Spider plants have become very popular among houseplant enthusiasts, and you might be excited to add one of them to your home. If you just started caring for one in the last few months, you might be concerned if it doesn’t appear to be growing.
Is there something that you’re doing wrong or do spider plants just grow very slowly? Read on to learn about the potential causes and what you should do.
Spider Plants Are Hardy But Not Invincible
If you’ve spent much time at all caring for spider plants or reading about them, you’ll know that they’re very hardy. These are low-maintenance houseplants that can be taken care of by people who aren’t used to caring for plants.
The hardy nature of these plants makes it so that you shouldn’t encounter too many issues. However, spider plants are not invincible, and things can still go awry that will cause them to stop growing.
If you’ve noticed that yours doesn’t look so good, it’s going to be wise to take the time to figure out what’s wrong. The information below should help to tell you the common things that can go wrong so that you can make the necessary changes to get it back to being healthy.
Spider Plants Are Normally Fast-Growing Plants
Under the right conditions, spider plants are typically considered to be fast-growing plants. In fact, these plants grow so fast that most people have to repot the plants once per year so that they don’t become pot-bound.
If your plant doesn’t appear to be growing at all after several months, something is definitely wrong. These plants should show obvious signs of growth if you’re taking care of them right.
One of the more common problems that people will have when caring for spider plants involves sunlight. Spider plants are going to need a certain amount of sunlight to be able to thrive, and when they aren’t getting that light, it could stunt the growth of the plant.
When these plants are outdoors, they can grow in conditions such as full shade or partial shade. Growing them indoors is a different story, and they’re going to need a lot more sunlight.
Spider plants should be given access to bright indirect sunlight so that they can grow and stay healthy. You should try to find a good spot in your home that will facilitate growth to see if it helps to turn things around.
If you’ve been keeping the plant in a shady spot in the house, it isn’t getting the light that it needs to grow. Your problems might be as simple as not giving the plant enough sun each day, and this is easy to fix so long it isn’t dead.
Soil issues can also have an impact on growth because they can make it tougher for the plant to survive. If you’re using soil that is too dense, the plant might have a hard time draining.
You want to pot your plant using soil that drains well so that it can dry out between watering sessions. This means that it’s wise to check the soil to see how well it drains before moving forward with it.
Sometimes adding a bit of sand or perlite will help it to drain a bit faster. Just do your best to create a good soil mix that will allow it to thrive.
The Spider Plant Is Pot-Bound
The issue of spider plants becoming pot-bound was mentioned briefly earlier, but it’s time to go over it in more detail. These plants grow fairly fast, and this means that they can outgrow the pots that they are in.
If you got one from someone as a gift, it’s possible that the plant could be ready for a new pot and you didn’t even know it. When one of these plants isn’t doing well, it’s possible that the roots don’t have enough room in the pot to do what it needs to do.
Plants will become root-bound if they are placed in pots that are too small. You can turn things around by repotting the plant in a pot that is appropriately sized.
Just remember not to place it in a pot that is way larger than the plant itself. When you have a pot that is too big, it’s going to create drainage issues that will be problematic.
Watering issues could be the cause of your spider plant’s stunted growth, too. Not watering it enough could lead to problems, but watering it too much could bring the plant to the edge of death.
When you water a plant more than you’re supposed to, it will lead to a condition known as root rot. This will cause the roots of a plant to become mushy and various parts of the plant will start to die.
If this occurs, it can be very difficult to bring the plant back from the brink. Whether a spider plant can be saved after it has shown signs of root rot might depend on how advanced the root rot is.
Catching the root rot early is more likely to give you a chance to save the plant, but it doesn’t always work out. When watering these plants, you want to keep the soil moist, but it shouldn’t be soggy with water.
If you’re ever worried that you’re watering too much, you should try to hold back. Spider plants are fairly drought-tolerant, and this means that it would be better to water the plant too little than it would be to go overboard.
Potential Insect Issues
It’s unlikely that these plants will have issues with insects, but it isn’t impossible. They’re pretty resistant to being damaged by bugs, but you should watch out for signs of insect problems anyway.
Holes in the leaves or spots on the leaves could be signs of an insect infestation. Plants that are having issues with pests will often have trouble growing, and you’re going to want to turn things around fast.
There are many options to consider when looking to kill insects. You can go with something like an insecticidal soap to try to get rid of them, but what option is best might depend on the type of bug that you’re dealing with.
Some common bugs that spider plants might have to contend with include spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, and scales. Looking up information about the signs that you’re seeing should make it easier for you to determine which remedy to use.
You could just use chemical remedies that will kill all types of insects, but this can be a little rough on the plant itself. As long as you’re being proactive, things should be fine, though.
Take Care of Your Spider Plant
Now you know some of the things that can go wrong when caring for these plants. If yours isn’t growing well, you’re likely going to need to solve these issues before it can get back to normal.
These are plants that grow just fine without fertilizer under normal conditions. Occasional fertilizer during the growing season can help you to get better results, though.
If you’re going to use fertilizer, follow the instructions and don’t use it more than once per month during the growing season. If you feed your spider plant too much fertilizer, that could actually be detrimental.
Just do your best to care for your plant the right way and things should be fine. Remember what these plants need and watch out for common issues such as the plant outgrowing the pot that it’s in.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.