Spider Plants

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Spider Plants or Airplane Plants produce arched green and pale yellow stems that extend to be 12-18 inches long. When less than a year old, Spider Plants may produce tiny white flowers during the summer. These easy-to-grow plants look especially nice in a hanging basket.


  • Grow in soil-based potting mix in bright to moderate sunlight, but not directly facing hot sun. 
  • Maintain average room temperature and humidity.


  • During growth, water occasionally; once fully developed (within one year), water moderately. 
  • In the spring and summer months keep the soil moist.  Do not let soil dry out.
  • Fertilize twice a month in the spring and summer, however, avoid overfertilization.


  • Prone to tip burn from dry soil or salt and fluoride found in some public water. Keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid using fluoridated water.
  • To rid of the brown discs on leaves, use your fingernail to remove the brown residue every few days.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Keep spider plants on your desk to reduce indoor pollutants.

Reader Comments

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Senior Center Give A Way

When I was young and would go to the store with my Aunt, she couldn't afford to make a purchase, so she would "take cuttings from the plants" in the store. Now, I take a wet paper towel, a rooted cutting, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and take them to the Senior Centers in my town. The Seniors are thrilled to receive them.

Can I leave the babies?

While I am good at gardening, I'm notoriously inept at houseplants. I have my very first spider plant and want to take good care of it. It looks like it is about to get its first baby. I don't need any more houseplants right now. Is it ok to leave the babies on the mother plants and let them trail down or will this strain the mother plant?


Yes you can leave the babies

Yes you can leave the babies on the mother it will not harm the plant to do so.


I just rescued my grandmas neglected spider plant, and I noticed the roots were somewhat bound above the soil- almost looks like an orchid's air roots. Is it because it's too big for the pot? I plan on re-potting in a larger one but wasn't sure if I needed to take some care with the roots first.

Spider plants

They like to be root bound & will produce babies then. But if the roots are spilling out you should plant in a bigger pot or divide it. They're incredibly easy to grow, divide, cut off babies & plant to give away!

Making babies

I just potted 11 babies that my mother gave me. On the long runners she cut off there are sharp things that look like they might be the start of leaves. Are these things that can be rooted?

Nothing ventured...

Hi, Barb: It’s hard to say what these “sharp” things are that you’re describing, so, as the old saying goes, “Only one way to find out … ” Good luck!

spider plant

mynspider plant has a lot of shoots coming of it which are very long which have babbies on them is it safe to cut them down after i take the babies of

Go for it

Hi, Mandy: Sure! Cut the long stems off back at where they come from the main plant and also where they attach to the babies. Thanks for asking!

spider plant

I bought this large spider plant last year. It has very small flowers on it. It's steam is the width of that of a hair, It does not produce babies, only flowers. Is this a maie plant.

spider plant flowers

Spider plant flowers have both male and female parts, so there are not male or female plants. It’s encouraging that the plant is flowering, but a puzzle as to why they are tiny, the stems so thin, and no plantlets form. Usually, as the flowers fade, the stem will form plantlets at and toward the tip after a time. Sometimes, weak flowering etc. can be caused by inadequate light–or not enough changing light with the seasons (is it in a room that is constantly lit?). Decrease hours of light slightly during the fall and winter seasons, to mimic the outdoors if it does not sit by a window. Does the plant look healthy overall? Be sure that it is located in an area with proper light, temperature, water, and fertilizer.

New spider plant owner

I just got a 2" spider plant today from my mom she just picked it up from store as an "assortated foliage upright". From the little research I've done, I'm pretty sure it's a spider plant. My desk is directly oppisite the window in the room I'm keeping it in. Would my desk be the best placement for the little guy? I have my curtains open most days, but some days I'll forget. Would it be ok not getting sunlight everyday? Should I water it weekly, how much? And what about babies? I have another indoor house plant that you can cut as long as it has the lil nubs on the part you're cutting off, but would this plant have nubs? Or do you cut it a little bit before where the leaf grows apart? I'd love to give a piece to one of my friends who loves plants, someday.
Thank you, Kyras

Spider Plants

You should put it in a place where it will get consistent, daily, indirect light. Taking cuttings is very easily done. Spider plants, when healthy, produce what are called “plantlets” or baby plants. When you see one, snip it off and root it in water. When it has developed a few inches of roots, pot it up.


My spider plant

I have a spider plant by a heater register should I move it away from there into a cooler place



Spider Plants

It sounds like the main problem is that you are overwatering them. Two to three times a week is too much water. The best method for watering any house plant is to give them a good soaking, then let them dry out (not just the top of the soil but down deep). As soon as they have dried out, give them another good soaking….and so on.

Spider Plants

Can I water the plant from the bottom tray would it absorb water? Seems, to have leaves die off, but new growth is coming in.

spider plants

had beautiful spider all spring and summer long - then after summer fertilizing and watering - now my spider plant has turned black in the lower sections of the leaves - and looks like rot - ws it over watering, direct sun light, or fertiliing that did this? and will it come back?


The plant is in the same window it has alway been in - but I think with the sun lowering in the south as winter approaches - it may be getting direct sunlight for the first time - I have moved it to another window. Still need to know if anyone knows what is the actual cause for this so I can avoid it in the future.... Too strong of fertilizer? Overwatering? Underwatering? Direct Sunlight? Something else?

best pot for starting a new spider plant

What is the best type of pot to transplant "babies". I tried a clay pot, but the plant died fast. Is it the pot or they way I started it? I'm getting more babies from my sister and I don't want to kill them!


The best pot is one that has drainage holes and fresh, pasteurized potting soil. In terms of material, we’re not so picky. Terra cotta is a popular choice because it’s a more porous material.


Did you toss the babies into wet soil and say good luck? or did you place them in a small saucer of water for a few weeks? I have found babies always do better if you take the time to root them first.

First time transplanter

I recently transplanted my spider plant into a bigger pot. It was thriving before but now it seems to be slowly dieing. Idk what I did wrong. The pot I put it in is about 4 times the size of the old pot. Did I transfer my plant into a pot that's to big? I got my spider plant from a friend who gave me a little piece of his plant n I've only had it for a few months. It was doing great but since I've switched pots, it's not doing very well. Did I use to big of a pot or do these plants take a little time from the shock of the transplant to start thriving again? Im a first time transplanter n worried I did it wrong, please help!

Pot Size

Hi Melissa,

It could be a pot-related issue. Plants generally like to increase pot size gradually. Often too big a pot too soon results in over watering because the pot takes too long to dry out. Take a cutting from a still-healthy portion of your plant and try rooting it in potting soil–just in case you lose the parent plant.


was your potting soil the chipped bark and mulch variety - or fill dirt mixed in? When I transplant i do so by the dark of the moon - it helps roots for some reason - I then lay down a couple of paper towels in the bottom of the pot, then a layer of pea gravel - then a layer of sand - this allows for proper drainage away from the roots and avoids root rot - even with over watering. I then mix my potting soil with fill dirt - this provides vitamins as the mulch degrades and support for the roots. I use huge pots and never have an issue with plants not liking it - after all the Earth is the largest pot of them all - and they grow in the wild. I then place a large drainage pan under the pot to allow the water to flow through and drain away all of the excess. - good luck

Moving Offices

I currently have a spider plant that is about 5 months old in my office and sits in an east facing window and is absolutely loving it. It has grown significantly in the last 2 months that I've been at this desk. However, I'm now moving cubicles to one without a window. I can place the spiderplant where it will receive indirect sunlight from a south facing window that is about 4 meters away. Will my spider plant survive there? Is there anything I can do to help its chances?

New Location for Spider Plant

Hi Naomi,

Given it is such a vigorous plant, it should do well in its new location, providing it doesn’t get direct sun and it’s not a hot spot. Monitor to see if its watering needs change over time. Keep it trimmed and clean of brown leaves, and fertilize regularly.

I would like to know if there

I would like to know if there is a way to make my "Spidy" grow more full?

Growing Spider Plants

Hi Stephanie,

Try giving it a haircut, so to speak, by taking an inch or two off to stimulate fuller growth. Also, fertilizer regularly.

full looking growth

I rotate my plants with every watering - a quarter turn to turn the less full sections towards my light source - and the plants will grow out in every direction - allowing the plants to look so much fuller.

Spider plant leaf color

I have an amazing Spider plant! I grew it from a plantlet that a greenhouse gave me. I've taken good care of it and I think it's the healthiest I've ever seen. It has two stem bunches and out of each a stolon has appeared. Plantlets are on the way. My question is that the green borders of the leaves seem just a little on the light side. White central axis, green borders. It gets plenty of light. Can this color intensity be altered in some ways?

leaf color

Spider plant leaves may turn pale if they are not getting enough water or are too hot. Make sure that they are not in direct sunlight, but are getting at least 12 hours of light. (Not enough light, and a variegated spider plant will become all green.) Keep it in a room that is between 65F to 75F. Mist it every so often–they like it moderately humid. Provide water when soil surface feels dry, and let the water soak through to bottom a bit through the drainage holes; water less in winter. Ideally, use distilled, not tap, water, as the plant is sensitive to chemicals.

Cut off all babies?

We brought our spider plants into the 60 degree garage near windows over the winter in Georgia. Now outside the mother plants are sparse, with long tendrils of babies that are also sparse with lots of brown leaves coming off them. Should we just pull the brown pieces off the babies, or should we cut all the babies off? I will be adding a little more soil to the pot, with water of course.

Don't Baby the Babies

Hi, Sue: It would be best to cut off all of the babies at their base and more or less start from scratch. Thanks for asking!

Will the plant grow without sunlight?

My home doesn't have direct sunlight, please suggest if the plant will bloom and grow at my place?

houseplants for shade

The spider plant does not need direct sunlight, but it still needs a lot of indirect light, as mentioned above. Another plant to consider is the peace lily.

no light plants

Yes, you can buy a "growlight" bulb and place it in a reading lamp or corner light stand lamp. Turn it on and off like you would any other light in the house - just do not place it too close to, or point it directly at, your low light plants. For most species of plants this is enough light to allow them to be healthy. After all, pot growers have been growing acres of plants in storage sheds for decades...

Grow lights

It doesn't even have to be a grow light. Get a cheap fluorescent tube type fixture that takes 2 bulbs. Use one "warm" and one "cool" in it. This is how I make sure my plants get enough hours of light AND how I provide light for flowers I've started from seed. If you have lots of plants like I do, just shuffle everyone between the light and a window, mine don't seem to mind taking turns.

Spider plant

I was repotting my spider plant when I noticed that the stem was separated from the plant... Can the stem still grow another plant??

Spider stem...

Because we can not see exactly what you are referring to (the stem), we can only advise that it’s the spiders that grow into plants that produce new spiders that … ya know. If there is no “knot” of potential root, such as appears at the base of a spider, it won’t grow.

We hope this helps.


Spider fern bulbs protruding

Hey guys, my fern was going gangbusters, but now he's so big the leaves and babies are overflowing so much they've pulled the bulbs out of the soil a little. Should I try and plant them back into the pot better so they're covered? I've totally 'accidentally' over watered him too as he was going a bit yellow with leaves dying and thought he needed water....now I think it's because I've over-watered him...it's a fine line! Should i just leave him somewhere warm so the soil dries out a bit? Thanks...from Australia!

Browning leaves

My spider plant was doing beautifully outside in a shady place but, because of the weather was brought inside, where I place it on a table by a north side window. Today I notice that some leaves were turning brown and was wondering if it was lack of sun or too much sun. I did notice the soil was quite dry and watered thoroughly before putting it back in the same spot. Can you please tell me what could I be doing wrong. Thanks!

Place the plant in a spot

Place the plant in a spot with bright to moderate sunlight. Keep the soil moist but do not overwater. If the inside air is dry you may need to mist the plant with water occasionally.



bringing plants inside

Most plants need to acclimate to the in door weather conditions. What i do is: in the late fall, when the weather finally breaks and it is comfortable to open the windows up and shut off the air conditioner for the season - I open all of the windows and bring my out door plants into the house. This gives them a couple of weeks to enjoy out door daytime temps - while protecting them from an early frost - allowing them to acclimatise to the household temperatures. I learned this a couple of years ago - when we bought a small live Christmas tree from an outdoor nursery. We placed the tree inside - to be decorated - and the tree instantly died from not being properly acclimate to indoor temperatures. Charlie Brown would have loved this purple tinted dead stick - covered in lights and bulbs...

moving plants around

Some species of plants are extremely sensitive to being moved around. Picking them up and carrying them to the sink, and back to their original location can actually send the plant into shock - and it may take a few days for the plant to recover again. Plants do not come with handles. They are rooted their entire lives in one place. And some take it very badly being carried around the house. Others could care less. If you recently moved a plant from one location to another, and it suddenly looks depressed and wilty - it could be sensitive to having its location changed - give it a week or two and see if it suddenly makes a full recovery.

spider plants

I have several spider plants that I started from babies,at the time I lived in Georgia and during the summer, they were doing great but now I live in Virginia and the weather is starting to get colder.Virginia weather who knows(ha ha) There still doing ok I guess but there turning yellow. I water them once a week some times twice because of the dry heat. Babies are still growing. My question is why the yellowing.
Thank you for your insight

I have also heard they like

I have also heard they like to be in a tight packed container.

I've had my Spider Plant for

I've had my Spider Plant for 3 years now. All of a sudden, it is growing 4 shoots with many babies. Summer here and 70 to 80 temps. I brought it outside (facing south) and wonder how to get it smaller in pots. I want to hang them inside but be lighter so not too heavy for hooks. Can this work without killing babies? If so, how to split into 3 is my question. Thanks, Erin.

Using a butter knife, loosen

Using a butter knife, loosen the soil around the edge of your plant's pot. You may have to circle the edge a few times. Carefully lift out the entire plant (you may need to turn the pot upside down and give it a few taps). Holding on to the leaves, shake the plant to loosen the soil. Use your fingers to remove any soil that obstructs your view of the plant's roots. You'll see that the plant is made up of several tubeous roots. Gently pull the tubers apart into as many new plants as you like. After potting the new plants, be sure to water regularly to encourage root growth. Good luck!

Hello i just recently bought

Hello i just recently bought a spider plant that wasnt kept healthy in the store, its a cold winter here where i live and i have my plant inside. How often do i water it and should i transfer it to a larger pot? i have never owned a spider plant before but i know its benefits. So im needing more information about the winter weather. Thanks :)

Spider plants don't mind

Spider plants don't mind being potbound. And baby spider plants form if the mother plant is potbound. Water your plant once a week.

Can I repot an extremely pot

Can I repot an extremely pot bound Spider plant if it still has babies on it? I don't think the babies roots are long enough yet to remove them. Also, if I have an 8 inch plant and want to divide it, what size pots do I use for the two separated plants?

I have a spider plant about

I have a spider plant about 25 years old. Before we moved, our neighbor volunteered her green thumb care for our plant for most of the last 20 years until recently, when we moved less than a year ago. This spider plant had grown well under her care with plenty of hanging shoots full of babies. Our neighbor had years ago transplanted the plant into a 6 inch tall & 8 inch wide plastic pot with an inner draining plate with holes along the edge. Placed beside a north-facing window and even on top of a radiator cover, the plant seemed to have thrived well. Since we moved, the plant is now in our care and placed about 6 ft away from an east-facing window. In the least than a year period, the plant continued to grow shoots with babies. But the main plant, even before we moved does not look like the lush foliage portrayed in your photos. Reading your comments and advice, I thought that this might be because too many babies had continued to multiply and is sapping nutrients from the mother plant. Our new apartment is warm in the winter from heating and a bit dry. While new shoots still grew, there's a lot of drying out into brown dead baby plants here & there. I noticed for months that the roots of the main plant (seem there are 3 plants) are showing its roots. Finally, yesterday I decided to remove all the plants and attached soil in a mass of fine roots to loosen, separate the plants and repot in the same pot, which looked plenty large. The main 3 plants do not look full large enough being 25 years old, but small new leaves do appear from the center. Before yesterday's repotting, I'd notice that watering the plant goes into immediate effect with the hanging babies looking livelier. But today, after the repotting and 2 days of light watering, I don't see the same effect. I'm a bit worried after reading your site and others that any damage may have been done to the 3 main plants after repotting. I saw about 3 white tuber roots in the largest plant. One of the tuber roots even had grown through one of the holes along the drainer plate placed on the inside bottom of the pot. Other tuber roots were not noticeable. I admit I wasn't looking carefully because I was in a hurry to leave for work. As described, the pot was mostly filled with fine roots and all of this was repotted after the soil and fine roots were loosened. Is this ok? What else do I need to do besides watering only about once a week and allowing about 1 inch surface of dryness? Should I raise the main plant so that some roots show again? Do I need fertilizer? If so, what brand & type do you recommend? I want the main 3 plants to not only thrive, but grow full and lush. Right now the many shoots with babies hang 2 to 3 feet from the pot, but the main plants are small, seemingly underdeveloped for a 25 year-old-plant.

I just bought a large spider

I just bought a large spider plant with lots of babies. I would like to hang it by my front door. It would get direct morning sun from about 7am until noon. Can it tolerate this much during the summer months? Our daytime Temps range from 75-95 degrees.

Spider plants are quite

Spider plants are quite heat-tolerant. The suggested air temperatures for spider plants is between 70 and 90°F for best growth.  If you temps go above 90°F, it will not directly damage spider plants, but it won't grow well.

I was passed down a spider

I was passed down a spider plant from my Nana about 5-6 years ago. She had this plant in her kitchen for as long as I can remember, 30+ years. Is there a life expectancy for these plants? Still producing babies and has never been transplanted. Too afraod to hurt the olant

Spider plants can tolerate

Spider plants can tolerate almost any conditions and grow indefinitely. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Kudos!

Avoid leaving them exposed to

Avoid leaving them exposed to canaries - if you let your canaries fly around they will savage the plant by chewing through the leaves.

Must be something in the plant that canaries like ...

Plant sitting a spider plant

Plant sitting a spider plant for my mother that is over two hundred years old my mother says.not sure if its that old itself or what but the ends of the leaves are dying off and not sure what i need to do!!! it is getting sunlight and watered once a week.I have it hanging near a basement window.very warm area.wood heat.more heat that it is used too.need Help Please !!!!
Thanks Troy

Hi Troy, Spider plants need

Hi Troy,
Spider plants need bright light and 65-75°F temp. If the plant is close to wood heat the air is very dry. Mist the plant with water a couple of times a week and make sure the soil is moist. Do not overwater in the winter months.

Thanks.i moved them today to

Thanks.i moved them today to a much brighter and a cooler area.Hoping this helps

Cut the dead ends off with

Cut the dead ends off with sicssers and it sould be fine thats what i do to my spider plant

I read somewhere that the

I read somewhere that the fluoride and/or chlorine usually found in tap water can cause leaves to brown at the tips. They recommended distilled water.

I've heard to certain birds

I've heard to certain birds and pets spider plants can be poisonous.

I'm plant sitting a spider

I'm plant sitting a spider plant for a friend. She started one of the babies off of this variegated mother plant and the new plant has solid green leaves. Why does this happen?

Some varieties of spider

Some varieties of spider plants will produce babies that don't look like mama.
For example, the Hawaiian Spider Plant looks solid green when grown but also produces variegated babies; what happens is that it loses its variegation over time.
Also: If you plant from seed, you can get green babies because the variegated mother may have been a mutation. It's better to plant the offsets because they're usually the same color.

Look at your light source

All green leaves often happens when you are not getting enough bright indirect lighting.

I have a spider plant that I

I have a spider plant that I transferred from New York to Las Vegas NV, the plant can't come into the house because of a gnat infestation, I'm not sure if I should replace the soil or leave it outside until the gnats die out?
I have a philodendron inside the house in a glass of water, I don't want it to be near the other plant. What would be the best solution for that plant?
Also are rope and fern the only type of hanging plant container that I can use inside the house?


I have had a spider plant for

I have had a spider plant for the past two years that started rooting in a jar with nothing but water. I then just put it in dirt in a plastic hanging plant. Other than having a cat chew it into a Bart Simpson haircut, I have had no problems with it at all.... Hope this helps

What else is there?

Hanging plants - what else is there besides Rope - Wire - and Chain? I suppose anything you can design - from steel rods attached to a ceiling anchor point - to wall mounted sconces. But I do not believe you will find such eccentric designs commercially manufactured. Good Luck - let us know if you come up with something new - maybe you can patent it and sell it to all of us....

I have 4 spider plants which

I have 4 spider plants which I separated from one large plant. They are healthy and green but have not produced any babies and I am wondering why.

I have just begun fertilizing them for the first time this month (December)and wonder if I just need to be patient and wait; in other words, if the fertilization will do the trick and how often I should do it during the winter months (I'm using Miracle Grow liquid fertilizer.)


Hi Laura, A happy mature

Hi Laura,
A happy mature spider plant will start producing babies. You just need to be patient. Look at our care advice on this page for tips on fertilizing.

I have two happy, mature

I have two happy, mature spider plants that get fertilizer, I've had them for several years, and they've never produced babies. I'm pretty sure they are male plants.

Spiders like crowded roots.

Spiders like crowded roots. The size of the pot will directly affect how the foliage developes, consequently how it flowers. The smaller the pot the more the plant can focus on developing greenery and flowers. When you re-pot the roots will have more room to spread and the plant will direct its energy to growing more roots. This is great information, and it's pretty general as it applies a variety of plants.
Sidenote: I wouldn't expect a whole lot of growth during winter months.

I have a spider plant that is

I have a spider plant that is about 7-8 years old. It has beautiful leaves that stay very green, I live in No, CA and have the plant outside in a semi-covered atrium. That plant has so many babies that I don't know what to do. I was thinking about starting to train them to climb, either with plant wire or tape. I haven't ever heard of anyone doing that - do you think it would work? The longest strands are about 5' . The plant itself is about 3' in diameter. I just don't know what else to do... Any more ideas???

In their native habitat, in

In their native habitat, in southern Africa, spider plants spread along the ground. When they form a flowering stalk, a baby plant forms on top with tiny roots; eventually, the stalk (or scape) will bend over and the baby will root in the soil. Eventually, there will be a mass of spider plants forming a groundcover. The spider plant does not have tendrils or other features to help it cling to vertical surfaces. However, you can certainly attach the scape (or "runner") to a vertical surface with ties.
Another option is to remove some of the babies--cut the "runner" off close to the base of the mother plant, as well as just before the baby. Plant the baby in soil or place in water until it develops strong roots and then transplant to a pot filled with soil. Once the babies have established, you can keep them or give them to friends.
Spider plants tend to form babies if the mother plant is potbound. If you'd like to stop or slow the formation of new plants, check to see if the mother plant needs repotting.

This is the best advice I

This is the best advice I have seen on this thread. I have had many spideys, and the one thing you need to remember is don't over think them...they like sun but not direct, water once a week, mist the leaves as a treat on really hot days (but not while in direct sun - the reflection of the sun on water droplets can burn leaves) if you want babies - let them get pot bound, if not - repot them into bigger pots. To grow the baby offshoots for repotting I recommend soaking them in a glass full of perlite - but keep it moist always. My babies grow strong roots in about a week with this method. Then they can be re-potted into a pot and GIVEN AS GIFTS! I don't know anyone who doesn't love spideys...!!!!

I have a large spider plant

I have a large spider plant that has seen better days and would like to move it to another location in my house where it won't get frostbitten but the only other location doesn't get much sun so will it live if I move it.

Spider plants do need access

Spider plants do need access to sunlight. It's not important if it's direct or indirect light, but the Sun needs to brighten the room. It also needs real sunlight because growth responds to length of day. Hope this helps.

I just got the plant and it

I just got the plant and it is beautiful and I want it to stay that way. so o need your help. thank you.

I have found out that to

I have found out that to produce spider babies, you have to let the plant get root bound. also by feeding them jobs food sticks once a month will help the babies grow healthier and the mother will produce more babies.

I have two Spider plants

I have two Spider plants which are both producing babies. The babies are about 1 month old.

How soon can I plant/replant them; also do I start the babies in water or soil?

Plant the baby in soil or

Plant the baby in soil or place in water until it develops strong roots and then transplant to a pot filled with soil. Once the babies have established, you can keep them or give them to friends. I read this in the above comment replies, hope it helps

Botanical Name: 

Chlorophytum Comosum

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Flower Color: 

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