Skip to Content

The Surprising Growing Medium Your Spider Plant Might Prefer Over Soil

The Surprising Growing Medium Your Spider Plant Might Prefer Over Soil

Share this post:

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Like most people, you probably grow your spider plants in soil to provide them with the necessary water and nutrients.

Have you ever wondered if there are other mediums you can replace soil with, though? Surely, the world of greenery isn’t so limited that soil would be your only option.

Is sand porous enough? Can spider plants grow in rocks?

Well, I’m here to answer that last question. Let’s get right to it!

Can You Plant Spider Plants in Rocks?

Yes, you can. My answer might seem weird to new plant owners, but your spider plant doesn’t actually need soil to grow.

The primary purpose of soil is to supply it with water and nutrients, but you can do that using hydroponics.

What Is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a plant-growing system where you replace soil with other materials. The idea is to supply these mediums with water and nutrient-rich solutions to create a vital growing environment.

Can you guess what medium I’m covering today? Yes, rocks. These might be the most famous medium in hydroponic systems.

As famous as they are, rocks don’t actually supply the plant with nutrition. They merely retain the water/nutrients you provide and transfer them to the plant.

What Makes Hydroponic Systems Effective?

Hydroponics allows your spider plant to absorb nutrients more efficiently, prompting quicker and healthier leaf growth than soil.

It also gives you complete control over the plant’s growing conditions, like temperature, water exposure, or pH balance. Everything in that system works to produce the best results.

How to Choose the Right Rocks for Hydroponic Systems

You can’t just go around picking up stones from the ground or buy random rocks online. Remember, spider plants have specific needs, and you want the surrounding environment to cater to those needs.

So, be picky with your rocks. Here are the most crucial criteria to base your choice on.

Acidity Balance

Not all rocks have the same acidity balance. Spider plants prefer a neutral/slightly acidic environment with a pH of 6-7.

So, check your rocks’ pH levels before adding them to the pot to ensure they stand within that range.


Spider plants hate sitting in water. You want to use rocks that drain excess water but retain enough moisture to keep your spider plant hydrated.


Spider plants don’t solely depend on water and nutrients to grow. They also need air.

So, your rocks should be porous enough to provide the roots with an adequate flow of oxygen.

What Are the Best Rocks to Use in Hydroponic Systems?

You’re probably wondering what type of magical rocks can do everything we mentioned above.

Lava Rocks

Lava rocks might be the most vital rock choice for hydroponic systems. They’re extremely porous, so you won’t have to worry about drainage and oxygen flow.

They’re pH-neutral, which means they won’t disrupt the acidity balance of your spider plant.

They’re also more durable than you think. You can reuse them for several growth cycles.

Expanded Shale

Lightweight and easy to handle, expanded shale provides spider plants with plenty of oxygen, prompting healthy leaf growth.

Like Lava rocks, this one is pH-neutral, so it’ll help maintain a balanced acidic range. It also has excellent drainage, keeping the plant moist and preventing waterlogging.

Its biggest downside is that it doesn’t retain nutrients well, so you might have to apply your solution more frequently than usual.

How to Use Rocks in Hydroponic Systems

You don’t want to grab your rocks out of their bags and place them in the pot right away. That’s a recipe for disaster.

You want to disinfect them first. Here’s how to do it:

  • Throw your rocks in a bucket of water and give them a proper rinse to remove dust or dirt.
  • Repeat the process until the water straining from them is clean.
  • Alternatively, you can place the rocks in the water and boil it for 20 minutes.
  • Take them out, let them rest until dry, then add them to your pot.

Final Thoughts

The next time one of your friends asks you: Can spider plants grow in rocks? You can confidently tell them, yes, they can.

It might even be a more vital option than the regular growth system, as it allows your spider plant to put more energy into growing healthy leaves.

Simply choose the right rocks and make sure to give them a thorough cleaning.

Share this post: