Not only are they attractive with their long, cascading foliage, but spider plants also happen to be one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain when you follow a few basic “how-to” tips. And contrary to their name, spider plants aren’t creepy at all. In fact, they make excellent houseplants!
Spider plants are one of the more forgiving houseplants available. They are actually rather hard to kill and can withstand a bit of neglect and infrequent watering. This makes them the perfect house plant for almost anyone!
In addition, they are also easy to propagate to create several brand new plants any time you wish.
Although they are hardy in zone 9-11, most people choose to keep them indoors as hanging plants. (You can find your Growing Zone Here.) For warmer climates, they look stunning outdoors in containers, at the edge of a raised bed, or even placed as a ground cover. Just make sure to keep them in partial shade.
Features of Spider Plants – How To Grow Spider Plants
Spider plants feature several thin solid green or green and white variegated leaves. The leaves can grow up to 2 feet long and cascade over the sides of their container. For this reason, spider plants do best when they are grown in hanging baskets.
You can also place them on top of plant stands that allow the leaves to spill over the sides of the pot. They make great additions next to potted ferns, which also have foliage that cascades over the sides of their containers.
During various times of the year, spider plants send out small white flowers at the end of long stems. These flowers will turn into what are called plantlets, or pups. These plantlets are essentially tiny baby spider plants that somewhat resemble an arachnid spider (hence their unique name).
These new plantlets can be removed and turned into a new plant, making spider plants one of the easiest plants to propagate.
Spider plants generally grow around two feet wide and long. It all really depends on the container you have them in, and how many baby spider plants you allow to grow off of the main plant.
How To Plant, Grow, And Maintain Spider Plants
Soil Requirements for Spider Plants
As mentioned before, spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Choose a potting soil mix that is well-draining but still allows the soil to stay moist. Any of your run-of-the-mill all-purpose potting soil mixes should work just fine. The soil pH should be neutral. Product Link ; Espoma All Purpose Potting Soil
Planting Spider Plants
Spider plants are grown as transplants as opposed to seeds. You can typically find transplants during the warmer months at your local nurseries or greenhouses, or they can even be ordered online.
It might also be possible to acquire a plant from a neighbor or friend who has a mature spider plant growing. Be sure to ask around if you are on the lookout for one because they are a popular houseplant.
Choose a container that is slightly larger than the root ball of your transplant spider plant. Ensure that the container has several drainage holes, or be sure to add some to your container if need be.
Fill your container with potting soil mix, stopping to allow space for the root ball. Lightly loosen the roots and place the spider plant in the container. Backfill, making sure the roots are fully covered and the foliage is above the soil’s surface.
Water well until the soil is moist and draining through the container holes.
Long-Term Care – How To Grow and Maintain Spider Plants
Spider plants don’t do well when placed in a location with direct sunlight. The harsh rays can actually burn the foliage. Instead, make sure to keep the plant next to a window that receives indirect sunlight for best results.
While not picky on temperatures, keep plants in a spot in your home that is between 55-80º Fahrenheit (13-27º Celsius). As with most houseplants, avoid locations with cold or hot drafts. In addition, regular misting may help foliage if your humidity levels are too low.
Thankfully, spider plants are a bit more forgiving than other houseplants when it comes to watering. It’s ok to let the soil dry out slightly in between waterings. However, aim to keep the soil lightly moist but never fully saturated. Overwatering can actually cause more issues than underwatering for spider plants.
A dose of all-purpose fertilizer about once or twice a month will help aid in the growth and health of your spider plant. Make sure to follow label directions and watch out for browning of the foliage tips, which might indicate that you are using too much fertilizer.
As mentioned earlier, spider plants are a cinch to propagate. Once you start to see a new baby spider plant, wait until it is a few inches long before cutting. Then, simply cut the plantlet off above the main growth using sharp gardening shears. Make sure to keep all of the plantlet’s roots attached.
Place your new transplant into a small pot that will allow for new growth and one that has good drainage holes. Keep the soil moist until well established. The roots should begin to grow in a few weeks.
As an added bonus: Baby spider plants make excellent gifts for friends, family members, teachers, and neighbors!
If you don’t take the time to cut off the plantlets occasionally, your spider plant can get very unruly. The main plant will spend a lot of energy and resources trying to create the pups as opposed to creating new foliage, which will leave your main plant thin and lacking.
In addition, you may also need to trim back the main plant’s foliage at the base of the plant if needed as well. Just take sharp gardening shears to cut above the top of the plantlet or cut the foliage at the base of the plant.
You will likely need to repot your spider plant every few years due to growth. In addition, once you begin to see their roots growing through the container’s drainage holes, it’s time to repot.
Follow the directions above for planting, making sure to keep the container a few inches larger than the root ball.
Pests & Issues
The main pests of spider plants are your typical houseplant pests. Insects such as aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, and spider mites can all affect plants.
In addition, watch out for browning and discoloration on a spider plant’s leaf tips. This can mean any number of issues such as excess fluoride or chlorine in the water you are using, too much fertilizer, low humidity levels, etc.
If you are wanting to add a beautiful houseplant to your home, consider growing a spider plant. Not only are they easy to grow and maintain, but you will be able to enjoy their lush green foliage for many years to come. They are the houseplant that keeps on giving!
Feel free to download, print out, or save our Spider Plant At-A-Glance sheet. It is sized for half letter printing but can be scaled if needed.
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