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Dying Spider Plant

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by draganfly on June 01, 2006 03:50 AM
I have a Spider plant my sister-in-law gave me when it was dying on her and she didn't know what to do. We've had pretty good luck with the other house plants we have, but this one is stubborn and supposed to be easy to care for? We changed it to a pot 3 inches smaller, it was in one way too big, and untangled all the dead, brown root from it. It's still dying. I added a half a stick of miracle grow plant food and that isn't helping. I tried to take two different roots and put them in different pots to seeif they would live and their dying. My plant keeps turing brown and wilty. HELP my plant! [Eek!]
by Patty S on June 01, 2006 04:41 AM
Draganfly, it has been my experience that Spider plants will wilt & turn brown when overwatered. They do quite well in water only, for a long time (if the water is freshened up every week or so), but once they're introduced to soil they require very little water & should be allowed to get real dry between waterings. (I don't know why that is... seems pretty strange, but there are several plants that you can do that with.) Your plants could also be shocking right now, after being repotted.

They really do thrive on neglect, so my advice is to pretend that you don't care about them, let them dry out & settle in to their new homes. (You might try putting one of those plants in water only, & see if that makes a difference... It just might perk up!) [dunno] I've never put one back into water after potting it, but it doean't sound like you have a while lot to lose!) I'd also take that miracle grow stick out of there. I don't know for sure if Spiders appreciate fertilizer, but I never use it on mine & they get huge & have babies all the time.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!  - You're going to love it here, because this is where the friendliest bunch of folks on the World Wide Web gather, & everyone is eager to help each other out & share what they know. Pop in to the The Welcome Wagon - New Members forum, start a new topic, & tell us about yourself... We'd like to get to know you!

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by Pat G on June 01, 2006 07:20 AM
Thanks for the tips! I was wondering why my spider wasn't doing well!

I was told by someone to water spiders from the bottom. Also, to let the roots get crowded. Is that true?

Should I mist instead of watering when they look limp? The soil seems to be moist. Or is that the symptom of overwatering?

I've been successful rooting the "babies" in water until there was a long root (about 3 inches) and then planting in soil. So far, they're still alive. LOL!

I don't want to kill the offspring. Is misting the answer when they look limp? I've STOPPED watering (thanks to the previous posts) and am looking for advice.

I want to have a green thumb and don't want the reputation of killing indoor green things.

Thanks!
by Tonya on June 01, 2006 07:33 AM
Spiders DO like to be root bound and like to dry out between waterings. I agree with Patty S leave it be for a few days and let it dry out. I would remove the Miracle Grow, also. I never fertilize mine and it is great. Lots of Luck!

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by Pat G on June 01, 2006 07:40 AM
Thanks, Tanya!

Not doing a lot of fertilizing... just misting.

Is that still the best thing? Aside from watering, that is.
by Tonya on June 01, 2006 07:51 AM
I don't know...I never mist mine either. Is it getting sunlight? Mine loves to be near or in a window.

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by Patty S on June 01, 2006 10:04 AM
That's another thing that I thought of after I posted here earlier. Spider plants do best in bright reflected light, but won't be happy at all in direct sunlight or a dimly lit room.

I also decided to show you my Spider plants, so I dusted off my mantle & got the camera out! I mentioned earlier that mine get huge & have babies all the time, as you can see. I recently had to switch the 2 hanging spiders around, as the one now on the left was sending out so many runners with babies on them, that I couldn't sit at my bistro table without getting tangled up in them (...the ONLY spiders I ever want in my hair!)

You might detect some brown on the ends of the leaves... that's from when I overwatered them in December!
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The plants on the mantle are all growing in water only. They are: Heart-leaf Philodendron (cordatum), Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida), 2 Avocados (Persea americana), & Pothos (Epipremnum aureus).

The two baby spiders in my "floaty bowl" are rooted & will be happy either remaining in water, or they can be planted into a pot.
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I started rooting these for our Garden club's plant sale, but they never made it there, because I completely forgot about them! I offered to pot them up & give them to my son, but he wouldn't believe me that they'd be OK if he forgot to water them! I even told him that I'd go to his place & water them every couple weeks, but he still declined! (He either doesn't like house plants, or doesn't want to have to clean his apartment!)

Draganfly, I know that you're new to the forum & I don't mean to freak you out by coming on like gang-busters, but since you are having so much trouble with yours, I'd be happy to send these babies off to you. (I've mailed spider starts in wet paper towels before, & they've stayed perfectly happy that way during their trip.) From here to Ohio it'll cost me about 52 cents & I don't have a problem with that, if you want them! (I'd just like to free up my floaty bowl, because I have Roses coming on & they look nice in there!)

Look in your PM box... I just wrote to you.  - (Did I tell you we're a friendly bunch?) [grin]

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by Jiffymouse on June 01, 2006 12:03 PM
patty, i'm impressed!!!
by Tonya on June 01, 2006 01:43 PM
Patty, I was worried everyone would think I was crazy after I posted my spider plant pics, because mine was so lanky looking and theirs was so full. Mine is JUST like yours! It must be the verigated and all that get so full...Mine is growing UP and not out so much like yourS!

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by Patty S on June 01, 2006 04:47 PM
Hiya Jiffy! [wavey]
YOU'RE impressed? I'm impressed! [shocked]

Do you know that before I started hanging out here, I could barely keep fake flowers from wilting & giving up on me?! [nutz] I did know some things about a few house plants & knew lots about veggie gardens, but I just can't believe how much I've learned here, & how many house plants I have now, that I wouldn't have even tried before! I can't believe that I waited so long to try total gardening, & I'm sooo enjoying (& getting good results) REAL flowers in my yard now!

Tonya, it sounds like our Spiders are related! [thumb] Lanky or not, they seem to be pretty happy, huh? They sure have lotsa babies, & I waited FOREVER... (kept repotting them), wanting them to make babies, & finally found out that they weren't going to do it until I left them alone & acted like I didn't care what they did! [Big Grin]

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by Triss on June 01, 2006 05:06 PM
Patty. Beautiful plants. I am amazed that your avocado is looking so good. I did not know you could keep them that big in only water. Cannot wait to see those all in person!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by preciousgreenfingers on June 01, 2006 08:43 PM
How I love your spiders! Am waiting for mine to grow up!
by draganfly on June 02, 2006 02:48 AM
Thank you Patty S. I am going to try and put a couple of my spider's in just water and see how they do. That is very nice of you to offer to send me some of yours, but I would like to see if I can get them to grow before I kill anymore. I will let you know how they do after I get them transferred today. Thank you so much for the advice! [wavey]

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