The spider plant, also known as Chlorophytum comosum, is known for being low maintenance and is a lovely way to bring life to any room in your home!
The spider plant is great if you’re new to taking care of plants, as they are relatively low maintenance and don’t take much looking after. To thrive in your home, spider plants only need well-drained soil, indirect light, and to be watered moderately.
If you meet these conditions, it is highly likely that your spider plant will send off runners’, also known as stolons, and produce baby plantlets called spiderettes.
Once your spider plant has produced these spiderettes, be patient and allow them to grow. After a while, you will start seeing small nubs appearing on the bottom of the plantlets, called aerial starter roots. Once these appear, you can start thinking about how you want to grow your new spider plants.
In this article, we explore 3 effective methods to propagate your spider plant, so you can grow new full grown plants for free! Propagation is not always successful straight away, so if you’re a beginner, don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t work the first time that you try it. That being said, the following propagation techniques are perfect to get you started on your plant parent journey. Why not give it a try?
So let’s get started, check out our propagation methods below!
The water method of propagating spider plants allows you to develop the plant’s roots beforehand.
Once they have, you can plant the plantlet with established roots into the soil. Doing this, in turn, allows the spider plant to grow faster once it is in the pot.
Water method guide:
- Firstly, you’ll want to find a clean, clear jar and fill it with water. Let the water sit an hour or so to de-chlorinate and to allow it to come to room temperature. Grab your cutting utensils and properly clean them beforehand.
- Look along the stolon of the mother plant and carefully remove the spiderettes from the stolon by cutting right along their base.
- Place the new cutting into the water just deep enough to cover the very bottom of the spiderette. Be mindful to not let any leaves touch the water.
- Place the container in indirect sunlight and wait! Make sure that you change the water when it gets cloudy and wait for the roots to develop. As time passes, you will begin to see the roots form. When there appears to be a good grouping of roots, remove the new spider plant from the water.
- Fill a pot with soilless seed starting mix. Use a pencil or dibbler to make a hole that is deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the roots of the new spider plant.
- Place the spider plant in the pot, as deep as the roots, and cover with soil. Moisten the starting mix but be careful not to soak it.
- It’s important to remember that your new plant is delicate! Place your new plant in a warm place away from direct sunlight, as you don’t want to kill it.
- Finally, you’ll want to allow some time for the roots to establish themselves in the soils and expand. If you experience resistance when you pull up, the roots have established themselves. If not, you need to wait a bit longer. Patience is key!
The potting method is arguably the easiest, yet most time-consuming method that we’ll explore in this article.
Don’t be alarmed that in this method, it might take a little longer for the plantlet to settle in and show new growth. It’s to be expected and is totally normal!
What’s great about this method is that the roots will be stronger from the start and will not need to establish themselves further, whereas water-grown roots tend to be on the weaker side.
Potting method guide:
- Start by thoroughly cleaning the cutting utensil of your choice. Whether you opt for scissors, a knife, or shears, the choice is entirely up to you!
- Remove the spiderettes from the stolon of the mother plant carefully.
- Fill a separate pot with soilless seed starting mix. Use your pencil or dibbler to make a hole that is deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the roots of your new baby spider plant.
- Place the spider plant into the pot as deep as the roots and cover it with soil. Moisten the starting mix but be mindful to not soak it. If you would like to use root hormone, now is when to dip the spiderette into the hormone according to the product’s instructions.
- Place your newly potted plant in a warm place with enough indirect sunlight.
- Be patient. Give it some time for the roots to establish themselves in the soil and expand. Lightly tug on the plant and if you are met with resistance your plant has taken root. If your plant gives when you tug, it has not taken root and still needs some more time.
The stolon method is the most similar method to what would occur in nature.
The plant would set out new stolons that would be covered in soil, and the spiderette would root and the stolon would break or be cut off, propagating asexually.
Stolon method guide:
- Begin by filling a pot with soilless seed starting mix. Use your pencil or dibbler to make a hole that is only as deep as the tiny starter roots.
- To mimic the process that occurs in nature, don’t cut them loose. Instead, simply place the pot right next to the mother plant and place the spiderette into the newly made hole.
- Using this technique, the plantlet not only gets strength from its own soil but also the mother plant will still be nurturing the spiderette while it is rooting, so your main job is to keep the starting mix moist.
- When the spiderette shows new growth, be careful to cut the plant away from the mother plant and you now have another independent spider plant for free!
- Similar to the other methods, keep your spider plants away from direct sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to propagate a spider plant?
The answer to this question is likely to vary depending on the plant in question and the type of propagation that you’re using. Generally speaking, it will usually take anywhere between 2-3 weeks to propagate.
However, this is likely to vary depending on the method that you’re using, so you’ll want to follow our instructions and not be too hasty depending on the propagation technique that you’ve chosen.
How often should I water a spider plant?
Spider plants are renowned for being impossible to kill, and while they don’t need much attention, it is essential to remember that they’re not invincible!
Follow these tips to keep your plant healthy and happy.
- Overwatering is one of the most common reasons that spider plants die, so be sure to make a note of when you last watered your plant to prevent this from happening.
- You should always allow the soil to dry before watering your plant again (once a week is usually enough) and get rid of the water that drains from the bottom of the pot.
- If your plant has lots of brown tips on its leaves, you can use distilled water to help flush out any minerals, salts, and fertilizer.
- Spider plants are susceptible to root rot if they become waterlogged, so they need to be planted in a pot with drainage holes. Cover these holes with broken pottery to keep the soil from spilling out.
Where should you place a spider plant in your home?
Generally speaking, spider plants tend to thrive in lots of indirect light, between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They also love humidity, so the ideal spot for a spider plant is near a sunny window in a steamy bathroom.
However, as long as they have access to some sunlight, they’re relatively tolerant to many conditions.
However, as we’ve discussed in this article, keep them away from direct sunlight to ensure that they don’t die sooner than you were anticipating.
How do I clean a spider plant’s leaves?
As spider plants appreciate more humid environments, on top of watering it is always a great idea to lightly mist around its leaves. When you do this, it’s a great time to check the plant’s leaves for dust, dirt, and bugs.
To keep them clean, simply use a soft microfiber cloth to dust the tops and bottoms of each leaf. You can add a little bit of water to dampen your cloth, as this will better help remove any debris that is on the leaves.
There are multiple methods to propagate your spider plant to grow new full grown plants for free! Whichever propagation technique that you choose, make sure that you allow your plant plenty of time to propagate and keep it away from direct sunlight.
Patience is key when it comes to propagation, and if it doesn’t work the first time, remember that hope is not lost. Your mother spider plant is bound to produce more plantlets that you can try again with!