Want to acquire a spider plant but are afraid they might attract spiders?
Spider plants do not attract spiders, despite their name. There is a myth that these plants got that name because spiders like to hide among the leaves, but this is untrue. The name comes from their springy, long leaves, which give them a spider-like appearance. The plant itself does not appeal to spiders any more than any other plant.
Do Spider Plants Attract Spiders?
No, spider plants don’t attract spiders, and this is not where the name comes from. Spiders can decide to live among the plant’s leaves, but this is fairly rare and it is not because the plant attracts them.
Spiders will hide in any dark, cool, undisturbed spot that they can find, and if your plant is in a dim corner and rarely moved or disrupted, it may prove quite an appealing spot for the spider to hide in. It’s also possible that it could harbor small bugs for the spider to eat, which will further attract spiders.
However, this is true of every plant (besides strong-smelling ones such as peppermint, which will actively repel spiders) and any plant can harbor spiders if it is rarely disturbed. It is not something special about the spider plant. The spider is attracted to the space, and not to the plant itself.
How Do You Deter Spiders From Living In A Spider Plant?
You will probably never see a spider in among the leaves of your plant, but if you do and this bothers you, you simply need to move the plant around a bit every few days, and the spider will soon relocate to get away from the noise and danger. However, spiders may keep your plant free from bugs, so you might want to leave them alone.
It is also possible to deter spiders by keeping your plant in a wide, open space, rather than in a corner. Maximize the light around the plant, and spiders will be reluctant to live in the leaves because they will feel exposed.
You can use peppermint sprays to deter spiders, but this should not be necessary on the whole. Instead, simply tend to your plant regularly. If you do want to use a spray, make sure that it is plant-safe, and be aware that you will need to apply it frequently for it to be effective.
Will Spiders Hurt My Spider Plant?
No, a spider will not harm your spider plant if it takes up residence in its pot. The very worst it could do is build a web over the leaves, which might slightly reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. However, this would be very minimal and should not make any noticeable difference at all to the plant.
Spiders do not feed on plants, and in fact, a spider might help your plant by eating bugs that could be harmful. Certain species of spiders might predate pests like aphids or mealybugs, preventing them from damaging your plant.
You might not want to go as far as actively placing a spider on your spider plant, and it will probably leave even if you do, but most people choose to leave spiders if they are inhabiting their plants. They may not do much good, but they certainly won’t prove harmful.
Will Spiders Make Webs On My Plant?
Spiders may make some light webs over the plant, yes. This is the way they have to catch their food, so it is perfectly normal behavior for them to do this. You will probably find that the webs break if you water or move your plant, but it is fine to remove them if they are annoying you or getting in the way.
The spider will simply build more. If you consistently remove its webs, it may move out of the plant to find somewhere else, but no particular harm will come to it.
Will A Spider Plant Repel A Spider?
No, spider plants do not repel spiders any more than they attract them. If you wish to repel spiders, you will need to choose plants that have a strong scent to deter them, and spider plants do not have this.
Plants such as peppermint can repel spiders in a localized area because their smell is very powerful and spiders dislike it. A spider will also leave if you spray peppermint or use the essential oil.
If you want to keep spiders out of your home, spider plants are not a viable solution; they will not serve this purpose. Instead, try lavender, basil, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, or eucalyptus; these all have strong scents and can repel spiders. However, be aware that they only work in quite a small area around the plant.
Keeping a basil plant somewhere in your home will not noticeably repel spiders, except in the very immediate vicinity.
Do Spider Plants Suffer From Spider Mites?
It certainly is possible for your spider plant to end up with spider mites on it, and this is a frustrating situation to be in. Although spider plants are generally hardy, a bad infestation of spider mites could do major damage, so it’s important to keep an eye on the plant and regularly check it for mites.
Mites will eat the sap from the spider plant’s leaves, and this can result in discoloration and wilting, or yellowed tips to the leaves. The mites themselves are almost impossible to see, but if you use a magnifying glass, you will be able to spot tiny, red-bodied insects crawling around on the plant.
You can also slip a piece of white paper under the plant and shake it; you should then be able to see the spider mites crawling around if they are present. They will look like little black dots. An infestation needs to be dealt with, or your spider plant may get sick.
How Do You Get Rid Of Spider Mites?
You can get rid of spider mites by first isolating the affected plant. Inspect all the other plants (both spider plants and other varieties) to see whether they also have mites. Move them away from the healthy plants and, where possible, away from each other so that you can minimize re-infection.
If you can, take an infected plant outside and use a blast of water from the hose to knock the mites off. Usually, they will shelter on the undersides of the leaves, rather than the tops, so you may need to tip the plant up so that the water can access them.
You can also do this in a bath or a shower if you prefer. Use the tap or the shower head to spray the undersides of the leaves. It doesn’t matter if you get the soil wet too, but make sure you allow it to dry out again after this.
You should keep the infected plant away from the others until you are sure you have dealt with the mites, as it may take several applications to get rid of them. Do this regularly until you are sure they have gone, or the numbers will go up again; spider mites breed fast.
If you aren’t finding the water method effective, you can also wipe the leaves down with neem oil, but this is a little tricky to do on a spider plant. The good news is that it will get rid of other pests too, leaving your plant healthier.
Again, it will probably take several applications to get rid of a determined infestation using neem oil, so keep your spider plant separate until you are sure it is free from the mites.
You should also wipe down the surface that your plant stands on, clean and disinfect tools, and wash your hands and clothes thoroughly after dealing with mites. They can spread surprisingly easily and may hop onto and off your clothing, infecting your other plants if you aren’t careful.
Do Spider Mites Prefer Spider Plants?
No, many kinds of plants are vulnerable to spider mites, and spider plants are not more so. They do have quite tender leaves, and this makes them appealing, but they don’t specifically attract spider mites.
If your spider plant seems to be getting infested with spider mites a lot, it is worth checking whether anything else is wrong. Sometimes, spider mites are attracted to plants that are already slightly sick, so if your spider plant isn’t being kept in optimal conditions, it may be more vulnerable to infestations.
Spider plants do not attract spiders, despite their funny name. They may occasionally end up with spiders among the leaves, but this will only be because they provide a dark, safe environment and the spider is seeking refuge.
If this happens, you don’t need to worry; the spider will not do your plant any harm, and will probably quickly move on if you disturb it often enough. It may also help your plant out by catching insects that would eat it.