It’s also called a spider plant. The parachutes, or spiders, hang from the mother ship like skydivers, or spiders dangling from tiny, almost invisible, silk strands.
I was given the parachute plant by my florist neighbor five years ago, when I purchased a Russian Olive tree. Parachute plants were free that day, with any purchase. They were tiny, and nestled in a plastic cup of fake soil. I brought it home, sat it in the windowsill of my studio, and forgot it.
When I noticed it again, it was looking peaked, so I watered it and, for good measure, stuffed it into a small pot. It took off like it was flying.
Three new stems, or runners, branched out, searching for light. “Cool,” I thought. When the stems got a little longer, with obvious shoots (tiny parachutes), and finger roots looking for soil, I brought in a couple more small pots.
I placed the parachutes in the additional pots, wondering if I was doing the right thing. But the instinct of a one-time farm boy told me I was.
Voila! In no time, I had a fairly respectable, bushed out, parachute plant, with tiny parachutes dive bombing through space like the 4th of July. I was rather proud of it, and named her Brunhilda.
Brunhilda began looking a little pale, with lots of her leaf-ends turning brown. Once again, farm-boy instinct kicked in. The term, “root bond,” came to mind. I found an old tub, and filled it with potting soil. When I tried to remove Brunhilda from her pots, I discovered roots protruding through the bottom hole. Yep, just as I suspected. I had to damage some roots in setting her free, but she seemed to understand. The entire pot was filled with a mass of wet, mushy roots.