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Spider Plant Takeover

By: Jamie Seitz
I was warned that spider plants can get out of control, but I had to find out for myself...

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The prolific spider plant

I can admit when I’ve made a mistake. It all started a few years ago when a friend gave me two babies from her spider plant. I was just entering my crazy-house-plant-lady era, and I didn’t have any spider plants…yet.

Be careful, she warned. Before you know it, you’ll have too many spider plants to count.

I guffawed. You can never have too many plants, I thought to myself. First mistake. It turns out you can, in fact, have too many spider plants. In hardly any time, those two spider plants grew into giant, healthy adult spider plants. Then, after vacationing outside for the summer, they sprouted no less than twenty NEW spider babies. It’s fine, I told myself. I’ll give most away and only propagate a few more for myself. I’ve got this under control. Second mistake. I did not have this under control.

The gift that keeps on giving

Before I knew it, those plants spilled over their pots and created even more offshoots. The first hints of doubt that perhaps I had overdone it began to creep into my mind. I quickly shook it off, bought some hanging planters, and hung one in each of my kids’ rooms. Everyone in the family deserves some greenery, I reasoned. And they are excellent air purifiers. Maybe it would purify the dirty sock smell that emanated from my son’s room during cross-country and soccer seasons.


Spider plant takeover!

As those plants grew and my kids began complaining about a possible plant takeover, I tried not to panic. Maybe a social media SOS would help. Spider plants for free! Come and get your spider plants! Third mistake. My brilliant friends knew better, so they wouldn’t take them all.

Now, I didn’t have to propagate. I could have snipped those babies and tossed them in the compost. I could have ignored them and pretended I didn’t see all the new plant possibilities. But…Hi. My name is Jamie, and I’m addicted to propagating spider plants.

Propagation station

My local library solved the problem for me! They created a plant propagation station where patrons from all over the community could trade and swap all their extra houseplants. What a fun, easy way to share the love of house plants with your neighbors and get rid of the spider babies that have taken over your home!

It turns out I am not the only person whose spider plant obsession got a little out of control. When I dropped mine off, were there mostly spider plants in the library propagation station? The answer is yes. Did I triple the amount at the propagation station with my contribution? Also, yes. But now my spider plant to non-spider plant ratio is back in a healthier balance, and I’m committed to keeping it that way. Hopefully. Maybe. One day at a time.

Even before the propagation station was added, the public library was one of Jamie’s favorite places to hang out. You can find Jamie there at least once a week, picking up a stack of new books, dropping off an overdue book she was racing to finish, or scanning the shelves for something she hasn’t read yet.

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Published: Feb. 8, 2024

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