How To Care For Spider Plants: Must-Read Guide!

Spider plants are one of the most commonly grown houseplants. They have lovely cascading leaves and are easy to grow, bounce back from neglect, thrive in low light, and produce adorable spider plant pups, often called spiderettes.

My mom’s beautiful spider plant with all it’s pups!

No wonder these lush houseplants are recommended for beginner indoor plant enthusiasts!  

They have so many benefits: brightening up a dreary room and purifying the air, incredible ease of growing, easy to propagate, and the gorgeous greenery just makes a person happier (that last benfit is anecdotal!).

These loyal houseplants are nearly indestructible. When happy, they produce dozens of new plants.

My daughter and I have grown spider plants for several years now. They are a fun indoor plant to grow with children because they are so easy to care for.

Let’s dive into all the care details!


Spider plants originate from South Africa, where they thrive as perennials and grow in large clumps featuring multiple plants.

Their Latin name is Chlorophytum comosum. Many varieties are available, from green leaves variegated with white highlights to solid dark green leaves. 

Spider plants are most commonly grown indoors in the United States, though they can be grown as outdoor plants in warmer zones. 

My daughter watering one of our lush spider plants.


When it comes to soil, spider plants need a nutrient-dense, general-purpose potting mix with excellent drainage.

They must have enough food from the soil to fuel their growth, with chunky soil elements to keep water off of their roots. 

To create the perfect mix for your plant, blend your soil with 3/4 potting soil and 1/4 perlite and orchid bark. This combo will provide great drainage and adequate nutrition! 

Do not use garden soil as it is too heavy and will compact in the container over time. Succulent soil should also not be used because it is too sandy and will not provide enough water retention and nutrients. 

Container Type

The most important factor when choosing your container is its great drainage! So, make sure the pot has at least one drainage hole.

Ideally, the container will have a series of drainage holes around the circumference of the container. Spider plants thrive when they are slightly root-bound.

Along with great soil and the correct type of container, spider plants do best when they have plenty of air circulation around their roots. 

A container with multiple holes in the bottom, rather than just one, will give these plants the circulation they crave. The additional drainage holes will also allow water to drain more quickly.

Because of this, plants grown in containers with more drainage holes are healthier, more lush, and grow faster.  They will also produce more pups!


Spider plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Though they can tolerate low lighting, they will grow more aggressively when given lots of bright, ambient light.  

Ideal lighting conditions would be placed close to a bright window with diffused lighting. If direct sunlight pours through the window, move the plant several feet away from the light source to avoid scorching the leaves. 

Spider plants can also thrive underneath artificial light and are fairly adaptable to lower light conditions, though they will not grow a rapidly.

We’ve had a gorgeous spider plant with long tendrils growing on our bathroom counter for over a year, thriving in artificial light. It has grown so much under the fluorescent lighting that we’ve had to repot it twice!

Lighting tips:  Bright, indirect light is best for these houseplants. Avoid direct sunlight, as the leaves can burn. Ample light will increase the color vibrancy of the plant’s leaves!

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This spider plant is growing in a bright sunroom.


Typically speaking, water your plant when the top one to two inches of soil are dry.  I like to dip my finger into the soil to check the moisture level, then water the plant if the soil feels dry up to the first knuckle. 

Spider plants are forgiving to under-watering, but over-watering can lead to root rot and fungal disease, and will eventually kill your plant.

If your plant has been under watered and is wilting, give it a deep drink. It should perk right back up! (Get our guide to the best water for houseplants here).

Keep in mind that environmental factors can affect how quickly water evaporates from the soil. Temperature, humidity, and soil quality can cause moisture levels to change. 

Read this article to get more tips on watering spider plants


When given ideal conditions, spider plants can grow quite rapidly. Though they enjoy being slightly root bound, these plants need to be repotted when the roots begin to peak out of the bottom of the container. 

Increase the pot by just one size when giving your plant a new home. 

You can read our complete guide to transplanting here. 


Humidity is essential to growing houseplants since they hailfrom warm, tropical regions. The sweet spot for spider plant humidity is between 40-60%. 

Too much humidity will encourage fungal disease, root rot, and mold. The leaves will dry up with too little humidity and develop unslighty brown tips. 

To increase humidity, place your plant where natural humidity saturates the air. A bathroom or kitchen may be ideal! You can also run a humidifier several times a day.  

If you need to reduce humidity, crack a window to let in some fresh air. 

Monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer like this one. 


Spider plants need not be fertilized when given rich soil that has a steady nutrient supply. (See, I told you these plants are easy!). 

Make sure to replace the soil when re potting your plant.

Too much fertilizer can even harm your plant and reduce the amount of babies they produce! So for this houseplant you can opt out of the fertilizer and make sure your plant has the right amount of water, optimal humidity levels and a quality soil.  


When spider plants are happy, they’ll produce more plant pups than you’ll know what to do with. 

These mini plants grow off the ends of spider plant leaves, like air planes cascading into space. It’s why these plants are nicknamed “airplane plants!”.  

In addition a really cool vibe to your space, spider plant babies can be easily propagated in soil or water.  Learn how to do so here.

Pests + Diseases

Spider plants are hearty and low maintenance, but they can sometimes fall prey to a few pests and diseases.   Here are the most common ones:

Brown Tips:  Brown tips on spider plants are a common problem and are often caused by lack of humidity, over-watering, and chemicals in the water. You can read our full article on how to resolve this issue here. 

Yellow Leaves:  Yellowing leaves are caused by too much direct sunlight and over-watering.

Fungus Gnats:  Fungus gnats are a common houseplant pest but can easily be dealt with by placing out sticky traps or spraying the soil with hydrogen peroxied. 

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