Do I need to re-pot my spider-plant?

Storm 7aAugust 19, 2012

Hey everyone!

Do I need to re-pot my spider-plant yet? If so, what size pot would you recommend and what type of soil, etc? And if not, when would you recommend me doing so?

It is still in the container (plastic) that it came in when I first bought it about 2-3 months ago.

Any other tips or recommendations about spider-plants (repotting, watering, soil, fertilizing, etc) is much appreciated!

Thanks! And I love this community - even though this is the first time ever posting in it. :P

Pics of spider-plant below:

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You can take the plant out of the pot and see if it's rootbound. If so, repot in the next larger size pot. I don't think they're too picky about soil. I don't have a suggestion about that; mine are in the ground outside. Hmm. I could pot some up and make a hanging basket... If I do that, I'll use an azalea/camellia soil mix with some non-organic stuff such as vermiculite, charcoal and bark added.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:24AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If the root/soil mass can be lifted from the pot intact, your plant will benefit most from a repot, and to a lesser degree from potting up. Although it has comments that go beyond the scope of your questions, you might find some value in the info I posted previously to a thread about spider plants:

Spider plants are not very tolerant of significant levels of dissolved solids from tap water and fertilizers in the soil solution, so using water from the dehumidifier, rainwater, snow melt ... is an excellent choice, because as condensate, it will be entirely free of dissolved solids.

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.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Storm 7a

Thank you both for your help! Will check the plant to see if its root-bound asap. Also, thanks for all the other info about water. Will look into buying some distilled jugs. I could use a de-humidifier inside since the humidity where i live is so high...will think about purchasing one and then using the water from that as well. Wish it'd rain more often so I could use free rain-water!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:03PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I just reread your original post. Please forgive me for not offering a welcome! If I have a wish for you, it's that your enthusiasm grows right along side your skills and ability to provide for your plants ..... that you gain a good number of like-minded acquaintances, and at least a few turn into good friends along the way.

Take care - good luck!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:25AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi, welcome from AL also! I've never had a spider plant not enjoy being repotted. It looks like yours may have some fat roots visible at the surface?

Curious if others trim off the big roots, the white "carrots" when repotting? I usually do at least all of the really big ones and the plants never mind. I do this because I always want to put them back in the same hanging pot, with as much space/new "soil" as possible.

I've tried several times over the years to put the severed roots back in soil (different pot, and a few times in the yard) but none have grown a plant. These must be a different kind of tuber (if that's what they are) than stuff like potato, Dahlia, Canna. Not that I even want more spider plants, but just curious...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:29PM
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