Plant leaves losing color

Solid green spider plants are anything but boring. Since most spider plants are variegated, the solid green color makes them unique, interesting and harder to find. A non variegated spider plant is also in fact a healthier plant. Anywhere a plant is not green, like the white or pink areas in other types, chlorophyll is absent. Chlorophyll creates the green pigment in a plant and is how the plant absorbs light for photosynthesis. More green, more photosynthesis.

Buy Solid Green Spider Plants

Categorized by its botanical name, Chlorophytum comosum, the spider plant is native to South Africa, zone 9 through 11. This puts it into houseplant territory in most of the rest of the world. For outdoor use, it’s suggested as an annual. Plant it in a place with well-draining soil under light or heavy shade.

It’s a gorgeous plant. Mature plants have a full, beautifully cascading habit perfect for hanging pots in the home

It’s a useful plant too. They do a fantastic job of cleaning and purifying the air in your home or office.

Solid Green Spider Plant Care.

Taking care of a solid green spider plant is easy peasy. Light requirements are very low, making it an optimal choice for the home. Indirect sunlight is best. Direct sun can scorch the leaves.

Watch your water. Overwatering can cause root rot. Spider plant is very drought tolerant, so it can go a while without watering. Another way it’s the perfect performer as a house plant.

Low fertilizer is suggested. Food is stored in its tubers and the plant will feed itself over time.

It’s a fast grower, so divide your plants often. Spider Plants have been known to break out of their container when they outgrow their habitat.

When it experiences winter conditions for at least three weeks, shorter days and longer nights, the plant will form plantlets and you will have spider plant babies.

Spider plants are easy to grow, just watch water and fertilizer

I got a spider plant as a gift from my grandson a few months ago. It’s in a large hanging basket and is in my front window where it gets plenty of light. The tips of many of the leaves have turned brown and overall the plant isn’t looking so good. I thought spider plants were easy to take care of! What am I doing wrong? Thank you.

Spider plants ( Chlorophytum comosum ) are one of the most common houseplants, largely due to their wide availability and ease of care.

Most often the variegated form of spider plant is the one grown as a houseplant. The strap-like leaves are striped with creamy white and green.

As the plant ages, it begins to produce runners that develop baby spider plants at their tips. These little plantlets can be cut off the mother plant and potted into their own containers to make new plants to pass along to friends.

Spider plant care is fairly easy in comparison to many other fussier houseplants, but they do require a few essentials to keep them happy and healthy.

Light: If your spider plant is the non-variegated, all-green variety, low to medium light conditions will suffice. But, if your spider plant is variegated, medium to high light levels are best. A bright, sunny window that receives ample light is essential; but keep the plant out of direct sunlight during the afternoon hours, which could burn the foliage.

Watering: Spider plants like to be evenly moist, but like most other houseplants, they do not like to have “wet feet.” When you water, move the plant to a sink and pour water into the top of the pot. At least 20 percent of the volume of water that goes into the pot should drain out the hole in the bottom.

If there is a saucer attached to the base of the hanging basket, be sure to tip the pot on its side to drain the water out of the saucer before returning the basket to its hook. Allowing standing water to collect and sit in the saucer will cause symptoms of over-watering, such as wilt and leaf yellowing. It could also lead to root rot and plant death.

The pot should feel light and the soil should feel dry prior to each watering. With houseplants, over-watering is far more common than under-watering, so do your best not to kill it with kindness by over-watering.

Fertilizing: The brown tips you describe on the leaves are symptomatic of salt burn. Most potting soils contain slow-release fertilizers, and the salts from these synthetic fertilizers can build up in both the soil and the plant itself.

Salt build-up in the soil is evidenced by a white crust on the soil’s surface. Salt build-up in the plant exhibits as brown, crunchy leaf tips. This is because the salts are absorbed into the plant with irrigation water and they travel to the ends of the leaves, where they collect and “burn” the leaf tissue there.

Salt burn on leaves and salt build-up in the soil are both prevented by flushing water through the soil with each watering, allowing it to drain out the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.

Following the watering instructions in the section above will keep this condition from advancing and browning more of the leaf tips, but it will not get rid of the tips that are already brown. You can trim those off with a clean pair of sharp scissors.

Houseplants really only need to be fertilized from March through August. I use a half-strength liquid organic houseplant-specific fertilizer once a month.

Since new growth on houseplants shouldn’t be encouraged during the winter months, there’s no need to fertilize them through the autumn and winter.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden,” “Good Bug, Bad Bug,” and her newest title, “Container Gardening Complete.” Her website is Send your gardening or landscaping questions to [email protected] or The Good Earth, 622 Cabin Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601.

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    Those long stems, with babies and flowers at the ends, just spray out any which way they want to! These hanging plants, with fleshy rhizomatic roots, need a bit of room to show off their arching displays. Spider Plants are one of the easiest care houseplants around, are tolerant of a wide range of conditions, adaptable and durable as can be.

    If you’re “houseplant challenged” then Spider Plants, aka Airplane Plants, is for you. I love these plants for all their wackiness and actually grow them outdoors in a shaded spot. They’re as easy to care for outdoors as they are in the garden.

    spider plants hanging in the grower’s greenhouses. as you can see, the mother plant is not as brightly variegated as the babies.

    Here’s what you need to know about caring for these trailing plants whose arching leaves look like large blades of grass. Most importantly, they adapt to a wide variety of conditions in your home.


    Low to average. Depending on how warm & bright your house is, this might be every 10-14 days. Water them when they’re almost dry & be sure to let the water drain all the way through the pot. If your water is high in salts, consider using distilled water.

    When I was a plant maintenance technician, I preferred to take hanging plants to a sink when the watering time came around. This took the guesswork out of when the water would come spilling out.

    Here’s where Spider Plants are most adaptable. They prefer nice bright light (like a west, north or east window) but will do fine in lower light conditions. Just know that if you have 1 of the variegated varieties, it’ll revert to solid green. A south exposure is fine too just as long as it’s not in a hot window. It’ll burn baby burn.

    They’ll actually do fine in good strong artificial light & for more about that subject, it’s best to refer to our book Keep Your Houseplants Alive. Be aware that they probably won’t produce as many babies without natural light.


    Spider Plants are not too fussy in regards to soil. Just be sure to use a good organic potting soil which is labeled for houseplants or indoor plants. It’s very important that it drains well.

    lots of beautiful babies along with their white flowers.


    Easy does it. Use an organic, liquid houseplant fertilizer at recommended strength in late Spring & then again in mid Summer. I give most of my houseplants a light application of worm compost with a light layer of compost over that every spring. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.


    I’ve seen them with mealybug & scale.

    Spider Plant babies are miniature duplicates of mama & very easy to propagate. For more on this, along with pest control, use our houseplant care book Keep Your Houseplants Alive as a guide.

    as you can see, the babies produce roots which get bigger as they age. you want them to be about this size before removing them. those are some tough roots!

    Spider Plant Care Tips

    Spider Plants, whose botanic name is Chlorophytum comosum, like being potbound so don’t rush to transplant them.

    Don’t let too many babies hang on the mother plant. Remove some of them because they’ll zap out some of the energy out of mama.

    They’re considered to be non-toxic to pets and as you will see in our book, many houseplants aren’t. Nonetheless, you don’t want Spider Plants to be used like crunchy grass with Fluffy or Fido munching away on them.

    The biggest benefit that Spider Plants have (okay,this is tied with easy care) is that they’re super duper air purifying warriors. They take in toxins we don’t want to breathe making the air around us cleaner. If your room is large, you’ll definitely need a few of them.

    Here’s a video shot in the greenhouses where we took the photos for our book. Happy growing!

    Solid Green Spider Plants: Why Is Spider Plant Losing Green Color

    There are many reasons a spider plant may become discolored. If your spider plant is losing green color or you discover that part of a usually variegated spider plant is solid green, continue reading to learn some reasons and solutions.

    Why is Spider Plant Losing Green Color?

    In variegated plants, the white colored parts lack chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize. If your spider plant is losing its green color, it is not able to absorb enough energy from the sun to keep it healthy and vigorous.

    Most commonly this bleaching of the leaves is caused by too much sunlight. With too much sun, our skin tans or burns, but sunburn in plants causes leaves to bleach and blanch. For a spider plant that is turning white, first trying putting it in an area with less direct light. Spider plants especially don’t like direct afternoon sun.

    If your spider plant is losing its green color and a change of lighting doesn’t help, it could be iron deficient. Try a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen level like 12-5-7.

    Fluoride in tap water can also cause spider plants to discolor. You can leach the fluoride out by deep watering with distilled water.

    Solid Green Spider Plant

    Solid green spider plants occur naturally when plants revert to a parent plant. Variegation in plants is usually a genetic mutation. These mutations are propagated by breeders to create new plant varieties. Sometimes, the original genes can resurface. All green spiderettes can be snipped off and planted as new all green plants.

    Occasionally, when spider plant is turning green, it can be an indication of a serious problem. Turning solid green is a survival tragedy for plants that are struggling. It may be reverting back to a more successful form. It could be creating more food producing cells because it is lacking sunlight or nutrients, or is trying to fight pests or disease.

    If your spider plant is turning green, repot it into fresh soil and give it a dose of rooting fertilizer. Be sure to clean the rhizomes when you take it out of its pot, look for pest damage and treat immediately. Set the plant in a location with different lighting and water only with distilled water.

    In most cases, with just a few changes in watering, location and growing medium, your spider plant may quickly recover from whatever is stressing it and causing it to discolor.

    Spider Plant

    Spider Plant

    A vintage favorite in the houseplant world, the spider plant has been enjoyed for decades—calling Victorian parlors home and bringing life to studio lofts a century later. It’s easy to see why the spider plant has stood the test of time, they’re super-easy to grow, tolerate all levels of light and they don’t mind if you miss a weekly watering. Spider plant, also called airplane plant, grows well in containers or hanging baskets. And, spider plant is remarkably good at filtering indoor air.

    genus name
    • Chlorophytum comosum
    • Part Sun
    plant type
    • Houseplant
    • 6 to 12 inches
    • From 6 to 24 inches
    flower color
    • White
    foliage color
    • Blue/Green
    season features
    • Spring Bloom,
    • Fall Bloom,
    • Winter Bloom
    • Division

    Multiplying Your Plant

    Healthy, thriving spider plants send up long wiry stems with little plantlets at the end. The plantlets can be removed and placed on top of moist potting soil where they will quickly take root, forming a new plant. Another option is to tuck the plantlet into the soil around the mother spider plant and create a container full of spider plants.

    Learn more about propagating your spider plant here.

    Spider Plant Care Must-Knows

    A spider plant likes bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it has the potential to scorch the leaves. If bright indirect light isn’t an option, spider plants will grow in low light but they will grow slowly and may not produce plantlets.

    Spider plants grow well when their soil dries between watering. Check the soil every 4 or 5 days. If it is dry to the touch, water plants thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot.

    Fertilize spider plants monthly in spring and summer using a water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the label recommendations for application. Brown leaf tips are a sign of over-fertilization.

    While spider plants are usually trouble-free, they are occasionally troubled by whiteflies, spider mites, scales, and aphids. Good air circulation, adequate water, and bright light prevent most insect pests from getting a toehold on the plants.

    Give a low-light area a pop of green with these houseplants.

    Favorite Cultivars

    There are many great varieties of spider plant. The unique cultivars sport differing degrees of variegation and leaf shape and texture. Here are a few of our favorite cultivars available at specialty garden centers and online. ‘Bonnie’ has green leaves that curl and twist. ‘Hawaiian’ has variegated green and white young leaves that fade to all green as the leaves age. It has a striking multicolor look. ‘Variegated Bonnie’ has curled green leaves striped with creamy white. ‘Zebra Grass’ has straight, long green leaves edged in white.

    More Varieties of Spider Plant

    Orchid spider plant

    Chlorophytum orchidastrum ‘Green Orange’ presents a sharp contrast to other spider plants. Its deep green lance-shape leaves more closely resemble those of Chinese evergreen than common spider plant. Its orange leaf stem and central vein glow in bright indoor light.

    Spider plant

    Chlorophytum comosum, with solid green leaves, is much less common than variegated forms. Grow it just as you would one of the striped varieties.

    Variegated spider plant

    Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’ has bright green leaves with a central white stripe. The width of the stripe varies from nearly the entire width of the leaf to a narrow band along the main leaf vein.

    Variegated ‘Bonnie’ spider plant

    Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegated Bonnie’ has curled green leaves striped with creamy white.

    In nature, plants will stretch to receive as much light as possible. This stretching is called etiolation. Characteristics of etiolation include long, leggy growth and weak stems. The stems and leaves are often pale in color, typically white or yellow. The pale color is caused from a lack of chlorophyll – the pigment in leaves that makes them green. Internodes (the length between growing points on a stem) are longer and leaves are sparse.

    The plant stretches during etiolation because it increases the likelihood of it finding light. Indoor plants will often do this when they are in very low light. In some cases, the stretching will help the plant find light from a nearby window or light.

    When plants are grouped together tightly, become overgrown or placed in low light, they will etiolate. Etiolation should be avoided with indoor plants as best as possible because the resulting plant growth is weak, leggy and unattractive.

    The best ways to overcome etiolation is to select sites with proper light, space plants appropriately, and keep plants pruned properly to allow light to penetrate all plant surfaces as best as possible.

    Green Side Up,

    Senior Horticulturalist, Matt Kostelnick

    Have a question for our in-house Plant Doctor, Matt? Ask away @

    The plants are losing color turning pale green/yellow, starting to look a little sick

    I have several plants that are about 4 weeks into flowering. The are losing all their green color and turning pale green and moving onto yellow. I grow 2 plants to a 15 gallon tupperware container with lava rock and a septic leach pipe on the bottom to aerate the soil. One plant may be losing its color while the other is great. There is very little leaf curl, In fact aside from the loss of color they look good. Some leaves are turning brown on the fringes while another plants leaves are getting small red and brown spots. I water with Bio canna so I know that pretty much all of my nutes are there. I grow under 600w hps. I am really confused at this point. I flushed several bins just to see if perhaps there has been a build up of salts or maybe potassium. I think if Potassium levels are too high that they may lock out other nutes. One more thing I just added C02 to my room, I run it at 1200 ppm 80 degrees and 55% humidity. Anyone have any ideas? I’m really bumming they were looking so beautiful.

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