The spider plant, which is justifiably among the most well-liked houseplants, is also a tough plant that does well in virtually any space. It can withstand a variety of growth circumstances, is simple to grow, and can withstand occasional periods of neglect. It makes sense why the spider plant is so beloved by beginner plant parents. In addition to its appeal, it also has another benefit: It is a superb air purifier, and one plant can purify the air in an entire bedroom or bathroom.
The spider plant often grows quickly. In six to twelve months, under ideal circumstances, the leaf rosette will grow to a height of 12 to 15 inches and a width of the same. The adult spider plant follows long branches with tiny white blooms in the spring or summer, followed by offsets or baby spider plants. In order to avoid cutting the young plants, it is most frequently cultivated in hanging pots, where it creates a lovely cascade of new foliage.
But is this plant ideal for all plant owners? Does it grow very large or stay relatively small? In this guide, we’ll break down the spider plant’s size range so you can make a more informed decision about growing this interesting plant indoors.
How Fast Can a Spider Plant Grow?
Spider plants may readily outgrow their pots due to their speedy growth. A spider plant should be replanted or repotted every other year or so to meet this growth pace. The majority of spider plant species typically grow between 12 and 15 inches in height every six to twelve months. That is a significant fluctuation, but you can be certain that after a year, your spider plant will grow at least a foot.
In general, that height is the maximum height for a mature spider plant. However, some varieties of Chlorophytum comosum have been known to grow as long as two feet or even larger. If cared for properly in a hanging basket, the long cascading leaves could get very long.
The spider plant’s leaves typically grow upward before bending and arcing downward as it becomes bigger. As a result, the plant’s base can only grow to a maximum height of 12 inches. On the other hand, the leaves, which may reach lengths of many feet, give the plant its downward length. The stolons, which are stems that house “spiderettes” or the plant’s offshoots, likewise develop in an arc form. Only if the plant is a few years old will it begin to produce spiderettes.
In general, though, the spider plant may reach a height of two to two-and-a-half feet when grown in a hanging basket, including any offset stalks. You must follow a few requirements if you want to produce a striking plant specimen with an appearance that will draw attention in any setting and continue to grow at a steady pace.
Is It Possible to Manipulate the Spider Plant’s Growth Speed?
The development of the spider plant requires sufficient illumination. Light is essential for plant growth and has a direct impact on how quickly plants grow. The Chlorophytum plant is flexible. It may live in locations that have almost no light. Unfortunately, some species that have striped green-white leaves may fully lose their pattern in such conditions. Other varieties will not grow as quickly in such an environment and their leaves will become darker and thinner. The greatest locations for this plant to display its complete ornamental potential are well-lit areas away from direct sunlight.
To put it simply, put your spider plant near an east or west-facing window for light in the morning and afternoon. If you place the plant outside a south-facing window, it has to be shaded during the warmest part of the day because the plant’s fragile leaves are prone to burning.
Proper growth also results from optimal irrigation. Chlorophytum stores water and nutrients in its fleshy, large root ball. In other words, the plant can use water resources to endure dry spells or periods of neglect. Less is more when it comes to Chlorophytum since the plant can go without water for one or two days but struggles if its substrate is always wet. In general, water it every fifteen days in the winter and twice a week in the summer. That being said, irrigation should always be tailored to the unique circumstances in which each plant thrives, such as temperature, light exposure, humidity, plant size, or container size.
Before watering the plant, make sure the substrate in the container is dry to a depth of one inch using your finger. This reduces the danger of overwatering. Do not water the plant if the soil between your fingertips is still wet. This indicates that the plant has adequate water. A condition that is challenging to treat is rot of the thicker root of Chlorophytum, which is brought on by excessive water. Avoiding overwatering altogether is the best course of action for a fast-growing spider plant.
It’s also important to remember that the spider plant grows more slowly in colder climates. Clorophytum is a tropical plant that never experiences cold weather where it is native. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 35 degrees F. However, if you want a plant that grows and develops rather than just barely surviving, give it a temperature range of 65 degrees F to 80 degrees F all year round. At 45 to 60 degrees F, the plant won’t perish, but its growth will be slowed or stopped entirely.
Implementing fertilizer is necessary for additional growth if you want to give your spider plant a strong boost to help it develop more quickly. Supplementing your Chlorophytum’s soil is not necessary, but it is advantageous to add more nutrients to the soil to encourage the growth of new plants. For most spider plants you can apply ordinary fertilizer but only diluted to half the recommended quantity. Additionally, from spring through fall, apply fertilizer while watering once every 15 days. Reduce feeding to once a month in the winter.
Another crucial element for the growth of the spider plant is humidity. Dry air in the space where the plant is growing hinders plant development and can cause brown and dry peaks to emerge on the leaves. Misting is an easy way to increase the humidity. Mist your plant a few times each week with soft, stagnant water that is at room temperature with a fine mist sprayer. The ideal time to do this is first thing in the morning to ensure that the plant receives the moisture it needs all day.
Finally, pick a soil composition that will promote the growth of spider plants. As long as the soil is nutrient-rich, airy, and light enough, this plant doesn’t have many soil preferences. It may be grown in a commercial pot substrate with one-third of perlite added to the mix to increase aeration. Avoid using regular garden soil since it tends to be excessively heavy and keeps moisture for too long, disrupting plant metabolism. Any surplus water will drain out of the container if a drainage layer made of tile fragments or coarse gravel is put over the water drain hole, which can be beneficial for your plant’s roots.
Is Repotting Necessary for Spider Plant Growth?
Although this plant doesn’t mind being root-bound, you should repot it every few years in the spring using a free-draining container and ordinary potting soil to give it the room it needs to expand its roots. This is especially true given that the rhizome roots of the spider plant store water.
If the soil is still moist half an inch deep several days after watering, you should repot in a larger pot for improved drainage because these rhizomes can occupy a lot of area in the pot. Be careful while choosing your pot since the spider plant has been known to damage or bend clay or plastic containers with its roots.
Common Problems, Pests, and Diseases That Affect Spider Plant Growth
Brown tips, fading green leaves, and drooping or dying leaves are typical indicators of hydration issues that will cause your spider plant to cease growing. If the tips are brown, your water may contain too many chemicals and will need a good chlorine-removing product. For the spider plant, it is advised that you use distilled water, especially if you have a water softener in your tap water.
You might need to water the plant extra if the green leaves start to fade, which can be another symptom that will lead to a lack of growth. Double-check to make sure the soil is not too wet if the leaves are fading but also withering or dying. A severe case of root rot, which can result in the leaves dying off, can develop pretty quickly.
Can I Prune My Spider Plant to Keep It Small?
As was previously noted, spider plants may grow up to two feet in length and diameter under ideal conditions. Consequently, trimming spider plants is sometimes beneficial for size control. This is often carried out in the spring or, more frequently, the summer.
Spider plants may be kept at a more desired and controllable size and have their general health and vitality restored through pruning. Additionally, when the plant expends a lot of energy producing more offspring (called spiderettes), the more fertilizer and water it needs. Consequently, the spiderettes had to be eliminated as well to keep the mother plant healthy. These may then be used to create more plants through propagation, which root in a few weeks when placed in wet soil or water.
Any foliage that has to be clipped should be removed from the plant’s base. When trimming spider plants, be sure to always use sharp pruners or scissors. As required, remove all dead, diseased, or discolored leaves. Cut the long stems from the mother plant and the young plant back to the base to get rid of the spiderettes. Repotting and trimming may both be required for plants that are crowded in their pots or are overgrown. Repot the spider plant after pruning, giving it a thorough root trim before putting it back in the container with new soil. Root pruning should typically be done at least once per year or so.
The spider plant is a fun little plant to grow indoors or outdoors. You can do quite a bit to encourage growth or keep your spider plant from getting too large. We’d recommend this plant for beginners, as it is easy to grow and also easy to control in terms of size.
Do you want to learn even more about the incredible and resilient spider plant? Take a look at our complete guide to spider plants here!
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How large do spider plants get?
The size of your spider plant depends on its variety and care. However, in general, your spider plant will reach around 15 inches in height.
Can spider plants be kept small?
Yes. With regular pruning, you can keep your spider plants as small as you’d like.
Do spider plants thrive in small or large pots?
Spider plants rarely need large pots, but they do well in pots that are one to two times the size of their root ball.
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- NCSU Staff, Available here: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/chlorophytum-comosum/
- Susan Mahr, Available here: https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/spider-plant-chlorophytum-comosum/
- Mike Smith, Available here: https://cuttingedgeplants.com/how-big-do-spider-plant-get/