Spider plants are super easy to propagate, and there are a few different methods you can use. In this post, I will talk about the different spider plant propagation methods, and show you exactly how to propagate spider plants step by step.
A reader on my Facebook page recently asked me to write a post about how to propagate spider plants.
Well, the good news is that spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate. It’s so easy that soon you’ll have tons of new spider plant starts to share with your friends!
- How To Propagate Spider Plants
- What Are Spider Plant Babies?
- How To Grow Spider Plant Babies
- Taking Cuttings From Spider Plants
- Rooting Spider Plant Babies In Water
- Rooting Baby Spider Plants In A Propagation Chamber
- Propagating Spider Plant Babies While They’re Still Attached
- Transplanting Spider Plant Babies
- How To Divide A Spider Plant
- How to Propagate Spider Plants
- How to Propagate Spider Plants:
- Propagating Spider Plants in Soil:
- Propagating Spiderettes: Learn How To Root Spider Plant Babies
- Spider Plant Propagation
- Growing Plantlets from Spider Plants
- How to Root Spider Plantlets in Water
- Caring for Spider Plant Babies
- Asexual Reproduction
- The 3 Ways you can Propagate your Spider Plant Babies
- When to Propagate your Baby Spider Plants
- Ways to Propagate your Spider Plant
How To Propagate Spider Plants
There are three main methods for propagating spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum, also called an “airplane plant”), and they are all really easy.
These methods are rooting spider plant babies, propagating by division, or growing them from seed.
In this post, I will talk in detail about how to grow spider plant babies, and also briefly touch on how to propagate a spider plant by division.
If you want to try growing the seeds, then check out my post about how to collect and grow spider plant seeds.
What Are Spider Plant Babies?
Spider plant babies are the offshoots (also called spiderettes or plantlets) that grow out from the main plant. These offshoots will usually flower in the summer, and babies will grow out of the spider plant flowers if they’re not pollinated.
If the flowers are pollinated, then they will produce seeds instead of plantlets. Once they are mature enough, the spider plantlets can be used to grow new plants.
Spider plant offshoots ready to propagate
How To Grow Spider Plant Babies
Growing spider plants from babies is the most common method of propagating spider plants, and there are a few ways you can do it.
You can root them in soil while they’re still attached to the mother plant. Or you can cut them off and either root them in water, or propagate your spider plantlets in a propagation box.
Starting spider plants from cuttings can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on which spider plant propagation method you choose.
Taking Cuttings From Spider Plants
I recommend waiting until the babies have begun growing starter root formations of their own before taking spider plant cuttings.
If the spider plant babies have no roots, or you only see tiny nubs, then it’s best to wait until they’re a bit more mature.
Once you determine a plantlet is ready to be propagated, you can remove it from the mother by cutting it off. Sometimes the babies will come off easily when you disturb them, and you don’t even have to cut them off.
If you’re wondering where to cut spider plant babies from the mother, it really doesn’t matter. But I like to cut them as close to the spider plantlets as I can, just so there’s no ugly stem sticking out.
Be sure to use a sterile pair of precision clippers so you get a nice clean cut.
Once you remove the baby, you can prune the long stem back to the bottom of the next one up, or all the way to the main plant because nothing new will grow on it.
Taking cuttings from spider plants
Rooting Spider Plant Babies In Water
The easiest way to propagate spider plants is by putting the babies in water until new roots start to grow.
The main disadvantages of rooting cuttings in water are that the plantlet could rot, and it can also go into shock when you transplant it into dirt.
The babies tend to be weaker when rooted in water, and it can take them a while to recover after being planted in dirt.
If you have problems with spider plant babies dying after potting them up, then you might want to try one of the other two methods for rooting them next time.
Before you put them in water, cut or pinch off any leaves that are growing at the base of the plantlet or under the roots. Any foliage that is submerged under the water will rot.
I like using a deep, clear vase to root my spider plant spiderettes. Only fill the vase enough to cover the roots of the baby plant though.
If the plantlet sits in water that’s too deep, it will rot. Using a tall skinny vase keeps the plantlets upright and helps hold the foliage out of the water.
Propagating spider plants in water
Rooting Baby Spider Plants In A Propagation Chamber
When you use a propagation chamber for propagating plant cuttings, it’s easy to keep the humidity level high. Humidity helps the spiderettes root faster.
Baby plants rooted in this way are also stronger, and have less risk of dying from transplant shock than those that are rooted in water.
You can buy a propagation kit or a mini greenhouse system, or you could make your own DIY propagation box.
If you decide to make you own, adding bottom heat really helps to speed things up. You could also try creating a mini greenhouse by covering the plantlet and soil with a plastic bag.
Don’t use regular potting soil in a propagation chamber though, it’s too heavy. You’ll want to use a light soil mix of vermiculite, peat moss (or coco coir) and perlite or pumice for rooting cuttings.
If you try this method, dipping the root nubs in rooting hormone will help the baby sprout roots faster.
Propagating Spider Plant Babies While They’re Still Attached
The benefit of rooting spider plantlets while they’re still attached to the mother plant is that you don’t have to worry about transplant shock.
When you propagate spider plants this way, the babies are much stronger from the start.
But this method is a bit more difficult because spiderettes still attached to the mother won’t always root as readily as they do when they’re removed.
With this method, you could use regular potting soil, or the same light rooting mix you would use in a propagation box.
Simply put a pot of soil next to the mother plant, and stick the starter roots of the baby into the dirt. I recommend dipping the root nubs into rooting hormone first to encourage and speed up root growth.
Rooted spider plant baby ready for potting
Transplanting Spider Plant Babies
Allow the plantlets to grow several new roots before potting spider plant babies. Then you can use a general potting soil to pot them up.
After planting the rooted baby into its own pot, water it well, allowing the excess water to drain out the bottom of the pot.
Keep the soil evenly moist until the plant has become established in its new pot, but don’t overwater it.
You may also want to mist it daily using a plant mister, or keep it in a humid room (like a bathroom or kitchen) at first to help it recover.
Cuttings rooted in water will take longer to recover after being transplanted into soil than those that are rooted in a propagation box or in soil. They may droop after being potted up, but they should recover after a few days.
Once you see new growth, that means the plant is established and you can stop babying it. After they’re established, baby spider plant care is the same as it is for a mature spider plant.
Planting spider plant babies after rooting
How To Divide A Spider Plant
Dividing spider plants is another common way to propagate them, and the best option if your plant doesn’t have any offshoots. As long as there are at least two clumps growing in the pot, you can split them apart.
Splitting a spider plant can be difficult if you have a mature, pot-bound plant. If the roots are really thick and tightly packed, then you will probably need to use a sterile knife to cut through it. Otherwise, simply tease the roots apart until the clumps are separated.
Splitting spider plant roots
Spider plants are easy-to-propagate houseplants, and the perfect plant to start with if you’re just learning how to multiply plants! Growing spider plant babies is especially fun, and will allow you to propagate spider plants very quickly. Soon you’ll have tons of new plants to fill your home, or even share with your friends and family (baby plants make a great gift too)!
Up next, read all about how to grow your new babies in my detailed spider plant care guide!
If you want to learn how to multiply even more of your plants, then my Plant Propagation eBook will be your guide to propagating plants! It will teach you the basic methods of plant propagation for beginners, and give you all the information on propagating plants you need so you can multiply any plant you want.
Products I Recommend
- Winter Houseplant Care
- Houseplant Pest Control
- The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual
- The House Plant Expert
More Information About Plant Propagation
- Plant Propagation Supplies
- How To Propagate Lavender Plants From Cuttings
- How to Propagate Jade Plants
- How To Propagate Banana Plants
- What Is Plant Propagation (and how to get started)
How do you propagate spider plants? Share your spider plant propagation tips in the comments section below.
How to Propagate Spider Plants
If you’re looking to increase your houseplant collection, this is the easiest way to do it! I’m going to show you How To Propagate Spider Plants!
Spider plants are seeing a resurgence in popularity and I’m loving it. I grew up a kid in the 70’s and 80’s when spider plants were all the rage. My mom grew them and hung them from macrame plant hangers she made…oh man, if only I’d had the foresight to keep those treasures…who knew how popular macrame would become again!
While I don’t think I’m going to be hanging plants from my ceilings any time soon, I am loving having green life in my home again. Plants make a home feel alive…and after the loooooongest winter ever, this is a really really good feeling.
What I’m really enjoying right now is rooting and growing new plants from shoots. I love being able to increase my plant collection with plants that I already have at home…or with little shoots that I snip off from my family and friends plants…watch out if I come over with a pair of scissors 😉
It’s just SO EASY to grow new plants and not have to do it from seed. A while back I shared how simple it is to root plant cuttings in water, and today I’m sharing the most simple method ever, for growing spider plant babies.
How to Propagate Spider Plants:
There are 3 ways to propagate spider plants:
- You can cut the spider babies (spiderettes) off the mother plant and root them in water. Refer to my blog post here for instructions on how to do that.
- Propagating spider plants in soil is the easiest and most tolerated method for little plants. You can leave the spider babies attached to the mother plant, and simply place the babies in soil.
- Or you can snip off the spider babies and place them in new pots of soil, like I have done here.
Propagating Spider Plants in Soil:
Snip off the spiderette from the mother plant. I snip the stem off as close to the spiderette as possible. Then, if you look closely at the bottom of the spiderette you will see little knobs or roots. Simply place the spiderette onto a pot of soil, and gently press it in so that the little roots are covered by soil. That’s it. You’ve propagated a spider plant! Now all you have to do is wait and watch a new spider plant grow.
Tips for Growing New Spider Plants:
- Use a cloche to house your new plant as it roots and grows…it acts like a mini greenhouse, offering moisture and protection for the little spiderettes.
- You should start to see good roots in 7-10 days.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet.
This particular planting that I created is actually 2 spider babies, and they’re about 1 week old and have doubled in size already! I’ll come back here in a few months time and update this post again with a new picture of my growing spider plant, so you can see how it’s grown over time!
More Plant and Gardening Tips:
- How to Grow Plants From Cuttings
- 7 Ideas for Flower Containers
- Starting Sweet Peas
- Container Gardening Tips
- Gardening with Kids
Propagating Spiderettes: Learn How To Root Spider Plant Babies
If you’re looking to increase your collection of houseplants without spending any money, propagating spiderettes, (spider plant babies), from an existing plant is as easy as it gets. Even kids or brand new gardeners can easily learn how to root spider plantlets. Read on to learn more about propagating your spider plants.
Spider Plant Propagation
When you’re ready to propagate your spider plant babies, you have the option of rooting the plantlets by growing directly in soil or you can choose to root them in water.
Growing Plantlets from Spider Plants
There are a couple of ways to plant spider plant babies, and they’re both easy peasy. Look closely at the spiderettes dangling from your adult plant and you’ll see little knob-like protrusions and tiny roots on the bottom of each spiderette. Spider plant propagation simply involves planting the spiderette in a pot filled with any lightweight potting mix. Be sure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
You can leave the baby attached to the parent plant until the new plant takes root, then separate it from the parent by snipping the runner. Alternatively, go ahead and separate the baby from the parent plant by snipping the runner immediately. Spiderettes will root easily either way, but if you have a hanging spider plant, the latter is the best way to go.
How to Root Spider Plantlets in Water
Planting spiderettes in potting soil is the easiest and quickest way to propagate spider plant babies. However, if you like, you can stick the spiderette in a glass of water for a week or two, then plant the rooted spiderette in a pot of soil. This is an unnecessary step, but some people enjoy rooting a new plant the old-fashioned way – in a jar on the kitchen windowsill.
Caring for Spider Plant Babies
If you want a thick, bushy plant, start several spider plant babies in the same pot. Similarly, if your adult spider plant isn’t as full as you would like, plant a couple of spiderettes alongside the mama plant.
Water the fledgling spider babies as needed to keep the soil slightly moist, but never saturated, until healthy new growth indicates the plant has rooted. Your new spider plant is well on its way, and you can resume normal care.
Chlorophytum comosum, also known as the spider plant is a green plant that reproduces asexually. This plant uses the budding process. The process takes places as the stems extend from the buds of the plant and eventually form into tiny plants identical to its parent.
Asexually produced offspring look very different from Sexually produced offspring. First of all, asexually produced offspring are identical to its parent and have 100% of their phenotype. An example are the spider plants, that all look exact. Also twins are the product of asexual reproduction originating from sexual reproduction. Twins look close to identical. Sexually produced offspring get 50% of one parent and 50% of another one’s phenotype. It has a higher chance of looking totally different from its parents and since it all connects, it has a chance of looking like its ancestors. Some sexually producing organisms are bees, lizards and humans.
The naval orange tree reproduces asexually as well. The process they use is propogation. An example of propagation is when human takes the cutting of a tree and plants it or sows the seeds. Due to its seedless feature, propogation is the only way this tree will reproduce.
To the right is The hydra( genus) is a translucent tubular organism. It also asexually produces by using the form of budding, in which it grows buds on the body. Then the new copies mature and break away to form into new hydras.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Benefits:- no energy needed in finding and competing for a mate- quick reproduction when neededex: when not many other plants with pollen are available, asexual reproduction is very useful and needed. Disadvantages: – one small, bad mutation can result in generations of vulnerable organisms- one disease can destroy entire colonies – when reproduction gets out of hand or too fast, can result in high competitionEx: bananas are naturally susceptible to panama disease and since they dont sexually reproduce their generations have the same percent of suscpetibilty for this disease
Shown above is the byrophyllum( kalanchoe) which is native to South Africa and Asia. This succulent asexually reproduces in the form of vegetative cloning which includes budding and cutting. At the edges of the plant the new plantlets grow and soon detach into a new copy of a byrophyllum.
I love wild and wacky Spider Plants but I love them even more when they produce lots of babies. I got mine from Santa Ynez Gardens and bought it with me when I moved to Tucson. It’s hanging outside right near the front door but the grow pot just wasn’t knocking my socks off. It really has sent a lot more babies in the 2 months that I’ve lived here but I wanted a jazzier decorative pot to put it in. This is 1 way to get more Spider Plant babies, which is all about the pot size and repotting.
A few of my Spider Plant babies – some are almost white.
Spider Plants can go rather limp and stop producing babies if the conditions aren’t to their liking. Besides lots of light, they also prefer warm temperatures to bring on that flowering which subsequently turns into the babies. You’ll find that your Spider Plant won’t begin to set blooms in the cooler months with less natural light. Another way to get them to produce those blooms and babies, which is the subject of this post and video, is to keep them tight in their pots.
I’m not talking potbound for 10 years but comfortably tight, sort of like those jeans which fit like a glove but you can still move and groove in them. Finding decorative hanging containers is always a challenge for me but I found these pots which I really like a lot – the lines are simple, they’re lightweight and the color selection is varied. The variety of spray paints is so extensive now that if a color doesn’t appeal to you, then spray it!
My Spider Plant in its new pot – the bright yellow is a joyful color that I see each time I enter or left the house. The space it’s hanging in is not that big so the pot fits in just fine.
This new pot is slightly larger than the grow pot so it has a bit of room to grow but will at the same time restrict any rampant root growth. You’ll see in the video that the root ball was quite developed and crowded. I’m sure the plant is enjoying its new freedom to grow a bit. Another thing I love about this pot is the fact that the chain snaps off and off with a hook because it makes it so much easier when repotting.
Spider Plants aren’t fussy as to soil so you can use any good organic potting soil which ensures they have good drainage. (I was out of potting soil so I used planting mix combined with succulent and cactus mix (this ups the ante on the drain factor). I also mixed in and top dressed with a bit of my favorite amendment, worm castings.
Just remember, don’t rush to repot your Spider Plant and don’t give it too big a home base to grow into. Mine is happy and so am I every time I look at it!
As you can see, roots appear off the base of the babies. they practically propagate themselves!
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You have this great spider plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, that started to throw out all these Spider Plant babies, which are now cascading down from their mother plant.
What to do next? How to propagate your spider plant babies?
First of all, you don’t need to do anything.
You can just leave them there. They will grow and can later even have babies of their own, trailing all the way down like a waterfall.
But if you are anything like me, you want to grow at least a few new Spider plants from its plantlets.
The 3 Ways you can Propagate your Spider Plant Babies
There are three ways to propagate your Spider plant and turn those babies in new full-grown plants. All three ways are discussed more in detail later in this post, but here they are real quick:
- Propagate in water.
- Plant Spider plant babies directly in soil.
- Root spider plant babies in soil while still attached to the mother plant.
The Spider Plant is very easy to take care of and looks great as a hanging plant. It’s a great choice for beginner plant parents, or if you don’t like to spend too much time on your plant.
If you do experience any problems with your spider plant, it is usually easy to fix.
Add to that that it purifies the air like a champion, and is non-toxic to pets.
When to Propagate your Baby Spider Plants
When your spider plant matures, it will send out multiple runners with delicate white flowers on the ends. These small flowers will become the new little plants.
First, do a little happy dance.
Second, try to be patient. Let the babies grow a bit before doing anything.
After a while, you will start seeing small nubs appearing on the bottom of the plantlets. These are aerial starter roots. You want these.
Now you can start thinking about how you want to grow your new spider plants.
Do you root them in water first? Of dive right in and put them straight into the soil? Or go for the striking visual of potting them, but leaving them attached to the mother plant.
Whichever way you choose, make sure to give the plantlets adequate bright, but indirect sunlight. No full sun!
The spider plant is a great plant when you want to try propagating for the first time. The baby spiders, hanging from the mother plant, are basically complete plants already. Just miniature versions.
Ways to Propagate your Spider Plant
1. Propagate in water
When you propagate in water, you’re letting the roots grow first, before transferring the plantlets to the soil.
Start by carefully removing the spider plant babies from the mother plant. Cut them from the long stems they’re hanging onto.
Next, place the babies in a small glass vessel with a little bit of water. You want the water to only cover the roots of the baby plant.
Leave them for about a week. Make sure to keep the water clean by changing it regularly. Once the plantlets develop good roots you can transfer them to a small pot with well-draining soil.
After removing the Spider Plant babies, you can cut away the entire runner from the mother plant. But if you don’t mind it, just leave it. As long as it’s not dried up, new babies can still grow from it.
2. Plant baby spider plant directly in soil
The simplest way to propagate the spider plant is just to cut off the babies and plant them directly into the soil in their own pots.
This way it could take a little longer for the plantlet to settle in, and show new growth. But that is nothing to worry about.
Your plant is working on its root system first. Until you see new leafs appearing, keep the soil slightly moist, but not too wet.
3. Root spider plant babies in soil while still attached to the mother plant
When you think of it, keeping the plantlets attached to the mother plant is most like how they grow in their natural habitat.
The mother pushes out the long stems and grows her babies all around her. The babies hang down and come in contact with the soil. So they root right there next to the mother.
To mimic this, don’t cut them loose. Just put the baby spider in a small pot filled with moist soil next to the mother plant. Don’t pot it too deeply. Only the starter roots need to touch the soil.
This way, the plantlet gets strength from its own soil, and, at the same time, is still being cared for through the stem by the mother.
Wait until the baby starts to show new growth, then cut it away from the parent.
TIP: Plant a few Spider Plant babies together in one pot for an instantly fuller look.
Want your own Spider Plants? You can get them delivered to you through Amazon or Etsy!