At this time of year when there’s not much to do in the garden or find in the wild, houseplants become the focus for plant magic.

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) has been popular since forever, which is no wonder because it is so easy to care for. This plant gets its name from its spider-like appearance and its spiderettes (babies) that dangle from the mother plant like little spiders on a web. The spiderettes start out as small, white flowers. Once they develop roots, they can be planted to start a whole new colony of spiders. Also known as the ribbon plant, their ribbon-like leaves can be solid green or variegated. In addition to adding a splash of interest to a room, spider plants are good for clearing impurities from indoor air.

These plants also absorb negativity and can give the energy in your home a lift. Hang one wherever you feel things are bogged down. Because a plant with babies symbolizes fertility, hang one in the bedroom if you are planning on a pregnancy. Alternatively, root one of the babies in its own flower pot and place it next to your bed. Also representing abundance, hang one in a kitchen window to invite prosperity into your home. Included on an altar, a spider plant can represent the element air.

Because of its name and appearance, this plant is also associated with that particular creepy crawly. As a gardener, I have made my peace with spiders and acknowledge their important role as part of the army of “good bugs.” But let’s face it, they do not engender warm, cuddly feelings. The connection between the plant and creepy crawly that I like to associate is the spider’s ephemeral web, a source of endless fascination, beauty, and metaphor. It doesn’t take much to imagine the arching leaves and dangling babies as a web.

Hang a spider plant near or above your altar and visualize the energy around it as a web of magic that holds your ideas and intentions, keeping them safe until you are ready to bring them to fruition. The plant also serves as a symbol of creating and renewing connections, reminding us of our bonds with other people, with animals, and, of course, the web of existence.

Who would have thought that such a common houseplant could hold so much magical meaning and power?