The variegated Purple Spider Plant is a unique variety of normal spider plants. It has beautiful purple leaves and produces violet flowers in the winter season.
It also removes 90% of the toxins from indoor air.
To keep your indoor purple spider plant healthy, you must give it the proper amount of light, water, and fertilizers. Spray neem oil to keep it disease-free and to prevent pest attacks. Keep humidity on the higher side to prevent brown leaf tips.
In this post, you will learn how to grow and care for Spider plant purple and the easiest method of propagation. We will also talk about troubleshooting problems.
What is Purple Spider Plant?
Purple Spider Plant is a family member of Asparagaceae and the genus Chlorophytum. It has beautiful purple variegated leaves.
In ideal growing conditions, this plant produces violet color flowers. This is the reason it is also called Purple Queen Spider Plant.
It is naturally found in the rainforests of South Africa. There it grows on tree trunks and in soil.
The purple spider plant is a fast-growing plant but its stays 3 to 4 feet tall and spreads 1 to 2 feet.
The general health and size of this plant depend on the growing and caring techniques of a grower. Nowadays it is commonly found in the USA.
Because it has excellent air purification properties. As per the NASA report Purple Queen can purify 90% of the air pollution.
We Americans should grow indoor plants to remove harmful gases. Plastic material, furniture, and paint release formaldehyde, and other toxic gases into indoor air.
Air purifying plants is an easy and inexpensive method of continuously purifying indoor air.
I have 2 plants in my kitchen and 1 in my bedroom. Also, have a rubber plant in my living room to keep my home air fresh and toxin-free.
How to Grow and Care for Purple Spider plant?
It is easy to grow and care for you just need to mimic the tropical conditions. I know it is not possible to turn a home into a jungle.
Therefore, you need a guide that explains everything about its care and maintenance. Below is the information that you need to grow it successfully.
Purple Spider Plant Light Needs
It is a hardy plant and can tolerate a frequently changing environment. But this does not mean you can grow it in low or medium light.
A healthy purple spider plant needs bright indirect light for 7 to 8 hours.
In my experience, the best place will be near a sunny window or a place where it can absorb morning light for a few hours. Then bright light for rest of the day.
Protect its leaves from harsh direct sun rays. They are hot and intense for its leaves. Its leaves have fewer green parts and cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
The variegated part is unable to absorb the light energy.
When sunlight falls on its leaves, it increases the temperature of the leaves and they lose the stored moisture.
As a result, the tips of its leaves start turning brown.
To avoid light-related issues, find a suitable place in your home or use grow lights to full fill its light needs.
Watering Purple Spider Plant
It needs limited water in cold weather and a good amount of water on hot summer days.
Before watering your plant, you should identify whether it is thirsty or not. The simple formula is checking the soil moisture.
Once you check the soil and find it is dry give some water to your plant.
I use a moisture testing meter for this purpose. It is a very helpful and inexpensive device.
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the quality of the water. Because it affects the overall health of a spider plant.
Stop using tap water for watering indoor spider plants. Always use filtered water to avoid all water-related issues.
Because filtered water is clean and does not contain unwanted substances like chlorine and fluoride. These are not required for growing purple spider plants.
They are harmful to houseplant roots and their transport system.
To protect your plant from accidental overwatering you should use a plant pot with a drainage hole. These pots are well-designed for houseplants.
The bottom hole in these pots allows the soil to drain extra water out of the pot.
Potting Soil for Spider Plant Purple
Sand or loamy soil is best to use for growing Purple Queen Spider Plant. Because these soil formulas are well-draining and fluffy.
In tropical jungles, it enjoys a good amount of moisture in the soil. When grown indoors you need to give it some amount of moisture or it will die.
Mix peat moss in general potting soil to make excellent potting soil for this plant. Or if you are new to gardening you can simply use a succulent potting mix.
Do not add perlite to the formula because peat moss can hold moisture for a long time. Moreover, it is a drought-tolerant plant.
And perlite is best for plants that cannot survive in dry soil.
55 to 70 degrees F temperature is excellent for growing and caring for a purple variegated spider plant.
This is the normal temperature range of our homes. I don’t think you need to make any changes to it.
Just protect your plant from hot weather and too cold weather. It is not a frost-resistant houseplant. In the winter season place it in a warm room where the room temperature always stays above 50 F.
Below 50 F is considered a freezing temperature for this plant and the leaf cells start freezing. This results in brown tips on purple leaves.
Moreover, it will drop its flowers at too cold temperatures and too hot temperatures prevent blooming.
Use a temperature meter to measure the room temperature.
Do not place it near the doorways and near the heating vents.
You should keep your home humidity above 50% throughout the year. In its natural birthplace purple spider plant enjoys humidity between 80% to 90 %.
This range is not suitable for human lungs and pets.
You should buy a hygrometer to measure the relative home humidity or specific humidity of a particular room.
Low humidity is a problem and below are ways to increase it:
In low humidity, you can use a spray bottle and mist some water on its leaves. This method works when the weather is hot and humidity is just 4% to 5 % lower than recommended.
Too much water on plant leaves results in leaf fungal disease.
Therefore, I always recommend the below 2 methods for increasing home humidity.
Use a pebble tray and fill it with tap water. Place your plant on it and let it enjoy evaporating water. Make sure the water level of a tray cannot touch the bottom hole of the plant pot.
Keep eye on the tray water and fill it when it gets empty. It is a time-consuming method and you should have free time for it.
It is a quick method of increasing relative humidity. Plant humidifiers are cheap and are easily available on Amazon.
Place all your indoor plants in a single room and turn ON the humidifier.
This way all your plant can get relief from low humidity.
Fertilizing Indoor Purple Spider Plant
Use liquid fertilizer to boost the health of your plant. It is a medium size plant and needs a moderate amount of nutrients.
I prefer using synthetic nutrients because they are quick and easy to absorb for roots.
Do not use compost to feed your purple queen spider plant. Organic material releases a bad smell once it starts decaying.
A balanced fertilizer is perfect to use for growing a healthy and disease-free plant.
To prevent overfertilization always feed it once in 30 days in summer and spring. Do not use fertilizers in the winter season even if it is not blooming.
Winter fertilizing will result in overfeeding and burned leaves.
Sometimes plants do not produce flowers due to temperature shock.
Pruning is necessary to encourage your plant to grow side shoots. These shoots can be used to propagate the plant.
Moreover, by pruning your plant on time you are keeping it healthy and fresh.
Cut and remove dry brown leaves. You should also trim healthy leaves if they are destroying its beautiful looks.
Wear garden gloves and use sterilized shears or a sharp knife to trim your plant. After finishing pruning sterilize tools again and store them.
Purple Spider Plant is not toxic to humans and animals but it is unhealthy if ingested. The reason is it contains some chemicals that are found in opium.
They do not affect humans even if someone eats the entire plant.
But when the pets ingest its parts, they start acting weird. Vomiting, nausea, and itching are some of its effects.
Therefore, keep it away from your pets to keep your pets safe and healthy.
Violet Queen does not need frequent repotting but you must repot it once the pot becomes small for its roots.
To identify it lift the plant pot and see the bottom drainage hole. If the roots are growing out of the hole this means it needs a new large pot.
The second repotting sign is visible roots over the top surface of the soil.
How to Repot it?
- Water your plant 24 hours before repotting.
- Buy a 2 inches large pot and fresh soil.
- Gently lose the soil and take your plant out of its pot.
- Remove soil and inspect the roots for any damage and infection.
- Cut the damaged and infected roots and plant it in a new pot.
- Tap around the base of the plant so that it can stand firm and straight.
- Give some water to add nice moisture into the soil and place repotted plant in its place.
Propagating Purple Spider Plant
The easy way for purple spider plant propagation is rooting plantlets. These are the small spider plant that you can find near the base of the plant.
Separate them from the mother plant and plant them in the potting soil.
You can also use water to root them. Take a glass of water and place platelets in them. Once they grow roots then you can transfer them to the potting soil.
This is the most successful method of propagation.
If the plantlets are large in size, they most probably have roots. Transfer them to the potting soil and you are done with propagation.
Aphids and Mealybugs are common pests of spider plants. They live on the sap of the plant and by sucking the sap they make the plant weak.
To fix this issue use insecticidal soap to wash your plant.
Take it outdoors, rinse it with soap, and spray neem oil after 60 minutes of treatment.
Neem helps your plant to heal soon and it also prevents fungal diseases and many types of houseplant pests.
To prevent pests, use sterilized soil and keep the plant and its surroundings clean and hygienic. Clean your plant pot and its leaves once in 7 days with a damp cloth.
If your variegated purple spider plant smells like rotten eggs and looks weak and droopy. This indicates that there is too much water in the soil and its roots are decaying.
Extra water in the soil invites root rot. It is a fungus that eats the spider plant roots.
Once you identify root rot in your plant immediately unpot it and inspect its roots. Cut the decaying roots and place them on the newspaper.
Throw the old soil and wash the plant pot with dishwashing soap and warm water.
Use a cloth to dry the pot and fill it with new soil. Pick your plant and place it in the pot. Give some water to add some moisture to the soil.
Place the pot in bright light and your plant will revive in 7 to 10 days.
Brown Leaf Tips
Underwatering and low humidity are the causes of brown leaf tips. Use a hygrometer to measure the room humidity.
If humidity is not a problem, then check the soil. If the soil is dry then give a good amount of water to your plant.
Fill a tub of water and place your plant in it. Let the plant absorb water from the bottom hole. This is the best way to save dehydrated plants.
Less Variegation or Dark Leaves
A low amount of light is the only cause of dark leaves or less variegation. Increase the amount of light by moving your plant to bright light.
For a quick fix, expose your indoor purple spider plant to morning sunlight. Sunlight between 7 am to 9 am is extremely beneficial for houseplants.
They absorb full spectrum sunlight and this heals your plant quickly.
Make sure your plant gets 1 to 2 hours of morning light and 6 to 7 hours of bright indirect light.
Purple Spider Plant produces purple flowers but its leaves are more beautiful. You can grow it in hanging baskets or in plant pots.
Regular care and maintenance are required to keep it thriving and variegated.
Grow it in bright light and prune it on time for its better health.