Guide for Indoor Spider Plants
There are all manner of unusual plants that you can grow inside; there are snake plants, cheese plants, venus fly traps, and the subject of today’s blog post – spider plants. Spider plants are one of the nation’s favourite indoor plants and they are quite easy to look after, making them perfect for plant growers of all ages. You will know a spider plant from its spindly long leaves that stretch out like a spider’s legs.
Learn everything you need to know about these amazing creepy-crawly plants here.
Key Facts About Spider Plants
As mentioned, the defining characteristic of a spider plant are their slender leaves that drape and hang over each other, almost in a willow-like fashion. To us, they look like a menacing spider whose legs are hanging over the edge of a bath! They are originally an African plant that is native to the south of the continent, but as they have been transported around the globe, they have acclimatised elsewhere.
It is for this reason that you will find spider plants growing wild in Australia. In the UK, they don’t grow wild because our climate is quite inhospitable to the spider plant. Instead, we keep them as indoor plants where the warmth and humidity of our homes can replicate some components of their tropical native environment.
Spider plants are considered an air purification plant and when NASA conducted their clean air study to find the best plants to use in space, the spider plant was shown to remove toxins from the air very effectively. Both formaldehyde and xylene are processed by the plant and converted to oxygen. You would need a fair few spider plants to remove all toxins from your home, but having two or three would definitely have a small impact on the air you’re breathing in.
Let’s look at how to grow and take of them.
Planting and Re-Potting Spider Plants
Most spider plants are supplied pot grown. This means that you don’t need to worry about growing the plant from a seed, but it does mean you will likely need to repot your spider plant – especially if you want to display it in a decorative pot.
Spider plants are really easy to repot as they have compact root balls and they hold soil well, which is needed to transplant the plant safely from one pot to another. On repotting, you might want to check the root ball and remove any damaged roots, but this isn’t necessary, and the plant will function fine without this step.
If you’re looking to divide your spider plant and split it between multiple pots, then you will need to carefully cut the roots and stems with a knife – separating them into equal parts for the pots you want to replant them in. A spider plant prefers to be root bound, so don’t feel as though your plant has outgrown its pot, unless it is showing signs of distress or poor growth.
Most of the time, repotting is done to remove the spider plant from the container it is supplied in or to split the plants into multiple pots.
Day-to-Day Spider Plant Care
Spider plants like to have some light but prefer partial shade conditions. In their native tropical environments, they would often be shielded to some extent by tree cover, so it is worth trying to replicate that amount of light reaching your spider plant. Likewise, spider plants like warm to moderately hot temperatures, so placing them in the vicinity of a radiator always works wonders.
Watering is a tricky thing with spider plants as tap water can kill them due to the chemicals added to our drinking water. Instead, spider plants like filtered water. This is probably the single biggest annoyance for spider plant keepers as cheating and giving them tap water can quickly harm the spider plant and turn the leaves brown.
Pruning is simple and is just a matter of trimming any dying or dead foliage with scissors. You don’t need to cut a spider plant back and doing so can cause the plant to grow poorly. Funnily enough, spider plants are susceptible to spider mites, so if you notice your plant is infested, be sure to treat the plant quickly to save it from dying.
Spider Plant Off-Shoots
Spider plants will mature and once fully root bound, they will spend their energy creating new plants rather than continuing to grow. These new plants are in the form of offshoots that are sent out by the parent plant that can grow if they are potted.
Growing these offshoots is straightforward if you get the baby plant (pup) into a pot with fertile soil in good time. Water the plant as it grows and look after it in the same way you would the parent plant. The biggest problem with growing these offshoots, is if you don’t plant them in time and they die.
What Spider Plant Variety Do You Have?
Now you know about looking after and even potting baby spider plants, it must be time to pick out your spider plants from Gardeners Dream. There are many different types of spider plant to choose from, each with different foliage and ways of displaying their leaves. Some spider plants are densely packed with lots of leaves, and some are much more spider-like with fewer leaves and space between each one.
Deciding which type is right for you, will be more an aesthetic preference as the spider plants themselves all grow and behave in much the same way. Using this guide will ensure you have a very happy spider plant experience, and who knows, a few years from now, you could have spider plant babies!