Updated May 1, 2022 by Mark Marino
Chlorophytum comosum, less formerly known as the spider plant, is a popular houseplant because of its ability to thrive in less-than-ideal growing environments. In short, propagating spider plants is easy because they’re difficult to kill, making them the ideal indoor plants for beginning gardeners. On the other hand, even veteran growers love spider plants because of their distinctively attractive appearance and their ability to purify indoor air quality. If you’re thinking about growing spider plants indoors, use the following tips for help.
What Are Spider Plants?
Spider plants, Chlorophytum comosum, are popular indoor plants that have been a favorite house plant since the Victorian era. These plants are also known as a ribbon plant or spider ivy. Spider plants can be easily grown in pots set on tabletops or in hanging baskets. Tropical perennial plants, spider plants feature green or variegated foliage. These plants have long leaf fronds that grow from a rosette. They also produce star shaped flowers.
The long leaves of spider plants can appear like spider legs, but the plant actually gets its name from the small ‘spiderettes’ that grow from the mother plant and its small white flowers. Baby spider plants, or spiderettes, can be snipped from the mother plant to create more spider plants that can be repotted or even given away. The plant’s leaves may appear with lovely variegated patterns or shades of green. The plant’s leaves are among its most notable features.
Tips on How to Grow Spider Plants
To grow spider plants successfully, follow these spider plant care tips:
You can grow spider plants in hanging baskets or tabletop containers. A free-draining container is ideal for these plants. You may want to avoid a clay pot such as a terracotta container as the spider plant roots can crack the clay as they grow. No matter what type of container you choose for growing your spider plant, be sure it has drainage holes. If you choose a small pot for your baby spider plants, you’ll need to repot each in a new pot or larger hanging basket with drainage holes to accommodate the growing root ball of your adult plant.
Although spider plants can tolerate shade, they prefer indirect light. Indirect light can mimic their natural environment where they grow in partial shade. They can adapt to bright indirect light but too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of the spider plant. Consequently, you should place your plant in an area where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight for robust growth but not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Spider plants thrive in well draining soil, but also moist soil. While they will tolerate many soil types, they prefer loose, rich, loamy soil. Avoid soil with a high concentration of salts, which can cause brown leaf tips for your spider plant. Spider plants prefer well draining soil with a neutral pH, but if it’s slightly acidic or slightly alkaline, your spider plant adapt well. When potting your plant, you can add coconut coir to the pot or your potting mix. You may find a potting mix that already has nutrients that are ideal for your indoor plants.
Spider plants prefer lightly moist conditions–but not soggy soil. Excess water or a pot with no drainage holes can leave your spider plant vulnerable to root rot. The chemicals in tap water such as fluoride can also cause your spider plants to get brown leaf tips. If you want to prevent brown tips, use distilled water or even rainwater to grow spider plants indoors. Because spider plants can be susceptible to root rot, it’s better to lightly water them with distilled water than to overwater them. It’s a good idea to keep soil moist with even moisture.
As tropical plants, spider plants prefer warm, humid environments. If the leaves of your spider plants develop brown tips, your environment may be too dry. You can ensure that the spider plant gets plenty of humidity by misting it between waterings. Also, be sure your spider plants are kept away from drafty windows during winter as well as air conditioning vents during summer.
During their active growing season, spider plants benefit from monthly fertilizing. You can use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing your spider plants too often to prevent leaves from developing those unsightly brown tips. Too much fertilizer is unhealthy but too little fertilizer can result in a struggling adult plant.
How to Care for Indoor Spider Plants
Once you have established your spider plant and get into a routine of delivering the care watering and other care tips listed above, you’ll want to monitor your plant to ensure it doesn’t become infested with pests like spider mites, aphids, or even whiteflies. If you notice these insects near your plant, you can rinse your spider plant with water to remove them. If you have a serious pest infestation, you should apply an insecticide to eradicate pests. You can also apply neem oil to your spider plant with a cotton swab to control infestations of spider mites.
If you begin to notice that your healthy spider plant is starting to wane, it may have outgrown its pot. Consider replanting it with fresh soil. On the other hand, if you want your mother plant to product spider plant babies, you’ll need to encourage it to bloom. You can do so by introducing it to a bit more sunlight and allowing it to remain in a pot where it’s just slightly root bound. Often, this supports Chlorophytum comosum propagation.
Spider Plant Care Tips FAQs
How much sunlight does a spider plant need?
A spider plant or ribbon plant prefers light shade. Place your spider plant on a table or shelf where it can get indirect light–but not direct sunlight as that can cause brown leaf tips.
Should I cut the brown tips off my indoor spider plant?
Brown leaf tips constitute dead tissue. They don’t harm the rest of the plant so you don’t have to cut them off. Often, they will fall off in time. On the other hand, cutting off the tips should not harm your spider plant either.
Do spider plants need water regularly?
Keep the soil moist in your pot. Watering should be done routinely with filtered water or distilled water that’s ideal for contained plants. Filtered water will not contain chemicals that tap water contains. Check the soil in your pot often. If the soil is dry, your plant needs watering. With regular watering, your soil should provide the moist conditions your plant needs. Remember to avoid too much watering or using a pot without a drainage hole. The soil and pot must be well-draining to prevent root rot.
Where is the best place to put a spider plant
Place your spider plant where it won’t be exposed to air conditioning vents as spider plants prefer hot and humid environments. During winter, don’t keep them too close to windows. Spider plants need indirect sunlight, so place them on a table where they can get the light exposure they need to thrive.
Can a spider plant be kept indoors?
Spider plants are among the most popular house plants. Because these adaptable houseplants are actually tropical plants, spider plants are not suited to grow year-round outdoors. You can grow your indoor spider plant in nearly any room of your home – even the bathroom where it’s apt to enjoy the warm and humid environment provided it has access to indirect light.