Spider Plant Propagation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction to Spider Plant Propagation

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are popular houseplants known for their resilience and air-purifying abilities. Not only are they easy to care for, but they are also incredibly simple to propagate. Propagation is the process of creating new plants from the various parts of an existing plant. It’s an excellent way to multiply your collection or share with friends and family. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the most effective methods for propagating spider plants so that you can expand your indoor garden effortlessly.

Understanding Spider Plant Offshoots

Before delving into propagation methods, it’s important to understand how spider plants reproduce. They produce small offsets, also known as spiderettes or pups, which dangle from the mother plant on long, arching stems called stolons. These offshoots can easily develop roots and grow into full-sized plants, making them perfect for propagation.

Choosing the Right Time for Propagation

The best time to propagate spider plants is during the spring and summer months when the plant is actively growing. You’ll want to choose healthy and mature spiderettes that have developed small roots or at least look plump enough to start rooting. Roots are not strictly necessary to begin propagation, as spiderettes can root after being removed from the mother plant, but having pre-grown roots can speed up the process.

Method 1: Water Propagation

Preparing Your Materials

For water propagation, you’ll need a clean container filled with water and a pair of scissors or pruning shears. Begin by sterilizing the cutting tool with alcohol or boiling water to prevent the spread of diseases.

Steps for Water Propagation

  • Carefully snip the chosen spiderette from the stolon, making sure to leave a few inches of the stem attached to it.
  • Place the spiderette in the container, submerging the base (where roots will grow) in water.
  • Put the container in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight and change the water every few days to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Monitor the roots’ growth and wait until they are about an inch long, which usually takes a few weeks.


Once the spiderette has grown sufficient roots, it’s time to transplant it into the soil. Choose a well-draining pot filled with a good-quality potting mix, make a small hole in the center, and place the rooted spiderette in the hole. Gently firm the soil around it, water well, and care for it like a mature spider plant.

Method 2: Soil Propagation

Preparing Your Materials

For soil propagation, you’ll need a pot with drainage holes, potting soil, and your sterilized cutting tool. You can also use rooting hormone powder, though it’s optional for spider plants.

Steps for Soil Propagation

  • Fill the pot with moist potting mix and make a small indentation in the center.
  • Cut the spiderette from the mother plant, optionally dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and insert it into the indentation in the soil.
  • Cover the base with soil, so it stands upright and water thoroughly.
  • Place the pot in a location with bright, indirect light and maintain a consistent moisture level without overwatering.
  • After a few weeks, gently tug on the plant to test for resistance, indicating roots have formed. Continue to care for it like an adult spider plant.

Tips for Soil Propagation Success

Be sure the soil stays consistently moist but not waterlogged. If the plant begins to wilt, check the soil moisture and adjust watering accordingly. Also, a light application of fertilizer during the growing season can encourage vigorous growth once the plant is established.

Aftercare for Newly Propagated Plants

After propagation, it is crucial to provide proper care to nurture the young plants into maturity. Keep them in bright, indirect light and water them when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid fertilizing immediately; wait at least a month before applying a half-strength fertilizer to allow the young plants to adjust to their new environment. With patience and the right care, your spiderettes will thrive and eventually become just as lush and vigorous as the mother plant.


Propagating spider plants is a rewarding and simple process that can help you expand your plant collection or share it with others. Whether you choose water or soil propagation, following these steps will ensure you have healthy, thriving spider plants. With their ease of care and air-purifying qualities, spider plants make a delightful addition to any indoor garden.

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