How to Grow Spider Plant Babies

Spider plants are wonderful for vertical gardens. They are easy to grow, plus they are inexpensive to buy. You can also propagate your own new plants from the new growths that sprout from aged plants. This gives you lots of free plants with which to build more vertical gardens!

spider plant in beer mugI used to have a brown thumb. I killed every plant I touched – but not spider plants. They are so easy-going and carefree. They don’t demand lots of attention – even the babies are low maintenance.

Because they are so easy to grow, my one spider plant has turned into 100 plants. I had to get creative in places to plant them, but then again, they are so easy going they let you plant them anywhere.

I even had a California spider plant outdoors that survived 3 nights of 25 degree temperature. Well, I thought it had died, but that was crazy of me to think that. Spider plants are unstoppable – even the babies!

So this lens is dedicated to all the spider plant babies out there and all the cool things you can do with them. Spider plants are also great for beginners or gardening with kids because they are so easy to grow and fast-growing – not to mention interesting and beautiful.

Propagating Your Plants

Detaching the Babies

spider plant babiesOnce a “full-grown” spider plant becomes root-bound in its container, it sends out offshoots from which the baby spider plants grow. These babies can be propagated in either water or soil by simply detaching them from the offshoot. Cut the “baby” or “babies” off the stem, and then clip the offshoot stem from the plant. The stem is not needed for propagation.

Where to Put the Baby Plants

I place mine in a small container of water in a well-lit area like a window. Shot glasses from the Squatters Brewery in Salt Lake City Utah work very well as you can see here. If there are several babies at once, I usually put several in a single container. They stay there for a few weeks, and I make sure to add water to them regularly.

Transplanting The Plants to Soil

It doesn’t take them that long to start growing long roots, and actually the reason I put them in water first before soil is so that I have time to find containers for them. Once I have the containers, I transplant the baby spider plants to soil, cover the roots with dirt, water them and off they go to grow more. (And in a few years, these young ones will be producing offshoots of their own).

I live in California and have found that my spider plants prefer being outdoors in filtered sunlight. I would like to have more spider plants indoors, but my home stays fairly dark, so the spider plants seem to lose their color and don’t do as well (I’ve had better luck with jade plants). They are, however, known to be one of the better houseplants for cleaning the air, so if you have a home office (like me), this may be something to consider.

Growing Baby Spider Plants

spider plantGrowing a spider plant (chlorophytum) is very high-tech: give it water, give it light and leave the baby spider plant alone.

Hang it, put it in the ground or grow it in a pot. Spider plants don’t seem to be too temperamental about watering. I forget to water mine all the time. They have large tuberous roots that can hold water better than other plants, so this is probably why.

Since spider plants send out their offshoots that form “babies” when they are root-bound, put them in a nice compact container if you want to end up with 100 spider plants eventually like me. They grow well in a compact environment, and they transplant easily if you later decide to put them in a larger pot.

So, check out this spider plant above (with the feet). He’s the one that I thought died during the frost but miraculously came back to life (actually, I think there are three of them in that pot along with a couple of crazy jade plants that also never die). Since I thought they were dead, I really left them alone. I mean I didn’t even water them for a while. Look what happens when you don’t give them any attention. Watch out!

Spider Plant Fertilizer and Soil

Spider plants are tolerant of a variety of different light, temperature and soil environments, and they don’t demand a lot of nutrients, However, giving them good soil and fertilizer will not hurt the plant.

Ideal Light and Temperature

According to spider plant research done at the University of Florida, spider plants that were provided at least 12 hours of light per day tended to produce more blooming offsets. They also experience the best growth in environments between 70 and 90 degrees fahrenheit. (So, if you want more babies, pay attention to this)

Fertilizing and Solving Tip Burn:

Fertilizing is not required for spider plants to thrive and produce baby spider plants. However, if you choose to fertilize your plant, use a soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants and do so every few months. The less sun the plant receives, the less fertilizer you want to give it.

A common problem of spider plants is “tip burn”. This can be resolved many times by watering the plant with water free or fluoride or boron. Also avoid (or use less of) fertilizers with fluoride. According to PlantTalk Colorado, Sometimes too much fertilizer or water high in soluble salts can also cause tip burn.

“Proper” Soil:

Spider plants like good drainage, so they tend to be happy in aerated soil. I have used soil for trees and shrubs as well as soil for plants and vegetables, and spider plants seem to be happy in either. I also compost, so I always add a scoop or two of composted soil to the spiders. (I actually do that instead of fertilizing).


12 Houseplants Good for Your Health

Thinking about making an indoor vertical garden? Besides just being cool plants, spider plants are actually good for your health. According to a study done by NASA, they help treat indoor air pollution caused by poor ventilation combined with synthetic building materials and office equipment.

Without going into detail on how these plants work their magic (you can read the study for that), here are some of the plants that they found to be beneficial:

Spider Plant
Bamboo Palm
Chinese Evergreen
Gerbera Daisy
English Ivy
Snake Plant
Peace Lily
Golden Pothos
Aloe Vera
Elephant Ear and Heart Leaf Philodendrons

Cool Containers for Spider Plants

spider plant in tea potBaby spider plants don’t really need a cool container to look cool, but they do add to the coolness (plus you may run out of pots if you end up with 100 baby spider plants). Sometimes I have stuff around the house that I don’t use but don’t want to get rid of – sometimes those things can double as planters and make themselves useful. Just be careful not to water your plant too much if your planting container does not allow for drainage.

1. Beer Stein
2. Tea Kettle or Tea Cup
3. Gutters
4. Fish Bowl
5. Ash Tray
6. Watering Can
7. Old Mailbox
8. An Old Shoe or Boot
9. Purse
10. Can
11. Toolbox
12. Hat
13. PVC Pipe with Holes Drilled in it
14. A Garbage Can (spray painted in graffiti of course)