Ask a Question forum→Strange spider plant mutation

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emily127391
Jun 29, 2018 10:45 PM CST
A few months ago, my spider plant began to sort of bunch up in the middle. The baby came from a mother plant that I own which doesn't look like this one, and none of the babies have looked like this either. I would just like to know if this has happened before and if my plant is healthy.
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Name: Big Bill
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BigBill
Jun 30, 2018 4:29 AM CST
The "variegation" in spider plants is often related to light. The amount of creamy white versus the amount of green will change as the light intensity changes.
There are instances in plants where exposure to things like chemicals has caused mutations but that is not the issue here.
By the same token I have had spider plants growing in the same location who produce variegated babies one time and solid green at other times.
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Jun 30, 2018 6:40 AM CST
That's very interesting! It looks like an entirely different plant species. Plants on rare occasions produce what are known as "sports" or genetic anomalies. In nature, sometimes these sports survive and even thrive and in other instances are too genetically weak to make it.

It looks healthy so keep up what you have been doing. I would be very interested to see a photo of it in a few months to see how it develops.
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sallyg
Jun 30, 2018 8:07 AM CST
ditto to WillC
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
MI
emily127391
Jun 30, 2018 8:26 AM CST
Thank you all for the speedy and helpful answers! I'll be sure to come back and update Big Grin
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Jai_Ganesha
Jun 30, 2018 9:02 AM CST
This is likely not a genetic "sport" in the normal sense.

Instead, it is fasciation, which occurs pretty frequently in plants but with Chlorophytum plants in particular they often "outgrow" it. I suspect that this is because unlike a lot of other plants we keep spider plants grow fast. Fasciation can have several related causes, including hormonal, environmental, viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasitic. It's often impossible to know what caused it. Sometimes it is harmful or stunts the plant, but usually (in cultivation, at least) it doesn't.

One of my offsets did this a few years ago and I eventually threw it away because it was ugly. Costa Farms has a named cultivar out there ("Chlorophytum 'Bonnie'") which has a similar "curled" growing pattern although once it gets bigger it seems less compact than this plant (which makes sense, because the leaves are stretching and weigh more). @GardeningJustin, can you confirm/deny whether Cost Farms' 'Bonnie' is the result of fasciation?
Keep going!

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