By Jennifer Poindexter
The spider plant is a common houseplant of choice for those who love the look of fresh, green colors woven within their home décor.
If you’d like to go for this look, you should consider growing this popular houseplant too. It’s an easy plant to grow and would make a good choice for those new to gardening.
It also has a unique grow method and can be easily propagated. This will allow you to receive multiple plants from a single purchase. Here’s what you must know to start this gardening adventure in your home:
Growing Conditions for the Spider Plant
Finding the right growing conditions in or around your home is key for this plant to thrive while in your care.
The spider plant can be a perennial in planting zones 10 through 12. In these areas, it should be grown in a shaded location and is frequently used as ground cover.
In all other planting zones, the spider plant should be grown outdoors as an annual in a shaded location, or you can grow it as a year-round houseplant.
If growing the plant indoors, it needs a bright location with filtered sunlight. The plant can’t handle direct sunlight as it will scorch its leaves.
You don’t have to grow the spider plant in a basic container, either. It does well in pretty pots or hanging baskets. The main stipulation is the container of choice must be a third larger than the spider plant’s root system.
It also needs to have well-draining soil. The spider plant must be kept at consistent temperatures between 55- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
You may be wondering why a spider plant is called a spider plant. This plant produces small plantlets that hang from it. This resembles how a spider hangs.
It will produce either light green foliage or dark green foliage with a white stripe. Either of these styles should fit nicely in most surroundings.
Provide the right grow space for your spider plant, and you should be able to enjoy their beauty without much hassle.
How to Plant the Spider Plant
There are a few ways you can go about propagating the spider plant. This plant grows from tubers which are planted beneath the soil.
The tubers produce rosettes which ultimately produce the stems of the plant. The stems will then produce sprouts which hang from the plant like spiders.
You can remove the plantlets, from the mother plant, with a pair of scissors and plant it directly in the soil in a separate planter.
Water the plants consistently until the roots become established. You’ll care for this spider plant as you would other, mature, spider plants.
The next way to propagate a spider plant is to plant the sprout while it’s still attached to the mother plant.
Pull the sprout down to the soil without disconnecting it from the mature plant. The sprout should be planted in the soil and kept consistently moist until it develops roots of its own.
From there, you can leave the plant as-is. You may also separate it from the mother plant to relocate your new spider plant to a different container.
The final method for propagation is to propagate the plantlet in water. Cut the spider plantlet from the mother plant using scissors or shears.
Place the sprout in a clear container filled with water. The container should be kept where it will receive indirect sunlight.
This will help the plant develop a new root system. Once the roots form, transplant the sprout into soil and care for it as you would any other spider plant.
Once you have an established spider plant, you can make many other new plants from it. This is an inexpensive way to grow more home décor or to share your plants with friends. Propagating spider plants could become a new, simple pass-time for those who love gardening.
How to Care for the Spider Plant
The spider plant is an extremely simple plant to grow and care for. It has a few basic needs, but by providing them, you shouldn’t have many problems with this plant.
To begin, the spider plant needs water. The soil should be allowed to dry fully between watering sessions.
Use the knuckle test to know when your plant needs more water. Insert your finger into the soil next to the plant.
If the soil is moist to your first knuckle, skip watering for the day. If the soil is dry, it’s time for a deep watering session.
A deep watering session is when you water the plant heavily. The water should be streaming through the bottom drainage holes of your planter.
This ensures water has reached the roots, but it also means you won’t need to water as frequently. When watering, make sure you water at the soil level when possible.
Try to avoid watering over the foliage as this can become a breeding ground for disease to start ravaging your plant.
Another need your spider plant has is humidity. The spider plant originated in a tropical climate. Therefore, to keep it happy, you must try to recreate this climate within your home to a certain extent.
You can do this by placing your spider plant in naturally humid rooms of your home. The bathroom and kitchen are typically humid areas of the home because of their function.
Water is frequently boiled in the kitchen and showers help create steamy conditions in the bathroom. If placing a spider plant in your bathroom or kitchen won’t work for your home, you do have other options.
You can place the spider plant inside another planter that has rocks in the bottom of it. Water should be placed over the rocks but shouldn’t reach the planter where the spider plant is potted.
The moisture around the base of the plant will provide the necessary humidity. However, it’s vital the water does not touch the roots of the spider plant. This could supply the plant with too much moisture.
Another option is to spritz the plant with a spray bottle a few times during the day. You could keep the spray bottle on a stand where the spider plant rests.
Every time you walk by, spray the plant. It becomes a habit for you and supplies the necessary moisture for your spider plant.
Your spider plant should be pruned each grow season. This is during the spring and summer months. Spider plants may produce too many plantlets during this time.
This can be a problem because the more sprouts the plant produces, the more nutrients it’s pulling from the soil.
The plantlets can be removed with scissors. If you have portions of the plant which look sickly or discolored, remove them as well.
Don’t start cutting where the sick portion starts. You should cut at the base of the plant. This will be right at soil-level.
Ensure your spider plant gets repotted every two years. Around this time the plant might be root bound.
You’ll know it is root bound when you see the roots at the soil level. Gently pull the plant out of the container and move it to a slightly larger container.
It should be filled a third of the way with the same quality-soil you used in the previous planter. Place the spider plant in the container and top the planter off with the remaining soil.
This should give the plant room to grow and thrive for a few more years until the process must be repeated.
The only other item you should look for when caring for a spider plant is brown tips on the foliage. This is a sign of lack of moisture (either by watering or humidity), or you’re watering with chlorinated water.
This can prove harmful to your plant. Use non-chlorinated water or allow the water to sit out until it becomes room temperature. It may help the chlorination evaporate before it’s applied to your plant.
These are the items you must be aware of when caring for a spider plant. Keep your plant happy, and it should be an eye-catching part of your home.
Garden Pests and Diseases for the Spider Plant
Spider plants don’t face many threats. This is great news for the plant and the gardener because it gives the plant a greater chance at thriving. It also means less work for the gardener.
Root rot is the only common disease which impacts spider plants. This occurs when the plant is overwatered. Use the knuckle test to ensure a balanced watering routine for your plant.
The pests you must be aware of are mealybugs and scales. Scales look like a growth on the stem and foliage of your plant.
Mealybugs are tiny insects that infest plants. Both pests will feed on your plant and hinder their growth.
You can defeat scales by hand-picking them from the plant and wiping your plant down with a swab dipped in canola oil. The oil will suffocate any remaining scales on the plant.
Mealybugs can be treated by wiping the stems and leaves of your plant with a cotton swab coated in rubbing alcohol.
By being mindful of the potential threats to your plant, you should stay ahead of the curve and be able to treat infestations before they cause too much harm.
Spider plants are a unique houseplant option that will catch the eye of anyone who passes through your home.
They’re easy to care for, easy to supply proper growing conditions, and aren’t disease prone. The spider plant could become a welcomed addition to your home or garden space.