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Fall - Spring
While technically houseplants, spider plants are low-water users that make attractive accent plants in desert gardens. Placed under the filtered shade of a Mesquite or Palo Verde tree the spider plant will last many seasons. In the full sun, it will probably not survive summer and should be treated as an annual. Spider plants produce a rosette of long thin foliage. Fall to Spring the plants produce white flowers on long stems, as well as baby spider plants called pups. The pups look like tiny spiders, which is where the plant gets its name. These tough plants tolerate lots of abuse. They were even once said to be highlighted by NASA for their reported air-purifying ability. Though the amount of plants you would need to get any benefits would be staggering! Whether you choose to plant them inside or out, spider plants are a classic and attractive addition to your space.
Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information
The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others!
Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.
Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.