Mixing spider plants
by Andrew S.
(Ithaca, NY, U.S.)
I am making some little starter pots for a friend of mine and I was going to give her some spider plants.
I currently own three different kinds. I believe they are a Variegatum (White Stripe), Bonnie and the basic Chlorophytum comosum. I was thinking of mixing in a Variegatum and a few Bonnie babies. I just wanted to make sure that there wouldn't be any issues with one type trying to kill the other off.
I should probably submit this as a separate question, but while I'm here... When a spider plant has been around for a while it seems that their leaves start to die or lose color, or the tips die, what should I do? Leave it? Cut it back? Or just plant some babies and start over?
Drought Smart Plants reply:
The only issue I can see possibly happening with mixing the different kinds of spider plant is that some - the variegated ones - are a little less vigorous, so if you have the plain green ones these might take over and become the dominant plant. I'm not familiar with the Bonnie variety, so I'll have to decline to answer that one.
The issue you refer to with the browning leaf tips seems to be associated with dry air, so to prevent it make sure you have either a humidifier (especially if you have an air conditioner) and also water with either rain water (if possible) or tap water that has been left open for a while to dissipate the chlorine. These plants are sensitive to some chemicals, especially salts from a water softening unit.
As they're so prolific with their production of offsets maybe this isn't an issue, and you can just propagate a few new plants to take the place of the worn out ones.