plz help my spider plant!

KrisC68September 19, 2013

I have had my plant for over a year now and it had been doing well. I had to re-pot it because the roots were coming out of the holes in the bottom. I use spring water when it is time to water because I have heard they don't like the fluoride in tap water, and that was why the tips of the leafs would turn brown. So About 2 weeks later as it was hanging my husband noticed a huge crack at the bottom of the pot and I decided to transplant it..maybe a bad decision?? So I got a new pot, new soil and noticed little mushrooms!! Now my spider plant is dying! What do I do?

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Little mushrooms? What sort of soil did you use?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Hi Kris,
I highly doubt that the mushrooms have anything to do with the plant's decline. The spores were probably already in the soil. Why do you think the plant is dying? You didn't describe what was happening. Can you post a photo or two? That would greatly help us to see/maybe determine what's going on.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:37AM
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How wet is your soil? Tips turning brown could also mean inconsistency in watering.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:24AM
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eaksqueak(PA 6a)

I have a spider plant that reacted very badly to being repotted; I must have damaged some of the roots in the process because most of them rotted away. The plant looked very sad for several weeks, but eventually managed to grow a new root system. It lost some leaves that rotted away from the base. I didn't get any mushrooms, but the fungus gnats bred with a vengeance. Maybe someone else has some ideas about the mushrooms and whether you ought to treat with some sort of fungicide. My thinking is the plant might do its best if you leave it be to heal and just make sure the soil dries properly between waterings. Perhaps a fungicide would also help stop the roots from rotting, if that is what is going on, but again I have no experience with using those.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Spider plants can survive losing a lot of roots. I split mine, cutting away more roots than I left on, and they seem to be doing fine.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

These plants have fat carrot-like roots that are water-storage organs. Soil that stays moist, soil devoid of air (all tiny particles like peat or sand,) and/or having tons of these 'carrots' filling the pot, smushing each other are conditions spider plant doesn't like.

I've had an experimental plant that I kept when I dug up an infestation of this plant from my ground at my Mom's house last November. It had been there for a few years and some of the roots were a foot under the surface. One especially nice-looking plant got literally dropped in a pot and placed under some shrubs, where it still sits 9 months later. Oak leaves have fallen in there, but nobody has ever added 'dirt' or watered this plant. It gets a drink when it rains.

I put it on the driveway to take a (pretty crappy) pic with my phone a few weeks ago. The babies have tons of roots (they were under the leaves/mulch in the under-the-shrubs area) but there's no brown tips or issues besides a few nibbles on leaves.

These plants would rather have no soil at all if it's not chunky, porous, airy, no standing water in the bottom of a hanging basket that doesn't have a hole at the bottom surface (just a recessed hole in the middle, about 1/2 inch above the bottom) although also it's really humid here, so this "don't try this at home" without taking that into account.

A pot big needs to be big enough for the carrots. The classic plastic hanging basket pot really isn't deep enough for one of these to be happy/look good for long at all, though the less water-retentive the mix, the better the results would be. If not using tap water, or there is rain used during summer, a bigger/deeper pot, one could spider looking great as long as possible. A wire thing with coir liner might work a lot better.

This is interesting to hear also, I think. I kept all of the material I dug up in a plastic storage tub and brought it here to compost. It stayed in there for 7 months until I dumped the contents into compost area since it took that long for it to look dead. Last weekend I was pitchforking around in there, and encountered the roots, not at all yet decomposing, just storing water. I'm not (too) worried they'll grow because I've buried and done everything I could think of before with the 'carrots' to see if they could grow new plants but have never gotten one to do it. Not convinced it's impossible though. Has anybody?

If/when repotting, the carrots can be cut to make room to put it back in the same pot with new soil. The more you cut the roots, the more effects you'll see after in the foliage, but it will be offset with new growth once new roots start growing. Whatever roots/carrots are left on should be spread/fanned out when put back in the pot, so each has as much room as possible to spread, and starts as high up in the pot as possible, using the space most effectively. After repotting, many times I've just sheared everything off just above the...

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:17PM
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purple, you are so full of knowledge, you amaze me.Thanks for always filling my brain with info. Christine

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Glad to try to help I've played with these way too much, for way too long. Others might have had different experiences, I hope they'll chime in if so!

All about plain green, BTW. I don't know how different the variegated are.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I've always given mine peat-pudding potting soil. That's what's readily available, and until recently I didn't know better. They've done ok too.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

LOL! Peat pudding! That's a good one. It's worth commending your skill at holding back with the watering can if/when using that. Bravo! And you're right, it's better than nothin'.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Wow! So many replies, thank you! I ended up re-potting it and instead of using miracle grow soil that I have always used I decided to go with something called Hyponex. It is cheaper but I was thinking maybe I am over treating it? The MG has food in it and I had been putting those sticks in now and again. I also saw on here that it is possible that I like some one else maybe tending to it too much..How often should I water and feed it? I am going to try to post a current picture of it, there is a globe but I only use it to move the top of the soil around, not for watering.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:38AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hithere, Kris. Please don't put those fertilizer spikes in any more potted plants. Does the Hyponex say anything about having any fertilizer in it already?

In a peaty soil mix like that, it's important to let the roots get quite dry before adding more water. Picking it up should help you determine how much lighter it has gotten. If it still feels heavy, it doesn't need more water yet, and may take several weeks to use all of the moisture (comparing the size of the plant in the picture to the amount of 'soil.) The humidity level in your house would be a factor, so it's not possible for anyone to give you a schedule. I would try to avoid giving yourself a schedule also. One time, it may take 16 days before you decide it's dry, another time, might only be 12 days...

Does that pot have an attached drain saucer?

The light color and droopy angle of the leaves may be indicators it could use more light.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:15AM
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