How to Grow: Spider Plant


Sun Requirements
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) grow best in moderate to bright, indirect light. Hot, direct light can burn the leaves and cause brown tips and spots. If brought outdoors in summer, hang the plant in a shady location.

Bloom Period and Plant Shape
Spider plants are primarily grown for the green and white variegated leaves and baby plants that hang off the mother plant on stems. This is a good hanging basket plant. They will occasionally flower indoors with sprays of small, white flowers.

Mature Height x Spread
Spider plants grow 1- to 2-feet tall and 2- to 3-feet long if allowed to cascade over the pot edge and form baby plants.

Planting Tips
Spider plants are easy to grow houseplants. Plant individual large plants or harvest baby plants when they are 2 inches in diameter from a friend’s plant. Pot them in containers with moistened potting soil.

Growing Tips
The spider plant is a common plant that often doesn’t look great in most people’s homes. But if you give them the right light, watering and care, they can be attractive houseplants. Keep the soil evenly moist for mature plants. Let it dry out a little between watering in winter. Baby plants like staying on the dry side as well. Fertilize in summer with a houseplant fertilizer.

Spider plants grow fast and can get pot bound quickly. Separate struggling plants into smaller plants to keep them looking healthy.

Spider plant leaf tips can dry out and brown due to a number of factors. Dry soil, wet soil, low humidity, or fertilizer salt buildup from tap water can all be to blame. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet. Avoid watering with tap water and cut off brown tips.

Scale and mealy bugs might be a problem in homes in winter. Flick off the brown or black scale “bumps” on the leaves with your fingertip.  Dab white mealy bugs with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill them.

Design Tips:
Grow spider plants in hanging baskets or on a shelf to allow the plant to cascade with its babies. Trim the babies and stems as needed to keep the plant looking healthy.

Most spider plant varieties have green or green and white leaves. Some have a white stripe running down the center of the green leaf. Others have a white stripe on the edge. Shop for the type that most appeals to you.