How to Propagate Spider Plants to Increase Your Collection

When a spider plant produces babies, you can easily turn them into full-grown plants.

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Attractive and easy to grow, a spider plant makes an excellent houseplant. It can tolerate low-light conditions and thanks to thick roots that can store moisture, you can get away with watering it about every two weeks or when the soil starts to feel dry. Spider plants do especially well in a corner of your bathroom, where they can get a little extra humidity. When your plant is happy and healthy, its best feature will likely appear: Long, thin stems trailing out from its center, each with a plantlet on the ends. These babies are super simple to propagate, so you can bulk up your houseplant collection for free.

spider plant on table
Robert Cardillo

If you look closely at the baby spider plants dangling from your mother plant, you'll see some small, brownish knobs on the underside of the cluster of leaves. Those are the beginnings of roots, and with a little help, they'll develop into full root systems.

There are two ways to take the plantlets off the ends; you can gently pull them off, or use scissors to snip them off near where they attach to the stem from the mother plant. Set the new baby plants into a cup of water for a few days (about five should do it) to help the roots grow out a bit, and then you can plant them in potting soil.

To plant, grab a four-inch (or smaller) pot and fill it with potting mix. Make a little hole in the center with your finger. Press one of your plantlets into the hole, and gently press the potting soil in around it so the plant is firmly held in place, but the leaves are above the soil. If you want to skip the cup of water step, you can just remove the plantlets from the mother plant and put them in separate pots of damp potting mix.

No matter which method you choose, keep the soil evenly moist until the roots are fully developed. You'll know that has happened if your plantlet holds firmly in the soil when you give the leaves a gentle tug. Before long, your new little spider plants will start producing their own babies.

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