Common Spider Plant Problems

Spider Plant Is Dying

Spider plants are easy to grow and maintain, and while they are forgiving, they prefer a certain level of care. Bright, indirect sunlight is necessary for these plants to thrive. Use a moist, rich potting mix that dries out and allows excess water to drain. Water when the top few inches of potting mix are dry and increase the humidity around the plant to keep the leaves lush and healthy. Feed the plants every two to four weeks during the growing season using a balanced plant food.

Inspect the plant if you notice signs of decline. Check the foliage and note the color. Observe the amount of sunlight and humidity in the area. Try to remember the last time the plant was watered and fertilized, and feel the potting mix to gauge how dry or wet it is. These houseplants are usually low maintenance and rarely fail unless their basic care needs are not met. Looking at the plant itself and the environment will help you determine the cause of the problem.

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Spider Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellow leaves on a spider plant often indicate a watering issue. A plant that is under or overwatered may develop yellow foliage. A rootbound plant can also develop yellow leaves because the plant cannot absorb enough moisture. Most of the water runs straight through the container when a plant is rootbound because little soil is available to retain moisture.

Check the soil and only water when the top few inches of potting mix are dry. Also, check if the roots are growing above the soil line or coming through the drainage holes to determine if the spider plant is rootbound. Transplant the plant into a new, larger pot if necessary and replenish the soil.

Spider Plant Pests

Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites are the most common pests to harm a spider plant. Look for signs of foliage damage, webs, waste, or bugs to determine the type of pest. In most instances, rinsing the plant and cleaning the foliage will remove the pests. Move the infested plant away from other plants to prevent the spread. Follow up by spraying the plant with a horticultural oil. It may take several applications of horticultural oil to effectively kill the pests and their larvae. Continually inspect the plant and remove it from isolation after it has been pest-free for several weeks. 

Spider Plant Diseases

Spider plants generally stay disease-free, but they are susceptible to fungal leaf and root rot in certain conditions. Fungal problems usually arise from overly damp conditions. Overwatered plants without adequate drainage are more likely to experience fungal problems. Plants in an area with increased humidity but limited sunlight are also more vulnerable.

Treat a spider plant infected with fungal leaf or root rot by removing the damaged sections. Place the plant in bright, indirect sunlight and allow the top several inches of potting mix to dry before watering. Transplant the spider plant into a container with drainage holes and well-drained soil if necessary.

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Spider Plant Not Blooming

Spider plants bloom when they receive ideal care, so improve the quality of care if your plant is not blooming. The plant needs bright, indirect light and ideally increased sunlight during the summer compared to the winter to bloom well. Routinely fertilize the plant during the growing season to help it thrive and produce the energy necessary to bloom.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 12-15-2023