How to Grow Spider Plants

Updated on August 14, 2017
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Caren White is a Master Gardener and instructor at Home Gardeners School. She has been a volunteer at Rutgers Gardens for over a decade.

Spider plant growing in my guest room
Spider plant growing in my guest room | Source

Spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to grow. They require very little care while rewarding you with new plants that can be shared with family and friends.

Spider plants are tropical plants from South Africa that have become naturalized in tropical areas all over the world. Hardy in zones 9 through 11, they are often used as a ground cover or an edging in tropical and sub-tropical outdoor landscapes. Their only drawback is that they can become invasive in these situations, escaping the garden and spreading all over the yard.

Spider plants used as an edging
Spider plants used as an edging | Source

Growing Spider Plants

  • Indoors, they make spectacular hanging plants that can reach three feet in length.
  • They produce small white flowers year-round.
  • The foliage comes in two colors: The most common is solid green leaves, and my personal favorite are plants with variegated green and white leaves.
  • Regardless of which color you choose, the leaves are 10- to 16-inches in length.
  • There is also a dwarf spider plant that has green leaves with a central yellow stripe. The leaves on these tiny plants are only 4- to 6-inches long.

Flowering spider plant
Flowering spider plant | Source

Soil and Water Requirements

  • Spider plants should be grown in well-drained soil, fertilized during the summer, and watered only when the soil becomes dry.
  • Over-watering results in root rot which will kill the plants.
  • Spider plants are sensitive to fluoride, often found in municipal tap water. If the tips of the leaves turn brown, switch to distilled water.
  • Brown leaf tips can also indicate that you are over-fertilizing your plants. The best way to avoid that is to use pellets or time release fertilizer at the beginning of the summer.
  • Do not fertilize your plants during the winter when they are not actively growing.
  • Repot your plants when the fleshy roots start showing above the soil.
  • Wait at least 4 to 6 months before fertilizing your repotted plants.

Light and Temperature

  • Spider plants like bright indirect light but not direct sunlight which will scorch their leaves.
  • Outdoors, they can survive in semi-shade but will not grow as well.
  • They prefer cooler temperatures; 65°F to 75°F during the day and 50°F to 55°F at night.
  • They are sensitive to very cold temperatures, so outside of the tropics, it is a good idea to move them away windows and exterior doors during the cold winter months.

Propagation

Propagation is simple: The plants do all the work for you by producing plantlets on long stems. When the plantlets start to develop roots, it’s time to remove them from the parent plants and plant them in their own pots. You can use your new plants to either add to your collection or share them with family and friends. It will take two years for the new plants to mature and start making plantlets of their own, so be patient.

Spider plants are great for beginners. They are not fussy, growing in almost any conditions.

© 2014 Caren White

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    • OldRoses profile image
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      Caren White 6 days ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Thanks Linda!

    • profile image

      Linda Bryen 6 days ago

      I love these plants because they need very little care and it is easy to look after them. Nice hub Caren.

    • OldRoses profile image
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      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Maybe you over-watered. I do that a lot. It's why I can never grow cacti!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I killed mine a few years back I thought by using fertilizer but maybe it was something else. I am bad to over water things.

    • OldRoses profile image
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      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Thanks, Flourish. You should try spider plants again!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Spider plants are about my speed. I recall growing them as a child using dropped and discarded clippings from a neighbor's apartment balcony. Good hub!

    • OldRoses profile image
      Author

      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Thank you, Eddy! Glad you are enjoying your spider plant. They are so rewarding.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      We have a huge Spider Plant and have re potted many little ones. this is a great hub and thank you for sharing.

      Eddy.

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