How to Water Spider Plants for Optimal Growth Indoors

In my experience, Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) thrive best with slightly moist soil and an occasional misting. I find that distilled water or rainwater works best, as they dislike chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals often present in tap water. I typically need to water my spider plant more frequently in summer, once or twice a week, allowing the soil to dry to around 50% in between each cycle.

When and How to Water Spider Plants

When to Water Spider Plants

You will know that it is time to water your spider plant when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil feels dry to the touch.

I find the easiest method is to gently push my finger into the top layer of soil to check for moisture. Moisture probes are another option that helps to indicate moisture content deeper in the potting vessel. 

Remember, your spider plant loves moisture. While it is good to allow the soil to dry slightly, you shouldn’t let your spider plant go too long in completely dried-out soil.

How Often Should I Water?

In most indoor growing environments, you will need to water your spider plant once or twice a week during the summer, using the finger test to learn your plant’s preferred frequency.

In winter, stick with the routine of watering when the soil is dry. This may be anywhere from once per week to once every three weeks, depending on other conditions.

What Type of Water is Best? 

Two glasses filled with water on a worktop in a kitchen

In my experience, Spider plants prefer filtered water or rainwater. This is because tap water often contains salts and chemicals the species doesn’t like. If you only have tap water available, let the water stand in your watering can before hydrating your plants. This will cause the chemicals to evaporate, so they don’t harm your plants.

How to Water Spider Plants

I always water around the base of my spider plant until the soil is saturated and water comes out through the container’s drainage hole. And don’t worry, the plant won’t mind water on its foliage. In fact, it will enjoy occasional misting.

If your spider plant isn’t receiving enough moisture, its leaves may begin to turn brown. Consider using a humidity tray to increase the moisture in your spider plant’s environment.

What to Do Between Watering Cycles

Let your spider plant’s soil dry slightly between waterings. If the top half of the soil is dry, you’ll know it is time to water your plant.

In the meantime, you can look out for signs that your spider plant is doing well. Its foliage will grow long and maintain a vibrant shade of green. Eventually, you may notice white flowers and new offshoots growing from your spider plant. These are all signs that the plant is growing happily.

For an added boost, spider plants also benefit from regular fertilizing, particularly in the spring and summer months. In addition, keep an eye out for common spider plant pests, bugs, and diseases.

Signs You’re Overwatering

Like any plant, your spider plant will let you know if it is receiving too much water. If you notice the following signs, minimize the plant’s watering schedule. You should also care for specific issues like root rot immediately and make sure you allow the soil to dry between waterings.

  • Leaves turn brown or black
  • Leaves form brown spots
  • Foliage becomes discolored or yellow
  • Leaves appear soft, weak, and drooping
  • Foliage curls
  • Root rot forms at the plant’s base
  • Leaves fall off

Signs You’re Underwatering

Additionally, your spider plant will react to underwatering in a few key ways. If you observe the following signs, you will need to adjust your plant’s watering schedule to make sure it gets enough moisture.

  • Leaves fade in color
  • Leaves begin to brown at the edges
  • Leaves start to droop or wilt

Things to Consider When Watering

Remember, spider plants enjoy moderate watering and a moist environment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when mapping out your spider plant’s ideal watering schedule.

Temperature and Humidity

Spider plants prefer air temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive in environments as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but you won’t see much growth at lower temperatures. This temperature tolerance means that your home or office space will likely have adequate conditions for your spider plant to thrive. Remember, in warmer temperatures, your spider plant will need more frequent watering.

Light Conditions

The spider plant prefers bright, indirect light conditions, but it can tolerate lower light conditions. If your spider plant is located in a spot with brighter light, its soil may dry out more quickly.

Remember this way that light conditions can influence your plant’s watering needs. If you notice its soil is drying out faster than expected, you may want to water your ribbon plant more frequently.

Seasonal Factors

Typically, you will need to increase watering frequency during the warmer months since it grows more during this time. Try watering once or twice a week in the summer, but always remember to let its soil dry between waterings.

In the winter, follow that same guideline with less frequency. The cooler temperatures and less light mean your spider plant does not require as much water to thrive.

The Soil Mix

Your soil mix may retain more water than other varieties. If this is the case, it will take longer to dry out, so your spider plant may not require watering as frequently.

The moisture-loving Chlorophytum comosum will tolerate these types of soil that retain water, but make sure to avoid a soggy environment. It’s best to choose well-draining soil and water the plant more frequently if needed.

Container Size and Type

Some plant containers hold less moisture than others. For example, clay pots allow the soil to drain faster than plastic pots. Smaller pots also hold less water than larger options. For these reasons, your spider plant may prefer a larger plastic container that keeps in moisture and gives it plenty of room to expand and grow.

The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development

Vibrant green and long leaves of a spider plant

Of course, you know that plants need water to survive, but what role does water play in plant health and development?

Well, plants are made of 90 percent water, so hydration is essential to ensure functions inside the plant continue to run as they should. Water is also important for photosynthesis, the process through which plants create their own food.

So, a plant that receives adequate water is strong from root to foliage. This is because the water running through its parts creates pressure that keeps each element crisp and sturdy. For this reason, a lack of water can cause plants to weaken and wilt.

With that said, it is important to note that overwatering is a common mistake among new plant owners. It is essential to find the balance for each plant, as overwatering can lead to root rot, wilting, and other issues that prevent houseplants from thriving.

Some plants are quite particular about their watering schedule. Luckily, your spider plant will be more adaptable as you get the hang of its care.

Watering Spider Plants FAQs:

How do I know if my spider plant needs water?

How much water should I give my spider plant?

Should I mist my spider plant?

How do I know if my spider plant is healthy?

Can indoor spider plants recover from overwatering?

How to Water Spider Plants – The Final Word

In summary, your spider plant will forgive you as you get the hang of its watering needs. It’s a vibrant and beginner-friendly plant that is sure to boost your confidence when it comes to houseplant care.

It’s worth taking the time to develop a watering schedule that quenches your spider plant’s thirst. After you’ve found that balance, you can expect your spider plant to thrive for years in your home

For more, see our in-depth guide to the best positions for spider plants to thrive in the home or office and our ultimate guide to spider plant care at home.

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