Spider Plant

Spider Plant Ultimate Care Guide

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If you are looking for a gorgeous ornamental plant that is also easy to look after and care for, I can say that you have come to the right place.

Spider plant is one of the easiest plants to take care of and it can easily adapt to any surrounding.

So even if your apartment has low light conditions or if you don’t have that much time on your hands for plant care, this one will grow just nicely and adorn your little indoor nook.

So welcome to my complete guide on how to grow spider plants!

Let’s begin.

How to Take Care of a Spider Plant

How to Take Care of a Spider Plant

Now, before we go further into the most detailed guide you will ever find on spider plants, you will have to get yourself a nice and healthy spider plant.

And now that you have a spider plant the logical start would be learning some simple and interesting things on how to care for a spider plant.

1. Choose good soil

Spider plants prefer the soil that is nice and well-drained.

The things that can happen when a spider plant gets too much water vary from spider plant leaves turning yellow or black and all the way to some more serious problems like damage to the roots.

This is the reason for which spider plant care, indoors especially, requires some few extra steps from you in order to provide the right conditions for your plant.

First of all, you need to find good soil that is easily drained. Soil with a bit of coconut can help with proper draining.

2. Choose a proper pot

Next on the list would be to choose a proper pot for your spider plants.

To begin with, this pot you are about to choose needs to be a few inches bigger than the spider plant itself so that the roots can feed and develop properly.

Next on, you need the pot you choose to have a few of those little drainage holes on the bottom of it.

If it doesn’t, it can prevent the proper drainage of the soil even though you might have chosen the good one.

In case that a lot of water stays inside the pot and your spider plant absorbs too much and overfeeds on it, the roots will probably start to catch mold and rot.

And finally, you should choose a pot made of strong plastic.

Now, I know that ceramic pots are often much prettier, but spider plants have very strong roots and they grow very fast.

So once your spider plants overgrow their pot, the roots will still try to find the way out and break the pot.

This can be really disastrous and you would want to prevent this by all means, I suppose.

That means strong plastic!

3. Choose proper light

Spider plants like when their habitat is well lit, but they don’t like to sit directly under the sun rays for too long.

Direct sunlight can hurt and burn them, so if you want to keep your spider plant healthy, try to find it a nice and warm spot with a bunch of indirect or filtered sunlight, like the one that shines through a curtain or such.

This will make it happy and growing like crazy!

However, spider plants don’t really need that much light and they can grow perfectly well in lower light conditions as well.

If you live in an apartment with low light conditions, you might want to consider growing some other plants that can grow without sunlight.

4. Keep humidity and the temperature consistent

As you probably keep your spider plant indoors, I suppose that temperature is already pretty constant.

The temperature that spider plants like the most is something between 50 °F (or about 10 °C) to 80 °F (or else, about 27 °C).

So, try to keep the temperature between these two points to keep your spider plants perfectly happy and healthy.

Also, spider plants like humidity, so if the air in your apartment is fairly dry, you can place a humidifier somewhere near your plant or, even simpler, mist the air around it with water from time to time.

5. Water with clean water

Now, when I say “clean water” I don’t really think that you would take water from a pond to water your spider plants.

What I want to say is that tap water can contain some salts and minerals that are not really beneficial for your spider plant. Therefore, you should better use distilled water or rainwater to be sure that these chemicals will not hurt your spider plants.

Also, old water can do the trick just fine.

Pour some water in your bottle or a bucket that you normally use to water your spider plants and let it sit for a day or two.

This will make most of the harmful chemicals disappear and the water will be safe enough for watering your spider plant.

Also, be sure to always use the water that has the room temperature. A way to hot or a way too cold water might come as some kind of a shock to your spider plant and hurt its health.

6. Don’t let the soil get soggy

Spider plants like when their soil is moist.

But only moderately!

Don’t let the soil get al soggy as this can hurt the roots of your spider plants

Whenever you think that it is time for a new round of watering, gently put your finger into the soil to check how moist it is.

If the first inch is dry, you can safely decide that it is time to water your spider plants again.

Depending on the conditions of your home, you can water your spider plant every 5 to 7 or even 7 to 15 days.

If your place is sunny and very warm, you will, naturally, water your spider plants more often. And in the winter season, you can water your plants once every 10 to 15 days, and it will be just as happy.

7. Fertilize your spider plant

Fertilizers are meant to help your indoor plants maintain a natural cycle that outdoor plants have.

However, fertilizers are not necessary when it comes to spider plants.

On the other hand, they do help it grow better and stronger during spring and summer that are the season of growth to all plants.

You can also use a pellet fertilizer, but keep in mind that this type is meant to be used only once per year.

If you decide that liquid fertilizer is the one for you, you can use it every 2-3 months in the summer growing season. Stop feeding your spider plant during the winter months.

8. Repot your spider plant when needed

Your plants need occasional transplanting for many reasons.

Since spider plants are known for their fast growth, they can overgrow their pots in no time and if there isn’t enough room for them to grow and develop, they will not only stop growing, but they can also get sick.

This is one of the cases in which you have to repot your spider plant.

The other situation that might require potting is the one in which you have been “overfeeding” your spider plant with fertilizer or water, and it has built up a lot of salt and other minerals that it doesn’t like.

This can cause gray, black, brown and yellow leaves and replanting it in fresh and untreated soil will do it a lot of good.

Examine the roots

Replanting is the right time to examine your plant thoroughly.

Once you take your spider plant out of its previous pot, clear out the excess dirt and soil from the tangled roots in order to see the roots better.

Look for some root pests or mold and rot.

If you come across any spots that are dark and soft, this might mean that this part of the root is caught up by the disease.

Simply cut out those parts of roots with a little bit of healthy tissue as well.

Don’t worry, this will not harm your spider plant in any way!

Quite contrary, it will help get rid of all unhealthy parts, including those that might not be visible yet.

9. Propagate your spider plant when needed

Once the spider plant grows too big to keep it in one pot, you should definitely propagate it to keep it healthy.

This is easily done by cutting the tangled roots into several pieces (depending on the size of the whole bundle) and replanting all of them with fresh and untreated soil.

Also, you can pick those baby plants or plantlets as they are also called, and make them into separate plants as well.

10. Trim dead or diseased leaves

If you notice that there are some gray, dry or yellow leaves, you should first try to find out what is causing these problems.

Once you have found the source of the problem, try to apply your new knowledge and treat your spider plant differently in the future.

Of course, if it is possible to fix, fix it as soon as you can!

Also, be sure to cut out and remove all of the unhealthy leaves so to revitalize your spider plant.

11. Fight off pests the natural way

If you happen to notice some gray leaves or something that looks like a white moss on the bottom side of the leaves, this might mean that your spider plant has caught some pests.

The best way to solve this would be to gently shower your spider plant, remove the diseased parts of the plant, and use some natural solutions to get rid of the pests and mites.

I always like me a homemade bug spray and if you like it too here are some homemade sprays (you can use them on ornamental plants too, they are not exclusively for vegetables) and a recipe for neem oil spray.

Watering Spider Plant

Watering Spider Plant

If you want to learn how to care for a spider plant the right way, the first thing you definitely have to learn is how to water it properly.

The simplest answer to the “How often to water spider plant?” question, I would say that it would be every 7 to 15 days.

Now, spider plants are tropical plants, but that doesn’t mean that they like to be soaked in a lot of water.

As a matter of fact, spider plants have very strong roots that can even store some water in them so that they can live normally and healthily even through the periods of drought when they are in nature.

In terms of indoor keeping, this means that their roots help them survive easily if their owners forget to water them for a few days to a few weeks.

In other words, spider plants are among the easiest plants on the planet to take care of!

Of course, almost everything in this world depends on various other factors, and so it is just the same with spider plant watering.

So, when you are deciding how often to water your spider plant, you need to take several factors into consideration: the brightness of your home and the heat level being the two most important ones.

The lighter and warmer it is, the more often you will have to water your plant for it to be content.

Another thing to know is that you should never water your spider plants before the soil is fairly dry and drained all the way.

That is why it is important to choose a pot with drainage holes so that all of the excess water can drain well and leave the soil dry and ready for another round of watering.

Now, before another round of watering, you should try and stick your finger in the soil.

Naturally, you won’t have to do this every single time!

It just serves well until you find out how your home’s conditions are affecting your spider plant.

If the first few inches of the soil are completely dry, you can safely proceed and water your plant.

However, when the watering time comes around, you should water your plant real well so that all of the water goes through the soil.

You can even take your pot to a sink and pour water until it has drained well through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.

This is not necessary but it helps rinse off the unnecessary salts or minerals that might have stuck around from the previous watering and fertilizing.

Of course, you don’t have to do this every time, but once in every 3-5 watering rounds won’t hurt it. Actually, it is even beneficial.

Water and Minerals

Often times, your tap water might contain some minerals or salts that your spider plant will not like.

If this is the case, it can result in leaves turning black or yellow, or even in a wilting plant.

The mineral that spider plant especially dislikes is fluoride.

So the best solution (or even prevention, which I like far better!) would be to use filtered, distilled or rainwater for watering your spider plant.

You can also pour the water in a bottle or a bucket and let it sit for a few days (1-2) which will make some of the minerals disappear.

Light Requirements for a Spider Plant

Spider plants are champions!

They can survive almost anything and this includes low light conditions as well.

True, they prefer the northern side of an apartment because of better light, but they can grow really well in places that re not that light. Or light at all.

Or course, I don’t mean to say that you can put it in a basement or a cupboard and expect from it to be happy and grow well.

When it comes to spider plant, sunlight isn’t a deal-breaker even if there isn’t that much of it since your spider plant won’t really lack that much on a south side of your apartment either.

However, if you would like to put your spider plant in a nice and light spot, do try to make it as shady as possible.

Spider plants do like when it is well lit, but direct sunlight or too much heat can hurt them and burn their foliage.

This will bring several problems that are fairly easily solved by moving it to a better place, but we would like to prevent those problems from occurring altogether.

Not that I mentioned those low light conditions, it doesn’t hurt to say that spider plants won’t mind an occasional artificial light if you are on the south side, especially in winter.

This artificial light will act as sun and help your spider plants to grow towards it and keep them somewhat warm.

Moreover, it will help with chlorophyll production so that your spider plant can still keep its nice and vibrant green color. It will also stop the leaves from turning yellow or black during winter periods.

Fertilizing a Spider Plant

Fertilizing a Spider Plant

Another thing you need to learn if you want to know how to take care of a spider plant is fertilization.

Now, many indoor plants do need fertilizing quite often, but spider plants, being very strong and durable, really don’t require that much.

As a matter of fact, they can even go without fertilizer at all, but if you want to add a little bit of health and push your spider plant baby to grow better, a little won’t hurt it.

Spider Plant Fertilizer – If and When?

As I said, spider plants can very easily go without fertilizing at all, but once the winter passes and the plants start to awaken, you might as well give them a little push.

Spider plants, too, like to sleep during winter, and when the growing season comes with a spring, a little fertilizer can revitalize your plant and help it flourish and restore its previous shine.

Anyway, what does a fertilizer actually do?

Well, it is supposed to give your house plants a little bit of strength and provide a natural cycle that other, outdoor plants have in nature.

Therefore, spring and summer would be just the time to feed your plants. As I said, this is the growing season, so you can’t pick a better time to do so.

And even in this season, you can add fertilizer every 2-3 months.

As for the winter season, your spider plant can go all this time without a drop of fertilizer and it will still be very strong and healthy.

Types of Spider Plant Fertilizer

1. Organic and Artificial fertilizer

Truth be told, both organic and artificial fertilizers do the work, but I would always go with organic products, so it is what I suggest for spider plants too.

Organic fertilizer will not bring any strange or hostile compounds into the soil so there will be no mineral or salt build-ups.

If, however, it comes to this build-up, your spider plant can get seriously damaged, sometimes even beyond repair.

Moreover, if you use organic fertilizers, it will be really hard, almost impossible to do such a thing as over-fertilize your plant.

If you, on the other hand, decide to go with the more invasive artificial fertilizer, you should also know that prolonged use of this type can not only bring to this infamous build-up that I mentioned, but it can also leave your spider plant more vulnerable and prone to pests and other deceases.

2. Pellet Fertilizer

Pellet fertilizer is the one that is meant to be placed on top of the soil or in it right when the growing season begins.

This fertilizer is also meant to be used just once per year, so if you have, say, inserted it in your spider plant’s soil in April, the next time you want to add a bit of fertilizer and feed your plant, you can use the other type (liquid one) one in August or September and finish for the whole year.

3. Liquid Fertilizer

This is another type of fertilizers that, unlike pellet one, can be used during the whole season – from the beginning of spring to late summer/early fall.

Liquid fertilizers will give a lot of healthy stuff to your spider plant and they have a really fast effect. So if you decide to go with liquid fertilizers, you can be sure that you will see the growth in no time.

You should give liquid fertilizer to your plants every 2 to 3 months in the growing season and be sure that you won’t overdo it.

Please, don’t think that giving more fertilizer to your plants that suggested will make them healthier.

It is rather opposite.

More fertilizer means more salt and mineral build-up and that can hurt your plants, sometimes even for good.

Honestly speaking, not giving fertilizer to your spider plant is way smarter than giving fertilizer to your spider plant every 2 weeks.

If these minerals and salt start to build up, you should definitely repot your plant in fresh and untreated soil which will give your plant a fresh start.

Also, fertilizer (be it pellet or liquid) should not be used during late fall and winter season.

As fertilizer is something that should help your indoor plants to have the same cycle as plants in nature, giving your spider plant fertilizer during the winter season can break this natural cycle and leave your plant harmed.

Spider Plant Pruning

Spider Plant Pruning

Pruning spider plants is not a hard task but it can be boring and it might require a bit of your time.

It is often done when your plant is too large and it might even start to look unhealthy.

Pruning will restore its young shine and make it look marvelous again.

Do You Need Pruning?

If your plant is getting too big or if it has a lot of these babies, it would be best to prune it.

Many people wonder “Should I cut the babies off my spider plant?” and the thing is that these babies or plantlets really only soak up all of the energy from the main plant.

They take up all of the water, all of the fertilizer, and they really leave the main plant drained.

Like every mother, the mother spider plant leaves all of the energy to its babies so to help them develop the roots faster and grow stronger.

Therefore, removing these spiderettes will help the main spider plant to stay healthy and you can grow these plantlets into separate plants.

Another reason for pruning is discoloration (yellow and brown leaves) and dry leaves.

Too much sun or too much water can cause this, and if you want to keep your plant healthy, you will need to change some habits and to remove those damaged leaves.

If you, however, don’t remove these dry and discolored leaves, it can cause for the problem to spread further and maybe even damage your spider plan’s tissue seriously.

How to Prune Spider Plant

Once you decide that it is time for pruning and you start doing this work, you need to pay attention to some things.

First of all, when you are cutting the leaves, make sure that you are cutting them from the very base of the plant.

As you know, spider plants are strong and they grow fast and if you don’t prune them, they can grow very big in no time.

Therefore, removing some of the leaves, even if they are not gray or yellow, will definitely not hurt your plant.

As a matter of fact, it will make it look healthy and not like it is suffocating with its own foliage.

The same thing applies to dry leaves and the leaves affected by the discoloration.

Cut them at the very base of the plant.

Sometimes, root trimming will also be needed, but more on that later when we will talk about repotting spider plants.

When it comes to removing the babies, it is all pretty easy, to be fair.

All you will have to do is to cut the stem that is connecting this baby plant to the main plant.

Cut it the closest possible to the main plant and once the two plants are disconnected, you can remove the stem from the main plant as well.

Pruning will help in revitalizing your spider plant and giving it more strength, especially when you remove the spider plant babies that are sucking up all of the energy.

Spider Plant Propagation from Plantlets (Cuttings)

Spider Plant Propagation from Plantlets (Cuttings)

Spider plants are pretty easy to double or triple, so let’s learn how to propagate a spider plant.

Once your dear spider plants are all set and happy with the conditions you are providing for it, it will start to grow little babies or plantlets as they are commonly called.

These little babies can be removed and placed into the soil (or water) and they will start growing on its own and they will soon develop and become fully grown plants on their own.

Just as the regular plant, these babies don’t require that much work and attention and all they need is a bit of sun and water, and voila.

So here is how these spider plant cuttings can be grown.

1. Cut the plantlets

First of all, you will have to take these plantlets from a fully grown spider plant.

Now, you will have to be very careful when doing this in order not to damage the roots underneath and ruin the main plant.

So, you will need to use a sharp knife and to be very careful.

Try to choose a baby spider plant that has already developed some roots and very carefully cut the soil around it and take it out of its previous living place.

2. Put it in water

Next, you will want to place your spider plant-to-be in a glass of room temperature water with all of its leaves comfortably extending over the edge of the glass.

A smart thing would be to pour a glass of water a day before and let it sit.

This will allow for chlorine to disappear and all of the other minerals that might be harmful to a young spider plant to settle down.

Leave it in the water for a week or two until you have noticed that the roots are starting to grow and develop.

About 3 inch (7.5 cm) of the root is more than enough to plant your spider plant into a pot and start growing it in the soil.

Be sure to change the water every single day and check the developing roots for mold.

If you notice that some mold is starting to develop, take your plantlet and gently rinse it off under a faucet.

Most of the time, you can plant the baby spider plant really quickly after taking it from its previous habitat so there won’t even be enough time for the mold to start developing.

However, better safe than sorry, so do check it from time to time.

You can also skip this part and plant it straight in a pot, especially if you have picked up a baby spider plant that has already developed some roots.

3. Plant it in soil

Firstly, choose a pot with draining holes on the bottom.

This will help for the soil to drain properly and it will prevent the root from rotting.

Now, fill half of the pot with a clean and healthy soil that hasn’t been treated with anything before and make sure that it is well-drained.

Use rooting hormone

This step isn’t really necessary but it will make your young spider plants much healthier and stronger and they will definitely develop faster.

Take the rooting hormone and add a bit of it into a cup or a jar.

Wet the base of your plantlet, then dip it into the growing hormone and finally place it into the previously filled pot.

Now, cover the base with soil and press it gently with your fingers, especially around the plantlet, to make it all compact and secure for the plant.

Now, pour some water over that, enough to make the soil moist, and you are done with this part.

4. Place your plant in indirect sunlight

Please, be aware that you should never put your spider plant in strong direct sunlight, and especially not young plants.

High heat and direct sunlight can damage the foliage of the plant very fast, especially if it is still young and not strong enough to get healthier afterwards.

5. Water every 5-7 days

You already know that a spider plant doesn’t like that much moisture, so don’t overdo the watering.

If you do, it can cause several problems, like spider plant leaves turning black, spider plant leaves turning yellow, rotting roots and so on.

So, place your finger into the soil every 5 to 7 days to check if the soil is well-drained before you decide whether it is time to water your plant again.

If the soil seems to be dry, add more water, but don’t drown your spider plant in it.

If it gets too soggy, the roots might start to rot.

6. Repot when needed

Once you notice that the current pot is too small for your spider plant to develop further, you can safely repot it into another container that will be a bit more comfortable and give your plant enough room to develop.

How will you know that the pot is too small?

Well, once you see that the roots are starting to stick out of the drainage holes, you will know that it is time for a bigger size.

Again, choose a pot that has drainage holes on the bottom as this will prevent overwatering and root rotting.

Repotting a Spider Plant

Repotting a Spider Plant

As you will see later on, there are quite a few cases that require for your plant to be repotted so it is best to be prepared.

Besides, caring for spider plant includes occasional repotting as well!

Therefore, here is a little piece of information for you on how to transplant a spider plant and how to do it properly.

Spider plant repotting is fairly simple but you still need to know how to do it and not hurt your baby in the process.

Also, let me point out that you should try not to repot your plant in winter.

Winter is the time when house plants like to sleep and take a rest, so moving it at that point won’t be that beneficial.

Why Repot your Spider Plant

The spider plant is, as you know, a tropical plant.

Its roots are “predesigned” so that they can stay healthy and nurtured even when there is a period of drought in nature and that is exactly why nothing bad will happen to them even if you forget to water them for a week or so.

However strong these roots are, they also grow very fast.

In nature, they need to get to the lower points and further underground for the search of food and nutrients.

And that is why they can overgrow their containers very quickly, especially if you start growing them from cuttings (more on that later).

So, once your spider plant becomes too big for its pot and starts sticking its roots through the drainage holes, it is time to move it to a better and bigger place and repot spider plant.

If, however, it stays in a small container with its roots sticking out, it might not be able to get enough of water and other healthy things it needs, and it will start to die.

Anyway, you don’t have to wait for the roots to start sticking out of the pot too much.

The moment you notice that it is about to happen, you can safely decide that it is time for repotting.

Also, if you notice that the leaves are getting yellow or brown, or dead even, it might be a good sign.

We will talk about it later, but there are some problems, like too much fertilizing, that require for the plant to be transplanted.

The things you will need for repotting

  1. A pot with drainage holes in the bottom
  2. A knife
  3. Potting soil

First of all, it is important to note that you should use a potting soil mix that is specifically made for houseplants. The mix that is meant for outdoor plants can be a bit too heavy for your indoor spider plant and so the plant will not be as happy and healthy as if you used the proper one.

  1. Charcoal

Charcoal makes the draining all better and it can take on and absorb all of the impurities (say, if the water you are using is not all that good or if you are fertilizing your plant too often).

As Hoffman is yet another fantastic producer of healthy plant stuff, here is the charcoal soil conditioner that I like to use.

  1. Coco chips

Good coco chips can also improve the drainage, but you really don’t have to use all that stuff. I do, but you can safely skip it if you don’t have it lying around and you want to finish the repotting in time.

  1. Compost

You can also use worm compost. It enriches the soil more and helps your plants enjoy themselves all the better.

Transplanting the spider plant

1. Choose the right pot

Always try to choose a pot that is a few inches bigger than the pot that your spider plant currently lives in.

Also, it is of utmost importance that it has a lot of drainage holes in the bottom so to prevent overwatering and moldy roots.

Clay pots are honestly a disaster!

First of all, clay can absorb a lot of water and in this way “steal” it from your spider plant.

Next, as you know, clay is very fragile. And those tuberous roots of a spider plant are way too strong for it! So once the spider plant becomes too big for its pot, the roots can easily break the pot, and we’d like to prevent that.

Therefore, a plastic pot will be the best one.

2. Water the spider plant

The first thing you will need to do is water your spider plant really well 2 or 3 days before the replanting process.

You don’t want it to be in shock when you replant it, so give it all it needs to prepare it for the process.

3. Remove it from the pot

After a few days, take the spider plant out of the pot.

Now, if you haven’t been repotting your spider plant for a long time, it is pretty sure that it is almost like glued to the wall of the pot, so you will have to take a knife and cut it out of it.

Don’t be afraid or panic if you cut a bit of the roots!

Spider plant has a lot of roots and they are all strong, so few less will not make any change for it.

After that, gently turn the plant around in the pot and take it out.

4. Remove excess dirt and examine the root

Kicking a bit of extra dirt off of the roots can help a lot.

Losing the dirt and soil that was treated before and giving it a fresh start is already a good beginning.

Besides, the more excess dirt you kick out of the tangled roots, the better look you will have at it. Search for mold or pests.

If you find any spots on the root that are dark or look soggy and soft, you should remove them as they are probably caught by decease.

You will do this by simply cutting out the damaged areas and a little bit (about half an inch) of the soft tissue on every side there is damage.

This way, you will be sure that you removed all of the damaged tissue, including the parts of it that haven’t been showing the sighs of the decease yet.

5. Plant the spider plant in a new pot

Now, fill the new pot with the potting mix of your choice, charcoal and coco chips somewhat to the half.

Put the plant with the remaining root ball in it and surround it all with the potting mix and soil.

Be gentle but do press into the soil with your fingers to compress it well, especially just around the plant.

This will secure it nicely and it will be able to continue growing properly.

Now, water it with filtered or rainwater and you are all done.

6. Add the compost

Finally, you will need to add the compost on the top of that to make the soil more nutritional and your spider plant is safely transplanted!

Another thing you can use is the worm compost.

As the name suggests, it is compost with worms inside and we all know how beneficial to the soil the worms can be.

Post- Repotting Spider Plant Care

After all of this is done, you will need to wait a bit for your spider plant.

It is not like it is going anywhere, but it does need some time to feel good in its new pot.

This means that you should find a nice place for your spider plant and forget that you have it for some time.

No unnecessary moving, no watering, no showing it around.

You don’t own a spider plant for the next few days.

The best place for it would be a nice and bright shade.

But whatever you do, never place a just repotted plant in the direct sunlight! No matter if it is a spider plant or something else.

But spider plants really don’t like that much direct sunlight, so if you forget to place it in a shady spot, it will hurt spider plant’s foliage and it will probably start to wither.

In any state, and especially right after it’s been transplanted.

Then, after a few more days, water it well, but don’t soak it completely so to prevent the problems that might occur if you water it way more than what it needs.

It will take about a week or two to settle in completely and then, if you happen to spot any damaged leaves (dry, black or yellow), you can remove them too.

Once all of that is done, you have your healthy spider plant back!

Shortly after, I am sure, you will start to see the babies so you can even start growing new little spider plants.

Spider Plant Problems and How to Solve Them

Spider Plant Problems and How to Solve Them

The spider plant is a fairly simple plant.

It doesn’t require that much work or attention, so it is considered to be the perfect plant for beginners and those with black thumbs.

On the other hand, there are a few problems that can catch this beauty.

Luckily, every problem has its solution.

So here, I will explain to you all about the problems that might occur and of course, most importantly, how to solve them.

The sooner you fix them, the faster your plant will come back to life.

1. Spider Plant Leaves Turning Brown

This is one of the most common problems that can strike your plant.

When the leaves are caught by discoloration and they start turning brown, it is almost definitely some problem with watering.

However, this is not the sole possibility.

There are a few more things that can cause this nasty discoloration on spider plant leaves but all of them have very simple solutions.

Let’s see:

Too much or too little water

If you are dying to find out what is the cause of spider plant leaves turning brown, I will spare you the worries and tell you immediately that it is most likely overwatering.

You probably know that spider plant is of a tropical origin and as most tropical plants it likes humid areas.

However, overwatering it might cause its leaves to turn brown or even black.

When this discoloration shows on most of the other ornamental plants, you would probably think that it is getting dry and that it is not getting enough water.

It is rather the opposite with this one.

The fact is that it does like when the air around it is humid, but when it comes to the soil itself, just let it get dry a little before the next watering.

But don’t let it dry out completely in any case! You don’t want the soil to turn into a desert.

If your spider plant is left without sufficient water, it will most probably start to develop black or brown spots and tips on its foliage.

Time for Repotting

Another thing that can lead to spider plant leaves turning yellow is also connected to the plant’s water intake in a way.

Actually, it is all about the roots and the plant’s possible need for a bigger home.

If you spider plant lives in a small flowerpot and the roots are all tangled and cluttered, the roots might not intake the valuable nutrients from water properly.

So if your spider plant is planted in a small flowerpot and the leaves are starting to turn brown or black, just repot it and you will see the difference in no time.

Excess Exposure to Sunshine

As I said several times, spider plants are plants of tropical origin. And tropic plants in nature are often found in a light shade of other, larger tropic plants.

Also, it likes humidity and if it happens to be on the sun for too long, the soil will dry out and it will be left with not enough nutrients.

Therefore, spider plant doesn’t like to be exposed to the direct sun too much, and if you have it on your window where the sun is burning it for long hours of a day, you might consider moving it to a safer, more shaded corner of your apartment or house.

The best place for your spider plant would be a corner that has a lot of light, but indirect or filtered.

This will help it thrive and you will have a happy little healthy spider plant in no time.

Go easy on the fertilizer

It is true that all plants like a little bit of fertilizing from time to time, but if you push it too far and add too much fertilizer (no matter which one) to your plants, it can be just the opposite of healthy.

And why should our star, spider plant, be any different?

If you happen to fertilize your plant too often or in too big of a quantity, it may cause these nasty salt build-ups.

And these are specials when it comes to creating a toxic environment for a plant.

Furthermore, they can also damage the roots.

And when you don’t have healthy roots, you can have a healthy plant!

So, if you are among those who believe that more is better, and I am not blaming you, there is an itsy bitsy procedure that can solve your little plant.

Fresh soil equals a new start, so just repot it and pay attention to the plant’s actual needs in future.

Another thing you can do is to simply flush it with a lot of water, but this method might take a while to solve the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, replanting won’t make the problem disappear minutes after you’ve repotted it, but the solution will be much better than just stopping what you’re doing and leaving the plant in the same toxic environment.

Finally, let me say that spider plant really doesn’t need that much fertilizing, and adding fertilizer to your plant every three months will be just enough.

Harmful minerals in the water

The mineral that can make the most problems for a plant is fluoride.

And if the tap water contains too much of it and you are using to water your plants, it can just so happen that these problems will find their way to your garden.

This fluoride build-up is no different from salt build-up that happens from too much fertilizing.

In the long run, these build-ups can become toxic and even deadly to your indoor plants and it will make them start to wither and turn their leaves into darker brown and eventually black.

Now, you must wonder how a simple mineral can kill your plants.

Let me tell you.

This specific mineral works on your plant’s tissue and the damage on it can affect the natural process of properly photosynthesis.

If you think that this might be the main cause of your plant’s problem, simply repot your spider plant into new and fresh soil with calcium.

I found that mixing calcium powder with soil can help too if you can’t find calcium soil.

And since you will need a solution for the long run, simply stop using tap water for watering your plants!

“Oh, Sarah, but what should I use then!?”, I hear you say.

It’s simple, my dear. Distilled, filtered and even rainwater is all you will ever need!

2. Spider Plant Looks Wilted

As we all know by now, these gorgeous plants don’t have many problems.

However, wilting is certainly one of few.

Luckily, it takes no special skills to bring it back to life and you can do it almost effortlessly and in no time.

The things that cause this unfortunate problem are rather similar to those that cause spider plant leaves turning brown, so finding the cause shouldn’t be too complicated.


Whenever something is wrong with your beloved plant friends, rethink your watering habits.

I am not speaking only about spider plants here, of course, but plants in general.

Sometimes it is much smarter to underdo than overdo something.

The fact is that spider plant enjoys in humid surroundings, but the other side of the coin is that it doesn’t like to be soaked in water either.

Another thing that it doesn’t like is to be left to get as dry as a desert.

So whatever you do, don’t let the soil get dead dry before you figure that it might need a few drops of water.

Moreover, these plants don’t need the exact same amount and type of care in winter and in summer.

So, naturally, when it is the summer season and your apartment is hotter, water your plant more frequently.

But remember – never let the soil get soggy!

Just like humans, plants don’t need that much water in winter as in summer season.

Therefore, when the winter comes, you can go easy on the watering part and even occasional forgetful episodes and not watering them won’t hurt the plant.

Overheating and too much direct sunshine

This is yet another something that is known to cause some unfortunate happenings to your plant and make it look all wilted and droopy.

Spider plants do prefer a nice amount of sunshine, but if you want for the plant to stay healthy, it should be filtered, indirect or shady.

If you leave it directly under the hot rays of sunlight, it might dry out too fast.

And this, naturally, can’t bring any good but only the nutrient deficit and burning of the foliage.

So, if your spider plant is placed on a window that is always so bright and sunny, I would highly suggest you moving it to a calmer and more shaded corner where it will be able to sunbathe safely.

Not enough fertilizer

If your plant is starting to look “sad” it could also mean that it is hungry.

Now, I suppose that you can be confused now.

I said that spider plant can go without fertilizer and now I’m telling you that it might need more.

Let me explain:

As you know, fertilizer is meant to help an indoor plant get the same cycle as an outdoor plant, so if your baby placed in a bathroom or some other room that doesn’t have that much natural light, it might need the fertilizer to help it a little.

Anyway, if you haven’t been “feeding” your plant with a fertilizer for a long time and it just so happened that it is placed in a darker corner of your home, you can add a bit of calcium and a bit of natural fertilizer to the soil..

Way too crowded pot

If the pot your spider plant sits in starts to get way too small for it, it might begin to get thirsty as the roots might not get enough water.

One way to tell that the pot is too small that works in 100% cases is this:

If you can see the little roots sticking out of the drainage holes, the time has come for re-potting.

The solution is rather simple.

So just take a bigger pot and repot the plant according to the repotting instructions above, give it enough water and let it settle down.


3. Spider Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

And the third problem that is not at all that rare in these plants is when the tips of your plant start changing color to yellow this time.

Let’s see

Too many minerals in water and unnecessary fertilizing

The main cause of spider plant leaves turning yellow would be the slow building up of various minerals and salts that your plant is getting through water and fertilizers.

Now, how do you know which one of the two is the case? Is it water or is it the fertilizer?

First of all, you should always pay attention to how often you fertilize your plants.

I’ve already said it several times, but I will say it again:

Spider plant doesn’t require fertilizer at all and certainly not every 2 weeks!

If you give it fertilizer once every three months, that would be more than enough, and that is in the growth period only.

Outside of it, you can add fertilizer once every 4-5 months and the plant won’t lack in anything, really.

So, if you have been adding abundance to your plant out of the wish to make it healthier, this is the case.

And what you can do is simply repot it into new and healthy soil that will give your plant all that it needs.

Be sure to use the soil that hasn’t been treated before.

Now, another thing that I always advise my beloved plant parents is to repot their plants once a year.

Even when you have been adding fertilizer to your plants as instructed, it can still leave some traces in the soil, so it would be smart to change it once a year anyway.

If, on the other hand, you know that you haven’t been overdoing it in the fertilization station, it might be that the water you are using to water your spider plant is full of some minerals that the plant doesn’t like.

Over time, these minerals can build-up and ruin your plant, so it would be best and safest to use distilled water for watering your plants.

You can also use rainwater or mineral water and see if it will bring any changes to the health of your plant.


As I said several times already, spider plants are tropical plants by nature, but that doesn’t mean that they will enjoy sitting in the burning heat.

On the other hand, they don’t like to sit in complete darkness all day long either!

So if your spider plant leaves are turning yellow, this might be a sign of not enough sunlight.

If your plant misses chlorophyll, it will not be able to produce that radiant green color and the leaves will start to get yellow and dull.

So if this is the case, move your spider plant to a better lit corner and it should feel better in no time.

Also note that, if you have recently moved it to another place, it might just be “shocked” and it will get better as soon as it adjusts itself to its new place in your lovely home.


Watering is usually not something that will bring your spider plant’s leaves to turn yellow, but it can happen if you are keeping it in a pot that has no holes for draining in the bottom.

The excess water can’t get out and the roots can take up way too much of it, and eventually start to rot.

If this is the case, find a more suitable pot for your spider plant and water it again only after the top layer has been well-drained.

Related Questions

1. Should I cut the babies off my spider plant?

If you notice that your spider plant is producing these little spider plant babies, you should remove them as they are really sucking all of the energy from the main plant.

Also, don’t have to throw these little plantlets away, but you can start growing them into separate plants.

However, you should keep from cutting those plantlets that still don’t have their roots developed or that have just emerged but instead, you should wait a bit until these little plants get stronger and develop a little bit of their own roots.

Only then you can cut them and grow them on their own.

2. How much sun to give to my spider plant?

If you own a spider plant, you have probably noticed that they can look a little bit “down” if you give them too much direct sunshine.

Instead, they prefer filtered light, so it would be great to find a nice spot with plenty of shady or one that gets all of the light through some kind of a filter (a curtain, or any other type of indirect light).

Another good thing about spider plants is that they also have no problem with darker places, so they are great for those rooms of your apartment that are naturally not that light – like kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

3. My spider plant is starting to develop brown tips. What should I do to stop it?

In most of the cases, when leaves of a spider plant begin to turn dark, especially brown, it is a safe indicator that you are overwatering it.

Therefore, you should never water it again before the soil is dry on the surface and well-drained.

This will prevent more leaves from catching the same problem, and for the ones that are already starting to get those ill tips, you can remove them.

4. Will the brown tips return once I’ve removed them?

Once you cut out the leaves that were caught by those nasty brown tips and you start taking better care of your plant, this problem should not return.

Good care, in this case, means moderate light (indirect!), no too much watering or over-fertilizing your plant and giving it enough space to grow and develop.

5. Are spider plants toxic?

According to ASPCA, spider plants are not toxic.

They are toxic neither to us, humans nor to our beloved dogs.

As for the cats, they can cause some problems like stomach aches, so try to keep them away.

6. Where should I put my spider plant so that it is healthy and happy?

Spider plants like sunshine that is not touching them directly and they also like humid surrounding.

So a bathroom or a kitchen of your apartment can be a very good choice for a spider plant placement.

These rooms are usually not that light, but they are humid enough due to the obvious reasons.

7. Should I plant spider plant with any other plants?

Spider plants are strong and harmless plants and they don’t mind the company.

You can safely plant any other plant you chose alongside your spider plant.

If you want to add a little bit of life, a colorful plant can go nicely with all those green leaves.

Also, please don’t forget how fast of a growers spider plant are, so it might take over a lot of space in the pot.

You can consider planting it alongside some other fast-growing indoor plants.

8. What are some benefits of a spider plant?

To begin with, those lovely plants don’t ask for a lot of attention and they are almost impossible to kill.

They are low-maintenance plants, so this would be a good benefit for all of those with black thumbs who still like a little bit of green in their homes or all of those who don’t have that much time for plants on their hands.

Other spider plant benefits are also that they are safe for pets (as long as you don’t let your cat eat a lot of it) and they are believed to help in purifying the air.

9. Are spider plants air purifying?

Our beloved spider plants are believed to be among numerous plants that improve air quality, so they can be a good choice for a bedroom or a living room too.

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