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"How to care for a spider plant"

How to care for a spider plant

Have you been looking for an easy-to-care-for plant that doesn't mind being watered every few days? The spider plant might be the plant for you! The spider plant is probably one of the easiest plants to take care of. When you consistently take great care of the spider plant, it will reward you with explosive growth and many baby plants to propagate! The spider plant is a plant-growing factory when it's happy!

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 plants, 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
    1. Symptoms of overwatering your spider plant
    2. Symptoms of underwatering 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
  7. Conclusion

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 forgiving when you accidentally overwater them. In general, 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 or two 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. Overwatering it once is not a problem, the spider plant recovers very quickly, but doing this consistently will kill it. By checking the moisture levels of the soil, you will let the spider plant soak up the moisture 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

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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 the soil dry out, and then water again. The plant should pick up where it left off within a few days. It usually recovers quickly.

Be sure to trim any dead or dying foliage, because this helps to give some energy back to the plant to grow new leaves. Removing dead foliage also helps to keep pests away from your plant.

Symptoms of underwatering your spider plant

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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 water, 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 a few more days for the soil to dry out and 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

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Another very important aspect of taking care of a spider plant is proper sunlight exposure. Spider plants need indirect sunlight to be happy and grow properly. If you give it too much sunlight the beautiful white streaks on the leaves will fade to green. If you give it too little sunlight, 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 in 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 a southern-facing (northern-facing for the southern hemisphere) window, make sure it's not close to the window. You know it's too close to the window when the leaves start to fade 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

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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 the water it can hold onto, and let any excess water drain away from a drainage hole. This way your spider plant will be perfectly watered every time.

The right type of soil for a spider plant should be a mix of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 perlite. This combination gives the soil some structure, which means that it won't compact too much over time. This structure helps to keep the soil light and airy. The perlite helps to drain the excess water from the pot quickly, so it doesn't stay behind in the pot to potentially cause root rot.

Fertilizing your spider plant

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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 very often to grow, but if you do fertilize it regularly, 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 regularly, 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. During the dormancy period, the spider plant won't use any of the fertilizer, so this will stay behind in the pot if you happen to fertilize your plant in the fall or winter. This is not a problem if it happens once or twice, but this fertilizer will build up over time and can harm your plant's roots, causing overfertilizing.

The best pot to use for your spider plant

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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. The terracotta pot also helps to evaporate the moisture in the pot more quickly, reducing the risk of overwatering even more.

If you're choosing a pot for your new plant, of you're choosing a plant for repotting this plant, it's important to choose a pot that's about 1 size larger than what it's currently growing into. The spider plant loves to be rootbound. Another reason to choose a pot that's only 1 size larger than the current pot is that choosing a pot that's too large can put your plant at risk of overwatering. The soil will stay moist for longer because the spider plant isn't big enough to absorb the moisture from the pot. If it stays moist for too long, this could cause the soil to rot.

The different varieties of spider plants

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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 owned. Since buying it, it's more than doubled in size. Hopefully, it's going to grow shoots and baby plants soon!

"Spider plant with white streaks"

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

Conclusion

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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).

Share this plant care guide with your friends, family, or even colleagues to help them on their way to taking excellent care of their plants!

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: Oct 29, 2022

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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