How Repotting a Spider Plant the Right Way (5 Easy Steps)
Spider plant is one of the easiest plants to grow as it can reproduce quickly. Unfortunately, this could result in a crowded pot, thus they compete for plant resources. But don’t worry! I will teach you how to repot spider plants in the best way possible.
Spider plants reproduce quickly, so repotting is necessary at least once or twice a year. To repot a spider plant, one needs to 1) remove the plant from the pot, 2) clean the pots and inspect the roots and soil, 3) place new garden soil beneath the pot, 4) center the root ball, and 5) fill the sides with soil and water.
Most of the time, you can also notice baby spider plants around your main plant. Are these plants disadvantageous? Do you need to repot them? How? I know you have a lot of questions too. Let us answer each one of them by reading forward!
1. Remove the Spider Plant and Soil From the Original Pot
The first thing to do is to remove the spider plants and soil from the pot. This step will allow the gardener to clearly inspect the situation of the plant.
Do not just pull a spider plant by the stem because the stem may be damaged or separated from the roots.
Pro Tip: Spider plants can be easily removed by carefully holding the pot upside down and tapping the bottom of the pot. When you do this, you must hold the spider plant’s base between your fingers as you let gravity pull it out of the pot.
You may ask, why should I remove the plant and soil first? By doing this, it is easier to inspect the soil and the root system of your spider plants.
Inspecting the root system of your spider plants will help you strategize how to separate each plantlet from the other before transplanting.
Once you’ve finished inspecting the spider plants’ root systems, carefully sway the spider plants until all soil is removed from the roots.
Now, what is the benefit of inspecting the soil? The next section will reveal why!
2. Inspect the Spider Plant
Before repotting spider plants, it is essential to clean the pots, check the soil’s quality such as drainage and structure, and clear away any salt accumulation as manifested by white spots and layers.
To help you remember this better, I have the following 3C’s of inspecting spider plants: 1) clean, 2) check, and 3) clear away.
1. Clean the Pots
Sanitation is necessary in repotting spider plants. This will ensure that no plant pathogen will be transferred to the repotted plants.
You can use a diluted bleach solution (1 part of bleach is to 9 parts of water) to clean the pots, then rinse it with water.
Learn more about bleach in our article on cases, tips, and alternatives of bleach.
2. Check the Soil
To check the soil structure, ask the following questions:
- Is my soil too dry? If it is too dry, you might have underwatered your spider plant. You can moisten the soil or—even better—replace it with a premium soil like this on Amazon.
- Is my soil too mushy? This is a sign of overwatering. You’ll need to replace your soil.
- Does it have unusual debris? These unusual debris might be white in color and might be fungi! If you see this, it is better to replace your soil. Another possible reason for a white layer in your soil will be discussed below.
- Does it have an unpleasant odor? Foul soil odor is a sign of pathogen infestation or root rot! Replace your soil immediately.
3. Clear Away Salt Accumulation
Salt accumulation happens as a result of overfertilization. If you see this when you inspect your soil, it is best to replace your soil to provide a new and fresh medium for your spider plants!
When you provide too much synthetic fertilizer, it tends to build up in your soil. Salt will then accumulate which is seen white layers in the soil.
Reminder: Most houseplants do not need excessive fertilization! It is better to use slow-release fertilizers (e.g. liquid fertilizers in sprays) for them instead.
3. Place Potting Soil at the Bottom Portion of New Pot
A fresh set of soil must be used if the old soil of the spider plant is too dry, mushy, and has unwanted debris, foul odor, and/or salt accumulation. The new garden soil must be placed at the bottom 2-inch of the new pot.
This will serve as the base of the spider plants where roots can grow further. You can purchase the potting soil below on Amazon.
Ideal Pot Material and Size for Spider Plants
If you are deciding which pot is best for the new transplants, it is better to use a plastic pot that is less or equal to the diameter size of the pot you are currently using.
A pot measuring 6-8 inches in diameter is a good size to start repotted spider plants.
Below is a reusable plastic pot that I recommend for its reasonable price on Amazon.
Drainage Holes for Spider Plant Pots
Your pot must also have drainage holes to facilitate proper water resource management. Poor drainage will result in waterlogging which can further cause root rot.
Excessive drainage, on the other hand, will result in a growing medium that’s too dry. This can cause yellowing, browning, and/or drying of spider plant leaves.
4. Set the Root Ball an Inch Below the Pot Rim
The spider plant must be placed in the new pot after filling the bottom with soil. The root ball should be placed at the center and an inch below the top of the pot. When watering, this position will provide space for water to be in while the soil absorbs it.
What is the root ball? It is the portion of the plant where most roots are in.
Remember that it is a critical part of every transplant because any severe damage to the root ball may cause the death of the repotted spider plants.
5. Fill the Side Spaces With Garden Soil and Water
After setting the spider plant, fill the side spaces of the pot with garden soil. Water until the soil settles in place and holds the spider plant.
Make sure to fill the side spaces to secure the anchorage of your spider plant. Watering them will then provide the roots with the necessary agent to support root growth.
Discover repotting pitfalls in our article on herbs dying after repotting.
Is Repotting Needed for Spider Plants? (3 Benefits)
Repotting spider plants once or twice a year is beneficial since it lessens competition for resources, prevents stunted growth and yellow leaves, and keeps the root structure aerated.
1. Lessens Competition
Spider plants tend to grow quickly and dominate any pot where they are planted.
Thus, repotting them will lessen the competition for resources such as water, nutrients, and sunlight.
2. Prevents Stunted Growth and Yellow Leaves
When spider plants are deprived of water and soil nutrients, they turn yellow and growth is limited.
This is because the roots do not get enough water resources to power up biological processes such as photosynthesis that lead to optimum growth and development.
3. Keeps Aerated Root Structure
When spider plants are repotted, a gardener provides more space for roots to grow.
This further improves the aeration of the roots and makes sure that the roots do not block and tangle to the roots of each other.
How to Repot Spider Plant Babies (6 Steps for Propagation!)
Repotting and propagating spider plantlets is an excellent way to reproduce spider plants for business or recreation purposes. This can easily be done by cutting and planting the baby spider plants in smaller containers.
In order to repot spider plant babies, the following materials are needed:
- Sanitized scissors
- Small pots or reused and sanitized plastic cups
- Growing medium (e.g. garden soil mix, coco coir)
Follow these easy steps to propagate those spider babies.
- Sanitize every tool and material before repotting.
- Using your scissors, cut the baby spider plants near every base.
- Put growing medium inside the small pots while leaving an inch below the rim.
- Locate the baby spider plants at the center of the pots.
- Fill the pots completely with the growing medium until it can support the baby spider plant upright.
- Mist them with water.
After 1 to 2 months, they will be ready for transplant to bigger pots.
Can you trim the roots of spider plants?
The roots of spider plants can be trimmed to provide enough space when they are transplanted. A gardener can cut about 1 inch of the roots using sanitized pruning shears or scissors.
How much water do spider plants require?
Spider plants do not need extensive watering since it can result in waterlogging in the soil and harbor root diseases such as rotting. The key in caring for spider plants is feeling the soil once or twice a week. Water the spider plants once the soil feels extremely dry, typically once a week.
Should you fertilize your spider plants?
Use a slow-release fertilizer such as liquid plant food and apply it on spider plants using a spray. Overfertilization using synthetic fertilizers can lead to salt buildup that will cause the yellowing and browning of spider plant leaves.
Summary of Repotting a Spider Plant
Spider plants grow quickly, thus repotting is best done once or twice a year. This management practice helps the plants by lessening competition, preventing stunted growth and leaf yellowing, and keeping the root structure aerated.
To repot a spider plant, one needs to remove the spider plant from the pot, inspect the spider plant roots and soil, sanitize the pot, place a new garden soil below the pot, set the root ball’s position at the center, and then fill the sides with soil and water.
Baby spider plants can also be propagated easily by just cutting them using sanitized pruning shears or scissors, transferring each plantlet to small containers with growing medium, and watering them.
- “How to Repot a Houseplant” by Strickland, J. in North Carolina State University
- “Spider Plant” in University of Florida
- “Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum” by Mahr, S. in University of Wisconsin-Madison
- “What are spider plants?” in Colorado State University