Skip to Content

6 Proven Ways to Turn a Slender Spider Plant into a Bushy, Showstopping Masterpiece

6 Proven Ways to Turn a Slender Spider Plant into a Bushy, Showstopping Masterpiece

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.

There are effective ways to make a spider plant bushier. Some studies detail things that MAY spur plant growth. Some are facts, others are hypotheses like playing music to plants MAY stimulate plant growth.

When your goal is to make your spider plant bushier, use the proven techniques rather than (potentially) wasting your time with experiments. Leave experiments to phytologists and focus on what works.

6 Expert Insights To Use To Make a Spider Plant Bushier

1 – Propagation

Spider plants can produce a lot of babies. If you’re wondering what do with spider plant babies, propagation is the answer. No method is more effective at making a spider plant bushier than growing a family of spider plants together.

There are three ways to propagate these plants and each one is easy. You can propagate by division, root them in water, or just leave it alone.

In nature, nobody is around to nourish the baby plants. Instead, they get their nutrients from the parent plant and develop roots that eventually reach the soil.

That takes a while, which is why most indoor gardeners intervene, cut the plantlets from the parent plant, and root the cutting in soil or water. It can be done in the same container, a separate plant pot, or in a jar of water.

Timing is imperative to get right because if you divide babies from the mother plant too early, they may not have sufficient roots to support their growth. That can result in the spider plant babies dying.

Spring and summer are ideal times to divide spider plants, just when the roots begin forming. It reduces the chance of callouses forming, which will prevent them from rooting in the soil.

Rooting in water is the fastest way to spur root development, but the caveat is the roots are weaker. For long-lasting results that don’t result in weak parts of a bushy spider plant, root the cuttings in the same soil mix that’ll be used when it’s eventually transplanted – in the same pot as the mother plant.

Know this too… the more babies the spider plant puts out, the more energy it’s going to need. If you aren’t spurring on growth with fertilizer, once the parent plant is filled out with baby plants, it’s likely to need a helping hand with fertilizer.

And, the more babies you keep on the plant, the heavier it’ll become. Hanging baskets may become too light. A bushy spider plant consisting of multiple plants in a large container is likely to be more suited to a pedestal than a hanging basket owing to its weight.

2 – Pruning

Periodic pruning of spider plants helps channel energy where it’s needed for growth. Whenever you notice any leaves on a spider plant turning brown or yellow, take it as a sign of deterioration. These leaves won’t regain their color when you fix any of the problems like over or underwatering so snip them off.

Another reason that you want to be removing damaged leaves is for pest management. Common spider plant problems and diseases stem from sap-sucking bugs such as aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and spider mites. Weak plants are more likely to become host to plant pest and succumb to diseases.

3 – The Right Feed

Spider plants grow fast without any support, but with the right nutritional feeds, you can supercharge a spider plant’s growth rate. That’s one with a low percentage of NPK applied from the spring as soon as growth starts.

There are different types of fertilizers and each type has different feeding requirements. Fertilizer sticks can be applied once in the spring, and then another in the summer.

Time-release granules can be sprinkled into the soil right at the start of the growth season to kickstart the process and continue supporting the growth.

For those with the time to spend nourishing the plant, rather than feeding and leaving it, liquid fertilizers diluted to half-strength applied fortnightly or monthly from March to September help support continued balanced growth.

4 – Repot It

If you’re going to use the first method described here to fill your spider plant out with baby spiderettes, you’ll need the right size of pot. Without space, the plant will naturally focus on root production instead of reproduction. Every couple of years is the recommended time frame to repot spider plants.

If you’re speeding up the growth rate with fertilizers, they may need repotted more frequently as the soil becomes less soluble, making it more difficult for the plant to consume the available nutrients.

The right time to repot is when the plant shows signs of stagnant growth. Raise it gently out of its container and you’ll likely notice the roots are circling around the pot. That means it’s rootbound. This will result in the spider plant not growing. Repotting in a bigger container fixes that.

You’ll need to gently wiggle the roots to separate them, shake off the loose soil, and give it a wash so that when it is in the new pot, only fresh soil is used.

With adequate space to support growth, the plant will restart growth within a month and most likely, start producing baby pups. You can then use those to make it bushier. The bigger the roots, the bigger the plant.

Only go up one pot size at a time though. Otherwise, it’ll struggle with the abundance of oxygen and really diluted nutritional content in the soil. The roots of plantlets will only reach some of what’s available if the pot is supersized.

5 – When Repotting, Trim the Roots

Don’t neglect what’s below the soil line. Root pruning is part of the care package spider plants need. The odd snip doesn’t harm them, but not trimming them back can be detrimental.

When roots grow exuberantly long, they crowd the pot, take up more oxygen and nutrients than necessary and contribute to the plant becoming root bound before it should – around every two years.

Crowded roots can be fixed by trimming up to 1 inch away from the bottom of the roots. The deepest part of the roots in the soil.

Don’t trim roots from the top where they connect to the plant. Trimming too much of the roots will lead to insufficient nourishment reaching the leaves they feed.

6 – Proper Care

Last, but by no means least is to make sure good spider plant care is maintained. Without sufficient light, water, soil conditions, temperature, and humidity, the plant can struggle.

Anything stressing a spider plant, causes growth to stagnate. If that happens, the only way to make it bushy is to add smaller plants into the same container. If problems continue with the same inadequate growing conditions, it’ll just make the problem all the more apparent aesthetically.

While each growing condition is important to get right, the condition most prone to causing a spider plant to become sparse is a lack of light. Spider plants need sun and shade which is why it can be tricky to strike a good balance. Too much sun, spider plant tips turn brown and wilt. Too little, they stop growing.

A great thing about these plants is their tolerance of neglect. It takes a lot of work to kill these. Not much to keep them alive, and just a keen eye to keep them growing healthy so they can fill out their pot.

Due to the fast-growing nature of spider plants, once growing conditions are fixed and any of the above tips are used to encourage spider plants to grow bushier, it should result in visual improvements within a month.

Share this post: