Spider Plant or you may have heard some people call it Spider Ivy is a perennial flowering plant. It is a widespread indoor plant found around the world. Native to South and West Africa, this plant got its name because of its resemblance to spiders.
Scientifically known as Chlorophytum Comosum, the spider plant is also used to enhance the aesthetics of a household. The slender leaves and long stalks that bear the flower in inflorescence arching downward towards the ground make this plant a beautiful hanging decorative piece!
Spider plants are low-maintenance and they don’t require much care. To take care of them, you need to keep the soil moist, expose them to indirect sunlight, and fertilize them once a month in warmer seasons.
In this guide, we will teach you the general rules for taking care of your spider plant from the watering pattern to the use of fertilizers. So, read on to know more!
Also check: How Often Should You Water a Spider Plant?
What Are the Different Types of Spider Plants?
There are over 200 different varieties of spider plants in the world. Out of which Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’ and Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ are the most common.
Before getting into how to care for a spider plant, let us learn a bit about what the different varieties of spider plants look like. Here are some most popular spider plant varieties.
- Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’: Also known as the Variegated spider plant, this is the most widely available spider plant. This variety can be identified by its elongated green leaves with yellowish vertical stripes that run in the middle.
- Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegated’: This variety is also known as the reverse variegated spider plant. As the name suggests this variety has exact reverse features from the Vittatum spider plant. The leaves have yellow lines on the border and broad green color in the middle.
- Chlorophytum comosum ‘Lemon’: This spider plant variety is unlike other spider plants. The yellow lines are absent on the leaves of this plant rather the leaves have a darker shade of green that resembles lemon leaves.
- Chlorophytum laxum ‘Zebra’: The Zebra spider plant is unique when it comes to appearance. This variety has dark green lines at the borders of its leaves and white stripes in the middle.
- Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’: Bonnie spider plant is another variety that is not hard to find. This spider plant has similar green and yellow linings to that of Vittatum. But the feature that makes it different is its curly leaves.
These are only some of the spider plants out of the many. They look more or less similar and have almost the same height of 2 to 3 feet. Their small size and beautiful color palette are convenient and wonderful for interiors.
Quick Table For Taking Care Of Spider Plant
|Best Location||Indoors, near the window for indirect sunlight|
|Fertilizers||Use in summer and spring only|
|Type Of Water For Watering||Distilled or rainwater|
How Often Do You Water A Spider Plant?
When it comes to watering, Spider ivy should be watered differently based on the season. In winter they do not ask for daily watering instead watering once or twice a week can do wonders.
However, during summer, keeping the soil moist is necessary. So, watering can be done every alternate day. Remember to check the condition of the soil before watering.
It is suggestive not to overwater the plant since it can rot the roots of your plant and eventually kill the plant. Another problem that can cause due to overwatering is brown tips which are explained below.
Should I Cut The Brown Tips Off My Spider Plant?
Spider Ivy is one of the easiest plants to grow. There would not be many problems you have to come across while growing spider plants. However, the plant parents must be mindful of the brown leaf tips.
The browning of the leaf’s tip in spider plants is an indication that your plant is not properly taken care of. What do we mean by that? Let us see the causes leading to the browning tip.
Watering a plant is an imperative task for its healthy growth. That is why as a plant parent you should know the exact proportion of water your plant needs. Many people tend to make the mistake of thinking that plants need water all the time.
As humans are advised not to overeat, plants can die due to overwatering too. Overwatering can dampen the soil and lead to root rot. In such situations, the root of the spider plant is unable to transport the water to the leaves. Hence, the tips of the leaves start to turn brownish.
Spider plants do not need too much water. So, watering should be done only if the soil is dry.
Although it is true that spider plants do not ask for much care, they should not be left unattended for too long as well. Spider plants that are grown in pots and are kept indoors cannot grow without the external source of water that you provide.
Unwatered spider plants can dry up and lead to brown tips. Periodical watering of one to two times a week during winters and maybe three times during summers should be maintained.
Spider plants are indoor plants which is why they have healthy growth under indirect sunlight. Therefore, make sure to place your spider plant somewhere it can receive plenty of indirect sunlight. Windows can be a great location to place spider plants.
Spider ivy kept in dark places where the plant does not get any indirect sunlight can lead to brown tips. In the absence of sunlight, the moisture retained by the soil takes longer to dry. This will make the soil moist which will rot the root and brown tips will begin to appear in your spider plant.
In other situations too much direct sunlight can also be a problem. Spider plants grow best under indirect sunlight but they can receive a good amount of direct sunlight too. The problem occurs when the plant has been kept under direct sunlight for a long duration.
The sunlight dries up the soil quickly and ultimately leads to brown tips. Therefore you should be attentive to the amount of sunlight your plant is receiving. If it is placed under direct sunlight for a long time, make sure to check the soil and water accordingly.
Brown tips is a very common problem that gardeners will face while tending spider plants.
When you see brown tips in your spider plant it is advisable to cut off the infected part. It is because prolonged conditions without any maintenance can lead to the spreading of browning tips to the whole leaf. So better to get rid of the problem quickly before it grows bigger.
Where Is The Best Place To Put A Spider Plant?
The long stems hanging in the mid-air, the slender light green leaves with white lines running along the sides, and the inflorescence of white flowers make the spider plant a great decorative piece. The best part is that it is an interior plant. With this plant, you can give a dash of nature’s touch to your interiors too.
Since the spider plant needs indirect sunlight, windows can be the perfect place to hang your plants. You can even place them on the balcony or the verandah of your house.
Apart from the aesthetics that spider plant brings in, the plant has certain health benefits as well. Spider plants have been declared as air purifiers by NASA under their NASA Clean Air Space project in 1989. They effectively remove common air toxins such as formaldehyde and Xylene.
Does A Spider Plant Need Sunlight?
Like any interior plant, spider plants do not require too much direct sunlight. They grow best under indirect sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause drying up of the soil and eventually lead to brown tips.
Tips To Care For Spider Plants In Winter
Spider plants are indoor plants that grow to their full potential in a moderate climate. The growth of spider plants can be stunted in winter as they are plants native to tropical regions.
Hence, caring for spider plants in winter is beneficial. Given below are some do’s and don’ts for spider plants in winter.
Avoid Frequent Watering
In winter when the temperature is low, the soil takes a long time to absorb water. The soil is not easily dry. Therefore, frequent watering can be harmful to spider plants.
Check if the soil is dry or moist by putting your fingertip in the top layer of the soil and water your plant accordingly. Watering twice a week during winter would be sufficient for spider plants.
Do Not Add Fertilizer
Snake plants are not the strongest during winter. They are unable to absorb the external nutrients that are added to the soil through fertilizers. So providing fertilizers to the spider plants in winter can turn out to be a waste of nutrients.
Do Not Propagate
As said earlier, spider plants are not in their element during winter. The low temperature can hamper its propagation too.
The mother plant as well as the spiders that are used to propagate are unable to absorb nutrients. This results in the slow growth of its roots. Hence, the propagation of spider plants during winter is not a great idea.
The best time to propagate spider plants is spring and summer.
Provide Enough Direct Sunlight
Spider plants are generally kept in places away from direct sunlight. But in winter, the photoperiod of direct sunlight for this plant should be exercised more often. The sunlight in this season is not too harsh. They provide the required immunity to spider plants in winter.
The soil dries up quickly in direct sunlight as compared to the rate at which it takes place under indirect sunlight during winter. The sunlight obstructs the dampening of soil which can cause brown tips which is common in winter.
Loosen Up The Soil
Another thing you can do to nurture the spider plant in winter is to loosen the potting mix. Simply get any pointed object to till the upper layer of the soil. This will help sunlight, water, and air to seep into the soil easily.
The tilled soil also helps in the soil aeration system which is good for roots. This activity can enhance the growth of spider plants in winter.
Tips To Care For Spider Plant Indoors
Place the spider plant indoors and you will witness the plant’s supreme growth. Since spider plants are indoor plants, they do not just grow well in the shade but also enhance the beauty of household interiors.
However, keeping them inside your house is not enough. You have to take care of the spider plant and save it from pest attacks. Some helpful tips to care for spider plants indoors are:
Spider plants should not be placed anywhere in the household. They may be interior plants but they need sunlight to grow. Placing them in a location where there is no infiltration of indirect sunlight can kill the plant.
Therefore, look for a perfect location where your spider plant can receive an abundance of indirect sunlight.
Use Distilled or Rainwater
Spider Plants can grow brown tips if you use tap water. The tap waters contain fluoride and spider plants like many other indoor plants are sensitive to fluoride. Therefore, water your spider plants with distilled water or rainwater to free them from brown tips.
Follow different timings for watering spider plants in different seasons. In winter when the temperature is low, spider plants need less water. So, choose to water twice a week.
In seasons like summer and spring, the growth of spider plants is better compared to winter. But spider plants can easily dry during summers if not watered properly. Therefore, make sure to water your spider plants every alternate day of the week.
Exposure To Direct Sunlight
Since spider plants are indoor plants they are in the shade most of the time. It is true that they grow better under indirect sunlight but exposing them to direct sunlight every now and then will not cause any harm. Especially during winter when the temperature inside the house can be very low.
In winter make sure to place your indoor spider plant outside for some direct sunlight. The indirect sunlight during winter can be insufficient for your plant’s growth. Having said this, it is also imperative to see that the sun is out, or else, your plant can die due to frosting.
Spider plants are indoor plants that love moderate temperatures. Excessive exposure of spider plants to direct sunlight can cause sunburns. Subsequently, the leaves of the plants will grow brown tips and spots.
Normally, spider plants do not attract any specific pest that is unique to the plant. They are attacked by common houseplant pests such as Aphids, white flies, and spider mites.
In normal cases, the aforementioned pests do not pose a large threat to spider plants. But in some severe cases when you start noticing depreciated foliage and your plant remains weak for a long time, try using natural remedies.
Aphids are a common pest that can attack the spider plant. They are found mostly on tender stems and leaves. You can see them with your naked eyes.
In most cases, raising the leaves simply with cold water can shoo away the aphids. But if the infestation is severe, try aphid killers to save the spider plant.
Whiteflies are another pest found in spider plants. They suck the sap of the plant. This leads to the yellowing and withering of the leaves. To cast away this pest, spray homemade soap water on the plant. You can use neem oil to control the infestation too.
Spider Mites can be controlled using soap water, neem oil, or simply cold water. They infest areas that are too dry. They deflect moisture. Hence, spraying cold water at the plant can help stop the attack of spider mites.
Usage of Fertilizers
Potted plants in general need to be fertilized. Similarly, spider plants potted indoors are unable to retain all the required nutrients from the potting mix.
There is no specific fertilizer for spider plants but you can use an all-purpose fertilizer for household plants for spider plants.
The fertilizers provide the required nutrients needed for the healthy growth of spider plants. Fertilization should be done once or twice a month and that too during the plant’s growing season. Hence, summer and spring is the best time to fertilize your spider plant.
Fertilizers undoubtedly help in the plant’s growth but they can be harmful if used too much. It is important to measure the amount of fertilizer you are going to use. Always read the instructions carefully. Do not mix a disproportionate amount of water and fertilizer.
Note that fertilizers can leave unwanted salt in the soil. The crusty whitish deposits on the soil or even the rim of the pot is an indication that the soil has excessive salt.
This needs to be dealt with! You can either scoop the deposits out by using a spoon or you can discard the upper layer of soil while repotting the plant.
Tips To Care For Spider Plant Outdoors
Spider Plants may be indoor plants but that does not negate the fact that they can be grown outdoors too. Imagine a verandah or a patio lined with dangling green strings. Since spider plants are indoor plants, placing them outdoors requires extra care.
The watering pattern, the exposure to sunlight, the usage of fertilizers, and all the mentioned tips for spider plant care indoors are more or less the same for spider plant care outdoors too.
One thing the plant parents need to take care of is that even if the spider plant is kept outdoors, it should be under shade. Spider plants will not survive in a place that receives direct sunlight throughout the day.
How To Make Spider Plants Bushier?
There are three common ways to make your spider plants bushier. The first way is to maintain pruning and trimming your spider plant every now and then.
The second way is to repot the plant into a larger pot. It is because spider plants grow rapidly. Repotting provides spider plants the space it needs to grow.
Thirdly, go for propagation. Cut the spiderattes and keep them for water propagation. Once the spiderattes grow roots that are 2 to 3 inches in length, transplant them near the mother plant to make the spider plant bushier.
Do You Water Spider Plants From The Top Or Bottom?
For spider plants watering from the bottom works well. To water from the bottom, put some water in the tray that holds the pot. Let it stay there for 10 to 20 minutes.
Before removing the excess water from the tray, check if the soil is moist enough. If yes, discard the water left on the tray. If not, let the water stay for some more time.
Do Spider Plants Like Deep Or Shallow Pots?
It doesn’t really matter if the pot is deep or shallow. What matters is that the size of the pot should be a couple of inches larger than the plant. Spider plants have fibrous roots. Therefore make sure to give your spider plant enough space to spread its roots.
Spider plants are great decorative indoor plants that are easy to take care of. There are many types of spider plants but there are general rules and tips to take care of all of them. We hope that this guide was beneficial to help you care for your spider plant.