Chlorophytum, Chlorophyte, How to care for and cultivate your ribbon or phalanx

Chlorophytum, Chlorophyte, How to care for and cultivate your ribbon or phalanx



also called


It is a delightful herbaceous plant, perennial and evergreen, present in almost all our homes, very appreciated for its foliage and for its scarce cultivation needs.






: Angiosperms


: Monocotyledons











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


TheChlorophytum, a plant native to southern Africa, also known as ribbonor phalangium, is a Moltonota plant, characterized by green leaves that fall in a rosette, long, arched and often provided with a large white-yellow band.It is a delightful herbaceous plant, perennial and evergreen, present in almost all our homes, much appreciated for the foliage and for their scarce cultivation needs.

From the center of the rosette long and fleshy, whitish stems develop, bearing small white flowers, in the extreme part, very decorative tufts of leaves, which are used to multiply the plant. For this reason, Nastrini look particularly good in hanging baskets.


There are about 250 species ofChlorophytum among which we remember


The Chlorophytum comosum it has linear green leaves up to 30 cm long, which develop forming a rosette giving the plant a bushy appearance. The white stems that develop from the rosette bear small white flowers which, after the fall of the petals, become small seedlings used for the multiplication of the plant.

Of this species there are numerous cultivars among which we remember:Chlorophytum comosum 'Variegatum' where the margins of the leaves are white;Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum' with leaves that have white or cream-colored central streaks.


The Chlorophytum laxum it is native to Ghana and northern Nigeria, it is a small plant with bright green leaves, delicately edged in white. The fiorellinisi always form at the ends of the stems but gathered in panicles.


The Chlorophytum undulatum it is native to South Africa, has very narrow, hard leaves with rough edges. The flowers develop in spikes and are white with dark red variegation.


The Chlorophytum it is a plant that loves the light and also the direct sun as long as it is protected from the sun during the periods of greatest heat. The lack of light means that the plant "slips" and does not take on the characteristic variegated color.

During the winter, temperatures must not drop below 14 ° C. The environment must be ventilated but without drafts. In the spring-summer period, the plant resists high temperatures, even 26 ° C as long as it is not under direct sun.


Ilnastrino, during the spring - summer period, it is good to water it at least twice a week.

Although it does not require a lot of water, it benefits from periodic nebulizations of the foliage with water at room temperature

Water stagnation in the saucer is not appreciated.


THE Chlorophytum cthey grow out very quickly and therefore it is necessary to decant them as soon as the roots have filled the pot.

It is repotted at the end of winter using a light peat-based soil. If you do not change the pot when the roots have filled all the space available to them, they will continue to develop and may even break the pot that contains them.

If it is too big, at the moment of decanting you can divide it into two or more parts and repot it in different pots.


From spring to summer, it is good to fertilize the Nastrino every two weeks, while during the autumn and winter period it is enough once a month.

For all green plants, that is to say for those plants that develop many leaves, it is preferable to use fertilizers that have a fairly high nitrogen content (N) which favors the development of the green parts. Make sure that in addition to having the so-called macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and that among these nitrogen is in greater quantity than it also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (Mg), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.

A piece of advice: slightly reduce the doses compared to those reported in the package; if you insert a good soil and repot every 2 years, you will give your plant a good basic supply of nutrients.


The flowers of the phalangium are not particularly showy and develop long whitish stems that grow from the center of the rosette of leaves.

They generally bloom starting in spring.


The phalanx is not pruned. The leaves that gradually dry up must simply be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.

Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.


The ribbon can be multiplied in various ways: by seed or by rooting of parts of the plant.

In choosing the technique to be adopted, it must be borne in mind that multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, when genetic variability takes over, it is not certain that plants will be identical to the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a very specific Chlorophytum or not. if you are sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by cuttings.

Multiplication by tufts of leaves

a) the tufts of leaves that develop from the center of the rosette through long fleshy whitish stems are used. These tufts can be cut and planted directly in pots, keeping them in the shade until the roots have developed;

b) or they can be planted in pots leaving them attached to the mother plant and separated only when they have emitted their own roots. This second method is safer in terms of the "nourishment" of the seedlings, the mother plant provides, until they become autonomous;

c) the tufts of leaves can also be rooted in water. After about a month, they will have emitted enough roots to allow the plant to take root quickly in the soil that will host them.

Multiplication by division of the plant

The ribbon is a plant that grows very quickly, therefore it can also be multiplied by dividing the plant into two or more portions.

Multiplication by seed

The plant can be multiplied by seeds in March / April. Regarding the modalities, see what has been explained in relation to cyclamen.


Browning of the leaf tips

This symptom indicates that watering or fertilizing is scarce.
Remedies: act accordingly.

Presence of necrosis of the leaves and the stem at ground level

The appearance of these oily-looking necrotic areas that gradually become covered with a whitish felt that is nothing more than the mycelium of the fungus can be caused by various fungal agents that occur as a result of too humid environments.

Remedies: first of all preventive, avoiding excessive watering and stagnant water in the saucer. You can try to save the plant, repotting immediately (remove all the old earth and carefully wash the pot and disinfect it with bleach) and eliminating all the affected parts and sprinkling the roots with a broad spectrum fungicide powder. After repotting, wait at least 7-10 days before proceeding with watering.

Spots on the underside of the leaves

Spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal and in particular mealy cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended that you make use of a magnifying glass and observe yourself. Compare it with the photo on the side. They are features, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.

Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or if the plant is large and potted, you can wash it with water and neutral soap, rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant is varisced very well to eliminate all the soap. For larger plants planted outdoors, you can use specific pesticides available from a good nurseryman.

Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown

If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations crumple, they take on an almost powdery appearance and fall off. By observing carefully, you can also notice thin cobwebs especially on the underside of the leaves. With this symptomatology we are very probably in the presence of an attack of red spider, a very annoying and harmful mite.

Remedies: increase the frequency of nebulizations to the foliage (the lack of humidity favors their proliferation) and possibly, only in the case of particularly serious infestations, use a specific insecticide. If the plant is not particularly large, you can also try cleaning the leaves to mechanically eliminate the parasite using a wet and soapy cotton ball. After that the plant must be rinsed very well to remove all the soap.


Chlorophytum are also called spider plant namely "spider plants" due to the fact that they give the impression of developing and "walking" like a spider.

NASA, in the eighties had released the results on a study of several planets in which it appeared that the Chlorophytum it had the ability to purify the air and in particular absorbed almost 95% of the carbon monoxide of the environment in which it was located.