Everything You Need to Know About Watering Spider Plants at Home
The spider plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, is a popular houseplant for new and seasoned houseplant owners alike. This tropical species is tolerant to imperfect care, but it prefers a moderate amount of water and moisture in its environment to truly thrive. Also known as the ribbon plant, this species grows lively, slender leaves. Take some time to master the spider plant’s moisture and watering preferences, and it will reward you with abundant foliage you can enjoy for years to come.
How to Water Spider Plants – The Essentials
Spider plants thrive with slightly moist soil and an occasional misting. Distilled water or rainwater works best, as they dislike chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals often present in tap water. Water the plant more frequently in summer, once or twice a week, and let soil dry between waterings.
The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development
Of course, you know that plants need water to survive, but what role does water play in plant health and development?
Well, plants are made of 90 percent water, so hydration is essential to ensure functions inside the plant continue to run as they should. Water is also important for photosynthesis, the process through which plants create their own food.
So, a plant that receives adequate water is strong from root to foliage. This is because the water running through its parts creates pressure that keeps each element crisp and sturdy. For this reason, a lack of water can cause plants to weaken and wilt.
With that said, it is important to note that overwatering is a common mistake among new plant owners. It is essential to find the balance for each plant, as overwatering can lead to root rot, wilting, and other issues that prevent houseplants from thriving.
Some plants are quite particular about their watering schedule. Luckily, your spider plant will be more adaptable as you get the hang of its care.
Things to Consider When Watering Spider Plants
Remember, spider plants enjoy moderate watering and a moist environment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when mapping out your spider plant’s ideal watering schedule.
Temperature and Humidity
Spider plants prefer air temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive in environments as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but you won’t see much growth at lower temperatures. This temperature tolerance means that your home or office space will likely have adequate conditions for your spider plant to thrive. Remember, in warmer temperatures, your spider plant will need more frequent waterings.
How Light Conditions Affect Your Spider Plant’s Watering Schedule
The spider plant prefers bright, indirect light conditions, but it can tolerate lower light conditions. If your spider plant is located in a spot with brighter light, its soil may dry out more quickly.
Remember this way that light conditions can influence your plant’s watering needs. If you notice its soil is drying out faster than expected, you may want to water your ribbon plant more frequently.
How to Water Spider Plants Depending on the Season
Typically, you will need to increase watering frequency during the warmer months since it grows more during this time. Try watering once or twice a week in the summer, but always remember to let its soil dry between waterings.
In the winter, follow that same guideline with less frequency. The cooler temperatures and less light mean your spider plant does not require as much water to thrive.
How the Soil Mix Influences Watering Requirements
Your soil mix may retain more water than other varieties. If this is the case, it will take longer to dry out, so your spider plant may not require watering as frequently.
The moisture-loving Chlorophytum comosum will tolerate these types of soil that retain water, but make sure to avoid a soggy environment. It’s best to choose well-draining soil and water the plant more frequently if needed.
Container Size and Type
Some plant containers hold less moisture than others. For example, clay pots allow the soil to drain faster than plastic pots. Smaller pots also hold less water than larger options. For these reasons, your spider plant may prefer a larger plastic container that keeps in moisture and gives it plenty of room to expand and grow.
When to Water Spider Plants
You will know that it is time to water your spider plant when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. The easiest method is to gently push your finger into the top layer of soil to check for moisture. Moisture probes are another option that helps to indicate moisture content deeper in the potting vessel.
Remember, your spider plant loves moisture. While it is good to allow the soil to dry slightly, you shouldn’t let your spider plant go too long in completely dried-out soil.
How Often Should I Water My Spider Plant?
In most indoor growing environments, you will need to water your spider plant once or twice a week during the summer, using the finger test to learn your plant’s preferred frequency. In winter, stick with the routine of watering when the soil is dry. This may be anywhere from once per week to once every three weeks, depending on other conditions.
What Type of Water is Best for Spider Plants?
Spider plants prefer filtered water or rainwater. This is because tap water often contains salts and chemicals the species doesn’t like. If you only have tap water available, let the water stand in your watering can before hydrating your plants. This will cause the chemicals to evaporate, so they don’t harm your plants.
How to Water Spider Plants
Water around the base of your spider plant until the soil is saturated and water comes out through the container’s drainage hole. And don’t worry, the plant won’t mind water on its foliage. In fact, it will enjoy occasional misting.
If your spider plant isn’t receiving enough moisture, its leaves may begin to turn brown. Consider using a humidity tray to increase the moisture in your spider plant’s environment.
What to Do Between Watering Cycles
Let your spider plant’s soil dry slightly between waterings. If the top half of the soil is dry, you’ll know it is time to water your plant.
In the meantime, you can look out for signs that your spider plant is doing well. Its foliage will grow long and maintain a vibrant shade of green. Eventually, you may notice white flowers and new offshoots growing from your spider plant. These are all signs that the plant is growing happily.
How to Propagate Spider Plants
Spider plants are easy to propagate once they have grown several offshoots or baby spider plants. First, use sheers to remove one of these offshoots from the spider plant. Then, put a wet paper towel in the bottom of a bowl and place the baby spider plant inside.
Continue misting the paper towel and notice as the plant’s roots begin to grow. Once its root system is a few inches long, you can place this baby spider plant in a new pot with soil.
Watering Spider Plants After Repotting
After you repot your spider plant, water it normally. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings and adjust the plant’s watering schedule depending on the season.
Signs You’re Overwatering Your Spider Plant
Like any plant, your spider plant will let you know if it is receiving too much water. If you notice the following signs, minimize the plant’s watering schedule. You should also care for specific issues like root rot immediately and make sure you allow the soil to dry between waterings.
- Leaves turn brown or black
- Leaves form brown spots
- Foliage becomes discolored or yellow
- Leaves appear soft, weak, and drooping
- Foliage curls
- Root rot forms at the plant’s base
- Leaves fall off
Signs You’re Underwatering Your Spider Plant
Additionally, your spider plant will react to underwatering in a few key ways. If you observe the following signs, you will need to adjust your plant’s watering schedule to make sure it gets enough moisture.
- Leaves fade in color
- Leaves begin to brown at the edges
- Leaves start to droop or wilt
In summary, your spider plant will forgive you as you get the hang of its watering needs. It’s a vibrant and beginner-friendly plant that is sure to boost your confidence when it comes to houseplant care.
It’s worth taking the time to develop a watering schedule that quenches your spider plant’s thirst. After you’ve found that balance, you can expect your spider plant to thrive for years in your home
Spider Plant Care at Home:
Watering Spider Plants FAQs:
How do I know if my spider plant needs water?
Leaves that start to curl, droop or crisp up at the edges are common signs that your spider plants need watering.
How much water should I give my spider plant?
Water liberally until you start to see water running through into the saucer underneath the pot. The exact volume will be dependent on the size of the spider plant and the potting container. Aim to saturate the soil watering deeply so the full soil base receives some moisture.
Should I mist my spider plant?
A gentle mist can help to hydrate the leaves and provide a degree of humidity. Be careful not to saturate the leaves though as stagnant water on the surface can lead to decay and fungal infections.
How do I know if my spider plant is healthy?
As with all house plants and interior trees, the key is to find the right balance of light, water, and temperature. Every home or office presents its own unique set of circumstances so you’ll need to monitor and adjust to ensure your spider plant thrives. A happy, healthy spider plant will display strong, healthy foliage and steady growth.
Can indoor spider plants recover from overwatering?
Spider plants can recover from overwatering if you’ve mitigated early and adjusted the watering cycles moving forward. Monitor closely over a 2 week period and observe for general signs of improvement in the plant’s overall health.