Spider Plant Care | Growing Tips

Mar 14, 2022 | Gro Guide

One of the coolest, most adaptable, easy-to-grow houseplants is the Cholrophyum Comosum [kloh-roh-FY-tum kom-OH-sum], or more commonly known as “spider plant.” The name means “hairy green plant,” and it is a perennial evergreen plant. This is a great plant for any novice gardener to houseplants, or someone who has a lot of plants, because spider plant care is so easy and they are so fun to grow. You can grow this plant in pot on the counter top, or in hanging baskets, the choice is yours.

Spider Plant

Spider plants produce thin, long leaves that can be solid colored green leaves or they can be variegated, depending on the variety. The narrow, thin grass like leaves grows between 3/8 1 inch wide. A fully matured spider plant can grow 12 – 24 inches tall, 24 – 30 inches wide, and have runners that are 2 – 3 feet long. The runners flows off the plant and produce small white flowers when they are in bloom, but also more importantly grow baby spider plants, also known as “spiderettes.”

There are many other common names for this plant, including:

  • Airplane Plant
  • Spider Ivy
  • St. Bernard’s Lily
  • Ribbon Plant
  • Anthericum

This easy-to-care for plant can live for decades, even if it is neglected. Which makes it a great plant for anyone wanting to start a garden or don’t have a lot of time but want some live green plants in their living space. Spider plants will grow fast in hanging baskets, and they fill the space very well. This is also good, as we will learn later, if you want to create more spider plants or “propagate” from the mother plant.

The star-shaped greenish-white or sometimes yellowish spider plant flowers that bloom off the main plant are very small and delicate, and can be easily missed. The flower pedals have six boat-shaped tepals, which grows between 1/4 – 3/8 inch long. They only bloom for a couple of days, so plan on making a bouquet with them. They usually bloom in a cluster formation anywhere from one to six flowers on the stem. Some varieties start blooming when the plant is mature, and other varieties actually stop producing the flowers as they mature. Knowing which variety you have will help cut the stress if you are worried about the flowering of your plant.

Spider Plant Flowers

Spider Plant Care | How To…

As said before, spider plant care is really easy just follow a few simple rules. With very little attention, this plant will live a long and healthy life with you. When it comes to caring for your spider plant, there are the usual conditions to consider. We need to keep in the back of our minds lighting, watering, soil, temperature and propagation to make more plants. Let us consider each one, and discuss the needs of the plant.

Spider Plant Care

Spider Plant Care | Lighting

The spider plant can be an inside or outside plant, and the plant has a wide range of lighting conditions it can tolerate. Generally speaking, this plant loves bright indirect lighting with bouts of partial shade. The spider plant plant can handle most lighting conditions except having no sun at all, and long periods of direct sunlight. It does need sunlight for photosynthesis, and direct sunlight will scorch and burn the leaves. So if you do choose a bright location, make sure it is in indirect lighting, or very very limited time spent in direct lighting. The plant can do really well in direct lighting only, and I mean only if it is acclimated for it.

During the summer months when the sun is out with a vengeance, I found it is best to keep your spider plant away from windows that are south-facing. This will help not to scorch the delicate leaves. This plant does do really well in bedrooms and bathrooms, where the lighting is a bit more dim than other rooms in the house. Your plant will love being hung next to a sunny window, where is can grab plenty of indirect light. The spider plant also will do really well under fluorescent lighting and grow lamps.

The lighting will not only affect the appearance of the plant, but it will also stimulate blooming and reproduction. The strength and intensity of the lighting your plant receives will affect the appearance of your spider plant. The more bright indirect lighting the spider plant has, the more pronounced white stripes and green leaves it will make. The lighting will also affect the rate of bloom and reproduction.

Placing your spider plant in a bright sunny location tends to produce more flowers when in bloom, and more baby spider plants on the runners. If your plant is placed in an area of low lighting, it will still grow, but it might not grow as many flower buds, and runners with multiple baby spider plants on each one.

how often to water spider plants

Spider Plant Care | Watering & Humidity

How Often to Water Spider Plants?

We all need water to survive, and so does a spider plant. The good news is that it can handle a wide range of watering conditions. Ideally, the spider plant will thrive when watered regularly using room temperature filtered or distilled water. I suggest filtered or distilled because of the trace amounts of harmful minerals found in our water supply. The chlorine alone could kill a flourishing spider plant.

If your spider plant leaf tips are turning brown, it could be because you need to use distilled or filtered water. Or it could be because you are accidentally over watering it. To avoid overwater your spider plant, you want to make sure you water evenly and do not “waterlog” the soil. Your spider plant will only require watering twice to three times a week the first two to three years, then twice a week for the rest of the plants life. Over watering will cause brown leaves and root rot. Also, depending on the season, you should adjust your watering sessions. Water less in the winter months, and water a little bit more in the summer months. Do not let the soil fully dry out for days on end. Try to keep the top soil moist.

One care the spider plant does not really do well in is very low humidity conditions. Having very low humidity can also give the spider plant brown tips. Spider plants do nicely in warm humid conditions, and enjoy the occasional misting. So try to keep your spider plant away from air conditioning vents and drafts the best you can. If you live in a low humid environment, try misting occasionally, and placing them around other plants or a humidifier. Again, the bathroom is a great place for this plant, because who doesn’t love to take hot showers.

Spider Plant Flower


Spider plants can handle a very wide range of temperatures, compared to most other plants. Spider plants will thrive in temperatures between 65 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day time, and at night, kept above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to keep the temperature moderate if you can. They really do not like the temperatures to drop 50 degrees, so keep them above that temperature. They can occasionally handle above 90, but not for very long. If you keep them too long below 65 degrees, they will be okay, but they will not grow very much, and they will not reproduce a lot of baby spiders.

Try to avoid sudden temperature changes. If it is peak summer, and you move your spider plant from a sunny hot window spot to a dark cold spot next to an air conditioning vent, you will notice your plant might not be happy.

Some good locations around your house could be:

  • Hanging a basket in your bathroom either behind the toilet, or on the counter.
  • Hanging a basket on your sun porch or patio.
  • Bathroom window
  • Bedroom with shaded curtains.
  • Kitchen windowsill
Spider Plants

Spider Plant Care | Soil

Spider plants can tolerate a wide range of soil types and pH. They do prefer neutral pH soil, but can handle slightly acidic or slightly alkaline potting mix. If the soil is to acidic, and you need to increase the pH, try adding limestone or dolomite to help rise the pH level. It is important to plant your spider plant in well-drained soil. Even though they can handle a variety of types of soil, the good drainage is a absolute must. Try for loose, loamy, well-draining soil. Most store bought potting soil will work perfectly, and has these qualities.

Using a standard potting mix for African violets works very well, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own potting soil with:

  • Vermiculite
  • Pine Bark
  • Coco coir
  • Perlite
  • Peat

If you plan on using fertilizer, use it during the spring and early summer months. This is when your plant will do most of it’s growing, so a little nutrition boost it best during this time. Use a liquid fertilizer, and follow the instructions, if you choose to use one.

Spider Plant in Wheel Barrell

Repotting, Transplanting, and Pruning

Spider plants growing in great conditions can easily become pot-bound, and hard to transplant. Root-bound is when the roots have run out of space in the pot. You will know this is happening when the roots emerge out from the pot’s drainage holes. Try to re-pot your spider plant once the plant is root-bound. Unless they are root-bound, and the roots are getting damaged, there really is not a need to transplant your spider plant.

If you see the need to transplant your spider plant, choose a pot that is bigger than the one it is in. You will want it bigger in diameter, and deeper in depth. You might see a need every other year if your plant is thriving and very happy. Always transplant with fresh soil, and do not disturb the root structure.

To keep your spider plant happy and healthy, try the occasional trim. You can choose to prune the leaves, runners, or the baby spider plants. To prune, cut off all the dead leaf tips, and entire leaves. Trim off all the brown leaf tips and baby spider plants to help redirect all the spider plants growth and energy into growing healthy leaves. To trim off the runners, cut as close to the main spider plant as possible, and trim yellow leaves at the base of the leaf. Prune your spider plant in the spring time or early summer when it is growing new growth, and repot at this time after the trim, not the other way if you choose to repot.

Spider Plant with runner

Spider Plant Propagation

There are two main methods of propagating a spider plant. One way to create more spider plants is when you repot your plant. If you do this method when you repot, remove a small portion of the main spider plants root ball and leaves. That is an entire plant in itself, and will thrive just as the mother plant did. This is a great method to have twice the amount of mature plants in one shot.

The other and more popular way to propagate your spider plant is to remove one or more of the spider plant babies and place it in water or soil to root. I have found this works best if you place the spider plant baby on top of a pot with soil while it is still connected to the mother plant on the runner. This way the spider plant baby can still get the nutrients it needs to survive while it develops its roots. If using water, make sure that nub on the bottom of the spider baby is submerged in the filtered or distilled water. Try to keep the leaves out of the water, as this can cause disease and fugus.

Place the new growth or spider plant babies in indirect light, and soon you can clip the runner off the main plant, and you have another spider plant.


Treat pest infestations when necessary. Spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids are the primary pests that will attack your spider plants. Treat the infestation quick and hard when you first notice them. A couple different treatments are:

  • Spider mites- Use a natural insecticidal soap
  • Mealybug- Use a cotton soaked swab with rubbing alcohol to remove them.
  • Aphids- Spray off with a strong hose
  • Black flies- Spay with a 1/3 – 2/3 mixture of vinegar to water and spay the leaves.
  • Is a spider plant toxic for my cat or dog?

    According to the American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals ASPCA, Chlorophytum Comosum is a non-toxic plant to dogs and cats. In addition, these enthusiastic, easy-to-grow plants are edible. But do you want your dog or cat chewing on your spider? Let's leave alone the spider plant cats 🙂

Spider Plants and Cats

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