How To Care for A Spider Plant? (Plant Care Answers and More)

If you consider yourself a beginner when it comes to taking care of plants, then the spider ivy or spider plant is ideal for you as it is among the more effortless plants to care for indoors. They do not demand much attention from you and would rather be left unbothered once you have set up the groundwork for them to thrive happily. In this article, let’s talk about how to care for spider plant.

how to care for spider plant

Spider Plants have an extremely easy propagation method and look dashing, whether hung on hanging baskets or planted in decorative pots. These plants come in multiple types and varieties to choose from, depending on your preference. For sure, there is always a place to grow spider plants in your space.

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the more common questions regarding the spider plant’s care. As earlier said, it is an easy plant, but it has some more important points you must take note of. 

Let’s get right into it!

Getting To Know Spider Plants

Getting To Know Spider Plants

In botany, the Spider Plant is scientifically known as the Chlorophytum comosum, but is more commonly known as the spider plant, airplane plant, spider ivy, or the ribbon plant. It originates in Southern Africa but is naturalized in most parts of the world. 

They have long blade-like leaves flanked on either side with white stripes. These leaves stem from the center and have pointed tips almost resembling grass blades. The plant gets its “spider” name from the flowers that sprout as they do indeed look like spiders. 

In general, these plants may grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in height and width. Its light requirement is full sun, will thrive in any good quality potting mix, and requires watering at least once a week. 

1. How often should I water my Spider Plant?

One of the things that makes this plant easy is that it is forgiving when you accidentally overwater it, which is all too common among plant beginners. 

Normally, you would water this plant once weekly. You can check the soil of the plant to see if it is dry before watering. You can wait another day or two before watering if it is still moist. It might be a thirsty plant compared to other houseplants, but it does like to have its soil dry out before its next drink. 

Checking the soil is important so that you can avoid overwatering. Overwatering once won’t be too much of an issue as it can recover quickly, but constant overwatering will eventually kill your plant. Regularly checking moisture levels lets your plant absorb water and nutrients at its own pace.

During the warmer seasons, you might need to water more often to keep the soil moist. Water in the morning on the soil surface and not directly on its leaves. Cold water will damage its roots, so ensure it is at least room temperature or slightly warmer. 

RELATED: What are the Causes and Solutions for Spider Plant Brown Tips?

2. Does my Spider Plant have a humidity requirement?

Yes, it does! This is especially important during the colder seasons as moisture levels may drop too low for the plant’s liking. 

These spider plants generally prefer a humidity level of 40-60%. Compare this to most homes which will usually have 30-50%. You can do several things to achieve optimum moisture for your plant. 

You can set the plant’s pot over a tray lined with small pebbles so any excess water from your watering will accumulate in the tray. This excess will then provide moisture to your plant. You can also occasionally mist your plant with a spray bottle. 

If your spaces permit, you can also put it in your kitchen or bathroom as these places are usually more moist as compared to other parts of your home. 

3. What is the ideal lighting for my Spider Plant?

how to care for spider plant

Spider plants thrive happily in most, if not all, types of lighting conditions. They even grow well in artificial lighting conditions! 

In general, it will require bright but indirect light as giving it too much or direct sunlight for a prolonged time will turn its gorgeous white stripes into green. When light is extremely excessive, your plant will have burnt crispy leaves with brown tips. 

On the other hand, give it too little light, then its leaves will turn yellow and will slowly start to drop. Spider Plants that generally receive a minimum of 12 hours of indirect, bright light usually have more offspring. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep the plant in a room that gets some sunlight but should not be exposed to the full afternoon sun. 

An ideal place is near a window that is closer to your northern-facing windows, as these windows usually receive enough light but not so much as to burn the plant. However, if you want to place it in a southern-facing window, then just do not place it too close. 

RELATED: How To Propagate A Spider Plant: What You Need To Know

4. Is there a temperature requirement for my Spider Plant?

Since this is a tropical plant, it will not do well in lower temperatures of 60°F. It’s also smart to avoid strong breezes that blow right through your plant. Though they have the ability to tolerate cooler temperatures down until 35°F, this will force them into dormancy and will significantly stunt their growth. 

If you’re growing them outdoors, moving them indoors would be a good idea before the frost comes. However, if you are outside the hardiness zones of 9 – 11, it is better to grow them indoors, especially in the winter. 

5. What is the ideal soil for my Spider Plant?

Soil for spider plant

Since this is a thirsty plant, the soil should also support the plant’s lifestyle. However, it is still also important not to let the plant sit in wet soil for too long. 

The goal of the soil for your Spider Plant is to absorb all the water it can while letting any excess water drain. For this reason, well-draining soil that still retains moisture well is ideal. This way, your Spider Plant is perfectly watered. 

The base of the soil should be loamy, airy, well-draining, well-rounded, and average. It should not be too dense but not too loose either. A good quality general potting mix should work well. Some suggestions are using Leca or a combination of soil and leca. These plants will thrive best in pH soil of 6.0 – 6.5. 

Poor quality soil mix should be avoided as this can stunt your plant’s growth and may make your plant more prone to contracting diseases. 

6. How should I fertilize my Spider Plant?

The Spider Plant is a relatively energetic plant when it comes to growth. Despite this, it is a plant that does not require plenty of fertilizer for it to support its growth. However, one of the benefits of keeping this plant topped up is that it will give you more flowers as compared to not fertilizing it.

If you decide to fertilize the plant, do so at the beginning of the growing season in the spring and also once at the beginning of summer. Do not fertilize this plant in the autumn and winter as, during these seasons, it will be in its dormancy. Too much fertilizer during these times will cause minerals to accumulate and may stress out your Spider Plant. 

For the fertilizer, it is recommended to feed them with water-soluble water per few weeks or so. Dilute the fertilizer solution of 15-15-15 to one-half its recommended strength and use this to fertilize your plant. 

RELATED: Leaves Turning Brown? Tips For Saving Your Spider Plant’s Tips

7. How should I repot? Is there a recommended pot?

How should I repot? Is there a recommended pot?

The best pot that you can use for your lovely Spider Plant is a container with drainage holes. These holes allow excess water to leave the pot and will ultimately help avoid overwatering. Another idea is a terracotta pot, as these have a porous material that allows oxygen to reach your plant’s roots and help evaporate moisture in the pot more quickly. 

Remarkably, this plant thrives when they become slightly root-bound within a small container. However, you will eventually need to transplant it into a bigger one when it outgrows its container. For optimal results, transplant it into a pot that is 2 inches (5cm)  larger than its current pot. 

Provide fresh soil according to our soil section’s suggestion that is enough to fill your new container. Discard any plantlets, if there are any, from your mother Spider plant.

8. Do I need to prune my Spider Plant?

To keep your plant prim, proper, and in tip-top shape, you may consider trimming old leaves in summer or spring. If you want a tighter control, you can trim any spiderettes or other flowers blooming. However, growing the spider plant babies increases the plant’s energy expenditure and therefore increases fertilizer and water needs. 

To prune the Spiderettes, trim down the longest stem back to mother Spider’s base. Then, cut leaves and stems with sterile cutting instruments to prevent the spread of insects or diseases between your plants. 

9. I want more Spider Plants! How do I propagate them?

how to care for spider plant

Propagating Spider Plants is also one of the easier aspects of this plant. When the mother Spider Plant blooms, it will be able to produce babies or plantlets with their roots just sprouting from the blooms! 

Cut these spider plant babies growing from the dainty white flowers. Plant them to their own pots, where they will develop their own root systems. Aside from directly planting in the soil, you can also root them in water before planting. You can also plant all of them in the same pot. Just ensure to use a wide one that will give them enough space to fill.

When the baby spider plants have set their own roots separate from their parent, you can separate them from the mother plant. Small stalks can also pop up, and these can also be used to grow new Spider Plants. As baby plants emerge from the stalks, you can pin them to the soil using a toothpick. As roots start to form, cut the plantlets away.

10. My Spider Plant is not thriving as well as I’d like it to. What could be the problem?

  1. Brown Leaves

The most common causes of brown leaves are an inconsistent routine of watering, prolonged sunlight, not enough humidity, or chemicals in your tap water. When this happens, adjust the parameter that you think may be causing this. 

These may involve moving the plant to a more shaded part of your home, cutting back on the watering, misting the plant, or using distilled water. Cut the brown tips as you notice them appearing.

  1.  Droopy and Pale Leaves

This happens when you let the soil dry out for too long. The remedy is simple: you can slowly ramp up the amount or frequency of watering your plant. However, do this slowly, as ramping up too fast can cause overwatering and eventually root rot. 

  1. Pests

The most common pests you will encounter with your plant are spider mites, whiteflies, mealy bugs, and aphids. Most of these bugs can easily be cleared by aggressively washing your plant’s leaves under a sink or wiping them with alcohol. 

Follow these up by wiping with neem oil or insecticidal spray. These will repel further infestations. 

  1. Diseases

By far, the most common disease that this plant encounter is root rot. This will manifest as small brown and black spots on the plant’s leaves. This is easier to mitigate and is done by just watering plant appropriately and maintaining moisture levels stable.

The two leading causes of overwatering are simply watering often or soil and pot not well draining efficiently. See which of the two is causing the problem and adjust accordingly. 

Here is your quick guide to Spider Plant pests and diseases, their symptoms, and the actions you can take to get rid of them:

Spider Plant Pests and Diseases

Common Pests/DiseasesSymptomsTreatment and Prevention

Common diseases include crown rot, stem rot, root rot, leaf spot, fungal diseases, and Xanthomonas infection
Yellowish rimming around black or dark brown spots on leaves
Avoid overwatering. Keep soil dry. Avoid too high humidity.Proper ventilation is needed around the plant. Remove infected parts of fungal infections to avoid spreading.
Common pests include mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, and scalesVisible insects on the surfaceSpray plants with warm, soapy water. If infestation is present, use insecticide or neem oil. Use diatomaceous earth. 

PLANT CARE SUMMARY

Plant care can be a bit too much, especially if you take loads of information in just one time. Allow yourself some space for errors as no one becomes a plant master in just a short amount of time.

For you to not get overwhelmed, we have prepared a summary of the essentials of Spider Plant care, including its light, water, temperature, fertilization, and propagation requirements, among others.

LightModerate to bright light, tolerable to a wide range of light conditions
TemperatureIntermediate to warm, minimum 60 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterOnce a week, increased in summer, decreased in winter
SoilLight and airy, well-draining soil; Leca and soil mix
FertilizationRegular household fertilizer, once a month
SpaceMinimal space
PropagationVia plantlet propagation
BloomingEnough sunlight and maturity needed
PruningRegular pruning not needed
PottingRegular potting mix, use of perlite, sphagnum moss, coco coir, and orchid bark is recommended 

CONCLUSION

Plant care

We hope that this article has opened your eyes to how easy it is to care for this simple yet elegant plant. Once you can set this up for its ideal conditions, it takes care of itself over time. 

This plant is sure to bring forth a bloom of green all year round. Not only will this brighten up any space you have, but it is also sure to get you started on cultivating that green thumb of yours.

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Morgan Daniels

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