Spider plants are great plants for beginners because they are extremely easy to care for, and it's fun to watch it grow plantlets or babies. Another easy-care houseplant to consider is an exotic looking fern called a Staghorn.

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Spider Plants and Exotic Ferns

This is another one of our traditional indoor hanging baskets. It does very well in medium to high light. It’s called a spider plant or airplane plant. It’s named for the plantlets that form after the flowers on the stems. They’re a complete plant. You can see the root development if you turn the plantlet over. If you want to propagate it, you just cut the stem off, set it in a pot, and it will grow. After a few weeks, it will develop roots, and you’ll have a new plant. So, it’s very easy to share with family or friends.

The airplane plants have three different leaf patterns. This one has a green center with white edges. Another type has green edges on the leaf and the center is a creamy yellow. And the third type has solid green leaves.

All of them do very well. The more common, and more vigorous, is the one where the variegation is in the middle of the leaf, and the edges are green. But the slower growing one, with the green in the middle, is better adapted to medium to low light. The other one better adapted to higher light.

Next, we have an example of a Staghorn Fern. It does extremely well indoors. It’s an ideal plant, and it’s exotic looking. So it appeals to certain decors and certain tastes rather than the general population. It grows naturally attached to limbs up in the forest canopy in a tree. Because it’s covered in dense shade, it does very well indoors in low light. You might notice we have it growing in a wire basket covered with moss. We don’t want it in a pot because it’s an aerophyte. It’s used to being out here in the air. It doesn’t take much water so it’s an excellent indoor houseplant. It’s a little more open or airy. But if you want an exotic flair, it’s certainly a good one to consider.

This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, retired Kansas State University Research and Extension State Leader, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.

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