A Spider Plant care and propagation guide that will help you grow and own a beautiful houseplant. The Spider Plant is known as Chlorophytum comosum. It’s one of the easiest houseplants to care for as well as most popular. It is one of the indoor plants that I recommend for beginners who are not experienced, plant owners. If you’re looking for a plant that will look gorgeous and can also tolerate most conditions, the Spider Plant is the one.
Spider Plant Varieties
The varieties of Spider plants are rather limited compared to other houseplants. The Variegated Spider Plant has variegated leaves with white on the inside and green on the outside. The leaves also have a slight curve.
The Bonnie variety has curled leaves and has the same variegation as the Variegated Spider Plant. The Bonnie Spider plant also helps purify the air in your house. Check this post on 50 air-purifying houseplants.
Variegatum Spider Plant variety is also known as the reverse variegated. This is because the leaves have green on the inside and white on the outside. It also has curved leaves. This variety needs adequate light or it will lose the variegation.
Zebra Spider Plant variety has broader leaves with yellow edges. The yellow edges turn white as the plant matures.
Hawaiian Spider Plant variety which is also known as the Golden Glow. It grows to a relatively smaller size compared to the others. It also produces beautiful leaves with rich tones.
Spider Plant Care and Propagation
Light Requirements for Spider Plant
The best position for the Spider Plant in your home is where it will get bright indirect light. In general, this means six to eight feet away from ideally a south-facing window. If you want to create a lot of pups or babies for propagation you can increase that amount of light.
If you go up to about twelve hours of light per day, the plant is going to increase its production of the spider plant pups.
Spider plants can also lose their variegation. Variegation is the difference in color in the leaves, the striped sort of appearance. When your Spider plant doesn’t get enough sun it will start losing its variegation.
Plants in general will either have the variegation either go away or strengthen depending on how much light that plant is getting. For Spider plants typically the less light they get the less variegation they will have on the leaves.
Spider Plant Watering
When it comes to watering Spider Plants, they have long tuber-like roots that are pretty adept at holding water. However, because the spider plant gets a little root bound in a small pot, the roots can take up quite a bit of space.
The roots take up so much space in the pot, they make the water drain straight through before the roots absorb enough. The solution is to let the plant sit in a tray with water for a few minutes.
You place the plant in a shallow bowl or tray and then water it. The water will run right through if the plant is root-bound. Let the plant sit in the tray for a bit before moving it back to its normal position.
This method of watering is contrary to how you would water most house plants. This is because for most house plants you do not want to let them sit in water. Sitting in water can cause root rot and damage to the indoor plants.
The watering frequency is similar to that of other houseplants. Water when the soil is dry to about 1/2 inches.
Although you can water your Spider plant with tap water, some varieties are sensitive to the chlorine in tap water. If you only have access to tap water, you can still use it safely. Pour the water in a container and allow it to sit for at least 24 hrs. This allows the chlorine to evaporate making the water safe for your plants.
Soft and transparent leaves on Spider plants are an indication of over-watering. If you notice squishy leaves, your plant is having root rot. In some cases, you might be able to save your plant but in other cases, the damage is too much.
To increase the chances of your plant surviving, dial back on the watering. You should also repot the plant and check and remove any damaged roots.
Spider Plant Soil Requirements
Spider Plants can grow well in standard potting soil; however, you can also use the African Violet mix if you have it. The standard soil is a mixture of perlite, peat, moss, and compost. Check this post on how to make your DIY soil mixture at home.
Repotting Spider Plants
When it comes to repotting your spider plant unlike most plants you will want to move up the current pot size to about two inches instead of one inch. Usually it’s recommended to move up one inch but spider plants get root bound relatively quickly so you can give them a little more space than you would normally.
Take the plant out gently from the pot. If you have several plants that are clumped up you can separate them at this point. The plants have tuberous roots that support growth.
If the roots are too bound, you can break them up to avoid them getting root bound in the new pot. If you leave them bound, they would think that they were still in the old pot and they would follow the same growth pattern because of root memory.
Fill about 3 inches of the pot with soil. Place the plant in the pot and fill around the sides. Give the plant a deep soak with water and set it on a location with bright indirect light.
Fertilizing Spider Plants
When it comes to fertilizing spider plants, they don’t need too much food. To avoid over-fertilizing, give them half-strength fertilizer solution about once or twice a month especially during the growing season.
Compared to other houseplants, they generally require less fertilizing.
Pruning Spider Plant
You can prune Spider Plants especially after you repot them or buy them. Pruning helps get rid of ugly, broken, and diseased leaves. There is no need to keep leaves that were damaged during transportation.
The easiest way to prune is to cut the leaves directly at the soil surface. Remove any leaves you do not want on the plant. Make sure you are using sharp tools to cut. These will avoid splitting the leaves which increases the risk of infections. Disinfect your tools to avoid passing infections from plant to plant.
Propagating Spider Plants
Spider Plant care and propagation also include learning how and when to get new plants from the pups. The easiest way to propagate Spider plants is by using pups.
During the summer, Spider plants start to flower and produce Spider plant babies or pups. You can either clip the stems and establish them in water or soil.
If you’re afraid of clipping your plant, you can take a separate pot, fill it with soil and place the pup in that pot while it’s still attached to the parent. Once it roots, you can cut it off and separate it from the mother plant.
Spider Plant Problems
Spider Plants are easy growing house plants and will not have problems especially if you provide them with all the conditions discussed above. However, there are a couple of issues that might still arise:
Browning Spider Plant Tips
Spider plants sometimes get brown tips on the leaves. The brown tips can be caused by either too much fertilizer or a lack of humidity. The Spider Plant loves high levels of humidity.
To remedy the situation, increase the humidity in the room. Some people also find success by misting their spider plants. I don’t like misting plants because it’s easy to get it wrong and increase the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.
If you decide to mist your plant, at least do it in the morning, so that the plant has all day to get the leaves dry.
Also reduce your fertilizing (this is one is straight forward). If, you’re ever in doubt about fertilizing, it’s safer not to fertilize.
Spider Plant Pests
Just like all other houseplants, Spider plants can get infected with mealybugs and aphids. Check your plant often so that you can identify any early signs of pests. Check the plant’s under leaves and where the leaves join.
The earlier you identify pests and diseases the easier they are to handle before it becomes a full-blown infestation.
If you notice any pests, you first treat them with neem oil. If the problem is not going away, you can address it with a chemical pesticide.
Spider Plant Cats and Dogs
The Spider Plant is not poisonous to either cats or dogs. However, cats love to eat Spider plant leaves. Not all cats do, but if you have one that does, it can easily damage your plant because it doesn’t stop.
The cats use the Spider plants as a hallucinogenic similar to how they use catnip. You can keep your plant out of reach to save it.
Spider plants are awesome houseplants. Whether you are an experienced plant owner or just getting started, you will get great results.
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