9 Tips on How to Care for your Spider Plant

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is a popular houseplant well known for being extremely easy to grow. It is a hard-to-kill houseplant that is perfect for beginners. Spider plants look great in any indoor space with their beautiful, grass-like leaves.

It is a versatile houseplant that does well as a hanging houseplant with its cascading foliage or perched on a desk or bookshelf. Spider plants are beneficial air purifying plants. Here are tips on how to care for your spider plant.

Spider Plant
Spider Plant

9 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Spider Plant

1. Your Spider Plant is Happiest in Bright, Filtered Light 

Spider Plant has medium light requirements but it can tolerate low light. It is happiest in bright filtered light. It does well in an east-facing window since it can tolerate a few hours of direct sun. Avoid south and west-facing windows, too much sun will burn the leaves of your spider plant.

2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Spider Plant

Your spider plant has moderate water requirements. Water your spider plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your spider plant is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your spider plant. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Spider Plant

Your Spider Plant needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your Spider Plant

Fertilize your spider plant every two weeks at half strength during the growing season. Feed your spider plant once a month in the winter.

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Spider Plant

Repot your spider plant once every 2 years. When you repot your spider plant, move it to a container that is 4 inches in diameter larger than the current pot. Be gentle when you handle your spider plant because the roots are prone to breakage.

6. Drainage is Essential for Your Spider Plant

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your spider plant to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

After watering your spider plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your spider plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!

Spider Plant Infographic

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Spider Plant

Your spider plant needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C). 

8. Spider Plants are Sensitive to Flouride in Water

Spider plants are sensitive to fluoride in water. If your tap water has a high level of fluoride, you should water your spider plant with distilled or rainwater instead.

9. Humidity is Vital for Your Spider Plant 

Your Spider Plant is a houseplant that likes moderate humid conditions. You should increase indoor humidity. Mist your spider plant several times a week. 

Another way to increase humidity is to keep your spider plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your spider plant is not sitting directly on the water.

10. Spider Plants is a beneficial Air Purifying Houseplant

Spider plants are air purifying houseplants. It is effective in absorbing formaldehyde in the air.

spider plant how to care infographics

3 Common Spider Plant Houseplant Problems

The common problems for Spider Plant houseplants are root root, leaves turning brown, and spider mites.

Why are there Yellow and Brown Spots with Spider-Like Webs on Leaves and Stems of Spider Plant?

Problem: There are yellow and brown spots on the leaves of your spider plant. You also see spider web-like webbing on the leaves and stems. 

spider mites
Spider Mites

Cause: The spider webbing and yellow and brown spots are signs of spider mites attacking your spider plant. Spider mites are tiny pests that are too small to see with your bare eyes.

Solution: To treat spider mites on your spider plant, spray off the leaves with water from a garden hose. The force will cause the little spider mites to wash off the leaves. You can also wash mites off with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. There are also horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps that you can use to kill off spider mites.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Your Spider Plant Look Wilted Even if the Soil is Wet

Problem: Your spider plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your spider plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your spider plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your spider plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your spider plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your spider plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Why is the Tip of the Leaves of Your Spider Plant Turning Brown?

Problem: The tips of the leaves of your spider plant are turning brown. 

Cause: When the tips of the leaves of your spider plant turn brown that is a result of not enough water or humidity. It’s also possible that your spider plant leaves are turning brown because there is a high level of fluoride in the water. The tips of the leaves are turning brown because they are dying. 

Solution: If the problem is caused by underwatering, water your spider plant and increase humidity by watering your spider plant. Just make sure to let your spider plant completely air dry so it does not suffer from root rot. If the reason for the brown leaf tips is the tap water you use has too much fluoride. Try watering with distilled water or rainwater to see if that resolves the issue.

Spider Plant Houseplant Facts

NameSpider Plant
Scientific NameChlorophytum comosum
LightMedium Light
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterModerate Water
HumidityModerate Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix
FertilizerFertilize every 2 weeks at half strength
Spider Plant Houseplant Facts

Spider Plant: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Other Common Names of Spider Plant?

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is also called Hens and Chickens, Ribbon Plant, and Airplane Plants.

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Cats?

No, spider plants are not toxic to cats. According to ASPCA, spider plants are not toxic to cats. It is safe to have spider plants around cats.

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Dogs?

No, spider plants are not toxic to dogs. According to ASPCA, spider plants are non-toxic to dogs. You can safely have spider plants at home around dogs.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Spider Plant?

Water your spider plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your spider plant. 

Spider Plant
Spider Plant

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Spider Plant?

Spider Plant can be watered with tap water except when your tap water has a high level of fluoride. Be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your spider plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your spider plant. 

Spider plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Spider Plant?

Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen on your spider plant.  

How Big Does Your Spider Plant Get?

Spider Plant Your spider plant is a small houseplant that can grow 12-15 inches tall. 

How Do You Propagate Your Spider Plant?

Spider plants are easy to propagate. You can propagate spider plants by division. Below are steps on how to propagate spider plants by division:

spider plant how to propagate infographics

1. Cut the Spider Plant Runner

Spider Plants have runners that make plantlets (pups). Cut the runner into 2 or more pieces. Make sure each piece has its own roots, leaves, and stems. 

Spider Plant Pups
Spider Plant Pups

2. Plant the Spider Plant Pups in Potting Mix

Plant the Spider Plant Pups in potting mix. It’s important to keep humidity high. You can do this by putting a plastic bag or a glass jar over the new planting. Make sure to remove the bag or jar every few hours to let air in. Keep the new planting in a warm location with low light.

3. Wait for Spider Plant Pup to establish roots

Once the roots grow and it is actively making new leaves, you can remove the bag or jar cover. 

You May Also Be Interested in Other Hanging Houseplants:

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