Have you ever wanted to grow more spider plants but didn’t know where to start? Well, you’re in luck! Spider plant propagation is incredibly simple, and in this article, I will guide you through the different methods and provide step-by-step instructions to help you root those spider plant babies successfully.
- How to Propagate Spider Plants
- Spider Plant Babies: What are They?
- When to Propagate Spider Plants
- How to Cut Spider Plant Babies
- How to Grow Spider Plant Babies
- How Long Does It Take Spider Plant Babies to Grow Roots?
- Why Isn’t My Spider Plant Rooting?
- How to Transplant Spider Plant Babies
- How to Propagate a Spider Plant Without Babies
How to Propagate Spider Plants
There are three main methods for propagating spider plants, and they are all quite easy. You can choose to root spider plant babies, divide the mother plant, or start them from seed. In this article, we will focus on propagating spider plant babies and briefly touch on dividing them. If you’re interested in starting from seed, check out our post on how to collect and grow spider plant seeds.
Spider Plant Babies: What are They?
Spider plant babies, also known as offshoots, spiderettes, spiderlings, pups, runners, or plantlets, are identical offspring of the mother plant. They appear on long stems that shoot out from the main plant and can be used to create new spider plants. These babies only form on the flowers if they’re not pollinated. If the flowers are pollinated, they will produce seeds instead of plantlets.
When to Propagate Spider Plants
You can propagate spider plants at any time of the year, but the easiest and quickest results come during the spring and summer months. It’s best to wait until the babies have their own roots underneath before removing them from the mother plant. If the spider plant babies have no roots or only tiny nubs, it’s recommended to wait until they’re more mature.
How to Cut Spider Plant Babies
When a spider plant baby is ready to be propagated, you can remove it from the mother plant by cutting it off. Sometimes, the babies will come off easily when you disturb them, and you won’t even need to cut them. To ensure a clean cut, use a pair of sterile precision clippers. It’s best to cut them as close to the top of the spiderlings as possible to avoid any unsightly stems.
How to Grow Spider Plant Babies
Growing spider plant babies is the most common method of propagation, and you have a few options. You can root them in soil while they’re still attached to the mother plant, cut them off and root them in water, or propagate your spider plantlets directly in soil. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that suits you best.
1. Propagating Spider Plant in Water
Rooting spider plant babies in water is the easiest and quickest method. However, there is a risk that the spiderettes could rot or go into shock when you transfer them to soil. To successfully root spider plants in water, keep these tips in mind:
- If you have had issues with spider plant babies dying after potting them up, you may want to try one of the other two methods.
- Before placing the babies in water, remove any leaves around the base of the plantlet or below the roots to prevent rotting.
- Use a deep, clear vase filled with water at a level that just covers the roots. This prevents rot and helps the spiderlings stand upright.
2. Spider Plant Propagation in Soil
Rooting spider plant babies in soil results in stronger starts and less risk of transplant shock compared to water propagation. However, it may take longer for the plantlets to root. Follow these tips when propagating spider plants in soil:
- Use a propagation chamber or cover the plantlet and soil with a plastic bag to create a high humidity environment that encourages quicker rooting.
- Place the container on top of a heat mat to keep the soil warm, which speeds up the rooting process.
- Use a light mix of vermiculite, peat moss (or coco coir), and perlite or pumice instead of regular potting soil, as it can be too heavy.
- To speed up the rooting process, dip the bottom nubs in rooting hormone before planting.
3. Propagating Spider Plant Runners While Attached
Propagating spider plant runners while they’re still attached to the mother plant is another option. Plant a pot next to the mother plant and insert the starter roots of the baby into the soil while it’s still on the stem. This method eliminates the risk of transplant shock but may be a bit more challenging. Consider these tips:
- You can use either regular potting soil or a light and fluffy mix for rooting.
- It’s recommended to dip the bottom nubs into rooting hormone to encourage faster root growth.
- In the summer, you can place your spider plant on the ground and position the babies on the soil. Many times they will root without additional help.
How Long Does It Take Spider Plant Babies to Grow Roots?
Spider plant babies can form roots incredibly quickly, sometimes within 2-3 days. However, it typically takes 2-4 weeks for the roots to reach a suitable length for transplantation. The exact timing depends on the method you choose and the environmental conditions. Colder or drier environments may result in longer rooting times.
Why Isn’t My Spider Plant Rooting?
If your spider plant babies aren’t rooting, several factors may be responsible. They may not have been mature enough, or the environment may be too cold or dry. Additionally, drying out or overwatering the roots can prevent successful rooting. Make sure to use mature spiderlings with forming roots and keep them in a warm location. Never let the roots dry out, and ensure that the soil is evenly moist or the water level only covers the root nubs, not the leaves.
How to Transplant Spider Plant Babies
Once the spider plant babies have roots that are 2-3 inches long, you can transplant them into a container with fresh soil. Water the plant well, allowing excess water to drain out the bottom. Keep the soil evenly moist until the plantlet becomes established, but avoid overwatering. After transplanting, the spiderettes may droop for a few days, but they should recover within a week. Keep in mind that water-propagated spiderettes may take longer to bounce back compared to those rooted in soil.
How to Propagate a Spider Plant Without Babies
If your spider plant doesn’t have any offshoots, dividing the mother plant is another option. This method involves separating the plant clumps and planting them at the same depth in a new container. If the roots are tightly packed, you may need to use a sterile knife to cut through them. Otherwise, gently tease the clumps apart until they are separated.
Spider plant propagation is a breeze and a perfect project for both beginner and experienced gardeners. With the methods outlined above, you’ll soon have an abundance of new spider plant babies to fill your home or share with loved ones. Remember to choose the propagation method that suits you best, and don’t forget to download our Plant Propagation eBook for even more tips and tricks!
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Share your spider plant propagation tips in the comments section below! Happy propagating!