Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
Spider plants are one of the most popular houseplants around. And, for good reason.
Their long, thin, arching green and white striped leaves are amazing to look at. They’re likewise not too large or burly that you need to place them on the floor.
These lovely foliage plants are perfect for tabletops, décor or to set on top of furniture to make them come to life.
Here’s how to care for spider plants indoors.
About the Spider Plant
Don’t let its scary name intimidate you. While spiders can be scary, this plant isn’t.
In fact, it’s one of the most popular houseplants around.
One of the reasons for this is its great looks.
These plants have long, narrow, arching green leaves that are adorned with lovely white variegations. Their unique look makes them a nice focal point for any blank section of a room. It also lets you place them in different kinds of containers.
But, the best thing about these houseplants is that they’re very easy to care for. They don’t need ideal conditions to survive or thrive.
They’re fairly low maintenance so you don’t spend a lot of time watering, feeding, or looking after them.
And, if you still aren’t convinced, here’s another good reason to own a spider plant at home – they clean the air. This is according to a study by NASA which hails its ability to get rid of indoor air pollution.
Spider Plant Care
Spider Plant Light Requirements
Spider plants thrive in different lighting conditions. They aren’t too fussy about shady conditions or those where they get partial sun.
But, the one thing you don’t want to do is keep them under direct sunlight, especially for prolonged periods of time or when it’s at its most intense. That means moving them away from the windowsill where they’re hit directly by the sun’s rays. And, keeping them away from the sun during the hot summer months as well as mid-afternoons.
If not, you’ll likely see scorching of their leaves, leading to discoloration and spots.
Instead, they do best in bright, indirect sunlight.
This means that they do enjoy the sun. But, you need to keep them at least a few feet away from the window where the sun’s rays don’t get to them.
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Spider Plant Temperature & Humidity
Spider plants are popular houseplants because they enjoy regular room temperature and humidity. Thus, there’s no need to modify your thermostat or do anything to increase humidity around them.
That said, they do well in a fairly wide temperature range from 55 to 80 degrees.
The key is avoiding anything lower than 50 degrees.
While they do well in cool temperatures, once it gets colder or approaches frost conditions, they’ll start struggling.
As with most houseplants, spider plants are most active during the spring and summer. This is also when you want to give them water.
For them to keep up their fast growth, they need moist soil. Thus, once the potting mix dries out it’s time for watering. The easiest (and best) way to check this is to insert your finger into the soil to feel for it.
But, once wintertime comes around, it’s time for you to cut back on the moisture.
If, for some reason, you overwater your spider plant, here’s how to fix it.
- Move the plant from its sunny location to a shadier one.
- Start trimming off the dead or dying leaves.
- Carefully remove the plant from its container.
- Make sure that the container has a hole that allows any excess moisture to drain.
- Remove any dead or dying roots. If your plant has been waterlogged, there will likely be some.
- If there’s a fungal disease, you’ll need to apply fungicide to remedy that.
- Finally, return the plant back to the pot.
- Water when the soil gets dry.
While spider plants do need moisture, they don’t like having wet feet. As such, allowing them to sit in water isn’t a good idea.
If that happens, you can use the tips above to heal your overwatered spider plant.
As such, it’s important to keep them in a potting mix that drains well. Ideally, it should be loose enough to allow air to circulate as well.
Like water, your spider plant is not a fan of too much fertilizer.
So, while they do need to be fed during the spring and summertime (their growing period), it’s important not to go overboard. Otherwise, it’s leaves will turn brown.
Apply an all-purpose liquid or pellet-based fertilizer once every two months during this time.
Spider Plant Propagation
Spider plants are very easy to propagate. That’s because they do much of the work for you.
By that I mean that they produce plantlets or “pups”.
These are smaller versions of the plant, which are offshoots of the parent. And, you can use them to grow new, identical spider plants.
All you need to do is allow the pups to grow a little bit. Once they get to about 2 inches in diameter, it’s time to remove them from their parent plant. Then plant the pups separately.
Another way to propagate your spider plants is by division. You can do this when you’re repotting since you’ll need to remove the root ball from the pot anyway.
Spider Plant Repotting
Spider plants are fast growers. However, the good news is that a lot of their energy is focused on their leaves and producing plantlets. Thus, you’ll likely only need to repot once every two years.
So, once the root ball starts surfacing from the pot, it’s time to move them to a larger container.
The best time to do is during the spring.
Here there’s some good and bad news.
On the bright side, spider plants aren’t toxic to humans or pets. As such, they’re safe for your kids, dogs, and cats.
But, while not poisonous, ingesting them has been shown to result in upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
That’s because they contain chemical compounds that are hallucinogenic.
This happens mostly in cats because they seem to be the ones that like playing with the plant the most. And, tend to overindulge in it as well.