Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spider Plants

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Though this vibrant plant has a creepy-crawly name, no plant-lover should shy away from the graceful spider plant. This arching plant is perfect for beginning gardeners. Not only is it easy to care for, but spider plants make a beautiful hanging or tabletop plant. Good for beauty and good for you?what?s not to love?

spider plants

The spider plant, also known as chlorophytum comosum or spider ivy, gets its name from its spider-like shape and ability to grow baby plants from trailing stems. Known for their green and white, almost ribbon-like leaves and air purifying qualities, these plants are a great addition to any home jungle.

These plants are originally native to tropical and southern Africa, but they thrive all over the world and make great houseplants for homes in a variety of climates. In the warmer months, you might even see these plants branch out and bloom small white flowers!

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Spider Plants Care

Spider plants are easy peasy houseplants to take care of. But to really let your spider plant flourish and be healthy, you?ll want to make sure to try and follow these care tips.

Location

Spider plants dream of bright, indirect light and a little humidity, but they?ll grow happily in a variety of conditions. They love hanging planters and tabletop pots, so they make perfect d?cor in any empty spot you may have in your home.

The spider plant grows best in temperatures between 18?C ? 32?C. They can grow in temperatures as low as 2?C, so no matter where you are, the spider plant will likely be a great plant for you.

A bright bathroom or living room would be ideal for these plants, but if you have other ideas, they won?t complain!

Spider plant with low light setting

Sun

If you only have space in in your home, the spider plant won?t mind. However, they?ll thrive the most in bright indirect light. Given a bright spot in your home, you might notice your spider plant?s green and white stripes become more prominent.

Be careful, as direct sunlight will burn the leaves. If you only have windows with direct sunlight, investing in a sheer curtain is an easy way to give your spider plant shelter from the sun.

Water

The spider plant will thank you if you let about half the soil dry out between waterings. When it?s , give it a generous shower, allowing all excess water to drain out of the pot and discarding any that might have accumulated in a saucer.

Spider plants don?t mind a drier environment, but they?re happiest with a little bit of humidity, so investing in a mister or for these beauties is a good idea if you?re looking to give your spider plant the very best.

Soil

Because the spider plant is so tolerant, it will do alright with most types of soil as long as your pot has good drainage and you don?t overwater. Of course, I always recommend to give your plant the best chance of fighting off root rot and sogginess.

Fertilizer

Over-fertilization can cause brown tips to appear on the leaves of your spider plant, so I recommend fertilizing sparingly. Try giving spider plants every 2-3 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer), and if you start to see the leaves brown, hold off on fertilizing for a couple more weeks before trying again.

houseplant fertilizer

Common Issues

Spider plants are notorious for developing brown bits at the tips of their leaves. Try not to panic?this is very normal and does not harm the plant. The spider plant is sensitive to the fluoride that is often in our water, a chemical that can cause a salt buildup in the soil. If you?re looking to go the extra mile for your plant, you can try watering with filtered water or even rainwater!

Another cause of brown tips might be underwatering. If you let your spider plant dry out too much between waterings the tips of the leaves will go first, but with a healthy drink and a good drain you should see your plant bounce back in no time.

spider plant babies

How to Propagate Spider Plants

is at its easiest with the beloved spider plant. During the warmer months, these plants will grow long, trailing stems that put out small white flowers that eventually become spider plant babies, also called offsets or pups. They look like baby spiders hanging onto the mother plant.

When you see these spider plant babies grow to at least an inch tall, clip them free of the mother plant with clean scissors and transplant them into fresh soil or water to develop roots.

A mature spider plant will often grow many offsets at the same time, so if your house is full, these baby plants make excellent gifts to all the plant-lovers in your life!

Frequently Asked Questions About Spider Plants

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Cats?

The spider plant is not , but it is good to note that sometimes cats will snack on plants to settle their stomachs, so you might notice them throw up after having a nibble.

For those of you with curious furry friends, I recommend keeping your spider plant in a hanging pot that can be kept out of reach of your cats, but if they do manage to reach it, they?re in no danger!

What Are Spider Plants Good For?

Spider plants are powerful air purifiers! They can absorb and filter toxins in the air, such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and xylene. However, you will need a significant amount of houseplants to really notice the effects.

They also increase the humidity of your home. If you?ve hung your spider plant near a window, you might see condensation on the glass after a little while, emitted from the spider plant.

They?re one of the easiest plants to grow for beginners and you will be rewarded with plenty of spider plant babies to cut and turn into more plants. They?re a win-win-win!

Can I Have Spider Plants in My Bedroom?

If you?re looking for some leafy additions to your bedroom, the spider plant is a great choice. Because of its air purifying superpowers, hanging or placing a spider plant in your bedroom is a great way to make sure the air you breathe at night is clean, allowing you to sleep soundly.

Plus, who wouldn?t want to see these thriving beauties before going to sleep?

That should be everything you need to know to have a happy, healthy spider plant in your home. Be sure to let me know of any other questions or concerns you have in the comments down below.

More Houseplants to Grow

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Aloe vera is one of the best houseplants and ornamentals to grow. Not only do they add a pop of green with their thick, fleshy leaves, but they also are a wonderful medicinal plant to have handy. To make sure you get the most out of your plant, follow these aloe plant care tips!

aloe vera plant as seen from above

While I focus most of my time outside and in the garden, there are a few houseplants I hold near and dear to my heart. Of course, the aloe vera is one of them.

Most of the time, we grow houseplants for their beauty and to add a touch of life inside for year-round green. However, most houseplants don?t provide us with many of the healing properties that I love so much about my outdoor plants.

types of aloe plants

But the aloe vera is the best of both worlds. Very easy to grow and take care of, aloe vera is one of the first plants I recommend that herbalists grow. Its fleshy green leaves provide amazing benefits to the skin when applied directly. And some climates can even grow it outside!

Enjoy the beauty of this plant all while keeping it handy for when you need it the most.

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cut and stacked aloe vera leaves showing the inner gel

Aloe Vera Uses

Aloe vera is actually one of the world?s oldest plants known for medicinal uses. While native to eastern and southern Africa, you can now find it in most corners of the world as it?s a highly adaptable plant.

People use aloe vera most as a skin-healing plant. It?s anti-bacterial and antiseptic, killing bacteria and fungi to clean cuts and wounds. The pH level of the plant matches our skin to help cleanse it. For this very reason, I used it in one of my .

Some even use aloe vera as a laxative and digestion aid. And boy, does it work well! Be careful as it can get too effective at times and cause intestinal cramping and griping.

how to care for an aloe vera plant

But of course, everyone knows the aloe vera as your best friend after a day out in the sun by reducing inflammation and pain from sunburns. Even the most diligent sunscreen wearers like myself can get a little pink after a day out at the beach. The plant is most potent when applied directly from the plant.

You can see just how I use aloe vera to treat sunburns and all the other properties of the plant in my .

Cut Aloe Vera leaf

Types of Aloe Plants

Every type of aloe will have some different care requirements, but for the most part, they all are low-maintenance beauties. Here are some of the most popular types of aloe you might encounter.

Aloe barbadensis

When you refer to aloe vera, you?re referring to the Aloe barbadensis. This is the main plant I?ll be talking about today.  It?s the most common aloe plant used for skincare and ingesting as it?s packed with all the herbal benefits listed above. Grow this plant to use for your sunburns and other medicinal uses.

To identify it, look for whitish spots on the leaves that disappear as the plant ages. It also has serrated edges and yellow flowers when in bloom.

aloe vera plant in a metal pot

Aloe cameronii

One of the most popular ornamental aloes is the Aloe cameronii. A little more wild and spindly looking, it has long and curving serrated leaves. The leaf colour depends on the amount of sun and water it gets, but most people grow it to get the brilliant red copper colour. You may also see red-orange flowers blooming in the late fall.

Aloe cameronii

Aloe aristata

Also known as the lace aloe, many people grow this type of aloe for its compact shape and unique-looking leaves. The tufted leaves have lacy white edges, tiny teeth, and small white raised dots.

Depending on the light, it can be pale to dark green. It grows in clumps and can produce red-orange flowers.  

Aloe aristata

Aloe polphylla

If you want to grow an aloe with a wow factor, grow the Aloe polyphylla. Known as the spiral aloe, it creates amazing visual interest in the garden winds tiverton series 3 gazebo replacement canopy riplock 350_700048 as it forms a spiral shape. The leaves are fleshy, triangular in shape, and serrated. While it doesn?t bloom often, you may see salmon-pink flowers on it.

Aloe polyphylla

Aloe maculata

You can identify this aloe by the distinctive white spots on the leaves and edges. A low-growing ornamental, it also produces red tubular flowers. Some call this type of aloe the soap aloe as locals would use the plant to make a soapy lather in water.

Aloe maculata

How to Care For An Aloe Vera Plant

While fairly easy to care for, you still want to give your aloe vera the best growing conditions possible to get a healthy, big plant. This way, you can harvest from it often and use it to treat your sunburns.

aloe plant care

Indoor Aloe Vera Plant Care

Treat your indoor aloe vera plant like any other indoor succulent or cactus. The main difference in care is that aloe vera tends to be more tolerant of low light. It likes bright indirect light. Too much direct light can make the leaves dry out and turn yellow. Instead, keep it in a sunny room away from the window and glass.

Aloe vera plants enjoy well-draining soil made of equal parts potting soil and sand. When the soil stays moist all the time, it can lead to root rot which can be identified by brown or limp leaves.

To avoid root tot, don?t ever let the aloe vera sit in a saucer of water. Water every couple of weeks. When watering, give it a thorough drink and then let it dry out completely before watering it again.

The plant enjoys tight spaces since it has shallow roots. You will want to put it in a pot just big enough that the plant doesn?t tip over from its weight.

Aloe vera plants often produce offshoots from the parent plant that you can and put in a new pot.

propgagting aloe vera plants

Outdoor Aloe Vera Plant Care

Outdoor aloe vera plants thrive in hot, humid climates and are considered fairly drought tolerant. They?re hardy up to -2?C and 28?F, or zones 8-11.

Aloe vera plants need well-draining soil with lots of organic matter. They hate having wet feet, where the soil stays wet for long periods of time. Before planting, make sure to mix in a healthy dose of with the soil, especially if you have clay or boggy soils for better drainage.

Outdoors, plant your aloe vera in part shade or direct sun. While they are tolerant of shade, too much of it makes the soil for the aloe vera too wet and the plant more suspectable to pests and diseases.

If you grow an aloe vera outside in a container, use a and water more frequently. In a pot, they are more prone to getting burnt from the sun.

burned aloe vera plant

Frequently Asked Questions About Aloe Plant Care

Why Does My Aloe Vera Plant Have Brown Tips?

Brown tips indicate that the plant is either not getting enough water or is receiving too much sun as an indication of burning. Aloe vera plants prefer bright, indirect sun.

However, be wary of overwatering as it can quickly lead to root rot. If the plant has limp brown leaves or black spots, it?s a sign of overwatering.

Should I Cut the Brown Tips Off Of My Aloe Vera Plant?

You can certainly cut off brown tips or browning leaves. This indicates that that part of the plant is dead and cutting it allows you to direct the plant?s energy to the parts that are still growing and green. The cut tip will seal on its own.

How Often Do Aloe Vera Plants Need Sun?

Aloe vera plants may be shade tolerant, but they still require six hours a day of bright indirect light. If it doesn?t get enough sun, the soil may stay moist for too long causing root rot. The stems can also grow weak and make the plant more susceptible to pests and diseases.

When Should I Repot My Aloe Vera?

Aloe vera plants can get top-heavy as they grow bigger. Since they like shallow pots, you won?t need to repot your plant until it physically starts to fall over. You can also repot the plant if the soil is in need of a refresh or there are too many offshoots.

Does Aloe Vera Grow Back After Cutting It?

Once you cut a leaf, that same leaf won?t regrow. However, the plant will continue to produce new leaves to replace it. When harvesting an aloe vera, take the older outer parts of the plant first. If you find yourself in need of a new plant, with one of the little offshoots.

aloe vera plant in a metal pot close up

That covers everything there is to know about aloe vera care! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments down below.  

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In just minutes with a few basic ingredients, you can make your own powerful and 100% natural cleaner. With it, you can disinfect all your surfaces from granite countertops to the bathroom sink with nothing but the scent of lavender left behind. Follow this recipe to make a DIY all-purpose cleaner with a disinfecting alcohol base.

DIY all-purpose cleaner with lavender

Lavender is all the rage now in home cleaning. Except, most of the products that have lavender ?scent? don?t really smell like lavender and have a strong artificial fragrance (I?m looking at you Method).

Before there were grocery store aisles full of commercial cleaning products, people made their own cleaners. Over time, we?ve lost the simple art of combining household ingredients to keep our house spotless and fresh.

This natural all-purpose cleaner is the perfect introduction for those looking to get started with making their own cleaning products. Not only is it simple to make, but the alcohol-base makes it a powerful disinfectant as well. It stores well and has many uses all over the house. You can use it for any surface your heart desires!

When it comes to green cleaning, you can feel safe knowing that you?re not using any unnecessary chemicals throughout your home. So go ahead and soak in that freshly cleaned bathtub completely guilt-free for your skin and the environment.

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lavender cleaner

The Power Ingredients for This Natural Cleaner

This recipe does not call for many ingredients at all! Together, this simple trio will disinfect your surfaces and leave your house smelling fresh and clean.

Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia is an herbal antiseptic and oil solvent that excels at cleansing and soothing the skin. Lavender?s gentle fragrance , but its cleaning power packs a punch!

Adding lavender essential oil to recipes is beneficial for your skin and the surfaces you?re cleaning. This lavender cleaner is also wonderful in the shower to prevent mildew.

fresh cut lavender

Castile Soap

Castile soap is a specific olive oil soap that comes from Castile, Spain. For this recipe, Castile soap refers to any plant-based liquid soap. It can be made from olive, coconut, avocado, or other plant oils.

This biodegradable, non-toxic soap comes as a concentrate, so it should be diluted to the proper level. I always choose an unscented soap as my base and add my own essential oils.

Vodka or Isopropyl Alcohol

For this recipe, you can use any inexpensive, clear alcohol. I chose vodka and avoided the top-shelf brands. Ethanol, found in grain alcohol or vodka, is a gentler alcohol disinfectant than isopropyl alcohol. Ethanol is a natural by-product of plant fermentation, and the alcohol content varies. Vodka, for instance, is typically around 40% alcohol. At that concentration, it will not kill viruses, but it is still an exceptional disinfectant.

Isopropyl alcohol is sold as a mixture of isopropanol and water. It is labelled based on the amount of alcohol it contains, like 70% or 99.9%. This type of alcohol is readily absorbed into the skin and can be toxic at high doses.

The purest form (99.9%) of isopropyl alcohol evaporates quickly and can be breathed into your lungs. When it is denatured with additives like water, the alcohol content is reduced to between 68% and 72%, and it is sold as rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is used as a medical antiseptic and industrial disinfectant and is generally considered safe for home use in small amounts.

natural cleaner

Does This DIY All-Purpose Cleaner Disinfect?

Health authorities recommend a solution of at least 60% to 70% alcohol to kill viruses. If you want to make a sanitizer that will reduce your chances of catching viruses, it?s necessary to include alcohol.

Vodka is only around 40% alcohol which makes this recipe around 8% alcohol. This isn?t sufficient to kill viruses but is good for disinfecting counters.

If you?d like to increase the alcohol content of this recipe, use 99.9% isopropyl alcohol, which will bring the final product to 20% alcohol. In order to sanitize a counter using at least 60% alcohol to address viruses, use my recipe for or instead.

If you use isopropyl alcohol, it?s important to do a spot check on your skin or the surface you?re cleaning first and wait twenty-four hours for a reaction.

lavender oil for an all purpose cleaner

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner With Lavender and Alcohol

I hate the smell of chemical cleaners and their artificial scents. Whenever I make my own recipes, I make sure to use scents I will actually enjoy while cleaning and after I?m all done wiping and scrubbing. Not only does this lavender cleaner smell wonderful, but works hard for your home.

Materials

Makes 880 ml of cleaner. For exact measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Water
  • Clear alcohol vodka or
lavender natural cleaner

Make It

  1. Measure the water and alcohol.
  2. Add the water, alcohol, and Castile soap to the spray bottle using a beaker or funnel.
  3. Add the lavender essential oil.
  4. Cap the bottle and shake well to combine.
  5. Shake well before each use. Spray counters and wipe with a soft cloth.
natural all purpose cleaner

Frequently Asked Questions About This DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

What Surfaces Can I Use This Cleaner On?

This recipe is useful for spraying and wiping down all kinds of surfaces such as kitchen counters, sinks, bathroom surfaces, door handles, and more.

This alcohol-based cleaner is much gentler on your home surfaces but still tough on surface messes. It?s safe for use on granite countertops, although you may prefer to use this .

How Long Will This Natural Cleaner Last?

The alcohol content in this recipe will prevent bacteria and mold growth. However, its potency will wane over time. Discard any unused cleaner after one year to be safe.

Avoid contamination by sterilizing bottles, equipment, and surfaces before mixing your products, and always wash your hands thoroughly before and after mixing. Factors such as temperature, storage conditions, sanitation when preparing the recipes, and the quality of the ingredients, may also impact shelf life.

How Can I Store This Natural All-Purpose Cleaner?

Store the finished products in a cool, dark space when not in use. Make recipes in small batches and discard any that have taken on a different appearance, colour, or smell since you created them.

lavender DIY all purpose cleaner

If you have any more questions regarding how to use natural cleaners, feel free to leave them in the comments down below.

More Homemade Cleaners to Try

DIY all-purpose cleaner

DIY All Purpose Cleaner With Lavender and Alcohol

Use this diy all-purpose cleaner for all the surfaces in the house that need refreshing and disinfecting. Makes 880 ml of cleaner.

Equipment

  • 1

Supplies

  • 700 ml water
  • 175 ml (vodka or isopropyl alcohol)
  • 8 drops
  • 10 drops

Instructions

  • Measure your alcohol and water.
  • Use a beaker or funnel to add your water, alcohol, and Castile soap to your spray bottle.
  • Add in your drops of essential oil.
  • Add the lid to your bottle and shake to combine.
  • Before each use, shake well.
  • Store in a cool, dark space. Discard any unused cleaner after one year.

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