7 Types of Variegated Spider Plants

A spider plant in a pot with variegated leaves
© Coplay/Shutterstock.com

Written by Em Casalena

Updated: May 15, 2023

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Because they are effortless to maintain, spider plants are common houseplants that may be found in many homes and businesses around the world. It’s the ideal plant for novices and those who don’t have much time to spend on indoor gardening precisely because of how much neglect they can tolerate.

That being said, you don’t have to opt for a plain spider plant. These unique houseplants also have variegated varieties. Variegated spider plants show off different foliage colors other than the typical deep green. They boast unusual patterns, such as strips, spots, and more.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some seriously beautiful variegated spider plants that you can keep in your home for an extra pop of color.

What is a Spider Plant?

The spider plant is an evergreen perennial that is indigenous to South Africa. Its botanical name is Chlorophytum comosum. Several species in this genus are referred to as spider plants as well. The names airplane plant, ribbon plant, and spider Ivy plant are all common. As members of the Asparagaceae family, spider plants often don’t become much taller than 24 inches, with their leaves getting no longer than 18 inches. There are more than 200 kinds of different spider plant varieties, and each one contributes to better air quality in the surrounding area.

With proper care, spider plants have gorgeous leaves that climb upward and arch outward for a really distinctive look. Nurseries often sell a variety of green and white striped non-variegated and variegated spider plants. This plant differentiates itself by producing spiderettes that appear after it blooms its tiny white flowers shaped like stars. To grow young spider plants, these spiderettes can be separated from the mother plant and replanted. Upper shelves and hanging baskets are perfect places for the spider plant since the leaves will flourish there. This enables your plant to expand without restriction and accommodate lengthy stems and leaves.

Spider Plant Features

Among lovers of indoor plants, variegated spider plants are very common. The most common varieties of this plant will have some form of variegation, whereas plain green types are more uncommon. Additionally, the leaves of various varieties may be straighter or curlier.

The biggest issue with these plants is watering, especially not overwatering, despite requiring little upkeep in light, water, and feeding. Too much water might cause fungal diseases or root rot. The majority of spider plant types like high humidity and temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees F. They may thrive in situations with full sun or a little shade. Pet owners can also feel comfortable having a spider plant in their homes because they are non-toxic to dogs and cats.

A spider plant growing outside in a garden with other plants

Variegated spider plants (pictured) often boast stripes of different colors on their leaves.

©Rezky Bagus Pambudiarso/Shutterstock.com

7 Variegated Spider Plant Varieties

Vittatum Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’

One of the most often grown spider plant varieties is the Vittatum variety. It is an evergreen perennial spider plant type with medium-green leaves that have wide, creamy vertical stripes. This plant may be up to two feet broad and long and has a somewhat curled leaf. It can withstand drought and requires soil with good drainage. Choose a spot with some shade for the Vittatum variety. Compared to other varieties of spider plants, they can survive in temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees F.

Bonnie Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’

The leaves of the Bonnie spider plant are curlier and grow in a wave pattern. It will often look similar to the ‘Vittatum’ variety of spider plant, and the two varieties are often mistaken for one another. Because it is popular for use in low-light bathrooms, the term “bathroom plant” is sometimes used to describe this plant. This variegated plant’s tiny size is perfect for smaller places. With its vivid, curly, thin leaves, the Bonnie is a favorite among curly spider plants. This variegated cultivar has foliage that reaches heights and widths of eight to 18 inches. The flowers that this variety blooms have a slight yellow tint to them.

Variegatum Spider Plant

Chlorophytum Comosum ‘Variegatum’

This specific variegated type, also known as the Reverse spider plant or Variegated spider plant, is a favorite among gardeners. It’s important to note that a few different spider plant varieties collectively share the common name “Variegated spider plant,” which can be a little confusing. Regardless, this specific variety will develop into a good size that can reach two feet in height and width. Because it resembles the ‘Vittatum’ variety in reverse in terms of color and pattern, it is known as the Reverse spider plant. It features wavy, striped leaves with a dazzling white core and a dark green margin.

Variegated Bonnie Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie Variegated’

The basic Bonnie spider plant variety is already variegated, but this variety is even more intense with its variegation. The Variegated Bonnie spider plant has long, thin, creamy-colored leaves with lilting arches that look attractive in any setting. It works well in hanging baskets or combined with other houseplants to create a pleasant green area in your interior design. Their eight-inch-tall and broad green leaves will develop nicely with the right amount of vare. Due to its simplicity of maintenance, this specific variety is suitable for novice gardeners.

Fire-Flash Spider Plant

Chlorophytum amaniense ‘Fire-Flash’

This variety of spider plant is unique in that it boasts the typical deep-green leaves of your everyday spider plant, but also boasts incredible pale orange stems. The Mandarin Orange spider plant is another name for the Fire-Flash variation. It’s a lovely shrub with wider leaves than most spider plant species. This is an uncommon type of spider plant with vivid orange stems and large, extremely dark green leaves. The leaves of this plant also boast very subtle strip variegation that is a pale green color. Both western and southern Africa are home to this native tropical and subtropical plant. The white little blossoms that this variety produces are tiny. Remember that direct sunlight is unsuitable for it; it needs intense indirect light. To maintain its health, make sure it has well-drained soil.

Zebra Grass Spider Plant 

Chlorophytum laxum ‘Zebra’

Long yellow-cream leaves with a central green stripe are characteristic of the Zebra Grass spider plant. The foliage of this plant has a grass-like feel and will probably stay shorter than that of other spider plant kinds. Tropical regions of Africa are the original home of Zebra Grass spider plant, as are most varieties of its species. It’s a strong competitor for propagation since it makes plenty of young plants at the ends of its stems via spiderettes. At maturity, it can grow to a height of eight to 12 inches with a spread of around 18 to 24 inches. Peat-based soil, high humidity, and temperatures up to 75 degrees F are all favorable to its growth.

Ocean Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Ocean’

If you’re looking for something with more subtle variegation, the Ocean spider plant is a perfect choice. The small Ocean spider plant has delicate, cream-white borders on its green leaves. Long runners that cascade from the plant’s center bear white blooms that resemble stars and sprout new plants. The leaves of this plant are gorgeous when they are left to flourish and spread out over the pot in a hanging basket. This type thrives at lower temperatures around 60 degrees F and may reach heights and widths of up to eight inches. For this plant, we advise a greater relative humidity and moist yet well-draining soil. To increase this variety’s hardiness in the winter, allow the soil to slightly dry out.

A closeup of the Chlorophytum comosum 'Ocean' spider plant variety's colorful leaves

Even though the

Chlorophytum comosum

‘Ocean’ (pictured) has subtle variegation, its vibrant colors are far from subtle.

©iStock.com/Prasenjit Kar

How to Grow Variegated Spider Plants

You should look for a location indoors with bright, indirect light and moderate to high humidity before planting your variegated spider plant. This plant enjoys a location in the bathroom, bedroom, or virtually anywhere with a light source. That being said, as long as you provide for its care requirements, it will thrive on a table or desk in any environment. For your spider plant to thrive, you’ll also need to gather materials like a plastic potting container or hanging planter.

Variegated spider plants do nicely in organic potting soil that drains properly. This plant thrives on neutral soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.2. The finest soil mixtures for spider plants will include drainage-enhancing materials like perlite or pumice.

Get Your Variegated Spider Plant Ready for Its New Home

  1. Take your spider plant out of the container it is in now, and then massage the root ball to get rid of the old soil.
  2. For the plant, make a well-draining potting mixture. You could wish to amend the soil with pumice or perlite to increase drainage.
  3. A plastic container that is larger than the plant’s existing pot should be used. Make sure the base of this planter has a drainage hole.
  4. To ensure that the top of the plant’s root ball is at the same level as it was in its previous pot, add a heavy layer of your chosen plant soil mix to the bottom of the container.
  5. To ensure that the plant will be durable in its new surroundings, place it in the planter and cover the area around it with dirt.
  6. Place in a location with lots of bright, indirect sunshine after fully watering.

Spider plants with different colors tend to thrive in areas with indirect, strong sunshine. Since their leaves can burn in direct sunlight, they also prefer shaded locations. As long as you satisfy your spider plant’s lighting requirements, it will surely thrive!

The majority of variegated spider plants will also benefit from temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees F and moderate to high humidity. Generally speaking, your spider plant will feel at home if you mist it regularly and keep an eye on your home’s temperature. If the plant needs additional humidity, spraying it more frequently will be appreciated.

Why is My Variegated Spider Plant Losing Its Color?

White areas of variegated plants cannot photosynthesize because they lack chlorophyll. If your spider plant’s leaves are turning less green, it’s because it can’t get enough energy from the sun to stay strong and healthy. Most frequently, too much sunshine is to blame for this leaf bleaching. Our flesh tans or burns from too much sun, whereas plants’ leaves blanch and bleach from sunburn.

Try placing your spider plant in a place with less direct light if it is starting to turn white. Spider plants dislike afternoon light in its direct form. If changing the lighting doesn’t restore your spider plant’s green hue, it can be iron deficient. Consider using a fertilizer with more nitrogen. Spider plants may also become discolored as a result of fluoride in tap water. Try using distilled water instead.

There are so many varieties of spider plants to choose from, including both variegated and non-variegated varieties. With so many options out there, finding the right aesthetically-pleasing spider plant for your home is quite easy. Why not pick a few varieties to grow on your own?

Do you want to learn even more about the incredible and resilient spider plant? Take a look at our complete guide to spider plants here!

Summary of 7 Types of Variegated Spider Plants

RankSpider Plants
1Vittatum Spider Plant
2Bonnie Spider Plant
3Variegatum Spider Plant
4Variegated Bonnie Spider Plant
5Fire-Flash Spider Plant
6Zebra Grass Spider Plant 
7Ocean Spider Plant

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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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