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The Secret to a Thriving Spider Plant? Trim Those Roots!

The Secret to a Thriving Spider Plant? Trim Those Roots!

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Trimming the roots of a spider plant is an integral part of its growth process, but it’s a step that many plant owners might be scared to take.

I understand that fear, and I’m here to put you at ease.

With clear, detailed instructions, this guide will show you how to trim spider plant roots without damaging them.

Let’s get right to it!

What Should Spider Plant Roots Look Like?

Before I delve into the nuances of cutting spider plants’ roots, I think you should know what they look like in the first place.

Ultimately, their appearance depends on the plant’s growth stage.

Young spider plants still settling into their pot will have small, thin structures called feeder roots. These are the classic roots you see in many other houseplants.

Once they settle into their containers and start growing, though, they’ll develop long, white, tuberous roots. They’re usually thick in the middle and tapered at both ends.

So, what does this have to do with anything?

Well, knowing what the roots are supposed to look like helps you determine if there’s anything wrong with your plant.

You’d be surprised how many gardeners see these thick roots for the first time and think they’ve been infected with a strange disease.

That prompts them to cut healthy roots off, which does more harm than good. At least now I know you won’t make the same mistake.

How Deep Do Spider Plant Roots Go?

There isn’t a definitive answer to that question. If left unchecked, however, spider plants’ roots can grow to become 6 inches long and 4 inches wide.

Can You Cut Spider Plant Roots?

Yes, you can. The roots supply spider plants with water and nutrients, so I understand that some people will be scared to cut some of them off.

You have nothing to worry about, though. Trimming is a helpful practice that benefits your plant in the long run. That’s, of course, if you do it properly (more on that later).

So, don’t be shy of grabbing a pair of scissors and making a few snips when your plant needs it.

How to Know if Spider Plant Roots Are Overgrown

Ideally, the roots shouldn’t break the confines of their pot. If they’re sticking out of the pot’s drainage holes or the soil’s surface, they’ve grown too much.

You might also see them wrapped around themselves. That’s usually a call for help.

Why Should You Cut the Roots of Your Spider Plant?

I’ve already established that cutting the roots can help spider plants. What kind of benefit does it offer, though?

Improving Overall Health

You can’t expect your spider plant to always stay in good shape. It’s bound to develop a few brown/yellow tips at one point.

In that case, the roots might be the problem. Trimming the sick ones can help restore your plant’s health.

Ever heard of root rot? It’s when you over-water your plant that the roots gradually suffocate and die.

Can you guess what you should do when that happens? Cut all the dying roots to eliminate the source of the disease!

Of course, you want to make sure not to cut the healthy ones so as not to damage the plant.

Slows Down Growth

Spider plant’s wild appearance offers unique aesthetics that make you feel like you’re living in a jungle.

Unfortunately, these plants can grow out of hand, forming a real-life mini jungle. Believe me, you don’t want your house to be taken over by spider plants.

Sure, you’ll enjoy the clean air they provide, but you’ll lose the aesthetics everyone strives for.

Luckily, pruning can help you avoid this dilemma. When you cut the roots, the plant directs all its energy toward growing new ones.

So you don’t have to worry about new leaves or shoots growing for a while.

How to Trim Spider Plant Roots

I know that’s what you’re here for, so I won’t make you wait any longer. I’ll take you through the root-trimming process step-by-step to ensure you don’t hurt your plant:

  1. Turn your pot upside down and tap the bottom side a few times to take the plant and the soil out.
  2. Alternatively, you can tap the side of the pot on a hard surface to loosen it, but make sure not to break it.
  3. Cut ½ inch from the bottom of the pot-shaped soil, but make sure your plant is well hydrated first.
  4. Try to gently loosen the root ball with your hands, ensuring not to cut any roots in the process.
  5. Place the plant in a new pot or return it to the original container after adding fresh soil.

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve become a certified expert in trimming the roots of spider plants!

The process isn’t as scary as it sounds, right? In the end, it’s all about helping your baby grow strong and healthy.

Happy trimming!

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