Flowers + Plants 101

How to Care for a Spider Plant the Right Way

Friday, February 4, 2022

Named for the spiderettes that dangle from the mother plant like spiders on a web, spider plants are a win-win for households. On the one hand, these striking houseplants are known for their tremendous ability to clean and filter the air in their environment. What’s more, they are low maintenance.

Lush green spider plant with long variegated leaves spilling over the edge of a sleek, modern gray drawer against a white background, symbolizing minimalist home decor.

Let There Be the Right Kind of Light

Spider plants fare best when they are grown in bright, indirect sunlight. Native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia, these tropical plants grow under a canopy that shades the plants from direct sunlight but also lets in rays. If you opt to place your spider plant near a south- or west-facing window, it’s best to add a sheer curtain to block direct sunlight, which can cause the plant’s leaves to burn. For east- or north-facing windows, filtering isn’t usually needed. While it’s true that spider plants are adaptable and can tolerate low-light conditions, you may be less likely to see spiderettes form on your plant in this environment. When the plant is exposed to bright, indirect sunlight, its leaves and plants will grow larger, faster. Indirect sun exposure will also further highlight the striping on the spider plant’s leaves, adding to its beauty and visual appeal. Aside from stunted growth and weakened foliage, yellow leaves and root rot can also be signs your spider plant is not getting enough sunlight and should be moved elsewhere.

Utilize the Proper Watering Techniques

Spider plants like moisture — but they also appreciate semi-arid conditions. With this in mind, thoroughly watering your spider plant about once a week is recommended. Before you water, check to make sure the top 50% of the soil is dry. If it’s still moist, wait one more day to water the plant.

When spider plants are overwatered, the soil can become soggy, which can in turn cause root rot. While a proper watering schedule helps prevent this scenario, you’ll also want to make sure your spider plant’s pot has adequate drainage holes. When watering, wait until the water comes through the drainage holes to ensure moisture is even throughout the soil. Remember to discard any water that accumulates in the saucer, as standing water can also lead to root rot and deprive the plant of oxygen.

If you see the tips of your spider plant are beginning to brown, don’t immediately worry. Browning tips can often result from fluoride, found in most tap water. Over time, this chemical can build up in a plant’s soil. In the case of a fluoride-sensitive plant, like spider plants, the toxicity can cause unattractive symptoms such as brown or yellow leaves that can also turn dry and brittle. An easy remedy to this problem is watering your spider plant with rainwater or distilled water as an alternative.

Did you know? Browning tips can also signify that the air in your home is too dry for your spider plant, which appreciates a bit of humidity. Regularly misting your plant can help raise the humidity levels around it.

Spider Plant Food for Thought

Moderation is key when it comes to the fertilization of spider plants. Feedings should happen once a month during the spring and summer months (the growing season). Like most indoor plants, spider plants go dormant in the winter months and don’t require any fertilization during this time. High-quality liquid fertilizer is the recommended choice for spider plants and other indoor plants. While providing a steady supply of nutrients that easily absorbs into a plant’s soil, you can add liquid fertilizers right into your watering can, making controlled application simple.

Tip: Not sure which liquid fertilizer to purchase? Look for a label with a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Equal amounts of these nutrients will support your spider plant’s health, growth, and strength.

Once you select the liquid fertilizer of your choice, make sure to follow the product’s instructions for specific application amounts and methods. Overfeeding houseplants is a common mistake indoor gardeners make — one that can stunt plant growth and cause leaf tips to brown. Consulting a product’s packaging for guidance can help avoid overfertilization and keep your spider plant looking its best.

Invite a Spider Plant into Your (Or Someone Else’s) Home

With all their selling points, it’s no wonder spider plants make a great addition to one’s indoor garden. What’s great about Bloomsybox’s monthly plant delivery service is that you can have these and other vibrant plants delivered to your door — or that of a friend or family member. It’s that easy to grow your plant collection or give a gift someone is sure to remember!

When spider plants are healthy and happy, spiderettes — which start as small white flowers — will grow into mini spider plants of their own.

Close-up of variegated leaves of a spider plant with a focus on the intricate patterns of green and white stripes, giving a fresh, natural background.