How To Care For A Spider Plant

How To Care For A Spider Plant

Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Origin: South Pacific and South Africa


Spider plants are an ideal choice for beginners.  It’s easy to care for, tolerates average indoor room conditions, and is easy to propagate.  They look best in hanging baskets or on tall plant stands to show off their trailing foliage.

The slender, arching leaves are dark green with a creamy white stripe.  Leaves grow from a central crown and can reach up to 1 ft. long.  Give this plant plenty of light for best leaf color, Spider plants can grow in low light but may lose their variegation.

When less than a year old, the plant produces small, white flowers on the tips of wiry, upright stems; called runners.  The runners are soon weighted down with plantlets giving it a spidery appearance.  These plantlets; often called babies; are easy to propagate, giving you an ongoing supply of plants.  For best success, choose young, small plantlets for propagating because the larger plantlets are older and will root slowly.

No blooms?  These plants like to be slightly pot-bound and will flower and produce plantlets best when grown in a smallish container.  Also, take it easy on the fertilizer; too much will produce a lot of leaves but no flowers and plantlets.

Height: Plants grows up to 1 ft. tall with stems trailing up to 3 ft. long.  

Light:  Bright light but no direct sun.  Will tolerate low light but may lose their variegation and bloom poorly.

Water:  Keep soil evenly moist.  Spider plants are sensitive to fluoride in tap water, using distilled or rain water is best.

Humidity:  Average room humidity, if leaves turn brown and crispy raise the humidity around it.

Temperature:  Average room temperatures of 60-75 degrees F. (16-24 degrees C). 

Soil:  Any good quality potting mix.

Fertilizer:  Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, diluted by half.  

Propagation:  Plantlets.  Set a small pot filled damp potting soil next to the plant.  Sink a new plantlet into the soil of the small pot, so that the root buds are barely covered.  You may need to use a bend paperclip to hold the plantlet in place.  It should root in 2-3 weeks, after that sever it from the parent plant.

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