Have you been wondering about getting a spider plant or you own one but you are not sure about how to care for spider plants indoors? Worry not! The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is an easy-to-grow and perhaps one of the most adaptable plants you can find out there. It gets its name from its spider-like look as the infant plants aka Spiderettes or ‘pups’, dangle down from the mother plant, just like spiders from their web. These babies are miniature plants which can quickly be grown into a new plant. The spider plant is best known for its air-purifying ability. These lovely plants can withstand most surroundings, making them an ideal match for new gardeners.
Spider Pant Soil Preparation
The spider plant can be planted in a soil-based, well-draining potting mix. You can also DIY a natural mixture of compost, cocopeat, soil, and coarse sand at home. This plant likes being in a small pot. So don’t hurry up to transplant them into a bigger pot.
If you see the plant has outgrown its pot, which means; big fat roots coming out from the base of the pot, then it’s possible to opt for repotting. Choose a pot that’s 2″ larger than the current pot. Use an organic combination of compost, cocopeat, soil, and sand to plant a spider plant.
Spider Plant Watering
Spider plant enjoys evenly moist soil throughout the year; they do not like to become too dry or too wet. Usually a low to regular watering is suitable for this plant. In most cases, you need to water this plant every 2-4 days. During the summer months water regularly and in winter allow them to dry out between waterings.
While watering, soak the soil evenly and liberally until the water comes out from beneath the pot. These plants like to have the soil dry out a bit between waterings because the roots tend to hold a lot of water, which may cause root rot if the plant is overwatered.
Spider plant enjoys humid conditions. Misting them frequently, especially in tropical summers, will help keep them moist; besides, it will also prevent the invasion of spider mites. You can also try keeping it in the bathroom for a few hours to get a humidity boost every weekend.
Spider Plant Light Requirement
You can place the plant next to a well-lit window in your house but prevent west-facing windows. Keep your plant in bright to the medium indirect sunlit area. Solid green types need less light compared to the green and white varieties. Spider plants should never be placed in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn off their leaves, causing brown tips and spots on the leaves.
If you want to read more about spider plant varieties you can find more information here.
Spider Plant Propagation
A developed spider plant begins to produce blossoms, eventually producing babies, or ‘pups’. All these pups can be rooted in the soil for propagating a new plant. Once the mother plant, has generated too many pups, it is better to eliminate them as these babies will suck away the energy from the mother plant.
Spider plant pups could be split from the mother plant with a scissor. The best way of rooting the babies is by allowing the plantlet to remain attached to the mother plant until it has developed roots. When the pup is well-rooted, then separate it from the mother plant and plant it wherever you like or gift it to someone.
Spider Plant Fertilizer
Spider plants don’t require a significant amount of fertilizer. It’s best to fertilize them each alternate month. Use a natural fertilizer like seaweed solution or compost for best outcomes.
Common Spider Plant Problems
Spider Plant Leaves Turning Black Or Dark Brown
One of the widespread problems with spider plants is water stress. This may mean a great deal or too little moisture. The plant should not be standing in a saucer of water. Overwatering is a reason behind spider plant leaves turning black or dark brown.
Spider Plant Brown Tips
Another common problem is spider plant brown tips. If you begin to detect spider plant leaves are browning, there’s no need for worry. Browning of leaf tips is quite normal and will not harm the plant. This is often the consequence of fluoride found in water, which causes a salt buildup in the soil. It also helps to periodically leach the plant by giving them a thorough watering to flush out excess salts. It may also help to use distilled water or perhaps rainwater instead of water from your kitchen or any other channel. Also, ensure that the plant is not placed under direct sunlight.
Spider Plant Leaves Yellowing
Excessive fertilizer or minerals in the water or the soil may cause the leaves to become discoloured. Too much of direct sunlight is not healthy for the plant and can cause burning to occur on the surface of leaves, but too little light will also make the leaves turn yellow.
Spider Plant Pests
Spider mites would be the biggest problem spider plants face. You can utilize an insecticidal solution made out of neem oil diluted in water and shampoo as a spray. (10ml of neem oil mixed with a cup of water and a few drops of shampoo). Spray ever 3-4 days, and you will see that the infestation will reduce in just a few days.
Similar to other indoor plants, spider plant can also be infected by mealybugs and scales. The neem oil and shampoo spray can also help with this.