Spider plants are very low-maintenance. While they’re known to be thirsty indoor plants, they don’t really act out or throw a tantrum when their water requirements are overly or poorly met. They are, as one could say, the epitome of forgiveness.
While these plants are generally considered to be “impossible to kill”, they’re not invincible. Frequent instances of overwatering or under watering can be detrimental to their survival.
Which brings us to the question “How often should you water your spider plant?” This article will guide you.
General Care Tips
Before we get going on watering tips, let’s chat general spider plant care tips! Spider plants (formal name is Chlorophytum comosum, also called an airplane plant and ribbon plant) were the second type of plant I owned (after a pothos plant) and are very low maintenance.
A spider plant is a beautiful house plant that makes a grand statement anywhere it’s planted, whether in a pot on your windowsill or in a hanging basket from your porch ceiling.
Spider plants do best with bright indirect light but can also do well with low light. If your spider plant is getting yellow leaves, there’s a chance it’s getting too much light.
If you have mature plants, you’ll likely see baby spider plants shooting from long stems from the mother plant. Spider plants are very easy to propagate from these baby plants (more on that on this post).
The love a higher humidity level making them a great plant for your bathroom!
How To Know If It’s Time To Water
Spider plants likes frequent watering but only need to be watered only about once a week. Keep the soil consistently moist without making it soggy. If this is a new plant for you, it would be best to do a finger test to determine whether the soil is moist or dry.
You should only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. If the soil is wet and you still proceed to water it, you fail to give your plant the chance to utilize the water stored in its soft roots.
Frequent encounters with drenched soil can make the tubers soggy, which can make them more susceptible to root rot. Over time, this could prove to be fatal for the plant.
It’s always safer to wait longer between watering to avoid causing permanent damage to your plant.
How Much Water Does a Spider Plant Need?
Every spider plant has its own set of water requirements. The amount of water required by them to thrive depends on multiple factors. For example:
- The size and type of the pot
- The level of humidity in the area where it is planted
- The soil’s moisture retention capacity, and
- The time of the year.
Type Of Pots
Ideally, you should opt for pots that are slightly larger than your spider plant, as smaller pots dry out much quicker. A big pot encourages plant growth and dries out the soil at the optimal rate.
Make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes. This can help prevent root rot by draining the excess water. Unfortunately, although containers with drainage holes help prevent waterlogging, they can sometimes take the soil along with the water.
To combat that, cover the drainage holes with a coffee filter! That way, the water will drain out leaving the soil intact. Be sure to also place a drainage tray underneath the pot to collect excess water.
One last thing is that clay pots will absorb some of the water, requiring more frequent waterings while plastic pots won’t. Neither is right or wrong, just something to think about!
Type Of Soil
Spider plants thrive in well-draining soil. As long as the potting mix has a pH balance of around 6.0 to 6.5 with the maximum not exceeding 7.0, the versatile spider plant will do just fine.
An organic mixture of coarse sand, compost, loam, and peat may be used to help accommodate the plant’s water requirements sufficiently. Whichever soil you use for potting, make sure you’re keeping it moist throughout the year to encourage growth.
Time Of Year
Most plants require more water during the summer months. The spider plant is no exception to the case. It requires a lot of water, especially when it’s growing new leaves and large tuber-like fleshy roots below the soil. Watering twice every week may help meet its water requirements.
When it comes to larger spider plants, however, they may not require much watering, as the tubers also store water along with nutrients and other tidbits. Watering it once a week may cover its water requirements just fine.
Please note: The frequency at which you’ll need to water your plant depends on how quickly water evaporates from the soil. So, keep an eye on the weather, temperature, and humidity conditions before you fix a watering schedule.
The spider plant’s water requirements change with the seasons. Watering it at the same frequency as you did in summer may result in root rot, as the spider plant dries off at a significantly slower rate due to the cooler temperatures in winter. As the plant enters a state of dormancy due to the reduction in the light intensity and hours, it requires less water in winter as compared to summer or spring.
There are, of course, some exceptions to the case. For example, if you use radiators and other sources of heat to warm your room, it may lower the humidity. This can cause the soil to dry more quickly. Mist and regular watering can counter the drying effects.
Something to Remember: Avoid using tap water to water or mist your plant as it could lead to a mineral or salt buildup in the soil or potting medium. The best way to neutralize your water without using distilled water is to simply fill up a container with tap water and let it sit out overnight. This makes it suitable for watering!
Do Spider Plants Like To Be Misted?
Spider plants are native to humid climates. A light misting at least once a week can help amp up the humidity and mimic their native environment but it’s not super important. It can also help you avoid the potential brown leaf tips that accompany low humidity. If you live in an especially dry climate, consider misting more regularly.
Misting not only helps keep up with the humidity requirements of the spider plant but also prevents the infestation of spider mites.
Signs Of Overwatering
How do you know you’ve overwatered your spider plant? Look at the condition of the leaves. If the leaves turn yellow or a shade of lime green, that’s a sign.
You can solve the overwatering issue by placing the plant in a place that receives ample shade.
When the leaves start to turn brown, however, is where the problem starts. If you don’t pay attention to brown tips of the leaves, chances are, it will lead to root rot and your plant will eventually die. To rectify the brown leaf situation, stop watering immediately. Once the soil dries out, you can continue to meet your plant’s water requirements.
Friendly tip: Let the soil dry out between waterings. This way, the plant can utilize the water stored in its tubers and avoid root rot.
Signs Of Underwatering
Solving the overwatering problem by giving it a water-free wait time to recover can lead to underwatering issues. As unpleasant as it sounds, it is true.
When your spider plant goes days without water, its leaves will start to fade to a lighter shade of green. The change in its normal coloring can make it easy to spot the issue and work towards solving it.
Another very distinctive sign of underwatering is when the leaves of the plant start to fold up along the length of the leaf. But this can very well be a false alarm in terms of the plant’s water requirements, especially if you’ve recently watered the plant. This means, by watering the plant based on this sign, you risk overwatering.
To avoid that, consider waiting for a day or two to see if the plant bounces back. If it doesn’t, you can proceed with watering.
And there you have it! All the watering tips you need for your spider plant.