The mandarin spider plant looks like it is producing fire from within, but this is not the only reason why this spirited plant is so in vogue.
Its basic care needs also add to its charm as it is a great plant for both beginners and experts alike. If you are eager to learn how to grow it, then this guide is catered just for you.
- What Is a Mandarin Spider Plant?
- Mandarin Spider Care
What Is a Mandarin Spider Plant?
The mandarin spider plant is a houseplant that is known by various scientific names such as Chlorophytum orchidastrum or Chlorophytum amaniense. Its leaves grow in a rosette arrangement and have bright orange-colored stems, which gives it a brilliant appearance of a plant on fire.
Mandarin Spider Care
The plant care for the mandarin plant comprises shade, regular but proper watering, and more than 60 percent humidity. Use quick-drying soil and maintain temperatures within 65 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can read all the details here.
– Water Requirements
Mandarin spider plant water requirements are quite simple. Water this plant with a moderate amount of water when the surface of the soil begins to dry.
How Often To Water
This plant needs water once a week during the summer growing period. Reduce this frequency during the colder months of fall and winter. Keep a careful eye on the condition of your soil and ensure it doesn’t get dry more than two inches from the surface.
– When To Water
Push your finger down in the soil up to the knuckle. You will be able to feel and tell whether it is dry or not. Better yet, invest in a moisture meter and use it on a regular basis to determine if your soil is parched for water.
– Light Requirements
The orange mandarin spider is the perfect indoor plant. It likes shaded living spaces which are illuminated only indirectly. Direct sunlight will cause its beautiful leaves to turn yellow, dry, and crisp.
When placed in a room, keep its pot away from the windows. A minimum distance of three feet is a must, especially for the southern side windows. Alternatively, cover the windows with a curtain if you want to keep the pot on a windowsill.
You also have the option of using artificial lights to grow this plant. These days, there are LED or fluorescent lights available at quite reasonable prices. Install them overhead at a distance of about 20 inches from the plant at the very least.
– Soil Requirements
Any regular but good-quality potting mix is good for this plant. It is best if the soil is rich in nutrients and is able to drain quickly. Start by buying a commercial potting mix and read the package to ensure that is sterilized.
Start adding additives to add your desired properties to the soil. Perlite and pieces of bark and coco coir will create spaces within the soil, making pathways for the water to easily flow out.
Adding sphagnum moss or some other organic ingredient will also go a long way in adding nutrients to the soil. This plant like to be root bound so take care not to make the soil too loose and chunky.
– Temperature Requirements
A temperature range between 65 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit is the most suitable for this plant. However, it is one of those rare plants that will survive the widest extremes of temperature . We don’t recommend it but they have been known to survive temperatures as low as 35 and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Humidity Requirements
All spider plants need 60 percent humidity as their primary care need. This is especially true of the amaniense ‘fire flash’ plant. Most of our homes are this humid, fortunately. The washrooms and the kitchen especially have very high air moisture levels.
Still, it is recommended to keep a hygrometer at hand to measure humidity. If you find it falling below 60 percent, then artificial measures need to be taken. A pebble tray is our favorite method because of how convenient it is.
Some alternate means of rising humidity is misting during the early hours of the morning. Misting needs to be only lightly done, the whole plant should not be dripping wet by the end of it.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The orange mandarin plant needs to be fed once every four weeks. Any well-balanced fertilizer can be bought and used. We suggest you use a liquid fertilizer rather than a powdered one, then dilute it by mixing water in order to reduce its concentration by at least half.
Fertilizing too much or improperly generates brown burn spots in the plant. You can prevent this by watering the roots with copious water first and then pouring the diluted fertilizer over them.
Hold off on fertilizing during fall and winter. This is the time when the plant is no longer going through an active period of growth.
The orange spider plant grows very rapidly. Under the right conditions, its leaves can grow several inches long each year. If it seems like this plant is getting too big, then it’s totally safe to take a pair of shears to it.
Prune off the long leaves from the point where they emerge from the stem. Pruning actually promotes the further growth of new leaves and stems. Old leaves and crooked stem pieces should also be nipped off.
Don’t forget to rub the pruning shears or scissors with alcohol before use. This helpful habit will go a long way in preventing the spread of potential infections and infestations.
The most successful way of propagating the mandarin plant is by using plantlets. These are tiny baby plants that develop from flowers at stem ends during the blooming season. They are considered full-fledged plants, albeit very small ones, with their own root system growing from below.
Learn how to propagate your plant using these plantlets in a few easy steps below.
- Wash and disinfect a pair of clean gardening shears. Take them to your plant to cut one or two plantlets off.
- Make sure you cut the whole plantlet in one piece along with its roots, stems, and leaves.
- Mix a regular-fine potting soil and use it to fill a small-sized pot. This plant likes to grow under conditions of being root-bound, which is why a smaller-sized pot is the best option.
- Moisten the soil by sprinkling in a small amount of water. Dig a hole right in the center of the pot and gently plant the plantlet in it. The roots and some length of the stem need to be completely covered by the soil.
- Take the pot to a shaded but still bright room within your house. The soil needs to be kept moist all the time for the first two weeks at least.
- The bathroom is the ideal spot for keeping the tiny plantlets during the initial days of their lives, owing to the room’s high humidity levels.
- In one to two months, you will see a marked difference in the size of your planted propagation.
In all likelihood, the problems you will face with this plant are going to be brown leaves and tips or overwatering and the resulting fungal infections. Learn why these problems are happening here.
– Leaves Turning Brown
Brown leaves can happen due to a large number of reasons. The most common one is when the plant is left in the path of direct sunlight for quite some time. If this extends to several days, the leaves will also turn all wrinkled. Move them to a shaded spot right away.
Overwatering is when you keep watering your plant despite the soil not drying even 1 inch from the top. This is possibly the worst thing you can do to your plant. A continuously wet and mushy soil turns into a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
It is very easy to identify an overwatered plant. The leaves are all swollen, mushy, and yellowed. Often, they are unable to hold their weight up and will droop down. The soil is also runny and feels heavier.
Overwatering quickly leads to root rot and other nasty infections, so improve your watering habits right away.
– Leaves Turning Brown at the Tips
When your plant’s leaves begin to turn brown only at the tips, it is usually because of hard water. Most of the time our municipal water is actually hard and contains salts and minerals in high concentrations.
These salts accumulate in the soil over time and stop nutrients from being absorbed by the roots of the plant. If you usually use water from the tap, then it’s time to switch to better sources of water, namely rainwater or reverse-osmosis filtered water.
Finally, it’s time to go through the most important take-away points from this short guide.
- The mandarin spider house plant has very basic care needs. It should be grown under shaded light with lots of humidity.
- A regularly potting soil enhanced with perlite is good enough for mandarin spider houseplant.
- This plant can withstand a wide range of temperatures. Water once each week in the summers and less in the winter months.
- Hard water will cause the long, elegant leaves of this plant to turn brown at the tips. Switch to safer types of water instead.
If you are someone with little time on their hands, then this is the plant for you! Watering once in a while, shade and warmth are all it needs to spread its fiery leaves wide and bright.
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