Q. Is it unusual that plants like the spider plant make roots in the air?
Those roots are normal. Actually there are many plants that sprout roots above the soil. These roots are called adventitious roots, simply defined as any root that develops from stem tissue instead of root tissue.
For example, English ivy also features adventitious roots. The ivy grows these roots along its stem for support as it climbs.
The spider plant grows them on its "babies," which then droop onto the ground, root, and become new plants. The kalanchoe plant makes roots in the air which develop into new plants right on the leaf. Even an orchid can produce babies called keiki (kay-kee), the Hawaiian word for baby, which sometimes grow directly on a flower spike.
Nature is so surprising and not so usual!
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service