How to Propagate Spider Plants? Explained!

Spider plant in pot
Spider plant in pot (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Air purifying benefit is one of the basic reasons, I prefer spider plants ( Chlorophytum comosum) to grow indoors, except for home decor.

If you want to populate spider plants without spending any money, you can do it easily through propagation. That’s why you have come here, haven’t you?

Generally, the propagation of spider plants is possible through seeds, water, soil, root division, and layering. Unlike others, for propagation, spider plants have spiderettes, which grow after the plant reaches maturity.

Spider plant in pot
Spider plant in pot (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mature spider plants will have more babies than you realize. And, contrary to popular belief, there are more possibilities to propagate your spider plant than you might assume!

Want to start propagating spider plants?

This article will go over the fundamentals and methods of propagating spider plants, giving you everything you need to start your exciting plant project!

Why Propagate Spider Plants?

Propagating spider plants help you save some money and you can get some Reese’s and M&M’s for your little ones.

It is easy to propagate spider plants and makes a cost-effective technique to populate them in great numbers. 

You can also consider the following cases that indicate the need to propagate the spider plant.

  • If spider plants have outgrown their pot and need space, you need to propagate and repot them.
  • Aphids, mealybugs, Whitefield, and spider mites may attack spider plants, so if found, a wise step will be to propagate.
Chlorophytum comosum Variegatum
Chlorophytum comosum Variegatum (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
  • Also, if the plant suffers from fungal leaf rot and fungal root rot, it is an indication that the plant needs propagation.
  • You want an extra plant for yourself and wish to share the love with friends and family.
  • Let’s face another truth, you have no time to visit nurseries and buy plants.
  • Green spider plants are rare so you can’t find these plants everywhere. In such cases, you need to go with available propagation.

Besides, the tiny flowers can also lure you to populate spider plants.

If you want to know more, visit “Spider Plants Flower.”

Best Time to Propagate Spider Plants

After knowing the reasons to propagate, you may wonder when you can start propagating your spider plants.  You can propagate spider plants almost any time of year.

However, the spring and summer or months of March to September are the best time to propagate spider plants when the plants are actively growing.

Spider plants love warm temperatures ranging between 70 and 90°F so make sure the environment favors the plants before propagating them.

spiderettes hung in string
Spiderettes hung in string (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Ideally, when the babies have their own roots forming beneath them, it is time to root them.

If you are propagating spider plants from spiderettes, simply wait until they establish their own tiny aerial roots.

It will be best to plant these roots when they are a little puffy and about a quarter-inch long. Another thing to keep in mind is that you need not wait for long.

Young spiderettes root more quickly than older spiderettes because callouses form on the aerial roots of older spiderettes, extending the rooting process!

Materials Required to Propagate Spider Plant

To begin, you will require a mature sample (mother plant) loaded with offsets or some spiderettes if someone offers you.

When selecting spiderettes for propagation, look for offsets with at least some small aerial root buds, if not larger roots.

Besides, you may require the following essential tools for successful propagation.

ItemsPurpose
Pruning ShearsFor trimming and pruning tasks of the plant
98% Isopropyl AlcoholTo sterilize pruning scissors or shear
Potting MixA coarse soil such as cactus mix or peat moss potting mix works well
Clean, tepid waterFor propagation via water
3-4 inch clay, terracotta, or plastic potEnsure the container has multiple drainage holes
500 ml transparent glass vaseFor propagation via water
NewspaperTo collect scraps, debris and to protect the surface

Spider Plant: Propagation Methods

I personally find propagating spider pants fun to do because it is easy and has maximum chances that newly propagated plants survive and grow healthily.

Growing spider plants from babies is the obvious reason to propagate spider plants, and there are several methods for doing so.

Propagation Via Seed

Have you ever noticed seed pods developing on your spider plants? Unless you have your plants outside, they may not be pollinated, and you may not observe any.

The seed pods will be bright green in color and have three lobes. When the seed pods are mature, they dry out, turn brown, and split up to expose a slew of small black seeds.

Newly plant in seed germination process
Newly plant in seed germination (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Note down the steps on how you can complete the propagating process through seeds!

  • Take the seeds into a container and prepare the potting mix.
  • Plant the seeds as soon as possible to ensure that they are feasible to produce seedlings.
  • Essentially, sow the seeds about 1/8′′ to 1/4′′ deep in a small pot of potting mix.
  • You need to keep it hydrated and position it in a nice, bright window to sprout.
  • The seeds will germinate between 20 and 30 days, depending on the temperature and humidity.
  • Allow the plant to grow 8-9 leaves before moving it to a new pot.

Propagation of variegated spider plants from seed does not yield the variegated one like the mother plant. If you want like the mother plant, propagate it using the plantlets that the mother plant will produce.

Propagation Via Offset

To start this method, you need to separate the spiderette from its mother plant either by cutting or pinching the stem.

Though the spider plants do not develop the roots yet at this point, they can grow their shoots and grow to the whole plant.

Water Method

Attempting to propagate spider plants in water is an enjoyable way to begin this venture.

This technique is also helpful if you unintentionally strike an offset from your potted plant and need an instant way to keep it surviving without having to dig out your potting materials.

Spider plant in a glass of water
Spider plant in a glass of water (Source: PxHere)

When you propagate plants in water, you need to allow the roots to develop in water before transmitting the clipping to the soil. Jump on the process of how you need to do this!

  • Cut the plantlet from the spider plant with sterilized scissors.
  • Now, remove baby plants from their long stems. Simply follow the runner and cut just above the baby’s attachment point.
  • Position the spider plant babies in a transparent glass with some water. You need to keep the water only to contain the baby plant’s roots, not the leaves.
  • Make sure to change the water on a regular basis to keep it clean.
  • Once the plantlets have grown roots about 1 or 2 inches long, move them to a small container with a well-draining soil medium and resume regular care.

If the baby spider plants can sustain in water for a while, the roots will grow quite long. However, once it has roots, it will require more nutrients than plain water can provide.

You can take care of that by planting the plantlets in the soil. Alternatively, you will need to use an aquatic fertilizer designed specifically for water plants.

Soil Method

Everything is the same with soil propagation, except you instantly pot the plant in soil.

This may take longer to develop roots, but it will prevent the plant from experiencing shock when transitioning from water to soil.

Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ plant
Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’ plant (Source: Flickr)

Now, let’s dive into the process of how you can propagate successfully!

  • Select the spiderettes, cutting the spider plant off from it stems with pruners.
  • Remove the scions from the shoot and dip them in growth hormone.
  • Apply a small amount of rooting hormone to the plant’s base before placing it in a pot to help it grow roots as rapidly as possible. This isn’t required, but it can be beneficial.
  • Fill a pot with seed-starting mix and poke a hole for the baby plant with a pencil or finger.
  • Position the plant in the pit and lightly press down with your fingers to keep it from falling over.
  • Water graciously, but do not soak it.
  • These delicate babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight!
  • Now put them in bright but indirect sunlight. New roots will begin to grow in a short time, and the plant may eventually produce new offspring.
  • Once you notice plantlet shooting roots, you can start watering the plant normally.

Soil propagation works best with plantlets which have already some aerial roots growing from them because the roots help anchor them in the soil.

Propagation Via Root Divison

It is the best alternative if your plant has no offshoots. You can divide the clusters apart as long as there are at least two growing in the pot.

Because spider plants grow so quickly, you may need to use root division to keep your plant from outgrowing its container.

Chlorophytum_comosum_with roots
Chlorophytum comosum with roots (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It can be difficult if you have a fully grown, pot-bound spider plant. Consider the following steps to measure how you will do this.

  • If the roots are incredibly thick and tightly packed, you will most likely need to cut them with a sterilized knife.
  • Alternatively, simply twist the roots apart until the chunks are gone.
  • Remove your spider plant from its pot and examine the roots.
  • You can cut damaged roots, pointy, and infected roots with a knife if found any.
  • Now choose the root ball. You can get segments based on the number of planters you have and the size of the mother plant.
  • The majority of mother plants appear to divide well into 2-4 smaller portions. So, make choice accordingly.
  • Replant each section in its own planter with well-draining soil and water thoroughly.

Dividing a spider plant can be the best method when you have already taken it out of its pot.

Propagation Via Layering 

Layering spider plants involves re-potting the plantlets, or offsets, in a different pot while still being connected to the parent plant.

Chlorophytum comosum with its babies
Chlorophytum comosum with its babies (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The roots of your babies need not be very long or extended for this propagation method. 

Consider the following steps to complete layering propagation!

  • Fill a pot with potting soil, ideally one that is about 4 inches wide.
  • Position the pot alongside the mother plant.
  • Now, drape the spiderette’s stem across the new pot so that the offset is placed on the new pot.
  • Poke a hole and take roots in the soil if the offset has grown with well-developed roots.

Layering method fits for those who don’t move their houseplants frequently, for example when watering.

  • Now, you can pin it down with a floral pin.
  • Take a spray bottle and moisten the soil that contains the offset, without letting it get soggy.
  • Once the spiderette root, you can cut it from its stem.
  • If you find the plant showing new growth, you can switch it from a spray bottle to a watering can.

You can watch the video below if you need visual guidance!

Tips to Care For Newly Potted Spider Plants

Congratulations! You have successfully propagated a spider plant and got a new one. Now your goal is to provide good care to let it grow healthily.

For this, you may need to consider the following care tips!

  • Provide 6-8 hours of bright indirect light to new spider plants. Know more about Spider Plant light requirements.
  • Normally, the spider plant needs watering once a week but you can schedule it twice a week too.
  • Provide a well-drained, slightly alkaline, or sandy loam soil with a pH ranging from 6.1 to 6.5.

Pro Tip! Use a general-purpose potting soil or soilless medium when repotting spider plant.

  • You can also use potting soil with perlite and other organic compounds such as humus and coco choir.
  • You can feed any all-purpose, water-soluble, or granular time-release fertilizers every two weeks to once every three months to your spider plants.
Chlorophytum comosum in a pot
Chlorophytum comosum in a pot (Source: Flickr)
  • Maintain the soil moist but avoid it being soggy.
  • Also, keep the temperature between 70 and 90°F for the plant.
  • You may also need to provide humidity ranging from 40 to 80% for your spider plants.
  • When the plant grows bushy, you can prune it once a year.
  • Also, keep in mind to repot the plant once every 1-2 years.

Due to lack of care, spider plants can suffer violant symptoms. Get more info at “Spider Plant.

FAQs About Spider Plant Propagation

Can you propagate spider plants without roots?

It is possible to propagate spider plants even without roots. If the spider plant babies lack roots, or there are only tiny nubs, you need to wait until they’re a bit more mature.
 
When you feel the plantlet is for propagation, you can cut it off and propagate it in water or soil.
Spider plant in a pot
Spider plant in a pot (Source: PxHere)

Do spider plants need to be root bound to produce babies?

Many online forums opine that a spider plant needs to be root bound to generate the offsets. However, it’s not true; it can be the cause that the spider plant does not produce babies.

Also, the drainage lack and root rot can be the problem that spider plants can’t bear babies.

Conclusion

You may need a good collection of spider plants if you want to decorate whisker leaves around your home and leverage clearing airborne irritants and increase humidity.

However, you won’t need to spend a single penny; just make some effort!

I have explained all the available propagation methods so that you can perform the one based on your effort or available tools.

Surprise your family with the beautiful small spider plants. Good luck!

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