Spider plants make wonderful houseplants that are very easy to grow. But did you know that this common houseplant can also produce seeds? Yes, and it’s easy to grow spider plants from seed too! Here are step-by-step instructions for how to collect and grow spider plant seeds, and care for spider plant seedlings.
I have three large spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), and they never produced seeds until after I started putting them outside for the summer. Shortly after I brought them inside that first fall, I noticed that all of them were dropping seeds.
So, of course I had to collect the seeds and plant them to see if they were actually viable. It was a fun experiment, and I learned a ton about growing spider plants from seed.
Wait, Do Spider Plants Flower?
Maybe you never noticed this before, but spider plants bloom during the summer. The tiny little white spider plant flowers are insignificant and, when left unpollinated, they will just drop from the plant.
BUT, when spider plant flowers are pollinated… Yep, you guessed it, they will produce seeds!
How To Pollinate Spider Plant Flowers
In order for a spider plant to produce seeds, the flowers must be pollinated. You can do this yourself, or put your spider plant outside and let the bees do the work for you.
To pollinate spider plants yourself, simply take your finger or a cotton swab and gently rub the inside of a flower. Then use the same finger/swab to go from flower to flower, gently rubbing the inside of each one to spread the pollen around.
If pollination is successful, then once the flowers dry up and fall off, a bunch of green spider plant seed pods will be left behind. Woohoo!
How To Collect Spider Plant Seeds
Allow the spider plant seed pods to dry out on the plant until they turn brown and start to split open. Once the spider plant seed pods split open, you’ll see black seeds inside. Spider plant seeds are the size and shape of garden pepper seeds.
To make it easier to collect spider plant seeds, put the plant in a place where the seeds won’t get lost once they start to fall out of the seed pods.
You could also clip or pinch off the spider plant seed pods as they start to split open, and drop them into a paper bag or container. Then shake the container, or gently pinch the seed pods to collect the seeds.
How To Plant Spider Plant Seeds
Once you collect the seeds, they are ready to plant right away, or you can store the seeds for a short time and plant them later.
But spider plant seeds don’t store well, so it’s best to sow them as soon as you can. You can plant each spider plant seed individually, or you can just plant the whole seed pod.
Plant the seeds as you would any other seed, in a loose seed starting soil mix. 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. To help the seeds grow faster, put the seedling tray on a heating mat or over a heat vent (putting seedling trays over a heat vent will make them dry out faster though).
In a couple of weeks, you should start to see tiny spider plant seedlings starting to emerge from the soil. It can take a month or so for spider plant seeds to germinate, so be patient.
How To Care For Spider Plant Seedlings
Sometimes it’s hard to wait to start potting up seedlings, but spider plant seedlings are very delicate. It’s best to wait until they have several leaves before repotting them.
It takes several weeks for spider plant seedlings to get large enough to repot (the seedlings in my pictures are way too small for repotting).
As your spider plant seedlings start to grow a few leaves, you can begin to fertilize them. Start by giving them a weak dose of fertilizer, and then slowly increase it to full strength as the spider plant seedlings start to grow larger.
I use (and highly recommend) organic indoor plant food, and an organic compost solution on my seedlings – they work better than chemical fertilizers and are much healthier for the environment. Fish emulsion also works great, but it can get a little stinky when used indoors.
You can continue to use the same fertilizer throughout the life of your spider plants (only fertilize houseplants during the spring and summer months though).
My experiment with starting spider plant seeds was a great success. In this experiment, I planted six seeds, and five of them germinated and grew into cute little spider plants. A few of the variegated spider plant seedlings even kept their variegation, which I’m thrilled about.
Most indoor gardeners have experimented with spider plant propagation by rooting the small spider plant babies to produce brand new plants. But it’s fun to experiment with different ways to propagate plants, like grow them from seed. Plus you can share spider plant seeds with friends, or trade them for other seeds.
I have never seen spider plant seeds for sale before, so I’m not sure where you could buy them. But mature plants can produce seeds every year, so if you don’t have a spider plant houseplant of your own, talk to your friends and neighbors to see if they’ll save seeds for you!
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Click here to find out more ways to collect your own seeds… Collecting and Storing Seeds
Have you ever grown spider plants from seed? Share you experiences in the comments below.