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"How to care for a spider plant"

How to care for a spider plant

The spider plant is probably one of the easiest plants to take care of. When you do this well, the plant will reward you with a lot of little spider plant sprouts. You can plant these sprouts to grow another plant or give to friends and family.

In this guide, we'll go over several different topics that are important to keep in mind when taking care of a spider plant. It's an easy plant, but it does have some pitfalls that you should know about. At the end of the post, I'll show you a few different varieties of spider plant, so you know what to expect when buying or growing this plant.

In this guide, we'll go over these topics relating to taking care of a spider plant:

  1. Watering your spider plant
  2. The best sunlight exposure for a spider plant
  3. Choosing the right soil for your spider plant
  4. Fertilizing your spider plant
  5. The best pot to use for your spider plant
  6. The different varieties of spider plants

Let's get right into this post, so you can grow this beautiful plant yourself!

Watering your spider plant

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Spider plants are thirsty plants and are really forgiving when you accidentally overwater it. Normally, you should water your spider plants about once a week. Before watering, check the soil of the plants to see if it's dry. If it's still moist, you should wait another day and repeat this until the soil is dry. The plant might be thirsty, but it does like the soil to dry out every once in a while.

It's important to check the soil to avoid overwatering your spider plant. Once is not a problem, the spider plant recovers very quickly, but doing this consistenly will kill it. By checking the moisture levels of the soil, you will let the spider plant soak up the nutrients at its own pace. There is a very easy sentence to remember when watering your spider plant: let it dry out a little and then water generously.

Symptoms of overwatering your spider plant

If you accidentally watered your spider plant too much, the plant will tell you quickly. Your spider plant will show a few symptoms, these symptoms of overwatering are quite simple: the leaves will start to turn brown and die slowly. If you see this happening, stop watering, let it the soil dry out and then water again. The plant should pick up where it left off within a few days. It usually recovers really well.

Symptoms of underwatering your spider plant

When you let the soil dry out, make sure the plant isn't days without water. When your spider plant doesn't get enough water, its leaves will start to fade to a lighter color. Normally, the leaves are a deep green, but when your plant doesn't get enough hydration, its leaves will get lighter. This makes it very easy to spot if your plant needs some water.

Another symptom of underwatering is that the leaves of your Spider plant will start to fold up along the length of the leaf. When you see this, it's time to water your plant again. If you've recently watered your plant, within a day or 2, make sure to wait for another day to see if your plant unfolds its leaves again. It's better to wait a day more than to overwater your plant.

The best sunlight exposure for a spider plant

Back to top Another very important aspect of taking care of a spider plant is the proper sunlight exposure. Spider plants need indirect sunlight, give it too much and the beautiful white streaks on the leaves will fade to green, give it too little and the leaves will turn yellow and will start to drop.

You can place your spider plant in any room that gets some sunlight, but it shouldn't be placed in the full afternoon sun. An ideal place is somewhat close to a northern-facing window (southern-facing for you on the southern hemisphere). This is where the plant gets some (weaker) sunlight and it won't get too much.

Spider plant in a room with a southern-facing window Spider plant in a room with a southern-facing window

If you do want to place your plant in a room with southern-facing (northern-facing for the southern hemisphere), make sure it's not close the the window. You know it's too close the the window when the leaves start to face to light green and look limb. When you notice this, move it to a darker place and the plant should recover quite quickly.

Choosing the right soil for your spider plant

Back to top Spider plants are thirsty plants, but can't sit in wet soil for too long. Because of this, it's important to use well-draining soil, Leca, or a combination of soil and Leca. The goal is to water the plant a lot, let the soil absorb all of the water it can, and let any excess water drain away. This way your spider plant will be perfectly watered every time.

Fertilizing your spider plant

Back to top The spider plant is a very quickly growing plant, so you'd expect it to need to be fertilized a lot. This is not true. The spider plant doesn't need to be fertilized to grow, but if you do fertilize it, it will give you small white flowers, like in the photo below.

White flowers on a spider plant White flowers on a spider plant

When you choose to fertilize your spider plant, do this once at the beginning of spring and once at the beginning of summer. Make sure to stop fertilizing in the autumn (fall) and winter, as this is the dormancy period for the spider plant.

The best pot to use for your spider plant

Back to top The best pot you can use when growing your spider plant is a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. This way, the excess water can escape. This helps a lot to avoid overwatering your spider plant. Another great idea is to use a terracotta pot, because this is a breathable material and helps to get oxygen to your plant's roots. It also helps to evaporate the moisture in the pot more quickly, reducing the risk of overwatering even more.

The different varieties of spider plants

Back to top As you could see in the image at the top, the spider plant is completely green, but there is also one that has a white and green striped pattern, like the picture below. The picture at the top is a result of taking good care of little sprouts and helping them grow. The spider plant below was actually the first spider plant I've owned. Since buying it, it's more than doubled in size. Hopefully, it's going to produce its own sprouts soon.

"Spider plant with white streaks"

The edges of the leaf of the plant above are lined with white stripes. There is also the variety of green edges and white centers, to see this, have a look at a few of the smaller leaves in the bottom of spider plant in the picture all the way at the top. I care for all of these varieties in the same way, they all get the same amount of sunlight and water.

I hope this post helps you to care for your spider plants. Hopefully, you can keep these plants healthy and thriving to such an extent that you get little spider plant sprouts. When you do, have a look at "How to propagate a spider plant" and I'll explain exactly what you can do to get more of these beautiful plants.

If you want to see this process in action (through photos), you can have a look at "How to care for a spider plant" (photos).

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: spider plant, beginner-friendly, pet-friendly

Posted on: Apr 28, 2019 Last updated on: Aug 7, 2021

Other common names for this plant

  • Chlorophytum comosum

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Frequently asked questions

Why is my spider plant getting brown leaves?
When your spider plant is getting brown leaves, it's getting too much water and it's dying. The best thing to do in this case it to let the soil dry out completely and then water your plant again.
Why are my spider plant's leaves turning light green?
When your spider plant's leaves are turning light green it could mean two things: It's getting too much sunlight or it needs more water. If the soil is dry, make sure to water your spider plant and if the plant is in a very bright spot, move it to a darker spot.
How much light does a spider plant need?
A spider plant needs bright and indirect light. Direct sunlight will make the leaves fade and this could dry the plant out too quickly. If you put the spider plant in a dark corner, it's leaves will turn yellow and could die soon after.

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