πŸ•· How Can You Tell If A Spider Plant Is Dying?

By Kiersten Rankel

Jun 17, 20246 min read

Revive your spider plant 🌿 by learning to decode its SOS signals and act swiftly!

Spider plant
  1. Wilting or yellowing leaves signal over/underwatering or root rot.
  2. Brown tips and stunted growth indicate fluoride toxicity or cramped roots.
  3. Prevent issues with proper watering, light, and regular inspections.

Signs of an Unhealthy Spider Plant

Wilting leaves can be the plant's cry for help, often a sign of either too much love (overwatering) or neglect (underwatering). Check the soil's moisture before reaching for the watering can.

Browning leaves are like the plant's way of saying it's stressed out. Maybe it's the tap water's fluoride or just a cry for more humidity. Consider switching to distilled water and misting occasionally.

Yellowing leaves scream 'I'm not okay!' It could be a sunburn from too much light or a sign of root rot from soggy soil conditions. Move it out of the spotlight and ensure proper drainage.

Stunted growth is the plant's form of a protest. It might be rebelling against cramped quarters or poor soil. Think about upsizing its home and giving it a soil refresh.

Drooping foliage is the ultimate slump. It's either too thirsty, too flooded, or just pouting for better light. Adjust watering and lighting to perk those leaves back up.

Remember, spider plants are resilient but not invincible. Keep an eye out for these signs, and you'll be on your way to nursing your green buddy back to health.

Spider Plant in a hanging wicker basket near a window with some yellowing and browning leaves.

Common Issues Specific to Spider Plant

🌱 Root Rot

Yellowing leaves and mushy stems are telltale signs of root rot, often accompanied by a foul odor from the soil. Overwatering and poor drainage are the culprits. To combat root rot, repot the plant in well-draining soil and adjust your watering habits to let the soil dry between waterings.

πŸ‚ Brown Tips on Leaves

Brown, crispy tips on leaves scream fluoride or chlorine toxicity, or a cry for higher humidity. Switch to distilled water to avoid chemicals and consider a room humidifier to keep the air moist.

πŸ„ Spider Plant Fungus

Spot brown lesions on leaves or a creepy web-like growth? It's likely fungus due to overwatering or poor air circulation. Snip the affected leaves and promote better airflow to give your plant a fighting chance.

🐜 Pest Infestations (Spider Mites, Mealybugs)

Webbing and tiny white bugs are the horror show of any plant parent. Overwatering and introducing infested plants to your home are usually to blame. Isolate the plant and break out the neem oil or insecticidal soap to evict these unwanted guests.

🌞 Sunburn

Faded or bleached patches are a sign your Spider Plant is getting too much sun. Direct sunlight is a no-go. Move your plant to a spot where the light is bright but indirect to prevent those unsightly sunburns.

🏠 Pot-Bound Plant

Stunted growth and roots peeking out of drainage holes are a clear signal: your plant is pot-bound. It's time to repot into a larger home and give those roots room to breathe.

Spider Plant in a small pot with some yellowing and browning leaves, held by a hand.

Reviving a Dying Spider Plant

πŸ’§ Adjusting Watering Practices

Overwatering is a common misstep. To promote recovery, let the soil dry out before watering again. This isn't a cactus, but it's not a fan of soggy feet either. Check the top inch of soil; if it's dry, it's time to hydrate.

🌿 Providing Proper Light Conditions

Spider Plants crave indirect light. If yours is looking a bit peaky, consider its spot. Too much sun can lead to a sunburned Spider Plant, and nobody wants that. A north-facing window or a place with bright, filtered light should do the trick.

βœ‚οΈ Pruning Damaged Foliage

Get snippy with those brown tips and yellow leaves. Pruning encourages new growth and can prevent diseases from spreading. It's like giving your plant a haircut to let its inner beauty shine.

🌱 Repotting If Necessary

Roots peeking out of the drainage holes? It might be time for a new home. Choose a pot that’s a size up and has good drainage. Mix in some fresh soilβ€”potting mix with a bit of compost for good measure. Remember, a happy Spider Plant is not a cramped Spider Plant.

Spider Plant in a plastic container with water, showing some yellowing and browning leaves.

General Care Tips for a Healthy Spider Plant

πŸ’§ Watering Wisdom

Watering your spider plant is like a balancing act; too much or too little can send it into a tizzy. Aim for moist, not soggy, soil. A soil moisture meter can be your secret weapon, taking the guesswork out of when to water. Remember, tap water can be a frenemyβ€”fluoride and chlorine are not the plant's pals. If your tap water is suspect, switch to distilled or rainwater to avoid those unsightly brown tips.

πŸŒ₯️ Let There Be Light (But Not Too Much)

Spider plants are not sun worshippers. They prefer their rays filtered, like a good Instagram photo. Too much direct sunlight and they'll throw a fit, sporting faded or bleached leaves. Find a spot that's just right, with bright, indirect light, and watch your spider plant bask in the glow of perfection.

🌱 Feeding Finesse

Fertilize, but think of it as a light seasoning rather than a main course. A monthly sprinkle of water-soluble fertilizer during spring and summer will do. But hold your horses in the colder monthsβ€”over-fertilization is the fast track to a brown-tip bonanza.

βœ‚οΈ Pruning Prowess

Trimming your spider plant isn't just about aesthetics; it's about health. Snip off brown tips with the precision of a ninja, using sharp, sterile shears. This not only keeps your plant looking sharp but also prevents potential problems down the line. And don't be shy about removing any yellow or damaged leavesβ€”it's like giving your plant a new lease on life.

🌱 Soil and Potting Savvy

The right soil mix is like a comfy bed for your spider plant. Light, well-draining soil is the ticket, with a dash of perlite or coconut coir for that airy feel. And when your plant starts to look a bit cramped, it's time for a new pot. Think of repotting as a spa day for your plant's rootsβ€”it's all about rejuvenation.

Preventive Measures for Spider Plant Health

Regular inspection is your first line of defense against pests and diseases. Catching issues early can save your Spider Plant from a world of hurt.

πŸ•΅οΈ Regular Inspection for Pests and Diseases

Check your plant like it's a precious artifact in a museum. Look under the leaves, along the stems, and even in the soil for any signs of unwelcome guests or funky spots.

🚰 Proper Watering and Drainage Practices

Overwatering is the express train to Root Rot City. Ensure your Spider Plant's soil is well-draining and water only when the top inch of soil is dry.

🌱 Suitable Pot Size and Repotting Schedule

If your Spider Plant is bursting out of its pot like a bodybuilder in a kid's t-shirt, it's time to repot. Give those roots room to breathe and grow, typically every one to two years.

Remember, a happy Spider Plant is one that's not drowning, not being eaten alive, and not squeezed into its pot. Keep these tips in mind and your green buddy will thank you by thriving.

Ensure your spider plant thrives by using Greg to monitor and adjust 🌿 care routines, preventing common issues like overwatering and pests.


#SpiderPlant

413 posts on Greg
Browse #SpiderPlant

You Might Also Want to Know...

How can you tell if a spider plant needs help?

Spider plants may show signs of crispy ends and their leaves may appear less dark green than they should be.

What moisture conditions do spider plants prefer?

Spider plants prefer to have some moisture in their soil and do not like to dry out.

What nutrient deficiency can cause spider plants to have less dark green leaves?

A deficiency in nitrogen may cause spider plants to have leaves that are not dark green.

What is the recommended pot size for reviving a spider plant?

When reviving a spider plant, it is recommended to use a pot that matches the size of the root mass, rather than a pot that is too big.

What can happen if a compromised plant is put into a bigger pot?

Putting a compromised plant into a bigger pot can lead to the plant losing its health and potentially dying.

What should be done before repotting a plant?

It is best to water the plant 20 minutes prior to repotting to ensure that the roots have some water and buoyancy.

What should be done with the roots of a spider plant before repotting?

Before repotting, the roots of a spider plant should be examined to ensure they are not black and mushy, which would indicate root rot.

What type of soil is recommended for spider plants?

A soil that drains well, such as pro-mix bx, is recommended for spider plants. Adding pumice to the soil can also improve drainage.

How much soil should be added on top of the plant after repotting?

After repotting, there should be a little bit of space between the soil and the rim of the pot, about an eighth of an inch to a quarter of an inch.

Why is it important to prune off dead foliage from a spider plant?

Pruning off dead foliage is important because it can attract pests and diseases to the plant.