How to Propogate a Spider Plant in 3 Easy Ways | LoveToKnow (2023)

ByColleen Vanderlinden

Colleen Vanderlinden

Colleen calls herself garden-obsessed. She is an avid gardener who has published two edible gardening books for Lone Pine Publishing.

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Expert Gardener, Author

Published April 20, 2021

Spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate. In truth, for a couple of these methods, they do most of the work for you. Learning how to propagate spider plant is easy; the hard part will be finding space for all of those baby spider plants once you get started.

Spider Plant Propagation

Spider plants, if they're growing well and are healthy, will bloom, and from these blooms, will produce new little baby spider plants also known as "pups" or "spiderettes" at the end of those flower stalks. You can leave these baby spider plants attached, and soon you'll have an almost Dr. Seuss-like plant, with all of the little spider plants sort of seeming to dance and hover around the mother plant. But, these little spider plants can also be easily propagated, giving you MORE plants. Never a bad thing. And, if your spider plant isn't making pups, no worries -- there's still a way you can propagate it.

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How to Propagate Spider Plants With Spider Plant Babies

Once your spider plant has produced its pups, or baby plants (the botanical term is "plantlets," but you'll most often see them referred to as pups), you can propagate easily using one of these new little spider plants. There are two ways to do that.

Remove and Root the Spider Plant Pup

This is an easy method if you're getting a spider plant pup from someone else, or can't easily propagate near the mother plant.

  1. Remove the baby spider plant off of the mother plant by using a pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut it off of the stem that attaches it to the mother plant.
  2. It's also a good idea at this time to cut the stem completely off of the mother plant, since there's no longer a pup there for it to support. It doesn't add anything to the mother plant at this point.
  3. Prepare a small pot of good quality potting soil. A two to three inch diameter pot will be the perfect size to start with.
  4. Moisten the soil well, letting any excess water drain out of the pot.
  5. Set your spider plant pup on top of the soil, gently pressing the base of it into the surface of the soil.
  6. Place a clear plastic cup or glass or a clear plastic bag over the cutting. This will keep in humidity and aid rooting.
  7. Place the newly potted cutting in an area with medium to bright indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist.
  8. After a few weeks, your spider plant will have rooted.
  9. You can now remove the plastic and place your spider plant wherever you'd like.
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Root a Spider Plant Baby Still Attached to the Mother Plant

This is the simplest, most guaranteed way to propagate spider plants.

  1. Fill a small two to three inch diameter pot with good quality potting soil and get it evenly moist, letting any excess water drain out.
  2. Find a spot within reach of the mother plant where there are pups coming off. Setting the smaller pot on a nearby shelf, plant stand, or even in a small hanging basket will work.
  3. Bend the stem holding the pup down so that the base of the pup touches the top of the soil in the smaller pot.
  4. Hold the stem down with either a small garden pin, a paper clip, or a rock. You want to keep the pup in constant contact with the surface of the soil.
  5. Wait, and keep the soil in the smaller pot evenly moist. In a few weeks, it will have produced its own set of roots.
  6. Once the baby plant has formed roots, you can cut it off of the mother plant with a pair of pruners or scissors, and place the pot wherever you like.

How to Propagate Spider Plants From Divisions

If you don't have any pups forming, you can still propagate a spider plant. Spider plants form new shoots as the roots grow in the pot. You can divide these shoots from the mother plant to start new plants.

  1. Fill a four-inch pot with good quality potting soil.
  2. Remove the spider plant from its pot. Look for a shoot near the edge of the main clump of foliage. This will be what you'll remove from the plant for your division.
  3. Gently work your fingers around the shoot, starting to carefully pry it away from the mother plant. Try to keep as many of the shoot's roots intact as you do this. You may need to cut a bit to get it cleanly removed from the plant.
  4. Once you've removed it, you'll have a small shoot of spider plant, with roots attached.
  5. Plant this into the four-inch pot, carefully filling and gently firming around the roots. It should be planted at the same depth it was growing when it was attached to the mother plant.
  6. Water well, and place in a spot with medium to bright indirect light, or it can go into a low light area as long as it has a bit of supplemental lighting via a lamp. The additional light will help it root more quickly.

Keep the plant watered, and within a few weeks, you'll see new growth at the center of the plant. This is a sign that your division is healthy and that new roots are growing as well.

Bonus Tip: Propagating Spider Plants in Water

If you have a pup or a division and don't have soil available, you can root a spider plant in a vase of water. If you're rooting a pup, fill the vase so that the top of the water is just touching the base of the pup. It will root from this point. If you have a division, place the division in the vase or cup of water with the roots in the water and the foliage above the top of the water.

You can't grow a spider plant in water indefinitely, but it's a simple way to root or hold propagations until you can plant them in soil.

More Plants, Little Effort

Propagating spider plants is a straightforward process. Pot some up for yourself, or to share with any houseplant-loving friends.

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FAQs

What are three ways to propagate a spider plant? ›

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.

How do you propagate a spider plant? ›

Spider plant propagation simply involves planting the spiderette in a pot filled with any lightweight potting mix. Be sure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom. You can leave the baby attached to the parent plant until the new plant takes root, then separate it from the parent by snipping the runner.

Are spider plants easy to propagate? ›

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are popular hanging houseplants that are very easy to propagate. With the right care, mature spider plants grow babies, or pups, on long runner stems. Some call these baby plants Spiderettes. The spider plant babies grow roots fairly quickly, usually in about a week or two.

Where do you propagate a spider plant? ›

If your mother plant has baby plantlets, you can detach them from the stolon (the long stem the baby grows from) and root the babies. Cut the babies off, clipping as close to the spider plantlets as possible, removing the unattractive, yellowed stolon.

How do you propagate spider plants in water? ›

Fill a jar or glass with this non-chlorinated water and set the cutting into the container with the bulk of its leaves outside the liquid. Place the cutting in indirect light until it has developed roots. This is a fairly quick process. Frequent water changes are essential to good spider plant water cultivation.

Can you propagate spider plant leaves? ›

Can you propagate a spider plant from a leaf? Unlike other plants where you can take a leaf cutting and grow a new plant from it, spider plants can only be propagated via the spiderettes. If there are no spiderettes growing from your plant, don't worry.

How long does it take to propagate a spider plant? ›

You should start to see new growth in the form of new roots within a couple of weeks. Usually 7-10 days. Keep the dirt moist but not wet.

When should spider plants be propagated? ›

As soon as these little shoots are starting to grow their own roots, you know they're ready for propagation. You can choose to leave these baby plants on the parent plant, but you can also choose to propagate them and let them grow up to be big plants themselves. This is a picture of one of the spouts up close.

How do you propagate a spider plant from seed? ›

When growing a spider plant from seed, you should plant the seeds right away, as they don't store well. Sow the seeds about ½ inch (1.25 cm.) deep in good potting mix and keep them warm and moist. Spider plant seed germination usually takes a couple of weeks, so be patient.

Why isn't my spider plant propagation? ›

There are a few reasons why your spider plant babies won't root. They either weren't mature enough, they dried out, they were too wet and rotted, or the environment is too cold. Only use mature spiderlings that have their own roots forming, and make sure to keep them in a warm location.

Can you propagate spider plant in soil? ›

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.

Why doesn't my spider plant make 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.

Can a spider plant sit in water? ›

Never let your plants sit in standing water. To ensure maximum drainage, use orchid bark or peat moss at the bottom of the pot before adding soil. Because they are root-bound, spider plants only need to be re-potted approximately once every other year.

How big do spider plants get? ›

Plants grows 12-15″ tall. The thick, fleshy roots and rhizomes evolved to store water, allowing it to survive inconsistent watering. Spider plant produces small white flowers.

What are the 3 types of propagation? ›

Cuttings involve rooting a severed piece of the parent plant; layering involves rooting a part of the parent and then severing it; and budding and grafting is joining two plant parts from different varieties.

What is the most common method of propagation? ›

Propagating is the process of creating new plants that are identical to their parent plant. You can do it in four ways: the most common way is by growing roots from a cutting in water.

What is the easiest way of asexual plant propagation? ›

Cuttings – Cutting a portion of a leaf, stem, or root off the parent plant then replanting and therefore the plant begins to grow. This is the most common and widely used form of vegetative propagation.

Why is my spider plant all green? ›

Solid green spider plants occur naturally when plants revert to a parent plant. Variegation in plants is usually a genetic mutation. These mutations are propagated by breeders to create new plant varieties. Sometimes, the original genes can resurface.

Are spider plants poisonous? ›

Toxicity: non-toxic

These plants are not poisonous or there is no known record of toxicity.

What do spider plant babies look like? ›

During the summer, spider plants may produce tiny white flowers on long stems, as well as baby spider plants (offsets) called “pups.” The pups look like tiny spiders, hence the plant's name!

Why are my spider plant babies dying? ›

The reason for a dying spider plant is usually because of root rot due to over watering which causes the spider plant to droop and turn yellow with a dying appearance. Spider plants can die back due to excess fertilizer, under watering and low humidity which causes brown leaf tips.

Are spider plants toxic to cats? ›

Unlike peace lilies and pothos, Chlorophytum comosum is one houseplant that can be safely nibbled by your kitties without requiring a trip to the emergency animal hospital. According to both the ASPCA and the National Capital Poison Center, aka Poison Control, spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

How can you tell if a spider plant is male or female? ›

In a female the epigyne is situated on the underside of the abdomen. In a male, there are two thickened pedipalps at the front of the head. They look like two "boxing gloves" and are usually clearly visible! So if you see two thickened and hardened structures on the head, then it is certainly a male.

What type of vegetative propagation is spider plant? ›

Layering – Layering is propagation by means of allowing the plants stolons or runners to root themselves and grow into their own plants. Common plants that display this type of propagation are the vines and spider plants.

How do you propagate a spider plant without babies? ›

Propagating Without Spiderettes

The plants grow in clusters in the soil. To propagate by division, you'll need to remove the plant from its pot and gently brush away the soil to reveal the root system. In doing so, you'll be able to see the natural clumps of roots at the base of the plant.

What is the best way to grow spider plants? ›

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.

Do spider plants use vegetative propagation? ›

Spider plants can reproduce both sexually and asexually. The diagram below represents a spider plant reproducing asexually by a method known as vegetative propagation.

Do spider plants like milk? ›

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.

Can you propagate a spider plant from a leaf? ›

Can you propagate a spider plant from a leaf? Unlike other plants where you can take a leaf cutting and grow a new plant from it, spider plants can only be propagated via the spiderettes. If there are no spiderettes growing from your plant, don't worry.

When can I cut my baby spider plants? ›

As soon as these little shoots are starting to grow their own roots, you know they're ready for propagation. You can choose to leave these baby plants on the parent plant, but you can also choose to propagate them and let them grow up to be big plants themselves.

How do you grow spider plants from seed? ›

The rule of thumb for planting seeds is to plant them twice as deep as the seed is wide. So, for spider plant seeds, plant them about a 1/4″ – 1/2″ deep, then cover them with dirt. Keep the soil evenly moist until the spider plant seeds germinate.

Are spider plants toxic? ›

Toxicity: non-toxic

These plants are not poisonous or there is no known record of toxicity.

Is spider plant toxic to cats? ›

Unlike peace lilies and pothos, Chlorophytum comosum is one houseplant that can be safely nibbled by your kitties without requiring a trip to the emergency animal hospital. According to both the ASPCA and the National Capital Poison Center, aka Poison Control, spider plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Can spider plants grow in only water? ›

Plants get most of the nutrients they need through the soil, and hydroponic plants need to get theirs through the water instead. Regular tap water doesn't contain the necessary nutrients to keep a spider plant alive long term, and, depending on your municipal water treatment plant, may have too much chlorine.

How big can a spider plant get? ›

Plants grows 12-15″ tall. The thick, fleshy roots and rhizomes evolved to store water, allowing it to survive inconsistent watering. Spider plant produces small white flowers.

Do spider plants eat spiders? ›

Carnivorous pitcher plants eat a diet of certain spiders, regardless of what's on the menu.

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