There are lots of reasons why the spider plant makes a fantastic addition to an indoor scheme. Easy to look after, their mass of vibrant, generally variegated leaves makes them perfect for brightening up a shelf or the corner of a room. What's more, they're particularly good at purifying the air, making your living environment a healthier space to be in.
As Jo Lambell, founder of Beards & Daisies says, they're nowhere near as creepy as their name suggests. In fact, they definitely make the list when it comes to the best indoor plants. And with these expert tips, you can ensure your new plant baby stays in tip-top condition throughout the seasons.
3 top tips for spider plant care
1. Keep your spider plant warm
Spider plants are tender, and although they will tolerate lower temperatures (above 46°F/8°C), they grow best at temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 90°F (32°C). This makes them ideal indoor plants – just remember to keep them away from drafty windows, similarly to elephant ear plants, particularly in winter.
They will not survive frosts. For this reason, don't be tempted to plant them outdoors, unless you live somewhere very warm and tropical.
2. Provide your spider plant with plenty of bright but indirect light
'Found naturally in the South Pacific and South Africa, this is a very easy-going plant that will tolerate most light conditions, except harsh, direct sunlight,' says Jo of Beards & Daisies. A spot with plenty of bright, indirect light is ideal.
'Show off this plant's best assets – its trailing foliage – by homing it in a hanging basket or draping from a shelf,' Jo recommends. Suspending it up high by a window can be the perfect place – just ensure it's not a sunny, south-facing one. Combine with other picks from our best indoor hanging plants guide for extra impact.
'It's also a brilliant air purifier, so would be great in a light bedroom or office,' she adds.
3. Pot it up in the right type of soil
Spider plants aren't overly fussy as can grow quite happily in most soil types, as long as it's not overly dry or waterlogged.
However, they do best in a good quality potting compost, with plenty of drainage and a neutral pH.
How much should you water spider plants?
'On average, the spider plant will need watering once a week, but try and let the soil dry out in-between waterings,' advises Jo.
'If you're not sure, try the finger test – push your finger into the top two inches of soil and if it feels dry, give it a drink; if it's moist, wait a week.'
It's also a good idea to mist the leaves of a spider plant from time to time to increase humidity. The prayer plant is another indoor plant that will benefit from this.
In winter, keep the soil drier, as the plant will be dormant and won't need so much water.
How do you re-pot spider plants?
According to the RHS, you should re-pot your spider plant in winter once it's outgrown its current container. This is when it becomes pot bound – you'll see roots poking out the drainage holes at the bottom – and difficult to water as a result.
The process is simple: gently prise the plant from the pot and plant in a new, slightly larger container at the same depth, in fresh potting soil. As these plants tend to be fast growers, you may need to do this annually.
How often should you fertilize your spider plant?
Fertilizing plants can make them grow faster and stronger. But, as is often the case, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Over-fertilizing spider plants can lead to brown tips.
Feed your plant with a diluted, water-soluble solution during the growing season only (spring–summer). Depending on the type of fertilizer used, this can be done every two weeks to once every three months or so – follow the instructions on the label of your chosen product. Just remember: underfeeding these plants is better than overdoing it.
Should you cut brown tips off a spider plant?
Have you noticed the tips of your spider plant turning brown? This is known as 'tip burn' and is often a result of dry environments (either not enough humidity or not watering the plant enough). It can also be caused by over-fertilizing your plant, or a buildup of salts, minerals, and other chemicals from watering it with tap water.
If the reason is the latter, it's a good idea to flush out your spider plant from time to time with rainwater, or distilled water, ensuring it properly drains out the bottom of the pot. You don't want it to sit in waterlogged soil – this can cause root rot, which can also lead to brown tips. This technique will help if you've over-fertilized your plant too – but pot it up in fresh soil first.
Any existing brown tips can simply be snipped off with a pair of clean scissors or your best secateurs, which will instantly make your plant look healthier. Cut at an angle in line with the leaves' natural shape. Alternatively, cut the entire affected leaves off at the base of the plant.
Where to buy spider plants
Now you know how easy spider plant care is, you probably want one or two of your own to add to your indoor garden ideas. Due to their popularity, they are available in many garden centers and home and grocery stores, but you can also buy them online.
Our round-up of quicklinks will take you to some of our top suppliers to help you start your search for your new plant.
Where to buy spider plants in the US
Where to buy spider plants in the UK
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.
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