The spider plant, scientifically known as Chlorophytum comosum, is a top favorite among gardeners, thanks to its gorgeous looks and low-maintenance requirements. This also makes it one of the most popular house plants. Read on to learn more about spider plant care!
These plants are native to tropical and southern Africa. The long, spiky, grass-like leaves of the plant resemble the legs of a spider, hence its name. The leaves are often striped white or pale yellow down the middle or edges, but you can also find solid green varieties. These plants are a stunning addition to both outdoor and indoor gardens. Their cascading growth makes them ideal to be grown in hanging baskets.
During the summer, spider plants may produce tiny white flowers along with baby spider plants, called ‘pups’.
Spider Plant Care
Spider plants are quite easy to care for and can adapt to a variety of conditions in your home. Here’s what you need to know about caring for these trailing plants whose leaves dangle downwards.
Spider plants generally do not have very high water requirements. You should water your plant every 8 to 14 days depending on how warm, bright, and humid your house is. Gardening experts suggest that you should wait until the top 2 inches of the soil are dry before you water the plant again.
During the first month, you can gauge how dry the soil gets in between watering and then you can decide the watering frequency accordingly.
In spring and summer, water will be more likely to evaporate faster so you might have to water the plant more frequently.
The most frequent cause of spider plant’s death is excessive watering. Spider plants are susceptible to root rot if they are waterlogged. This is why they need to be planted in a pot with drainage holes.
Light and Temperature
Spider plants love to be in bright to moderately lit, warm spaces. The preferable temperature range for these plants is 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (13-27 °C), making them a great indoor plant. They appreciate bright sunlight but if it’s coming directly at them. Direct exposure to sunlight will cause the leaves to burn.
So, a perfect spot for them could be near a west, east, or north facing window. Even though the plant can survive in lower light conditions as well, a variegated species will turn solid green if it doesn’t receive a good amount of light.
Soil and Fertilizer
Spider plants are not too fussy when it comes to soil. You just have to use an organic potting mix that is well-draining. Stay away from mixes that containing fluoride as that can damage your plant. An organic mixture of compost, loam, peat, and coarse sand is ideal.
Spider plants are not heavy feeders. You can fertilize them one to three times a year with an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer during the spring and summer. Keep at least a month-long gap between each fertilizer treatment. Skip fertilizer during winters, or if your plant is outgrowing its pot.
Healthy spider plants will eventually produce tiny pups which are offshoots from the adult plant that can be removed and replanted to start new plants. To get the best results, you should allow the offshoots to reach nearly two inches in diameter before detaching them from the mother plant.
That said, you should remember not to let too many pups hang on the mother plant for a long time. Keep removing them regularly because they will zap out some of the energy out of their mom.
Spider Plant Care with Extra “Pups” or “Babies”:
Spider plant babies or pups are extremely easy to propagation. Once they reach about 2 inches in diameter simply snip them off the stem and place in a jar of water. These pups will start to grow their own roots and can be planted in a pot when the roots are approximately two to three inches long.
Most people would love to receive a spider plant either one that is already planted or a fresh pup that already has roots or that they can root them! Consider giving spider plants as gifts!
How to Manage the Browning of Leaf Tips
A very common problem with spider plants is browning leaf tips. This usually occurs due dried out soil or high mineral content in the soil or water. You should increase the watering frequency if the soil looks too dry. However, make sure there is proper drainage.
If the tip burn is excessive, you can flush the soil with distilled water to help wash out excess salts or fertilizer. You can also consider repotting the plant in new soil.
How to Properly Divide a Spider Plant
As your spider plant grows and matures, there may come a time when the mother plant needs to be divided. This is an easy thing to do. Simply remove your main plant from its pot and either cut the root system in half or in quarters depending on how big it is.
Just remember that spider plants actually like be somewhat root bound meaning they like their roots to be crowded. When spider plants are content, they will bloom by sending our long runners that will have small delicate white flowers.
These little white flowers then turn into the spider plant babies or pups. Review the section above on how to grow new spider plants from these pups!
And, as a quick side note: spider plants are safe for children and animals! Our chickens love eating the freshly trimmed leaves and pups. These fresh greens from your spider plants will be quickly eaten by your chickens!
To Sum Up
Spider plant care is easy: these plants are an excellent no-fuss plant for growing indoors and also outdoors in temperate climates. They can get along with even the laziest of gardeners.
So, go ahead and add some greenery to your house using this gardeners’ favorite. We hope that this post will help you take good care of your new buddies.