12 Types of Spider Plants | With Pictures

The humble Spider Plant is one of the most widely-grown houseplants and is celebrated for its substantial size, coloration, architectural splendor, and especially its ease of care. 

These plants also propagate themselves in numerous and spectacular ways, producing seemingly airborne plantlets highlighted by dainty white flowers that produce viable seeds.

Out of more than 200 botanically documented species worldwide, there is just a fraction that thrives in indoor environments.

The 12 types of spider plants below, all a part of the Asparagaceae family, will live anywhere from 20-50 years, given proper care.

You may find some familiar, with their variegated, ribbons arching out from a clumping base. While others may surprise you as being an actual spider plant.

Spider Plants

Different Varieties of Spider Plants

Despite the subtle yet unique features of each, all of these spider plant varieties are perennial and flowering, with almost identical growing habits and care requirements. With the exception of the Chlorophytum amanuensis‘ Fire Flash’.

Best of all, according to the University of Kansas Health System, Chlorophytum plants are not poisonous nor is there any known record of toxicity. Making these the perfect choice for beginner houseplant enthusiasts or those with small children and pets.

Going one step beyond, NASA’s Clean Air Study showed these even contribute to purifying the air in indoor environments.

Zebra Spider Plant

1. Zebra Spider Plant

Chlorophytum laxum ‘Zebra’)

The cheerful Zebra is part of the diverse Laxum sub-category of Chlorophytum and is native to tropical regions spreading from NE Africa to Australia.

Very simple to care for, this species plant presents long, thin, grass-like ribbons of green with wide yellow margins and pale green midribs. While staying within 12” of height, the Zebra leaves and plantlets can spread out 2 ft when supported by well-draining, nutritious soil (with a pH between 6.0 and 7.2) and ambient, indoor temperatures around 70°F (21°C).

When a consistent humidity level of 60-70% is achieved, plantlets will abound, making for easy propagation when roots are nestled into the soil without separating the plantlet from the mother plant.

Bichetii Spider Plant

2. Bichetii Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum laxum ‘Bichetii’)

On the other end of the Laxum spectrum is the ‘Bichetti’. This specimen has a much different look to it than its cousin.

While maturing to a similar size, light green streamers are delicately edged in a buttery yellow hue. The main difference is, of all the different types of spider plants, this one doesn’t produce plantlets. Instead, the tiny, black seeds that grow from their dainty, white flowers are needed to reproduce them. 

Typical of spider plants, the Bichetii prefers bright, indirect sunlight. In winter, daily misting may be required to maintain sufficient humidity levels.

This unusual specimen may be the perfect choice if you’re looking for a visually-stunning plant to sit on a bookshelf or side table that doesn’t produce any dangling offshoots.

Green Spider Plant

3. Green Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Green’)

Moving into the Comosum sub-category of Chlorophytum, we have the ‘Green’. Its claim to fame is that it’s completely without variegation. Instead, shining a vibrant green down every long, lustrous leaf.

Without having to spend extra energy maintaining variant leaf patterns, the ‘Green’ is free to grow larger than other spider plant varieties. Reaching up to 2 ft tall and wide, at maturity.

Indigenous to balmy forests where they’re protected from direct sunlight by a canopy of large trees, the ‘Green’ spider prefers bright, dappled sunlight.

This specimen comes with an increased ability to retain moisture within its purely green leaves, as well as its root system. Resulting in a heightened tolerance for drought, low-humidity tolerance, and higher, indoor temperatures (max 90°F).

‘Bonnie’ Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’)

4. ‘Bonnie’ Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’)

The ‘Bonnie’ is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing types of spider plants. With each green and white striped leaf curling and undulating around itself. This unique feature is passed down to its plantlets, as well. 

Placing the ‘Bonnie’ atop a bookcase or in a hanging basket is best, to fully appreciate its beauty. Otherwise, it may become tangled and damaged.

While still quite rare, this variety is Increasing in popularity, as is its variegated counterpart, which we’ll see next.  

The curly ‘Bonnie’ prefers to be watered only when the top 1-2” of soil is dry. Avoid over-watering any variety of spider plants to prevent problems such as root rot and yellowing of leaves.

Variegated ‘Bonnie’ (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie Variegated’)

5. Variegated ‘Bonnie’

(Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie Variegated’)

This variegated version was no doubt the result of a random mutation (or a natural displacement of chlorophyll cells) on the original ‘Bonnie’.

Instead of clearly defined green and white stripes, each curly leaf presents unique patterns using each color and sometimes a mix of the two. Here, you see chartreuse and yellow appearing as either third stripes or speckles on green margins.

Most Bonnie plants stay around 8” tall and wide. Yet, in optimal conditions (bright, indirect light and nutrient-rich, well-draining soil), these can literally double in size. 

There is even a ‘Bonnie Green’ cultivar if you are looking to add even more interest to your houseplant collection.

With fewer chlorophyll cells, the variegated ‘Bonnie’ depends on sufficient light exposure for healthy growth and vitality so you will need to locate it in a bright spot, away from direct sunlight and drafts.

Reverse Spider Plant

6. Reverse Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum’ Reverse Variegatum’)

Another interesting option is the ‘Reverse Variegatum’, which presents striation patterns quite the opposite of more common types of spider plants. 

Vivid green leaves are heavily edged with crisp white and grow in dense clumps. This can grow to 2 ft tall and wide with ribbony leaves reaching 16” long, under ideal conditions.

Even while small, plantlets with tiny, white flowers can hang down 12-24”, making this a great hanging plant option from day one. 

Increased temperatures in spring and summer trigger faster growth in all spider plants. During this time, weekly watering and bi-weekly fertilizing with a 10-10-10 NPK will be sufficient. 

Come fall, cut back on watering to every 10-14 days and stop fertilizing until the following spring.

Airplane Plant Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’)

7. Airplane Plant Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’)

An offshoot of the original Chlorophytum comosum, the ‘Airplane’ is the most commonly found variety in nurseries and online plant shops. 

Its name comes from long individual leaves on new plantlets that seem to hang in mid-air on an invisible tether. Giving each one the appearance of rotary blades on an aircraft.

When propagated, each plantlet can grow to 2 ft tall and wide, at maturity. Provided that they receive bright, indirect light and are situated in rooms that offer 70°-90° temperatures and 50-70% humidity. 

When pruning this and all other types of spider plants, be sure to use a sterile, sharp cutting tool and remove any yellowing leaves from the base of the plant. This will prevent pest infestations and disease.

 Fire Flash Spider Plant

8. Fire Flash Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum amaniense ‘Fire Flash’)

The Chlorophytum amanuensis ‘Fire Flash’ displays long, rippling leaves that more closely resemble a bird’s nest fern than a spider plant. Yet biologically, that’s what this is. 

It’s also referred to as a ‘Green Orange’. You may have even seen them listed as two different plants when biologically, they’re the same.

Lanceolate, green leaves extend out from bright orange stems for a flash of brilliant color and form. Similar to the ‘Bichetii’ cultivar, the ‘Fire Flash’ does produce pretty white flowers from which it can be reproduced, but no plantlets.

It can, however, still grow to 2 ft tall and wide and is typical of a spider plant, prefers bright, diffused light, indoor temperatures above 70°F (21°C), and relatively high humidity.

Ocean Spider Plant

9. Ocean Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum ‘Ocean’)

The ‘Ocean’ is a compact version of the Comosum ‘Variegatum’ presenting shorter, triangular leaves with white and green variegated stripes.

In optimal conditions, this can grow to 18” tall and wide. In lower light, temperature, and humidity levels, it usually remains under 12”.

In general, spider plants are pretty robust and aren’t susceptible to many pest and disease issues. But, occasionally, a whitefly or two may get in and take notice of yours. Soapy water or neem oil will usually remedy this when caught early.  

Water your ‘Ocean’ only when the top 1-2” of soil is dry to prevent root rot and the need to report. Loamy, well-draining soil will increase drainage for this effort, as well.

Hawaiian Spider Plant

10. Hawaiian Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum viridescens ‘Hawaiian’)

Similar to a Hawaiian pineapple plant, this spider plant variety displays chartreuse and vibrant yellow down the center of long, ribbony green-trimmed leaves and plantlets.

The ‘Hawaiian’ is actually more compact than the ‘Ocean’, reaching a maximum of 12” in height and spread. Although, plantlets can dangle 2 ft down from the main crown. 

This is a nice way to add a punch of color and life to a small or partially shady room. Or to increase your houseplant collection without taking up a lot of space.

While this will grow in lower light, coloration is more detailed in bright, diffused light and temperatures above 70°F (21°C). When it’s happy, it produces strands of small white flowers along with new plantlets.

Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’)

11. Variegated Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’)

The versatile ‘Vittatum’ is an interesting cultivar because while it’s prone to overwatering and root rot when growing in a pressurized medium like soil, it can actually thrive in an aquarium if it’s allowed to float free on the water’s surface without any obstructions.

In this environment, this will remain relatively small and typically won’t produce plantlets or flowers. Releasing only bright green leaves from its center with a broad white stripe along the midrib of each.

But, in well-draining potting soil and bright, diffused light, it can potentially reach 2 ft tall and wide. Developing an abundance of “pups” and seed-producing flowers.

It has also been shown to thrive in dry, Mediterranean climates, which demonstrates tolerance for low humidity.

Bracket Spider Plant Chlorophytum capense

12. Bracket Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum capense)

Finally, we have a fourth sub-category of spider plants, the Chlorophytum Capense or Bracket Spider Plant. 

Like the Bichetii, this doesn’t produce plantlets from its long green, white-edged leaves. But rather, tall thin reeds with sporadic, spear-shaped leaflets that sprout small, white, seed-producing flowers.

This atypical reproduction behavior makes the Bracket and Bichetti ideal as partially shaded, outdoor, groundcover plants in the goldilocks zones of 9 and 10.

Indoors (in any hardiness zone), this cultivar can reach 12” in height with a 24” spread. Flower stalks, reaching up 12-15”, are triggered by positioning in bright, filtered light. 

Light, well-draining, and nutrient-rich soil together with temperatures above 70°F (21°C) and average humidity will stimulate healthy, long-term growth and clear variegation.

Types of Spider Plants Final Thoughts

The benefits of adding a spider plant or two to your houseplant collection seem endless. But, let’s recap a few:

  • 12+ varieties to choose from that come in a broad range of sizes and growing habits to fit any space.
  • A sunny window, typical indoor temperatures, occasional spritzing, and fertilizing and watering when the soil feels dry are all it takes for lush, vibrant growth.
  • Can contribute to the filtration of hazardous, indoor air pollutants.
  • Fantastic options for beginners and seasoned houseplant growers, alike.

Add any of the Chlorophytum species we’ve seen to your decor and watch that space come alive.

FAQ Varieties of Spider Plants

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Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.