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Plant Care Tips: How to Grow and Care for Spider Plant

Like most plants, spider plants have a few specific water, light, and soil requirements for optimal health.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the easiest and most versatile indoor plants to cultivate. They’re easy to propagate and look lovely in a hanging basket. This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions and suffers from few problems, other than brown tips.  

It has long, narrow leaves growing in rosettes that hang over the edge of the pot, with the added feature of even longer shoots producing plantlets that can be rooted and separated from the parent plant.

How to care for a spider plant:

Like most plants, spider plants have a few specific waters, light, and soil requirements for optimal health.

Water

Spider plants prefer slightly moist soil which is not waterlogged. Root rot can result from overwatering, which can ultimately kill the plant. Fluoride and chlorine in water can cause the leaf tips to brown in these plants because of their sensitivity. Use distilled water or rainwater for container plants instead, if at all possible. Although uneven watering is not ideal, it won't significantly harm spider plants since the fleshy tubers retain moisture well.

Light

Outdoors, spider plants prefer growing in partial shade. Although they can tolerate heavy shade, their development won't be as robust. The leaves may become scorched by direct sunlight. A bright window or patio door that gets indirect sunlight is ideal indoors.

Soil

These plants can grow in a wide range of soil conditions, although they prefer loamy, loose soil with excellent drainage. Although it can tolerate slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil, spider plants prefer a relatively neutral soil pH. A high level of salts in the soil can cause the leaf tips to turn brown.

Temperature and Humidity

Spider plants grow best in warm, humid conditions. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit are uncomfortable for them. This means that when grown inside, they should be protected from draughts and air conditioning vents. In addition, if the humidity is too low, the leaf tips can also become brown. Regular spraying of the plant can help in maintaining an optimum humidity level.

Fertilizer

During the active growing seasons of spring and summer, these plants prefer a moderate amount of feeding, which should be done around once a month. Brown leaf tips can be caused by too much fertilizer, but weak growth can be caused by too little fertilizer. 

Use an all-purpose granular or water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season, following label instructions. Adjust the amount if necessary, depending on your plant's growth.

How to Grow Spider Plant from Seed:

Since spider plants are so simple to grow vegetatively by planting offsets or dividing roots, seed propagation isn't very common. However, you can experiment with this technique if you wish to attempt planting seeds and are fortunate enough to have a plant that is flowering and generating seeds.

To cross-pollinate spider plant flowers and produce fertile seeds, use a small artist's brush or cotton swab to brush across the individual blooms as soon as they start to appear. Make sure you brush all the flowers to ensure the transmission of pollen to all blossoms.

You should notice several little green seed pods in their place when the flowers are faded. When these dry, you can remove them from the plant and break them apart to collect the seeds. Place the seeds in a small container filled with potting soil, about 1/2 inch thick, and keep the mix warm and moist until the seeds sprout. Because fertility will vary, plant several seeds to increase your chances of success.

Common Problems with Spider Plant:

Spider plants usually cause major issues, and when they do, the solutions are usually quite easy to solve:

Plant Is Too Sparse

The natural impulse when a spider plant appears to be struggling is to increase its moisture or fertilizer rations, but in the case of a spider plant, that's the wrong approach. Potting medium and dividing a plant with excessively bound roots may be the better option. These plants develop quickly, so if yours suddenly starts to suffer after being strong for several months, it probably needs extra space for its roots.

Cutting some of the young "plantlets" can also be beneficial since it tries to focus the plant's energy on growing new shoots.

Tips if leaves are burned

Several varieties of houseplants, including spider plants, are particularly susceptible to the salts or chemicals present in treated tap water. It is best to shift to watering with collected rainwater or untreated bottled water if your plant starts to show these burned tips.

A spider plant that receives excessive amounts of direct sunlight may also develop brown tips. Keep in mind that these plants like shaded or indirect lighting.

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