On Jun 20, 2003, cotyke from Zurich, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have always had great luck growing spider plants in Ontario, Canada. Just remember to water them and they thrive really well, also bring them back indoors come cold weather. I also read that NASA also reports the spider plant to be one of the top 10 best plants to have to clean the air in your home. I recomend this plant to anyone for growing!


On Jun 1, 2003, easter0794 from Seffner, FL wrote:

I have a Spider Plant grouping outside near my hot tub. In zone 9a, it has no problems. We rarely see frost so nothing gets in the way of this hardy plant.


On Oct 25, 2002, whitebear from Pensacola, FL wrote:

A beautiful carefree plant as far as my experience goes, in fact, if you leave it alone beyond watering it you will find that you have clumps growing below your hanging basket. The flowers mature into new plants with an airbourne root system, throw them in a pot with average soil and they will continue to propagate, leave them and they seem to drop and propagate on their own. Above zone 7 though, take them inside when the temperature is going to be below freezing for more than a few hours(Just being on the safe side)


On Aug 31, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A healthy, mature spider plant can form a clump 3 ft tall and across, with wiry stems cascading out as much as 5 ft. This plant does not tolerate frost, but can be grown in Zone 8 where it will die to the ground but quickly revives with the return of warmer temperatures. Indoors it is happy at normal room temperatures.


On Sep 11, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a clump forming perennial that is usually grown as a house plant in hanging baskets.I keep mine outside for the summer and bring in for the winter.As the plants mature they send out thin stems up to 2 feet long and get about 12 inches tall. Small star shaped flowers may appear or rosettes of leaves giving the plant the appearance of spiders dangling from strings. The more root bound the plant the more offsets it will have. Best in bright but indirect light does okay in sun but needs afternoon shade. Has a similar growth habit as C. comosum, except the leaves tend to be slightly wider and more succulent than the parent species. This cultivar has white and green striped leaves. The green stripes are on the outer edges of the leaves with white and thin green stripes running from the b... read more