How to Care for a Spider Plant: Essential Tips for Thriving Foliage

Amazon Associates Disclaimer: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

The spider plant, scientifically known as Chlorophytum comosum, is a perennial favorite among houseplant enthusiasts due to its graceful foliage and ease of care. Recognized for its air-purifying qualities, this plant is not only a decorative addition to the home but also a natural way to enhance indoor air quality.

Spider plants are particularly known for their ability to thrive under various conditions, which is why they are often recommended for novice gardeners or those looking to add a touch of greenery with minimal fuss.

A spider plant hangs from a macrame hanger in a sunlit room. A watering can sits nearby, ready to nourish the plant's long, arching leaves

Caring for spider plants involves understanding their basic needs, such as appropriate lighting, watering, and temperature requirements.

These plants prefer bright, indirect light and should be watered adequately, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Overwatering or allowing the plant to sit in water can lead to root rot, so proper drainage is essential.

Additionally, maintaining a consistent indoor temperature and providing the right balance of humidity will keep your spider plant looking its best.

Key Takeaways

  • Spider plants are low-maintenance and can purify indoor air.
  • They require bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
  • Consistent care includes proper watering, temperature, and humidity control.

Spider Plant Care 101

Spider plants are renowned for their resilience and minimal care requirements, making them ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Light: They thrive in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate lower light conditions. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Watering: Consistency is key. One should water spider plants thoroughly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important not to let the plant sit in waterlogged soil.

Temperature: They prefer comfortable room temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13-27°C). Extreme temperature fluctuations should be avoided.

Humidity: Spider plants enjoy moderate to high humidity. If the indoor air is dry, consider misting the plant or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water to increase local humidity.

Soil: A well-draining potting mix is essential. One can utilize a mixture that contains vermiculite or coco coir to improve drainage and prevent water accumulation.

Propagation: Spider plants are easily propagated through their “pups” or plantlets. Once these small plants develop roots, they can be potted independently.

Pruning: Regularly remove any brown or damaged leaf tips using clean, sharp scissors to maintain plant health and appearance.

Feeding: During the growing season (spring and summer), they can be fed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every month.

For more detailed information on specific care aspects, resources like The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Bloomscape provide extensive insights.

Essential Tips

In nurturing a spider plant, certain practices are paramount. These guidelines ensure healthy growth and vitality.

Spider Plant Care

Watering: A spider plant performs best when the soil is kept evenly moist but not waterlogged.

One should water thoroughly, allowing excess to drain, ensuring a healthy root system.

It’s advisable to adjust the frequency of watering based on the plant’s environment, with most requiring moisture once a week, and less often in winter.

Light: Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while too little light can cause leggy growth and a lack of variegation. They’re adaptable, though, and can thrive in a range of lighting conditions.

Humidity & Temperature: Thriving in moderate climates, they favor temperatures between 55-80°F (13-27°C) and appreciate higher humidity.

One can mist their spider plant or place it near a humidifier to increase moisture in the air.

Feeding: A monthly application of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during spring and summer supports their growth. However, it’s important to refrain from over-fertilizing, as this can lead to brown leaf tips.

Pruning: To maintain the plant’s appearance and health, regularly trim off any brown tips or edges. This not only keeps the plant looking neat but also prevents potential issues from spreading.

Propagation: Spider plants readily produce offsets, or ‘pups’, that can be easily propagated.

One can snip these from the mother plant and root them in water or soil to create new plants.

Repotting: Regularly repot spider plants every two to three years to provide fresh soil and additional room for growth. This also helps to rejuvenate an older plant that might be struggling in a constrained pot.

Care Made Easy

Optimal care for spider plants involves a balance of the right lighting, watering, and environmental conditions. They are resilient and handle a range of environments, but thrive best under certain conditions.

Spider Plant

Light Requirements:

  • Bright, indirect sunlight is ideal.
  • Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.

Watering Routine:

  • Water moderately, allowing the top soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure proper drainage.

Temperature and Humidity:

  • Maintain room temperatures between 55-80°F (13-27°C).
  • Spider plants prefer higher humidity but adapt well to average home environments.


  • To propagate, cut the babies, or “spiderettes,” from the mother plant.
  • Root spiderettes in water for 2-4 weeks before transferring to soil. For more on this process, see how to propagate spider plants.

Soil and Fertilization:

  • Use well-draining potting soil.
  • Fertilize sparingly, every 2 months during the growing season with standard houseplant fertilizer.

General Maintenance:

  • Trim off brown tips as needed with clean, sharp scissors.
  • Clean leaves occasionally to prevent dust buildup and keep the plant healthy.

The Ultimate Guide

This section provides essential care tips for maintaining a healthy spider plant, one of the hardiest and most popular houseplants.

Spider Plant Care

Light: Spider plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight.

Extended exposure to direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, whereas too little light can lead to poor growth and a lack of variegation in the leaves.

Watering: They thrive when watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out between waterings.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, whereas underwatering will cause the leaf tips to brown. It is vital to strike a balance, customizing the frequency of watering to the plant’s environment.

Soil Type Watering Frequency
Well-draining Regularly when soil is dry to touch

Temperature and Humidity: Spider plants enjoy moderate temperatures ranging from 55 to 80°F and appreciate high humidity.

One can maintain humidity by misting the plant or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water.

Fertilization: Fertilize with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half strength every month during the growing season.

Avoid over-fertilization, which can cause salt build-up and harm to the plant.

Propagation: They are easily propagated by potting the small plantlets (also known as spiderettes) that form on the mother plant’s runners.

Once roots develop, these can be planted in their own pots to grow new plants. For detailed propagation instructions, you might refer to how to care for spider plants at Bloomscape.

Pruning: Regularly remove dead or yellowing leaves at the base.

Trimming brown tips and edges will keep the plant looking fresh and healthy. Use clean, sharp scissors to prevent damage to the foliage.

Repotting: Spider plants should be repotted every 1-2 years with fresh potting mix to provide adequate room for growth and to replenish nutrients.

Select a pot that is slightly larger than the current one to allow for continued growth.

Mastering Spider Plant Care

Caring for a spider plant requires understanding their preferences for lighting, watering, and temperature conditions. They thrive in conditions that replicate their natural habitat.

Lighting: Spider plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, so it’s best to place them near a window with a sheer curtain or in a room with ample light.

Watering: Consistency is key for spider plants. They like their soil to be kept evenly moist but not soggy. Over-watering can lead to root rot.

It’s advisable to water them once a week or adjust depending on the humidity of the environment.

Season Watering frequency
Spring/Summer Keep soil moist
Fall/Winter Reduce frequency

Temperature: Noted for their adaptability, spider plants flourish in temperatures ranging from 55 to 80°F (13-27°C). Avoid placing them in a location with drafts or temperature fluctuations.

Propagation: Spider plants are known for their ability to easily propagate. One can snip off the plantlets and place them in water until roots form, after which they can be planted in soil.

Soil: A well-draining soil mix is crucial. It should hold moisture but also allow excess water to drain to prevent rot.

Humidity: They prefer higher humidity levels but can adapt to less humid environments. Misting the leaves or placing a tray with pebbles and water beneath the pot can help maintain humidity levels.

A Step-by-Step Guide

Caring for a spider plant is straightforward, and following specific steps ensures the plant remains healthy and vibrant. Below, the crucial aspects of spider plant care are outlined in an easy-to-follow manner.

Spider Plant Care

  • Soil: Spider plants require well-draining soil or potting mix. A mixture containing vermiculite or coco coir is ideal, providing the necessary drainage and aeration.
  • Light: Place the spider plant in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight might scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause weak growth.
  • Watering: Water the plant regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Reduce watering frequency during the winter months.
  • Temperature: Maintain an environment with temperatures between 55 and 80°F. Avoid placing the spider plant in areas with drafts or drastic temperature changes.
  • Humidity: Spider plants appreciate humid conditions. Misting the leaves or placing the pot on a tray of wet pebbles can help increase humidity.
  • Feeding: Fertilize sparingly, ideally during the growing season (spring and summer). Over-fertilization can lead to brown leaf tips.
  • Propagation: To propagate, cut off plantlets and root them in water or soil. Roots should develop in a few weeks, after which they can be planted.
  • Grooming: Trim any brown or damaged leaf tips using clean, sharp scissors to maintain the plant’s appearance.

The Basics

In proper care of spider plants, two main factors should be considered: lighting and watering. Ensuring these aspects are adequately met is key for a thriving plant.

Caring for a Spider Plant

Lighting: Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light. While they can adapt to lower light conditions, their growth is optimal when they receive enough light without being subjected to direct sunlight, which can damage their leaves.

Watering: The watering regime for spider plants should be consistent yet moderate.

The soil should be kept moist, particularly in the growing months of spring and summer. Overwatering or allowing the soil to become waterlogged can lead to root rot, so ensure that the pot has adequate drainage.

Soil: Using the right soil is crucial for the health of spider plants. They require a well-draining potting mix, and they are tolerant of a wide pH range, although they prefer it to be close to neutral.

Good drainage is essential to prevent salt build-up, which can cause brown tips on the leaves.

Temperature and Humidity: Maintain temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13-27°C) for spider plants. They enjoy average room humidity but can tolerate more humid conditions.

Feeding: During the growing season, spider plants benefit from monthly feeding with a diluted liquid fertilizer. This provides them with the necessary nutrients to flourish and produce their characteristic offshoots.

For propagation, spider plants produce plantlets or “pups” that can be rooted in water or soil to create new plants. These are typically easy to grow and can be a way to expand your collection or share with others.

Care: Dos and Don’ts

Proper care for a spider plant requires attention to water, light, and pruning needs. Following these guidelines will ensure a healthy and thriving plant.

Spider Plant


  • Keep the soil moist during spring and summer to encourage growth; however, it’s crucial to let the soil dry out slightly between watering.
  • Provide bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause weak growth.
  • Prune regularly by trimming brown tips with sharp scissors and cutting back any long, untidy strands to promote fuller growth.


  • Overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Spider plants prefer to dry out a bit between waterings.
  • Expose to extreme temperatures. Temperatures should stay between 55 and 80°F (13-27°C).
  • Use water with high fluoride or chlorine levels; these can cause leaf tip burn. Instead, use distilled or rainwater if possible.


  • Do cut off the small plant from the mother and place it in soil or water until roots develop.
  • Don’t propagate too many plantlets at once as it can weaken the mother plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Caring for a spider plant involves understanding its basic needs. This section addresses some of the most common concerns plant owners have about maintaining their spider plants.

How often should a spider plant be watered?

A spider plant should generally be watered once a week, but it’s important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is crucial to check the soil’s moisture level before adding more water.

What is the best location for a spider plant to thrive indoors?

Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light and can adapt to a range of indoor conditions. They should be kept in a location where the temperatures are consistently between 18°C – 32°C to ensure optimal growth.

How can you propagate a spider plant effectively?

Propagation is best done by cutting off the small plantlets, or pups, from the mother plant and placing them in water or potting them directly in soil. Roots usually develop within a few weeks, after which the plantlets can be transferred to their own pots.

What steps should be taken to keep a spider plant healthy during winter?

During winter, spider plants require less water, and exposure to natural light might be limited. It is important to reduce watering frequency and ensure that they are placed in a well-lit spot, away from cold drafts or dry heat sources.

How can you achieve a bushier growth for a spider plant?

To encourage a bushier growth, regularly prune any brown tips or damaged leaves. This will stimulate new growth and help maintain the plant’s shape and health.

Is it advisable to remove brown tips or babies from a spider plant?

Removing brown tips from leaves can improve the appearance of the spider plant and prevent potential issues from spreading.

Pruning the babies, or spiderettes, can encourage more growth and fuller foliage on the mother plant.