Spider plant is one of the popular house plant choices that live for years if given proper care, but you may encounter common problems growing them.
This article will discuss Spider plants’ common problems and how we can tackle them.
Thus, continue reading till the end to learn them and make your Spider plant happy.
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Common Spider Plant Problems and Their Solutions
The Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is a favorite indoor hanging plant in many houses.
While the Spider plant is a low-maintenance plant, there are a few common problems to be aware of while growing Spider plants.
Let’s look at the quick summary first.
|Leaves Turn Brown
|1. Under watering
2. Too much sun
3. High level of chlorine in water
|1. Keep in humid environment
2. Water immediately
3. Re-pot if necessary
|Leaves Turning Black
|1. Root rot
2. Over watering
|1. Use fast-draining soil
2. Mist around to provide humidity
3. Put the plant in well lit area
Do not water until the soil completely dries
|1. Improper level of water or light
2. Pest infestation
|1. Provide enough water
2. Set in a proper lighting
|Limp and Droopy Plant
|1. Less water
2. Over sun exposure
|1. Immediately water the plant
2. Put in the indirect sunlight
|1. Remove the plant from the pot
2. Clean and transfer to new pot
3. Water it properly ensuring well-drainage
|Too much direct light
|1. Place in bright but shade area
2. Wait until it recovers
3. Water according to the need
|No new growth
|Imbalanced temperature and light
Overfertilizing the plants
|1. Locate the plant in a brighter area
2. Re-pot in the right size of planters
3. Stop over-fertilizing
|White spots on leaves
|Infested by spider mites
|1. Wash the plant immediately
2. Cut the infected part
Spray on rubbing alcohol
|Holes on leaves
|Spray the plant with insecticidal soap
|1. Pause watering the spider plant
2. Supply ample of indirect sunlight
3. Water the plants only after the soil gets dry.
|New leaves falling off
|Wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol
|1. Hot and humid conditions
2. Overcrowded plants
|1. Throw the accumulated leaves.
2. Give the space between plants if the plants are overcrowded.
3. Consider re-pot
4. Treat the plant with antibacterial medication
1. Leaves Turn Brown
It is one of the common problems for the indoor Spider plant to turn brown at the tips. If your Spider plant leaves turn brown, it usually means the plant is underwatered.
The leaves eventually turn brown if the soil is too dry. The plant’s tips browning also means that it needs more humidity instead of getting too much direct sun.
Also, if the water has a high amount of chlorine, you might see the plant’s leaves turning brown.
If the browning tips are an eyesore for you, cut the tips with scissors. This action will not harm the plant.
Pro-Tip: Remember to sterilize your garden scissors with rubbing alcohol to avoid the chances of spreading diseases and pests from one plant to another.
- Water your dry plant thoroughly and drain out the excess water.
- After the excess water completely drains out, rehydrate again.
- You can also put the plant under a large pot filled with water. Let it sit there for some time and put it back into its place.
- Also, if the problem lies in the water, you can switch to purified water for your Spider plant.
- You can use your regular tap water by leaving it out for 24 hours before pouring them on the plants.
- If the browning of the tips is due to the sun, try moving the plants to the area where the plant gets indirect sunlight.
- Mist the plant regularly or invest in a humidifier for it.
- Examine whether the soil mix is well-draining or not.
- You can use the bottom watering method. This process will make sure the plants get enough water.
- Since Spider plants are sensitive to fluoride, try to use fluoride-free water.
- Use filtered water or rainwater instead of regular tap water.
- Place the plants where they can receive an ample amount of indirect sunlight.
Related Article: 9 Reasons your Zebra Plant Leaf is Turning Brown
2. Leaves Turning Black
In some cases, Spider plants may show up with black leaves due to root rot or over-watering.
Other possible reasons for turning into black leaves are the build of fertilizers and diseases.
So, to revive the blackening of the Spider plant’s leaves, you can follow the following solutions.
- First, pluck off the black leaves and let the soil dry out before watering them again.
- Change the soil to fast-draining soil if possible.
- Put the plant in a well-lit area but avoid direct sunlight.
- You can mist water around the plant to provide humidity.
- While growing Spider plants, it’s best to use fast-draining soil.
- Consider rejecting any sort of watering routine. Instead, bottom waters them according to the plant’s requirements.
- Check the ideal temperature and humidity required for the plant and try to maintain it as possible.
- Try to minimize using excessive fertilizers. This might counteract the plants instead of doing them good.
- Every two or three days, examine the plants for any changes or inspect any disease.
3. Leaves Curling
There is one variety of Spider plants that naturally curls up. But, besides that, if your Spider plants start to curl up, this might be a different indication.
The plants might be going under stress.
For example, leaves curling in Spider plants might signify that the plants are dealing with factors like improper watering (both under-watering and over-watering) or light levels (both insufficient and over the delivery of sunlight).
Curling of the leaves might also signal that the plants are responding to certain diseases and pest infestations.
Another reason might be the rotten root, which might be failing to provide the essentials to the plant.
Most of the time, curling up the leaves in Spider plants is due to not providing enough water to them.
- Water the plant properly to help the leaves get back into their shape.
- Give the plant proper lighting.
- Ensure your plant is at around a temperature between 55° and 85°F.
- Planters with good drainage holes help in balancing the soil moisture.
- During colder months, keep the plants in warmer areas or indoors.
- Keep the plants away from radiators and vents.
4. Limp and Droopy Plant
It is primarily a watering issue if your Spider plant appears droopy and limp.
Not watering the plant often and getting over sun exposure might make them wilt.
However, in some rare cases, your Spider plant might be limp or droopy because it gets too much water.
- Immediately water the plant.
- Place the plant in indirect sunlight. An east-facing window is a great example. However, the southwest area is also good for getting some shadings during the day.
- If the plant droops due to overexposure to the sun, immediately take it to the cooler area. Also, you can soak in water for a good 15 minutes.
- If the droopiness is due to over-watering, wait till the soil is dry before you water again.
- Never put the plants in direct sunlight for too long.
- The best way to water the plant is by soaking the soil completely. Make sure the pot has well-drainage holes.
- Re-water the plant only after the soil gets dry.
Read more to find out the Best Soil for Spider Plants.
5. Root Rot
Spider plants may deal with root rot when they are overwatered.
We can observe the plants going under stress as the roots cannot provide enough nutrients.
Some of the symptoms of root rot are:
- Slow or no new growth of the plant,
- Soft, brown, and spongy roots,
- Leaves may turn yellow /pale or
- Leaves may start wilting.
If the roots are damaged for quite a while, the plant may die within 9 to 10 days.
Some of the causes of root rot are;
- Poor drainage
- Fungal growth in roots
- Inappropriate soil environment
- Extreme temperature
- Remove the Spider plant from its pot if the root is not dead.
- Rinse away the extra soil and chop away the dead, black, and slimy roots.
- Even if the remaining root system is small, there are chances to save the plant.
- Make sure to cut the leaves so the roots will access enough water and nutrients to spread themselves.
- Transfer the trimmed plant into a fresh soil pot with good drainage.
- Water it properly while making sure that the excess water is well-drained.
- Make sure you take care of the plant by checking its everyday water needs until it recovers.
- Make sure the plants are adequately watered until the soil is well-soaked. Re-water only after the soil gets dry.
- If in case of re-potting, water the plants thoroughly and make sure the pot has good drainage.
- It would be best if you considered draining out the excess water in the plant.
- Ensure that the soil is not too dry or too moist. Also, it is best to avoid garden soil and choose soil consisting of perlite and pumice.
- Only use a small amount of fertilizer for the Spider Plants. This is because Spider plants only need to be fed nitrogen and potassium once in a while.
- Examine your plants every two to three days so that you can identify any transition in the plant.
- Always remember to provide enough light to the plant with good airflow.
6. Scorched Leaves
Scorched leaves in a Spider plant result from too much direct light on the plant.
Often with overexposure to the sun, the plant’s leaves may curl up.
These leaves may eventually appear bleached or burned.
Although Spider plants are tropical plants, they are found in semi-shaded places.
Thus, Spider plants prefer to be placed in bright but indirect light.
- Move your plant to better semi-shade areas and wait to recover.
- Examine the leaves. They should flatten after they are put in the proper location.
- After it recovers, cut the damaged leaves.
- Maintain the plant’s health with good watering.
- Avoid putting your plants in direct sunlight for many hours. Usually, 8-9 hours of indirect sunlight is enough for a day.
- Choose a spot where the plant will get good indirect sunlight in the early mornings and evenings.
- Use artificial light if there is not enough light in the place you live or in the winter months.
7. No New Growth
Although Spider plants usually grow more during spring and summer, the growth might be slow in winter. This situation is due to the condition of temperature and light.
However, besides having a perfect season of growth, the Spider plants may appear stagnant with no new growth with hanging plantlets.
The condition might be over-fertilizing the plants or overcrowded roots to avoid stunted growth.
Also another reason for not having new growth is due to poor watering during the growing season.
- Locate the plant in a brighter area to promote growth.
- Since larger pots prevent Spider plants from showing up with new growth, try to re-pot in the right size of planters.+
- Stop over-fertilizing immediately and give a little gap until you start with a medium-strength fertilizer.
- Drought stress can occur. So, keep watering the plant according to requirements.
- Consider choosing the ideal size planters but avoid too large pots
- The optimal temperature for Spider plants to grow is between 65°F (18°C) to 75° F (23°C) during the day.
- Always consider around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12°C) temperature at night to encourage growth in the Spider plants.
- Avoid bombarding with too many fertilizers.
- Try using rain or distilled water to rinse or hydrate your plant.
8. White Spots on Leaves
White spots on Spider plants could indicate that Spider mites infest the plant.
Spider mites mostly live under the leaves of Spider plants.
The mites like to feed on the leaf tissue and plant fluids, turning the leaves spotty.
And they are windsurfers and transfer from one place to another by making a web on the air.
- Wash the plant immediately.
- It is better to cut the infected part immediately.
- Spray on rubbing alcohol or insecticides over the plant.
- Rub with Neem oil to get rid of the mites.
- Spider mites like to feed on dusty and dehydrated leaves, so it is necessary to clean them first.
- Keep the right level of humidity around the plant. You can Mist around the Spider plant.
- Always check the plant once every two days to see changes.
- Use natural pest control sprays immediately once you see mites around the plants.
- Never put healthy plants together with pest-infested plants. This way, you will avoid transmitting any disease among the plants.
- Disinfecting the pruning tools will avoid transmitting pests and diseases from one plant to another.
9. Holes on Leaves
The appearance of holes in Spider plants’ leaves may indicate insects are feeding on them.
Although Spider plants are generally bug resistant, you need to take action immediately if you see bugs or holes in the leaves.
To bring the plant into a healthy state, use pest prevention solutions on the plants.
Few common pests may appear in Spider plants, such as Whiteflies, Spider mites, scales, and aphids.
|Type of common pests
|Effect on plants
|White in color
appear as a cloud
|1. Leaves turn yellow
2. Leaves look shiny due to excreted honey dew.
3. Growth of sooty mold fungi
|Appear as grains of pepper
|Plants turn yellow with curled leaves.
|Tiny white scales
|Black and sooty mold on plant.
|Green clusters sitting on stems or leaves.
|1. Yellowing and misshapen leaves
2. Appearance of stunted growth
3. Shiny and sticky coat on plants due to honey dew
4. Sooty mold fungi
- Spray insecticide as directed on the package.
- Spray the plant with horticultural oil.
- Use an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil
- Remove the bugs with a cotton swab.
- Sterilize the scissors and pruning tools before using them for plants. This way, you might prevent the disease from transmitting from one plant to another.
- Make sure you examine the plants regularly.
- If you inspect any pests, immediately take action.
- Avoid putting the plants in cold and damp areas.
- Put artificial light during colder months.
- Always make sure the plants get ample indirect light.
10. Falling Leaves
A Spider plant may lose its leaves due to over-watering it.
Therefore you should not overburden your plant with water but instead make them happy with needed nutrients to the soil, roots, and leaves.
- Pause watering the Spider plant.
- Provide them with an ample amount of indirect sunlight for the whole day.
- Make sure your soil dries out completely.
- Loosen the topsoil to provide extra airflow.
- Consider watering the plants only after the soil gets dry.
- Check the soil moisture before you water them.
- There shouldn’t be a routine to water your Spider plants.
- Make sure there is good drainage.
- Provide water according to the season. For example, Spider plants need less water during winter.
11. New Leaves Falling Off
If the new leaves start to drop off your Spider plant, this might be due to pest infestation.
Pests like Aphids are usually found feeding on new growth or the undersides of leaves. However, other pests can trigger new leaves falling too.
- For minor infestation, wipe the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- You can use Insecticidal soap spray to treat the pests.
- In most cases, the treatment will have to be repeated multiple times.
- Washing plants every two to three weeks discourages pest infestations.
- It would be best always to keep an eye on the plant to see minor to significant changes.
- Always keep the plants separated from the pest-infested plants.
12. Leaf Blight
Bacterial leaf blight occurs due to lesions on the leaf tips, which gradually turn brown.
Bacteria of various species present in the genus Xanthomonas cause such a condition. Usually, bacterial leaf spots arise in hot and humid conditions.
Leaf blight spots look dry, and as the disease intensifies, leaves turn brown and curly and eventually die.
Also, We can identify the bacterial leaf with the yellowing of the leaf margin and the browning edges.
Sometimes, overcrowded plants can cause leaf blight disease.
- Throw away the brown leaves.
- Give space between plants if the plants are overcrowded.
- Consider re-pot to provide aeration between plants.
- Treat the plant with antibacterial medication for plant diseases, like topical products such as Oxidate.
- Water in the soil rather than on the plants. This way, you will avoid creating too much humidity in the plant stems.
- Reduce watering in the rainy season because too much water during the humid season can induce disease.
- Try to avoid overcrowding plant pots. Air circulation between plants is essential.
Good News: Spider plants are resilient plants and will likely recover from any infestation.
Spider plants are considered unique and easy to grow indoor plants. You will get fantastic results even if you are just starting to parent the plants.
Although Spider plants do not show many problems when taken care of nicely, it is inevitable for any living thing to avoid them.
Common problems like root rot, brown leaves, leaf holes, etc., may appear in the Spider plant.
However, this guide has made it easy for you to deal with common Spider plant problems.
Just by following this guide, you will be able to keep yours thriving for several years.
Here are a few Key Takeaways
- To keep the Spider plants healthy forever, provide a balance of enough water, appropriate light, and adequate fertilizer.
- Rather than saturating the soil, consider watering the plants often but in smaller quantities.
- Also, remember to check the temperature and humidity around the Spider plant.
- To keep Spider plant problems at bay, always keep them happy in bright but indirect light.
- Take out your time to quickly inspect the plants twice every week.
- Although Spider plants are pest-free, always prevent the disease by following hygiene tips.
- Also, never keep infested plants with healthy ones.
Although this guide provides you with solutions, remember that prevention is better than cure.
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