Swedish ivy or creeping Charlie is a fast growing plant with shiny, scalloped leaves on long, vining arms. Variegated Swedish ivy has green and white leaves, and grows a little more compact than the green type. With plenty of fertilizer, Swedish ivy grows rapidly. It is actually more compact and attractive if it has less fertilizer.
Spider plant is the most novel looking plant of the group. It grows little plantlets on wiry branches like strawberry plants. The little offset plantlets are similar in appearance to spiders. These offsets form small roots like toes in the air and grow readily if they touch the soil. They hang down like a charm bracelet over the side of the pot. Roots are so thick that plants need to be moved to larger pots regularly before they push themselves out of the pot. The green-and-white variegated leaf variety is more attractive than the solid green one. While this exceptionally hardy plant will survive in less than perfect conditions, when well cared for, it is stunning.
I have started several of these plants by sticking several 3- to 5-inch stem cuttings into a 6- to 8-inch hanging basket of potting soil and covering with a clear plastic bag for a week or two until they are rooted. Because they are easy to grow they make great gifts for friends.
Allen Wilson is a Vancouver gardening specialist. email@example.com