Can You Propagate Spider Plant Tubers? A Complete Guide - Houseplant Wizard (2023)

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Spider plants are a very popular houseplant that is very easy to care for and propagate in various ways. For instance, you can grow these plants from seeds, root cuttings, and spiderettes. But, how about the plant tubers?

You can plant spider plant tubers; this is one of the most common ways of propagating the plant. After planting, the tubers grow rosettes that generate the plant’s stems, which then produce the sprouts. These tubers are smooth, white, twisting lumps that can even reach the soil surface and form with the plant’s root system.

Can You Propagate Spider Plant Tubers? A Complete Guide - Houseplant Wizard (1)

Although other plant owners prefer using spider plant babies for propagation, the tubers are also quite helpful. You must meet the right conditions and requirements for this process to go well. We will review exactly what it takes to plant spider plant tubers, so keep reading!

What are Spider Plant Tubers?

Spider plant tubers are thick clusters of smooth, semi-oblong white forms that grow along with the roots of the plant. These tubers form chaotic masses with the plant’s roots and develop quickly into full-blown plants when placed in the soil.

Spider plant tubers are responsible for storing water and helping the plants thrive even when they are not watered for a few weeks. Like many root systems, as the plant becomes root-bound, the tubers can even reach the soil surface.

If you see one or two tubers on the surface, don’t worry, they will not hurt the plant as long as the plant and root system is healthy. However, if many tubers start to pop up, it’s time to move the plant to a bigger pot. You can also add some soil to the tubers to cover them up, but beware- a spider plant’s root system grows very quickly, and a root bound plant may crack its pot!

Can You Propagate Spider Plant Tubers? A Complete Guide - Houseplant Wizard (2)

Propagating With Spider Plant Tubers

To be able to propagate spider plant tubers correctly, you first need to know how spider plants grow. Tubers are responsible for generating rosettes in the plant (cluster of leaves that resemble a rose-like formation)

Next, the rosettes create the stems of the plant. Then, the stems produce sprouts that hang from the plant’s frame, just like spiders. These are often referred to as spider plant babies. Propagating spider plants by its tubers is quite a preferred way of raising them because they provide pre-emergence nourishment for the plant. Therefore, this pushes the growth of the shoots and the leaves.

(Video) Propagating all my indoor plants from cuttings in water during the lockdown | Try with me

To propagate a spider plant using its tubers, simply poke your finger into fresh soil about an inch or two deep (or more, depending on the tuber size), place the tuber and water. In about 4 to 6 weeks, new plant shoots will start showing.

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Pros And Cons Of Planting Spider Plant Tubers

Planting spider plant tubers offer several advantages over the other propagation methods. Nonetheless, there are also a few downsides. Some of these advantages and disadvantages are:

ProsCons
They accelerate spiderette emergence.They cannot be appropriately propagated in water.
These tubers provide nourishment for plantlets.Spider plant tubers are usually at risk of swelling.
They hold the growing plant better to the soil.Excessive soil water affects spider plant tubers to a higher level.
Propagating in soil may lead to a better root system and healthier plant overallSoil propagation takes longer than propagating spider plant babies in water, and its success depends on factors like humidity and soil health

If you decide that propagating spider plant tubers is not for you, don’t worry. You can also easily propagate this plant by planting its babies or by using its seed:

Planting Spider Plant Babies

Planting spider plant babies is another efficient way of growing spider plants. You can grow these plant babies in the soil, while attached to a mother plant, or in water.

If you’re having trouble growing spider babies on your plant, you might want to check out this article: Why are there no babies on my spider plant? 4 causes and solutions.

However to plant spider plant babies in the soil, take out the babies from the mother plant by removing them at their base. Ensure to avoid damaging the plant while at this. Next, fill a pot with loamy soil or seed starter and place the spiderettes in it; but ensure to cover the roots with soil.

(Video) Four simple ways to propagate indoor plants | Indoor Gardens | Gardening Australia

It’s best to grow these plants in transparent boxes with covers (like this one), where you can continuously mist the plant’s growing area and place it where it can access indirect, bright light. At this point, new growth indicates that the plant has established itself.

You can also grow spider plant babies attached to the mother plant by directing the spiderettes to come in contact with the growth medium. However, these spiderettes must still be attached to the mother plant. So, they now develop roots and grow swiftly because of their double nutrient source.

The final way you can propagate spider plant babies is in water. To do this, simply place a spider plant baby in non-chlorinated water and wait for roots to show. Make sure to change the water every five days to avoid fungus and disease.

Can You Propagate Spider Plant Tubers? A Complete Guide - Houseplant Wizard (4)

Pros And Cons of Planting Spider Plant Babies

Planting spider plant babies also offers several advantages and downsides, here are a few:

ProsCons
They can be efficiently propagated in water.Plantlets could rot when moved into the soil.
The ones grown while being attached to the mother plant enjoy two nutrient sources.Spider plant babies can be weaker if initially rooted in water.
They do well even in minimal sunlight due to the presence of already developed leaves.Takes time for the plant babies to recover when singled out and planted on their own.

Planting Spider Plant Seeds

The third method to propagate this popular plant is through spider plant seeds.

To plant spider seeds, place them in a soil mix for seed starting. Ensure to avoid sowing them farther into the soil. Push the seeds about a half inch down and spread a thin layer of soil over them.

(Video) How To Propagate Houseplants From Cuttings | How To Water Propagate Indoor Plants

You can also plant the spider plant seeds in a tray placed on a heating mat to accelerate the entire process. Next, evenly mist the seeds with a spray bottle and always maintain the soil in a slightly moist condition.

Within two weeks, spider plant seedlings would emerge from the soil. Always place these growing plants in an area accessible to bright light. Remember that growing spider plants from seeds requires higher effort, so it is always preferable to go for the tubers and plantlets.

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Pros And Cons of Planting Spider Plant Seeds

Despite the immense benefits of planting spider plant seeds, there are also a few demerits. Both are pointed out below:

ProsCons
Takes less time to carry out.There is a need for high humidity for the seeds to pick up.
The resultant seedlings grow swiftly after repotting.Can allow uneven growth of plants due to differences in nutrient uptake.
Allows the spider plant to get more used to its surroundings.Can give rise to deficient and patchy growth.

As you can see, propagating spider plants is quite simple, and growing them yourself shouldn’t be much of a problem. You can achieve this in various ways, but remember that planting the plant tubers is one of the most efficient ways to grow the plant. Therefore, go on and plant yourself some spider plant tubers!

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FAQs

Can spider plant tubers be propagated? ›

You can root them in soil while they're still attached to the mother plant. Or you can cut them off and either root them in water, or propagate your spider plantlets in a propagation box.

What are three ways to propagate spider plants? ›

There are three ways to propagate spider plant babies: by cutting them off and planting them alone in soil; by planting them in soil while they are still attached to the mother plant, severing them off of the mother plant later; and in water.

Can you plant spider plant babies directly into soil? ›

When you're ready to propagate your spider plant babies, you have the option of rooting the plantlets by growing directly in soil or you can choose to root them in water.

Can you root spider plant babies in water? ›

Set the new baby plants into a cup of water for a few days (about five should do it) to help the roots grow out a bit, and then you can plant them in potting soil. To plant, grab a four-inch (or smaller) pot and fill it with potting mix. Make a little hole in the center with your finger.

How long should baby spider plant roots be before planting? ›

When the roots are about 5 cm (2 inches), you can put them in soil. This way you can watch the root grow and you can plant them in soil later on.

What do you do with a spider plant tuber? ›

To propagate a spider plant using its tubers, simply poke your finger into fresh soil about an inch or two deep (or more, depending on the tuber size), place the tuber and water. In about 4 to 6 weeks, new plant shoots will start showing.

Where do you cut spider plants to propagate? ›

Cut them from the long stems. Follow the runner and make the cut right above where the baby attaches. Place the spider plant babies in a small glass vessel with a little bit of water. You want the water to only cover the nubby roots of the baby plant.

Can you root spider plants in water? ›

Many houseplants are easy to grow in water for a period of time, such as Pothos and spider plants. Taking cuttings or offsets is an easy way to propagate a favorite plant. These cuttings root quickly in just a glass of water. Once rooting is established, the new plant needs nutrients for future development.

Can I regrow a spider plant from the roots? ›

Yes, probably: Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) regrow roots very easily. Use pruning shears or sharp scissors to snip the long, fleshy section of the root about an inch below the knotty-looking cluster of small aerial roots, says BBG's Jennifer Williams. Trim back the remaining stub, which may send out new growth.

Can you propagate spider plant without roots? ›

The only ways to make new spider plants are to grow them from seed, divide, or cut spiderettes and root them in water, soil, or via their stolon. You can't grow spider plants from leaf cuttings.

Can you propagate a spider plant without babies? ›

While many plant enthusiasts prefer propagating spider plants with super cute spiderettes, you can propagate these plants without them. Although this method is a tad messier and requires a larger, more mature plant, spider plants can be divided and put into new pots.

Do spider plants grow better in water or soil? ›

Grow in a soil-based, well-draining potting mix. Spider plants like even moisture; they don't like to be too dry or too wet. Keep plants in bright to moderate indirect sunlight. Spider plants do not appreciate direct, hot sunlight, which can burn their leaves, causing brown tips and spots.

How long should spider plant roots be before potting? ›

Waiting until there is at least an inch or two of root growth will make it easier to transition them into a pot of soil.

What kind of potting soil do you use for spider plants? ›

Plant spider plants in Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix. Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

How long can spider plant babies live in water? ›

Step 1: Planting spider plant babies in soil is the quickest way to get them to take root; however, if you don't have soil available (or you want to start your new plant in a way that causes less of a mess), you can place the spiderette in some water for one to two weeks.

Should I cut the pups off my spider plant? ›

Pruning spider plants keeps them at a more desirable and manageable size and rejuvenates their overall health and vigor. In addition, the more babies it produces, the more the plant needs fertilizer and water as this uses up much of its energy. Therefore, the spiderettes should be removed as well.

Can you leave the pups on spider plants? ›

Sometimes your spider plant will sprout little babies. If you are growing the plant indoors, Bendall suggests leaving them alone. "They are called pups and are like newborns. While the pup is still attached to its mother, plant it in its own container in lightweight, easily drainable soil.

What are the bulbs in a spider plant? ›

Spider plants form dense, fleshy clusters of tubers. These are the source of the shoots and leaves and are companions of the root system. Tubers are white, smooth, twisting masses that may push to the surface of the soil.

What do I do with all my spider plant babies? ›

Cut the spider plant babies off of the mother plant and then put those cuttings into small pots. They'll be planted directly in the soil and you can allow them to propagate there. It might take some time for the roots to establish, and this means that you might not notice new growth for a bit.

Should I cut the brown tips off my spider plant? ›

Once your spider plant's leaf tips turn brown, there is nothing you can do once the damage is already done. Simply trim the brown leaf tips off with a pair of sharp scissors.

Can you split a spider plant at the root? ›

Can you split a spider plant? Yes, you can.

Can spider plants grow in rocks? ›

Spider Plant Basic Information

This plant can easily be grown in hydroculture (growing in rocks). It should be kept pot-bound and well-fed and it will thrive.

How do you separate spider plant bulbs? ›

Separate the tubers to divide the plant.

The root base of a spider plant is made up of water-rich tuberous roots. A network of roots grows from each tuber. Pull the tubers apart into 2 to 3 smaller clusters using your fingers. The roots of the plant will separate from each other to stay with their attached tuber.

Why won't my spider plant produce babies? ›

If your spider plant is not producing spider babies, this is because the plant has not matured, the pot is too large which redirects energy to growing roots rather then producing babies or because spider plants are short day plants that require darkness to form flowers from which the babies develop.

Does milk help spider plants? ›

You will want to just add just a tablespoon or two of milk to a quart-size pitcher filled with water. Mix it and then pour the diluted milk into the soil once or twice a month. I've tried it and had great success with my Jade Plant, English Ivy, Parlor Palm, and Spider Plant.

Do spider plants like big or small pots? ›

Spider plants don't need big pots necessarily, as the best pot size is about one or two larger than the plant's root ball. The best thing to remember is to look for signs that the plant needs re-potting before deciding to upgrade to a slightly larger pot.

Do spider plants need misting? ›

Your Spider Plant will do well in normal household humidity but will thrive with a bit more humidity. Brown leaf tips may indicate the air is too dry, so mist your Spider Plant regularly using a Mister. Your plant prefers temperatures between 60–80° F.

Should I use potting soil when repotting a spider plant? ›

Spider plants don't tolerate wet soil for very long. Use a general-purpose potting soil or soilless medium for spider plant repotting. Fill the bottom of the pot with soil, then place the plant's roots in the soil. Keep adding soil and tucking it around the roots until all the roots are covered.

How often do you change the soil in a spider plant? ›

If it's autumn or winter, wait until spring; during the growing season, you can go ahead and repot whenever you'd like. A healthy, growing spider plant can usually be repotted once every 1-2 years.

Can spider plant grow without roots? ›

The only ways to make new spider plants are to grow them from seed, divide, or cut spiderettes and root them in water, soil, or via their stolon. You can't grow spider plants from leaf cuttings.

Can you grow a spider plant from a cutting? ›

The spider plant is one of the easiest houseplants to grow new spider plants from cuttings.

Will a spider plant root in water? ›

Many houseplants are easy to grow in water for a period of time, such as Pothos and spider plants. Taking cuttings or offsets is an easy way to propagate a favorite plant. These cuttings root quickly in just a glass of water. Once rooting is established, the new plant needs nutrients for future development.

Where do you cut a spider plant to propagate? ›

Cut them from the long stems. Follow the runner and make the cut right above where the baby attaches. Place the spider plant babies in a small glass vessel with a little bit of water. You want the water to only cover the nubby roots of the baby plant.

Can you propagate spider plants without babies? ›

While many plant enthusiasts prefer propagating spider plants with super cute spiderettes, you can propagate these plants without them. Although this method is a tad messier and requires a larger, more mature plant, spider plants can be divided and put into new pots.

Where do you cut spider plant babies? ›

Once you see small knobs and roots on the bottom of your spiderettes, that's when you'll know they're ready for cutting — either by snipping the runners or leaving them attached to the parent plant. If your spiderettes don't have roots yet, or if they're tiny nubs, then wait until the babies are a little more mature.

Why does my spider plant have no babies? ›

If your spider plant is not producing spider babies, this is because the plant has not matured, the pot is too large which redirects energy to growing roots rather then producing babies or because spider plants are short day plants that require darkness to form flowers from which the babies develop.

Do spider plants have rhizomes? ›

Spider plants (Chlorophytum) are rhizomatous herbs. This means they have rhizomes, and these have varying definitions, such as (1) specialized stem structures, (2) enlarged underground storage structures, and (3) an underground stem often enlarged by food storage.

Can spider plants grow in an office with no windows? ›

Snake and spider plants are incredibly indulgent, and can thrive in those gloomy corners of your house or office, that barely any sun touches. They are not even that demanding when it comes to watering as they need to be watered only when the top layer of the soil is completely dry.

Can you leave spider plant babies attached? ›

Sometimes your spider plant will sprout little babies. If you are growing the plant indoors, Bendall suggests leaving them alone. "They are called pups and are like newborns. While the pup is still attached to its mother, plant it in its own container in lightweight, easily drainable soil.

What kind of soil do spider plants like? ›

Plant spider plants in Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix. Water when the top inch of soil is dry.

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