Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts

Spider Plants

PrintPrintEmailEmail
Your rating: None Average: 4.4 of 5 (12 votes)

Botanical name: Chlorophytum Comosum

Plant type: Houseplant

Sun exposure: Part Sun

Soil type: Any

Flower color: White

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.

Planting

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

Care

  • 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.

Pests

  • 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

Common varieties are the Ribbon Plant and Spider Ivy.

Wit & Wisdom

Keep spider plants on your desk to reduce indoor pollutants.

Comments

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Hello i just recently bought

By MoniqueCelene on July 14

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

By Almanac Staff on July 14

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

By Debbie Lynn Babcock on July 13

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

By Helen Alexander on July 11

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

By Connie L

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Circa

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Keith Harris

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

By Troy S.

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

I've heard to certain birds

By Ann y mouse

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

I read somewhere that the

By dwiser

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.

Cut the dead ends off with

By Harley r

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

Hi Troy, Spider plants need

By Almanac Staff

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

By Troy S.

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

I'm plant sitting a spider

By DOANN

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

By georgewilson

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.

I have a spider plant that I

By jbuligan

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?

Thanks.

I have had a spider plant for

By Heather A

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

I have 4 spider plants which

By Laura Goodall

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.)

Thanks.

Spiders like crowded roots.

By GardenHo

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 two happy, mature

By toothette

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.

Hi Laura, A happy mature

By Almanac Staff

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 a spider plant that is

By Carole Corralejo

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

By Almanac Staff

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.

I have a large spider plant

By keltie

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By sylvia gary

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

By helen t

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

By Eva L. Jones

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

By Heather A

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

Plan your perfect Garden