Spider Plant Light Requirements: What Lighting Does Chlorophytum Need?

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Even if you hate spiders, you’ll probably consider owning a spider plant at some point in your life.

This is because Chlorophytum comosum (kloh-roh-FY-tum kom-OH-sum) is pet-safe and child (and amateur adult) friendly. It was one of the first plants certified by NASA to be an effective air purifier.

light requirements of spider plantsPin

These hardy little perennials love hanging planters or trailing down the side of a bookcase. They are a perfect choice for a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom due to their ability to handle a wide range of conditions.

For those interested in adopting their very first spider plant, the exact amount of necessary light your plant will need can get confusing. There are many different amounts given, often with no explanation.

Fear not, as here you’ll learn the “whys” and “how much” of spider plant light requirements.

What Are The Spider Plant Light Requirements?

Spider plants can thrive in almost any light level, preferring bright, indirect sunlight to shade.

Depending on the variety of spider plant, the ideal amount of light can vary.

How Much Light Do Spider Plants Need?

The basic spider plant can survive low light conditions, artificial light, or partial sun.

As with most plants, the leaves of a spider plant contain chlorophyll. It allows the plant to process available light into vital bonding agents for sugars.

There are six different types of chlorophyll, each designed to absorb a different amount of light.

Indoor potted plant on windowsill.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @gardendesignmag

This is why leaves tend to be darker green in shade (chlorophyll B), instead of those in bright light (chlorophyll A).

A variegated plant often has portions that lack chlorophyll, leading to the white or light yellow markings. They also need more light than non-variegated varieties.

Related: What Do Yellow Leaves On Spider Plants Mean?

Variegated Spider Plant Light Requirements

As mentioned, a variegated spider plant has portions of a leaf that lacks chlorophyll. This means it requires more light to process sugars than a non-variegated variety.

The ideal amount of light for a variegated spider plant is a bright, indirect light or artificial fluorescent lighting such as those found in an office setting.

In lower light conditions, the plant begins producing more chlorophyll to use available light. The plant’s leaves then darken and lose their variegation.

You can restore the leaves to their variegated state by increasing the amount of available light. The plant will no longer need as much chlorophyll.

Light And Flowering

Most long-time spider plant enthusiasts aren’t even aware that their spider plants can bloom. There are many unique requirements for this to happen.

To help get your spider plant to bloom, research whether your variety blooms early or late in life. Then pick a spot near a window where the plant can get more sun without direct rays.

While this won’t guarantee you’ll get blooms, it will increase your chances.

Hanging spider plant by a window.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @kaylascuttings

Why Direct Sunlight Is Dangerous

Spider plants come from forests where the trees filter sunlight.

As a result, the leaves and stems are more tender than plants used to growing without any shelter.

Leaving a spider plant exposed to direct sunlight can result in sunburn in a short period.

But, Spider Plants Can Grow Outside!

Indoor spider plant by windowPin
Photo Credit: Instagram @tiabotanista

Always place some form of barrier between the plant and direct sunlight. Try a sheer curtain, placing it in a spot where a tree can filter the light, or offset it from your sun-facing windows.

Spider Plant Low Light Tips

Growing a spider plant in low light conditions is sometimes unavoidable.

For plants such as these, try a non-variegated variety.

You may also wish to swap the plant with one in a sunnier location every few weeks. Or rotate the plant itself so different parts have better access to light.

Remember that a spider plant in low light conditions will grow slower due to the reduced amount of energy it can produce.

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