Spider plants are one of the most adaptive indoor plants and go by the scientific name Chlorophytum comosum. A healthy addition to your house, its long, slender, arched foliage has air-purifying abilities, and it is easy to care for a spider plant. Moreover, these elegant plants can be displayed in any setting, whether it’s on a mantel or tabletop, or in a hanging basket.
Like all other plants that require nurturing as per their traits and build, spider plants, too, need to be looked after in a certain way. So, if you are a new plant parent and want to bring home this delicate-looking beauty, here is a guide on spider plant care to help you grow this highly adaptive houseplant.
Some problems spider plants experience
Tips of the leaves get burnt
Spider plants easily get tip burns or brown tips that usually happen because of salt and chemicals like lead, chlorine and pesticides, present in tap water and dry soil. However, this can also be due to excessive exposure to direct light. So, for healthy growth, consider watering them with rainwater or purified water, and keep them in indirect sunlight.
Spider plants usually get affected by a few common plant pests like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. A common indication of an infestation is when the foliage deteriorates. To remove these pests, you should first wash the plant with water to get rid of them naturally. If infestations continue, consider using an insecticide or a natural remedy like spraying the plant with neem oil.
Plants stop growing
If a spider plant is not growing well, people tend to water it often or add fertilisers. However, this is not the best way to care for spider plants. Plant parents should consider repotting by loosening the bound roots of the plant and then dividing it into separate pots. This will give it more room to grow. It also helps spider plant babies direct their energy towards growing new shoots.
How to care for spider plants
Spider plants grow in somewhat damp soil. Water them when the upper layer of the soil is slightly moist. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, water them with purified or distilled water, or rainwater should be used for these plants. Avoid tap water containing fluoride and chlorine, as it is harmful to the plant and can cause its leaves to brown.
Ideally, they should be watered at regular intervals; however, not watering them does not significantly damage these plants because their thick roots absorb moisture efficiently. But remember not to overwater, as excess water will destroy them.
Raising plants in the right amount of sunlight is essential to their care, as it gives them the nutrients they need to flourish. In the case of spider plants, they grow best in indirect sunlight, and excessive direct sunlight burns their leaves. Because of its highly adaptive capabilities, this plant can be grown under artificial lights as well.
Caring for spider plants involves nurturing them with fertilisers throughout their primary growth season of spring and summer as well. They prefer a moderate quantity of fertilisers that provide vital nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which should be added around once a month. It is recommended to use all-purpose granular or water-soluble fertilisers during the growing season. However, over-fertilisation can turn the leaf tips brown and insufficient fertilisation can lead to sluggish growth.
Spider plants prefer loamy and loose potting soil with excellent drainage and neutral pH. However, it can withstand slightly acidic to alkaline soil as well. Plant parents must ensure the soil is not high in salt content to avoid the browning of leaf tips.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Yes, spider plants need sunlight but not too much of it. These plants grow best when planted in shady spaces, with indirect or moderate sunlight.
Answer: Spider plants are good air purifiers that help absorb chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene and xylene, when kept indoors.
Answer: Yes, the spider plant is a good houseplant that can contribute to the interior design as well as act as an air purifier.
Answer: Spider plants require water at regular intervals when the upper layer of the soil dries out.