Tips on Growing Healthy Spider Plants
The spider plant can be grown both out and indoors, this garden beauty is a low maintenance hardy plant belonging to the family Asparagaceae and is commonly known as an ornamental houseplant, these garden beauties also goes by the name ribbon plant, spider ivy and hen, and chickens, There is said to be about 150 species of flowering plant in this family. Spider plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions, I have worked with the spider plant on many interior plant scape projects, what makes this plant so unique is the cluster of leaves that are produced which looks like little baby spider plants dangling or hanging from the parent plant.
The leaves of the spider plant are arched, long, and thin with variegated colors of light green and white or solid green. These plants look especially great when planted in a hanging basket so if you are a spider lover, not the insect but a lover of the spider plant then continue reading as we take a closer look at the spider plant.
My spider plant is not growing
This question was asked why is my spider plant not growing? to answer that question we will take a closer look at the growth and care of the spider plant.
The spider plant grows well in full to partial shade so for success install in these areas. When installing spider plants indoors the lighting should be bright and indirect.
The soil type of the spider plant should be soil that drains well if your soil is poorly drained adding sand will help with or better yet a good potting soil will work wonders.
Watering methods for the spider plant
When watering allow, the soil to dry out before giving your spider plant another drink because too much water will cause wilting and root rot.
Fertilizing your spider plant
The use of a water-soluble or quick-release fertilizer will keep your spider plants growing nice and healthy, Fertilize your spider plant every two weeks during the growing season or according to the manufactures label.
Garden insect pest of the spider plant
- Spider Mites
Aphids are tiny pear-shaped insects that dose damage by sucking the plant’s fluids, this feeding can lead to yellowing and browning of the leaves. Aphids love the tender or young shoot of garden plants. The excrement of aphids is sweet and sugary which attracts ants, a mold also forms on the leaves known as sooty mold that is black and can make a plant look sickly and will interfere with photosynthesis blocking out light by which plants uses to produce foods. To bring these garden insect pests under control the use of insecticidal soap will work wonders. Before using chemicals read and follow the manufactures label.
Whiteflies are tiny winged insects that dose damage as aphids, these garden insect pests will dislodge quickly from the plant when disturbed but will quickly return. The use of horticultural oil will bring these whiteflies under control. Before using horticultural oil read and follow the manufactures label.
Spider mites are very tiny, they are hard to spot but the damage of these small insects can be server. Spider mites do damage the same as aphids and whiteflies with yellowing of the leaves. To test if your spider plant has spider mites place a white sheet of paper under the leaves and tap if spider mites are the culprit you will see tiny mites moving around on the paper you may also feel them crawling on your hands. The presence of webbing is another sign of spider mites the use of a miticide label for spider mites will bring the infestation under control.
Mealybugs resemble a white cottony mass that attaches to garden plants and suck the plant’s fluids, these garden insects pest moves slowly if disturbed and cause the same damage as the other listed insect. Mealybugs are common among out and indoor plants, the use of insecticidal soap will eliminate them.
Scales can also be a serious threat to the spider plant these garden insect pests are tiny and remains in a fixed position on garden plants, they are so still that you would think they are dead but what they are actually doing is feeding by sucking the plant’s fluids which can cause great harm.
These sucking insects excrete a sticky substance known as honeydew in which black molds form know as sooty mold, to bring scales under control the use of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil has proven to be effective.
Diseases of the spider plant
Spider plants don’t have any disease issues except for rot roots because of too much water or soil that drains poorly, you may notice that the tips of your spider plant turning brown this may be because of too many minerals in the water, over-fertilizing, not enough water or even water that contains high levels of salt. Get to know the watering needs of your spider plant and give that amount and no more also if the water that is used has high levels of salt or minerals switch to bottled water and see how that works.
Growing the spider plant in containers
If your spider plant has outgrown its container this is a good sign that you are doing what your plant requires to keep it growing nice and healthy. When transplanting spider plants from one container to the next ensure that the container is large enough for your spider plant to sit comfortably.
The soil should be a soil that has good drainage like a good potting soil because spider plants don’t love wet feet, When removing your spider plant from its original container it has outgrown be very careful not to disturb the root system because if the root system is survival disturb your once healthy spider plant wall fall back.
When installing spider plants in a large container fill the bottom of the container with soil then add your spider plant, once your spider plant is sitting erect begin to pack the sides with soil. Once the sides are packed place soil on top ensuring that the complete root ball is covered, water your spider plant gently allowing water to completely runoff. Fertilize your spider plants as stated above.
Growing the spider plant on the interior
When growing spider plants indoors as I did at one time ensure the area chosen gets indirect bright light, Before watering your spider plant check the soil. If the soil is dry or somewhat dry then give a drink of water a word of caution here don’t overwater the soil should not be soggy which will lead to wilting which is a sign of root rot.
Spider plant varieties
1. Zebra grass spider plant.
2. Hawaiian spider plant.
3. Bonnie spider plant.
4. Varigated bonnie spider plant.
Propagating your spider plant
A great way to increase the number of spider plants without spending extra money is by propagating, this method is carried out in two ways which we will be taking a closer look at.
- Propagating by water
- Propagating by soil
Propagating by water
The plantlets or the babies that are hanging or dangling from the parent plant have tiny roots growing from the bottom of each spiderette. Place the spiderette in a glass of water for a week or two then transfer to a pot with good potting soil and before you know it you would have added more spider plants to the ones you have already and you can start the process over again.
Propagating by soil
To propagate by soil simply plant the babies in a pot of soil to ensure that the baby remains attached to the parent plant. The soil that’s used should be good potting soil. The pots or containers should have drain holes because spider plants can rot easily if allowed to sit in water. Once the babies take root separate it from the parent by snipping the runners and your newly transplanted spider plant will be well on its way.
Note: By implementing these methods will ensure that your spider plants are growing nice and healthy why remain stuck with a plant that is not growing when these simple but yet proven methods can give you the results you are looking for so for a healthy plant give these methods a try for good success?
1. If you are moving your spider plant from indoors to the outdoors do not place them it direct sunlight light remember spider plants perform poorly under these conditions. And are that is full or partial shade is ideal.
2. If you have overwatered your spider plant and the soil is too soggy where rot has set in gently remove your spider plant from the container wash or sterilize the container with bleach and water the add fresh clean garden soil or potting soil wait for a day or two to see how your spider plant is performing before adding water.
3. With a sharp pruner or scissors remove the tips which are brown and leaves that have turned completely brown remove by gently pulling or with your pruner or scissors.
The final word
The spider plant is an amazing plant that can be grown out and indoors, I have work with them on many garden projects and have never been disappointed. These garden plants are very unique in how they grow so give the spider plant a try you will be glad that you did as you see the beauty of these plants that have won the hearts of so many. I believe that the spider plant is one of the coolest plants among garden plants that can work wonders.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.