Most of us know Chlorophytum comosum (kloh-roh-FY-tum kom-OH-sum) as the spider plant. The Curly Spider plant or Bonnie is a compact variety with curly, swirly leaves.
The Curly Spider plant (airplane plant), is a member of the family Asparagaceae and hails from southern Africa. In its native setting, it is a perennial plant, but it is grown as a houseplant in cooler climates.
The plants’ genus name, Chlorophytum, is a combination of the Greek words chloros and phyton, which together mean green plant.
Bonnie Curly Spider Plant Care
Size & Growth
Bonnie is more compact than most Spider Plants and can grow to be 8″ inches tall with an equal spread.
Like most Spider Plant leaves, Bonnie’s leaves are green and white stripe variegation.
Unlike its cousin, the Curly Spider plant has curly leaves.
Flowering & Fragrance
When kept indoors, Curly Spider plant may not flower at all.
When kept outdoors, it produces small, fragrant, star-shaped white flowers.
The flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
Expect blooms throughout the spring and summer.
Light & Temperature
These plants do well in partial shade to full shade. If kept as a houseplant, choose a location with bright indirect light for best results.
The best temperature for Spider Plants is between 55° – 70° degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow the temperature to drop below 45° degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering & Feeding
Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater. Reduce watering in the wintertime. For more read our article on Watering Spider Plants.
Avoid excessive fertilizing. Too much fertilizer will limit your plants’ ability to produce plantlets.
Spider Plants store extra nutrients in their tubers, so heavy fertilization is unnecessary.
In caring for spider plants provide a weak liquid fertilizer once a month throughout the growing season. Don’t fertilize at all in the wintertime.
Soil & Transplanting
The hardy curly spider plant does best in a light, well-draining soil. Repot annually in the springtime.
The thick, fibrous roots can actually burst their containers if left unattended.
Provide plantlets with their own pots of fresh potting soil as needed.
Grooming & Maintenance
Trim off brown tips and any yellow foliage as it occurs.
NOTE: These are indications that your conditions are not ideal. You may need to adjust your watering, temperature and/or lighting.
How To Propagate Curly Spider Plant
A big part of the charm of the curly Spider Plant is the cute little air plants it produces when conditions are right.
When days are short and nights are long and uninterrupted by lighting, the Spider Plant will produce little baby spider plantlets.
Trim these air plants off, pot them up and treat as mature plants.
Bonnie Curly Spider Plant Pests or Diseases
Like most plants, Chlorophytum is susceptible to root rot if left to stand in water. Waterlogged plants may also become more subject to infestation by pests such as:
- Spider Mites
Low humidity and too little water can cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown. Too much fluoride or salt in the water will also cause this problem.
Plants kept in too much sunlight will have scalded leaves.
Is The Curly Spider Plant Considered Poisonous or Toxic?
Spider Plants are actually grown as a food crop in their native South Africa.
Suggested Chlorophytum Comosum Bonnie Uses
In warm climates, Bonnie grow outdoors in containers or as a groundcover year-round. These pretty plants look great filling a hanging basket or cascading over a wall in bright indirect light.
Spider Plant makes a nice edging along a shady walkway. It is a good under-planting for shrubs borders.
Indoors, place your Curly Spider Plant on a pedestal, high shelf or in a hanging basket. These plants love fluorescent light, so they make a nice choice as a bathroom plant or an office plant.