Back To Top

News

How to care for your Spider Plant

Wednesday October 19, 2022
Spider plant care

How to Care for your Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

Spider plants (aka Chlorophytum, airplane plant or ribbon plant) are attractive tropical plants, nicknamed for their long, arched, narrow leaves. Their cascading nature looks great in hanging planters or placed on a sill or near a ledge to create a waterfall effect. They are originally native to Africa but gained popularity as a houseplant in the Victorian era as fashionable living décor. Spider plants make a great addition for both novice and experienced plant parents alike because they are easy to care for and propagate, can tolerate moderate and indirect sunlight, and have been proven to be especially good at helping to purify the air in indoor environments. Although they bear a similar resemblance to Dracaenas, Dracaena plants tend to have wider leaves and a taller, more upright growing habit. Mature Spider plants also can produce many visible offspring, called “pups” or “spiderettes” which trail down from the mother plant.

Regular watering, indirect sunlight and regular fertilization are all key to keeping your Spider plant looking its best. Follow this guide to learn more about caring for your Spider plants.

 

Light

When placed indoors, Spider plants do best in bright to moderate indirect light. Ensure that your plant is not exposed to full or direct sunlight without being acclimated first, as their leaves can quickly burn and cause damage to the plant.

Soil

Spider plants can grow in a variety of different soil types. However, they do best in loose soil with optimal drainage. Spider plants prefer a neutral pH Balance but can handle slightly acidic or higher alkaline mixed soil.  

Water

These plants like their soil to be kept moist but not overly saturated. Be sure not to overwater your spider plant as it can quickly lead to root rot. These plants are also sensitive to excess fluoride and chlorine commonly found in tap water. Excess mineral salts can cause brown tips at the end of its leaves. It is therefore best to give your spider plant filtered water or rainwater. Also ensure that the temperature of the water is room temperature as any excessively cold or hot water can damage your plant.

Temperature & Humidity

Giving your spider plant a temperature and humidity that matches its natural habitat is how they will thrive the best. Don’t expose them to cooler temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and try to keep them away from any cold or hot drafts. Regular misting or running a humidifier in the room can help increase the ambient humidity and keep your plant from developing brown leaf tips.

Fertilizer

During their active growing season, spider plants can benefit from regular fertilization. Feeding them once a month using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer that is formulated for indoor plants.

 

Propagating

Spider plants are quite easy to propagate, which make them a great plant for a beginner to grow and share with friends. Follow the below steps to ensure a successful propagation.

1.    Once your plant has matured and grown pups, you can separate the pups from the mother plant and replant them. Using a sterile sharp knife or pruning tool, carefully cut off a small plantlet off the stem ensuring to keep its roots intact. Be sure that the roots are at least an inch or two long.

2.    Place this new cutting into a pot with fresh new moist potting mix. Ensure the soil stays moist but not overly saturated.

3.    Once you start to see this new cutting start to grow. You can begin to water and care for it as you would a regular spider plant.

 

Potting & Repotting

Spider plants will still grow well when slightly root-bound; however, once your plant’s root system and root ball start to overgrow your planter, it’s time to repot.  Ensure that your new planter is about 1”-2” inches wider in diameter than the old pot and has good-sized drainage holes at the bottom. Generally, Spider plants will need to be repotted about once every 2 to 3 years. The best time to report is when your plant is in its active growth stage around the spring or early summertime. To repot, fill your new pot halfway with fresh moist potting mix. Remove your Spider plant from its old container. Trim any damaged or decayed roots and fill in the rest of the space around the plant using loosely packed indoor potting mix.  If the soil is dry, you can water the plant after repotting, otherwise water as normal. If you see your plant wilting shortly after repotting, the soil may be too dry.

 

FAQ

1.    How long does a spider plant live?

The length of time a spider plant can live is based on how well it is cared for and maintained.  Spider plants are known for their longevity, and if cared for properly can live up to 20 or even 50 years(!). Keeping your plant’s soil lightly moist and ensuring it gets an adequate amount of indirect sunlight are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy plant.

 

2.    Does a spider plant really clean the air?

According to the NASA clean air study, Spider plants are listed as one of the best natural home air purifying plants, capable of helping filter common household VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) including formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from indoor environments.

 

3.    Can a spider plant survive outdoors?

Spider plants can be grown outdoors in warm climate zones (i.e.: USDA zones 9 – 11) , and will not tolerate frost or freezing.

 

 

NASA Clean Air Study

 

Links