A reader on my Facebook page recently asked me to write a post about how to propagate spider plants. Great topic idea! Well, the good news is that spider plants are one of the easiest types of houseplant to propagate. It’s so easy that soon you’ll have tons of new spider plants.
Spider plants usually flower in the summer, and new offshoots (called babies or plantlets) grow out of those flowers. There are several ways to propagate spider plants. The most common is by rooting the babies and growing them as new plants. I recommend waiting until the babies have begun growing starter root formations on their own before attempting to root them. If the spider plant baby doesn’t have any signs of starter roots or only has tiny nubs, it probably won’t root.
A Simple Method for Propagating Spider Plants
- Once you determine a plantlet is ready to be rooted, you can remove it from the mother by cutting it off. Sometimes the babies will come off easily when you disturb them.
- The easiest way to root spider plant babies is by putting them in water until new root shoots pop out. Before you put them in water, cut or pinch off any foliage that is growing at the base of the baby or growing under the roots. Any foliage that is submerged under the water will rot. I like using a deep, clear vase to root my spider plant babies. Only fill the vase enough to cover the roots of the baby plant. If the plantlet sits in water that’s too deep, it will rot. Using a tall vase keeps the plantlets upright and helps hold the foliage out of the water.
- Two weeks after I put the above plantlets in water, they had new roots shooting out. Allow the babies to grow several new roots before transplanting into dirt. This plantlet is ready to be planted into a new pot.
- After planting the rooted baby into its own pot, water it well, allowing the excess water to drain out the bottom of the pot. Keep the soil evenly moist until the plant has become established in its new pot. You may also want to mist it daily or keep it in a humid room (like a bathroom or kitchen) during this time. Once you see new growth, that means the plant is established and you can stop babying it.
In addition to rooting in water, there are a couple of other methods you could use to propagate a spider plant.
Related Post: Collecting and Sowing Spider Plant Seeds
Propagation Box or Mini Greenhouse
Spider plant babies are pretty easy to root in a light rooting mix or potting soil. The key to getting them to root directly in soil is to keep the air around the plantlet very humid, which can be difficult in an average home. The easiest way to do this is by using a DIY propagation box or mini dome greenhouse that contains a light soil mix of vermiculite, peat moss and perlite. You could also create a mini greenhouse by covering the plantlet and soil with a plastic bag. If you try this method, dipping the root nubs in rooting hormone will help the baby sprout roots faster.
Root Babies in Dirt while still Attached to the Mother Plant
Simply put a pot of dirt next to the mother plant and stick the starter roots of the baby into the dirt. Keeping the plantlets attached to the mother plant makes rooting them in dirt a bit easier, but you still need to keep the air around the baby humid enough to encourage it to grow its own roots. You can use rooting hormone with this method to speed up root growth too.
Root Division of the Mother Plant
If your spider plant doesn’t have many babies, you can propagate the mother plant by dividing the rootball. This can be difficult on a mature plant. Mature spider plants have a very dense root ball that will probably need to be cut with a sterile knife in order to split the plant.
Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to propagate, and the perfect one to start with if you’re just learning! Soon you’ll have tons of new plants to fill your home, or even share with your friends and family (plants make a great gift)!
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For more details about propagating your favorite houseplants, click here… Houseplant Propagation
Do you propagate plants? Leave a comment below and tell me which plants are your favorite to propagate.