Spider Plant Problems!!! :(

JessicaLPlumleyMarch 26, 2012

Growing up my mom had TONS of plants.. after she passed away March 2010, I got her last two.. one is some type of vine plant that she got the day I was born from my Great Grandma (back in 1985) that is doing okay now finally.. the other is a Spider plant.. and he's just not doing well at all.. Id like to try to save him but honestly I dont know how.. When I first took him he was doing okay, had a couple babies hanging off of him that I clipped and put in cups of water, theyre doing good, but hes sad, not standing up the leaves are softening and drooping and even breaking at the base.. the ends are turning brown.. and now I just noticed mold on the base of the plant. I know not to over water him and I dont put him by the windows or anything. Id like to save him if I can but I dont know if its possible!? What should I do!? I really dont want to loose one of the only plants I got left of my Moms.

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Sounds to me like it's probably not getting enough light. My experience is that spider plants actually do best near a window. If you have a north or east-facing window that you can sit the pot on, that would be good.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi. Welcome to GardenWeb.

I agree, more light. You wouldn't want to suddenly put your plant outside, but it can handle a lot of direct sun. An east window, as suggested above, would be great.

It sounds like the soil could be staying too wet - brown tips would be an indicator of that, and mold is absolutely a sign of too much moisture. A plant that truly needs a drink will be much lighter when you lift the pot. A plant that is not getting enough light will not use the moisture in the pot fast enough.

If you would be interested in posting some pics, more specific advice would be possible.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:04AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The good news is, as long as the little plantlets remain viable, you still have your mom's plant, even if the larger plant doesn't make it, so don't despair.

Here are some spider plant tips, and a link below to some basics that should be really helpful for beginners. I really hope you find it helpful.

While necrotic leaf tips or margins can occur in this plant from over/under-watering, in fact, it's much more common for the actual cause to be a high level of soluble salts in soils. It's also commonly reported that this plant is particularly intolerant or fluoride, but it's still more common for the cause of leaf burn to be a high level of solubles, to which fluoride can be a contributor, than it is to be fluoride itself. WHEN there is a high level of salts in the soil, low humidity can be a contributor, but low humidity alone rarely presents an issue, it must be in combination with a high level of soluble salts in the soil and either over/under-watering.

Of course, you cannot correct the already burned tips (they won't 'heal'), but you can take steps to keep it from happening:

A) Most important is to use a soil that drains very freely. This allows you to water copiously, flushing the accumulating salts from the soil each time you water.

B) Fertilize frequently when the plant is growing well, but at low doses - perhaps 1/4 the recommended strength. This, in combination with the favorable watering habit described above, will keep soluble salts levels low, and keep levels from rising due to the accumulative effect we always see when we are forced to water in sips when plants are in water-retentive soils.

C) When watering, using rainwater, snow melt, water from your dehumidifiers, or distilled water also eliminates the soluble salts in your tap water and will go a long way toward eliminating or minimizing leaf burn.

D) If you make your own soils and use perlite, be sure the perlite is rinsed thoroughly, which removes most of the fluorides associated with it's use.

E) Allowing water to rest overnight doesn't/won't do anything in the way of helping reduce the amount of fluoride (the compounds are not volatile), and it only helps with chlorine in a very few cases, depending on what method of chlorination was used to treat your tap water; but nearly all municipalities are currently using chlorination compounds that are entirely nonvolatile, which means they won't dissipate into the air.


Here is a link that might be useful: Some basic care info

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:07PM
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