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How to Start Roots on Spider Plant Cuttings

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How to Start Roots on Spider Plant Cuttings

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Overview

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is one of the most common and recognizable of all houseplants, prized for the plant's complete lack of fussiness, and its ability to thrive even when it's ignored and neglected. Spider plant is the ideal plant for busy people and novice gardeners, and is especially lovely planted in hanging containers, where the long, narrow leaves can flow gracefully over the sides of the container. Starting a new spider plant from the baby plants, or 'plantlets,' is a cinch.

Step 1

Fill a 3- to 4-inch planting container with commercial potting soil. Add water to the potting soil slowly until the potting soil is damp clear through, but not soggy. Be sure to use a planting container with a bottom drainage hole.

Step 2

Select a baby spider plant, or 'plantlet,' suspended from the main spider plant. A plantlet with the beginning of roots will plant faster, but any plantlet will root easily.

Step 3

Place the plantlet in the planting container and secure the plantlet to the soil with a bent paper clip or a piece of wire. Don't sever the runner that connect the plantlet to the mother plant.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist until the plantlet roots, but don't overwater as soggy soil can rot the tender roots. After two to three weeks, check to see if the plant has rooted. New growth is a good indication that rooting has taken place. You can also tug lightly on the plantlet, and if you feel resistance, the plantlet has rooted. Be careful not to disturb the new spider plant's fragile root system.

Step 5

Cut the runner connecting the new spider plant to the mother plant with clean scissors or pruners. Put the new plant in bright, indirect light, but avoid hot, sunny windows. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • 3- to 4-inch planting container
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Mature spider plant
  • Bent paper clip or wire
  • Clean scissors or pruners

References

  • University of Wisconsin: Spider Plant
  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Layering: Instructions for the Home Gardener
Keywords: spider plant, rooting a new spider plant, plantlet

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.