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Spider Plants: Easy Care & Durable As Can Be

Spider Plants are tolerant of a wide range of conditions & are adaptable & durable. They're 1 of the most easy care houseplants around. Here's what you need to know to care for & grow these fun hanging plants.

Spider plants care

Spider Plants are the unruly wild child of the houseplant world.

Those long stems, with babies and flowers at the ends, just spray out any which way they want to! These hanging plants, with fleshy rhizomatic roots, need a bit of room to show off their arching displays. Spider Plants are one of the most easy care houseplants around, are tolerant of a wide range of conditions, adaptable and durable as can be.

If you’re “houseplant challenged” then Spider Plants, aka Airplane Plants, are for you. I love these plants for all their wackiness and actually grow them outdoors in a shaded spot. They’re as easy to care for outdoors as they are in the garden.

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spider plants hanging in the grower’s greenhouses. as you can see, the mother plant is not as brightly variegated as the babies.

Here’s what you need to know about caring for these trailing plants whose arching leaves look like large blades of grass. Most importantly, they adapt to a wide variety of conditions in your home.

Water: Low to average. Depending on how warm & bright your house is, this might be every 10-14 days. Water them when they’re almost dry & be sure to let the water drain all the way through the pot. If your water is high in salts, consider using distilled water.

When I was a plant maintenance technician, I preferred to take hanging plants to a sink when watering time came around. This took the guess work out of when the water would come spilling out.

Light: Here’s where Spider Plants are most adaptable. They prefer nice bright light (like a west, north or east window) but will do fine in lower light conditions. Just know that if you have 1 of the variegated varieties, it’ll revert to solid green. A south exposure is fine too just as long as it’s not in a hot window. It’ll burn baby burn.

They’ll actually do fine in good strong artificial light & for more about that subject it’s best to refer to our book Keep Your Houseplants AliveBe aware that they probably won’t produce as many babies without natural light.

Soil: Spider Plants are not too fussy in regards to soil. Just be sure to use a good organic potting soil which is labeled for houseplants or indoor plants. It’s very important that it drains well.

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lots of beautiful babies along with their white flowers.

Fertilizer: Easy does it. Use an organic,liquid houseplant fertilizer at recommended strength in late Spring & then again in mid Summer.

Pests: I’ve seen them with mealybug & scale.

Propagation: Spider Plant babies are miniature duplicates of mama & very easy to propagate. For more on this, along with pest control, use our houseplant care book Keep Your Houseplants Alive as a guide.

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as you can see, the babies produce roots which get bigger as they age. you want them to be about this size before removing them. those are some tough roots!

Tips: Spider Plants, whose botanic name is Chlorophytum comosum, like being potbound so don’t rush to transplant them.

Don’t let too many babies hang on the mother plant. Remove some of them because they’ll zap out some of the energy out of mama.

They’re considered to be non-toxic to pets and as you will see in our book, many houseplants aren’t. Nonetheless, you don’t want Spider Plants to be used like crunchy grass with Fluffy or Fido munching away on them.

 

The biggest benefit that Spider Plants have (okay,this is tied with easy care) is that they’re super duper air purifying warriors. They take in toxins we don’t want to breathe making the air around us cleaner. If your room is large, you’ll definitely need a few of them.

Here’s a video shot in the greenhouses where we took the photos for our book. Happy growing!

 

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10 comments:

  1. Pingback: 8 Low Maintenance Plants that Will Make Any Millennial Apartment Look Grown Up

  2. I would like to know I live in Florida in the middle of the state and I would like to know if I can leave my spider plant outside in the winter time if it does get cold I could cover it up because I would like to put it in a birdbath well drained

  3. Hi Jack – I’m not sure how cold you actually get by Spider Plants are hardy in USDA zones 9-11. I lived in Santa Barbara,CA where the average winter lows were around 40 degrees F & my Spider Plants did fine in my garden. They can’t take a freeze. Hope that helps, Nell

  4. my spider plant babies keep getting brown and dying on me, i have it in the south window because my house is facing the south.

  5. Hi Nichole – You could be over watering. Or, if the plant is potbound, they could be too dry if the plant is getting a lot of sun. Nell

  6. My spider plant on the stem has brown looking bugs an it has a sticky white residue on it what can I do for it?

  7. Hi Wanda – It sounds like scale; spider plants are susceptible to them. Here’s a post & video I did which will help you out: https://www.joyusgarden.com/scale-thrips-how-to-control-them/ Nell

  8. Loved the video! Am I to understand that spider plants should be planted individually? I was recently given several baby plants that had been living in water. I planted them in an 8″ hanging planter but not too closely together. They are growing beautifully but I haven’t gotten any babies yet. Should I try to separate them and plant them separately or is it too late?

  9. Hi Miriam – I plant them individually because they grow so fast & have thick roots. You’ll eventually need to transplant them because they’ll crowd out an 8″ pot. Plus, they get heavy as those roots grow! I’ve found they produce babies readily when they’re slightly pot bound. Nell

  10. im struggling with my spider plant..
    I got it because its supposed to be easy.. or so I thought… I keep getting yellow/brown tips.
    I have it hung in a macrame hanger it gets some pretty good bright indirect light from an east and west window, I just recently started watering with distilled water but the brown/yellow leaves keep popping back!.. im also watering when the top 2 inches are dry….what am I doing wrong!

  11. Hi Yessica – I’ve since moved to the Arizona desert where my Spider Plants now grows outdoor in the shade. It gets brown tips here because of the dry air, especially in summer. Yellow leaves can be caused by a few things but the 2 most common are: too little light & salts in the water. Even though you’re using distilled water now, if salts are the cause, they’ve built up in the soil & it’ll take them a while to all flush out. Nell

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