How to Grow and Care for Spider Plants

by Sarah Peel

 a mature spider plant sits on a living room mantle

Spider plants, or Chlorophytum Comosum, are sometimes called Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant or Airplane Plant. Just like many other plants that have remained popular over the years, they’re popular for a reason. They grow quickly, they’re fairly easy to take care of, and they’re non toxic to pets and humans. According to Britannica Online, Spider Plants are found growing in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia. 

They do not flower.


Light Requirements

Even though Spider Plants will tolerate lower lighting conditions, they prefer bright, indirect lighting to truly thrive and maintain the patterns on their leaves. They will also grow a lot quicker in bright indirect light than they would in low light. 


Watering and Humidity 

Your Spider Plant prefers to have its soil dry out about 30% before you water it. (Dry 1" down when you do the finger test.) When the leaves become dull and droopy, this is a sign they need a drink, but this is corrected soon after you water.

Spider Plants will tolerate regular household humidity, but browning leaf tips may be an indication that the environment is too dry. Remedy this with more frequent watering and the occasional misting.


Soil and Fertilizing 

Your Spider Plant will appreciate a well draining soil that is not too dense. Soil mixes that contain perlite and sand will be a good choice for your spider plant. 

It’s important to avoid soil that retains a lot of moisture as this can quickly lead to rotted leaves and roots. 

Spider Plants don’t need to be fertilized often but you can fertilize once every 7-8 weeks with a balanced fertilizer to give your plant a growth boost.

(Our all-natural Elixir is a great one!) If using another brand, be sure to always dilute your fertilizer and start by using about 50%-60% of the manufacturer's recommended amount, and monitor your plant’s reaction. Too much fertilizer too quickly can lead to fertilizer burn. 

Propagating Spider Plants 

One interesting thing about Spider Plants is that they will produce little baby offshoot plants. To propagate and start growing the baby plants, you can wait until they have produced a bit of root and plant them directly into soil. An alternative if your baby spider plants do not have enough roots yet is to place the babies in a vessel filled with water, placed in a brightly lit spot until they have formed enough roots. You can then transfer these plants into soil, where you can begin to care for them as you would care for the mother plant. 


Decor and Styling

You’ll want to pick a location that has adequate lighting. You can place your Spider plant in a windowsill, or on top of a shelf or in a planter that isn’t too far from a window. 

Spider plants are a good option for hanging planters. Their cascading leaves will complement a hanging planter well, especially if you’re not a fan of long hanging vines in hanging planters.

Common Problems

Root rot

Symptoms : Browning, mushy leaves and roots, roots that may be slimy to the touch.

Solution: Remove all of the mushy leaves and roots. Place your plant in fresh, well-draining soil, and reduce watering frequency.


Symptoms: Brown dry tips

Solution: Give the plant a good soak in standing water in a sink for 10 minutes so they can drink through drainage holes. Clip the brown ends off with sharp, clean scissors. Mist from time to time if the air is really dry.



Spider plants are NOT toxic to people, cats and dogs if consumed. 


About the Author

Tonnice Richards is the teacher and plant lover behind Planties In a Knot on InstagramAs the creator of @plantiesinaknot, Tonniece Richards shares what she has learned by caring for her plants throughout the years. She provides plant tips, and shares her plant wins and fails with her followers. She believes in the importance of improving mental heath and well-being through plant care.