Everything You Need to Know About Fertilizing Spider Plants at Home
Spider Plants are easy houseplants with heaps of personality and associated benefits. This plant’s low-maintenance nature and attractive appearance make it great for beginners. Take the time to learn all about this plant’s care requirements, including fertilizer preferences. Soon, you’ll be ready to add a few Spider Plants to your home.
- Fertilizing Spider Plants – The Essentials
- The Role Fertilization Plays in Plant Health
- What Is Fertilizer Made of?
- Common Types of Fertilizer
- Signs Your Spider Plant Needs Fertilizer
- When and How Often Should You Fertilize Spider Plants?
- The Best Fertilizer for Spider Plants
- Make Your Own Spider Plant Fertilizer
- How to Apply Fertilizer
- Key Considerations When Fertilizing Spider Plants
- Fertilizing Spider Plants FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
Fertilizing Spider Plants – The Essentials
Spider Plants benefit from a regular fertilizing schedule. However, overfertilization may cause leaves to become brown and crispy. You can fertilize the plant once every month or two in the spring and summer. Apply an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer or time-release formula and avoid feeding during winter.
The Role Fertilization Plays in Plant Health
Along with light, and water, fertilizer gives spider plants the nutrients they need to grow healthy, beautiful foliage. Fertilization also helps plants perform essential functions for their health and development.
Houseplants are limited to a small number of nutrients in their soil environment. So, fertilizer can increase the nutrition available and target a plant’s specific health needs.
All types of spider plants need fertilizer to enjoy the same growing cycle they’d experience in their natural habitat. Fertilization helps them extract the nutrients they need to grow in the spring and summer.
Additionally, avoiding fertilization in the colder months helps trigger a dormant state. This allows the plant to get necessary rest in the winter. It’s also worth holding back from fertilizing recently propagated spider plants until they’ve had a chance to take root naturally.
What Is Fertilizer Made of?
One of the most critical parts of choosing plant fertilizer is the NPK number. That’s because fertilizer delivers a blend of the key nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Some fertilizers also offer micronutrients like zinc, iron, and manganese.
Common Types of Fertilizer
Here are a few common categories of fertilizers you should know about to ensure you choose the right solution for your plants.
NPK Fertilizer Options
First, you should know that fertilizer usually comes with a three-digit number on the bottle. This is the NPK number. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The numbers indicate the percentage of each nutrient available in your fertilizer.
Most plants do best with a specific ratio of these different nutrients. For example, Spider Plants will enjoy a balanced fertilizer with the same number for each nutrient, like 20-20-20 or 15-15-15.
Water-soluble fertilizer is a plant food that dissolves in water. Applying this type of fertilizer to soil makes nutrients easy to access instantly through the plant’s roots.
Dry Feed or Time-Release Fertilizer
Dry feed is a fertilizer that you can add to the soil to release nutrients slowly over time. This type of fertilizer is sometimes called granular fertilizer. It may be better for plants that need a slower release of nutrients.
Organic fertilizers can be made from various natural ingredients. Some of these include animal manure, bone meal, or fish emulsion. Organic fertilizers are beneficial for people who prefer to use natural products for their plants.
Plant-derived organic fertilizers are available for those who wish to avoid animal byproducts. Some options include alfalfa meal, compost, and cottonseed meal.
Signs Your Spider Plant Needs Fertilizer
Your Spider Plant won’t need much fertilizer to grow. However, you may want to fertilize if you notice the plant’s growth has slowed. If you aren’t sure whether your plant needs fertilizer, you can use test strips to discover the nutrient levels in your plant’s soil.
Wilting, drooping, or discoloration in your spider plant are also indicators the plant is missing some vital nutrients (amongst other potential issues). Pruning your spider plant can help to mitigate some of these visible issues.
When and How Often Should You Fertilize Spider Plants?
Now, you should fertilize your Spider Plant once every month or two during the growing season in the spring and summer (also the best time to repot a spider plant).
Once the temperatures drop in the autumn, you should stop fertilizing this plant. This will ensure it enters and maintains dormancy, so it gets the rest it needs throughout the winter.
The Best Fertilizer for Spider Plants
Most Spider Plants grow well when you fertilize them during their growing season in the spring and summer. The plant enters dormancy during the winter. So, fertilizer can help trigger new growth and ensure it gets its required nutrients.
This species does best with a balanced, all-purpose houseplant fertilizer once every one or two months. So, you should look for a houseplant feed with a balanced NPK number, like 15-15-15.
Make Your Own Spider Plant Fertilizer
You can also make a balanced fertilizer for Spider Plants. Do this by mixing an even amount of ingredients that contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Here are some ideas of the types of ingredients you can use for each nutrient.
- Nitrogen: blood meal or soybean meal
- Phosphorus: soft rock phosphate or bone meal
- Potassium: alfalfa meal or compost created with food byproducts like banana peels
Always proceed with caution when experimenting with a new fertilizer recipe. Spider Plants are sensitive to fertilizer, so a gentle approach is best with this species.
The Best Store-Bought Feeds Available for Spider Plants
There are plenty of excellent store-bought fertilizers that your Spider Plant will appreciate. Here are a few options to consider when choosing a fertilizer for your plant.
- Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food
- Indoor Plant Food: All-purpose ready-to-use fertilizer
- Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated All Purpose Organic Plant Food
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How to Apply Fertilizer
Here are the steps to take to fertilize your Spider Plants and help them grow at their best.
- First, buy a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer for your Spider Plants. You can also opt to make your own if preferred.
- Apply the fertilizer as indicated on the package or recipe you followed. It may be best to fertilize after watering, so the plant’s roots can easily soak up the nutrients.
- Maintain a fertilization schedule around once every month or two. If you notice any spider plant leaves turning brown and crisp at the edges, limit or adjust your schedule as needed.
Key Considerations When Fertilizing Spider Plants
Signs of Over-Fertilization
Remember, it is critical to avoid overfertilizing your Spider Plant. This is because overfertilization can cause the plant’s leaves to burn. If you notice brown, crispy edges on your Spider Plant’s foliage, you may need to reduce its fertilization schedule.
The Effects of Using the Wrong Fertilizer
If you use the wrong type of fertilizer, your plant may develop burned leaves or roots. Incorrect fertilization can also put your Spider Plant at higher risk of developing a disease or insect infestation.
Fertilizing Spider Plants FAQs:
Do Spider Plants need fertilizer?
Yes, Spider Plants benefit from fertilizer during the warmer months. Fertilizer improves this plant’s growth rate and ensures it gets the nutrition it needs for optimal health.
When should I fertilize my Spider Plant?
You should fertilize your Spider Plant during the spring and summer. Fertilize once or twice a month during this growing season for best results. Avoid fertilizing during the winter, as this plant needs to go dormant and rest during the colder months.
What is the best fertilizer for Spider Plants?
The best type of fertilizer for Spider Plants is an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. This plant is tolerant of various types of fertilizer, so time-release or water-soluble options will both work well.
Is Miracle-Gro good for Spider Plants?
Yes, Miracle-Gro’s indoor plant food is a good option for Spider Plants. You can apply this fertilizer as you would any other solution to give your plant the nutrients it needs.
Are used coffee grounds good for Spider Plants?
Yes, Spider Plants may enjoy coffee grounds in small amounts. You can add them to the plant’s soil as part of a compost to increase acidity and nitrogen intake.
Are Spider Plants toxic to humans and pets?
No, Spider Plants are not considered toxic to humans and most pets. Still, it is wise to place your Ribbon Plant out of reach of cats and dogs. Pets often enjoy the taste of Spider Plants and may eat enough to get an upset stomach.
Fertilizing Spider Plants – The Final Word
Fertilizing your Spider Plant is an easy yet essential step to ensure it grows at its best. Once you’ve found the right solution, simply feed the plant once or twice per month in spring and summer for optimal growth. Your Spider Plant will reward you with beautiful foliage for years or even decades.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best positions for spider plants to thrive in the home or office.