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How to grow spider plants from cuttings

Root spider plant offshoots in a pot of soil.
Root spider plant offshoots in a pot of soil.
Wildfeuer via Wikimedia Commons

While walking around Baltimore City you may notice that some residents or small businesses have large spider plants hanging in their front windows. These common houseplants have long slim green and white striped leaves that arch out from the center of the plant. When they are healthy and mature they produce plantlets that grow at the end of long runners. Or, some spider plants can be divided.

Spider plant offshoots are easy to root. Some people simply cut them off and set them in a glass of water, potting them after the roots form. But, the plants will do better if rooted when still attached to the mother. To do this fill a small pot with soil and place it near the mother plant. Take one of the plantlets (still on the stem) and set it on top of the soil. If it flops over pin it in place with a paper clip. The plantlet should have enough roots to grow on its own in one or two weeks. Keep the soil damp. This is the gentlest way to produce a strong new spider plant. The plant can be also cut from the stem and rooted in soil but it will take twice as long to grow strong roots. When rooting plants in pots keep the soil moist but not soaking.

Another way to get more plants from one is to examine the one you currently have and consider dividing it. You may find that the original plant consists of several smaller plants living together in the same pot. Retailers often do this to give the customer the idea that the plant is larger and bushier. When you repot the plant, gently pull apart the sections and repot them in two or more pots. Don’t be afraid to crowd two plants together as spider plants do well when they are pot bound.

For more information about spider plants please see the Examiner article, “Caring for spider plants”.

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