Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)
The spider plant does indeed look like a big green spider, with long pointy leaves that arch over and look good in a hanging basket. Best of all, if the plant gets a little root-bound, meaning there are more roots than there is room to spread out. The plant will begin putting out rosettes, or little baby spider plants at the end of stems. If you snip off one of these baby plants and put the bottom in some water, you'll have healthy roots in no time, which you then can plant in another pot.
Like many other houseplants (or patio plants), the spider plant likes its soil to dry out somewhat between watering [source: University of Illinois Extension]. Even with a brown thumb, you can learn to sense when your plant needs some water, such as when the leaves get a little dull. Or, you can stick your finger in the soil to see if it's dry. This plant likes bright light, though not direct sun, which will burn the leaves. Leaf burn on the tips can happen with too much fertilizer or too many salts in the water.
For a beefier, more substantial specimen, check out the plant on the next page.