If you’ve just got a baby spider plant, you might be excitedly wondering how fast it is likely to grow and how soon this plant will become a “display item” and possibly even start producing babies of its own.
Spider plants are fast-growing and although the speed will depend upon the conditions they are grown in, they can reach their full size within just a few years, which is up to 24 inches. That means they are gaining several inches per year, particularly if you can achieve perfect conditions for them. In poor conditions, they will grow notably more slowly.
How Fast Do Spider Plants Grow?
The rate at which a spider plant grows will depend heavily on the conditions that you grow it in; these plants are fast growers, but they do need the right environment in order to thrive. Your spider plant’s growth will depend on:
- Light levels
- Water availability
- Nutrient levels
- Space for roots
All of these things will affect the speed at which a spider plant grows, but the light and nutrient levels will probably be the most important. If your plant is positioned in a dark corner or it is growing in poor, depleted soil, its growth will slow down significantly because it won’t have the energy to keep producing new foliage.
You should pay attention to the conditions of your spider plant, especially if you want it to grow quickly. The more you can perfect its environment, the faster it will gain size and put out new foliage – and the more foliage it has, the more quickly it will be able to photosynthesize and grow.
How Can I Help My Spider Plant Grow More Quickly?
To encourage a spider plant to grow, you need to provide the optimum conditions for it, based on the four criteria mentioned above.
Making sure that your spider plant has the correct light levels is probably the most key aspect of caring for one of these plants and ensuring that it grows quickly. Spider plants are very hardy and will tolerate the wrong lighting very well, but they will not grow fast if they don’t have enough of it.
The different varieties of spider plants have somewhat different tolerance levels in terms of their lighting, but on the whole, they all like to be kept in bright but indirect sunlight. They will not cope if they are placed in the direct sun, because this will burn their leaves, but they like to be near a bright window.
If you have a window that faces north, this may work well for the plant, or if you are able to put up a screen to reduce the intensity of the sunlight, a sunny windowsill can be a good spot. If you cannot provide a suitable sill, choose a position a few feet from the window, so the light can filter through but the leaves will not get burnt.
A spider plant will probably survive in a dark corner, but it won’t thrive or grow quickly! You may want to move your plant depending on the season to maximize the light that it gets, but try not to move it constantly, as this can cause stress, which will hinder the plant’s growth.
Watering your spider plant properly will not necessarily make it grow faster, but it will ensure that it is healthy, and this will have a positive overall effect. These plants are vulnerable to overwatering and will not grow well if they are constantly kept in wet conditions. It is better to err on the side of underwatering them.
You should check the top inch of the soil has dried out before you add water to your spider plant’s container. Push the tip of your finger into the soil to check before you give the plant a drink. If it still feels wet, wait a few more days.
Overwatering will leave your plant vulnerable to root rot, and without its roots, it will very quickly die.
The nutrients are of course an important part of the growth process. When you first pot a spider plant, put it in some good, rich compost; this should provide it with plenty of nutrients for months or even a year.
However, it will eventually deplete these, and it may be a good idea to occasionally top them up with an all-purpose household fertilizer. Dilute this and apply it every month or so during the plant’s growth season (in the summer) to help boost its growth.
Recommendations vary, but it is better to apply too little fertilizer than too much, as a lot can burn the plant’s roots and will cause its foliage to turn brown. This will hamper its growth and could kill the plant in some situations.
If you have over-fertilized your spider plant, flush its container out with plenty of fresh water and then leave it to dry out and recover. Do not fertilize it again for a few months.
Don’t fertilize your spider plant during the winter; it doesn’t need as many nutrients then, and will probably just end up with burnt roots.
Your spider plant will not be able to grow if it doesn’t have any space for its roots. If the roots are tightly wound up inside the pot, there will be little room for nutrient-rich soil, meaning it will be hungry, and water will flow through quickly, meaning it may dry out.
It’s a good idea to regularly repot your spider plant, especially if it is a baby and therefore is quickly growing in size. Adult spider plants will probably rarely need repotting (except to replenish nutrients in the soil), but a baby may benefit from being repotted once a year.
You should be able to tell when your spider plant needs a new pot. Check whether you can see any hint of roots coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom, or whether they are breaking out of the soil’s surface at the top.
Water running through the pot very quickly is also a sign that your plant needs a bigger container. A larger pot should help to speed up its growth because it will provide more space and it will mean that the plant has access to crucial nutrients.
Always use fresh soil when you repot a plant; this replenishes the nutrients and ensures that no problems hidden in the soil (such as mold or mites) get transferred.
When you repot your spider plant try to use a pot that is only a little bigger than its current one. A few centimeters or an inch should be sufficient. Plants do not grow as well if they are kept in very large pots, so try and move up in increments until your plant reaches its full size.
Spider plants can grow very rapidly if they are kept in good conditions and they have the nutrients they need. Put your spider plant somewhere that it can enjoy plenty of indirect sunlight, and give it water every couple of weeks, or when the soil is dry. Within a few years, a baby spider plant should reach its full size.