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Where to cut spider plant babies?

3 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

Cut the babies off, clipping as close to the spider plantlets as possible, removing the unattractive, yellowed stolon. Next, propagate them in water or plant them directly in the soil with the cut end down. If propagated in water, roots will form within seven to 10 days.

Isaac Khadka
Medical Laboratory Scientist
Answer # 2 #

Propagating spider plants is super easy, and there are a few ways to do it. In this post, I will talk about the different methods, and then show you exactly how to root the babies step by step.

A reader on my Facebook page recently asked me to write a post about how to propagate spider plants.

Well, the good news is that spider plants are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate.

It’s so easy that soon you’ll have tons of new spider plant starts to share with your friends and family.

There are three main methods for propagating spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum, also called an “airplane plant”), and they are all really easy.

These methods are rooting spider plant babies (a single leaf won’t work), propagating by division, or starting them from seed.

In this post I will talk in detail about how to propagate spider plant babies, and also briefly touch on dividing them.

If you want to try seeds, then check out my post about how to collect and grow spider plant seeds.

Spider plant babies are the identical offspring of the mother plant. They’re also called offshoots, spiderettes, spiderlings, pups, runners, or plantlets.

They will appear at the bottom of long stems that shoot out from the mother. Once they’re mature enough, the offshoots can be used to make new airplane plants.

They only form on the flowers if they’re not pollinated. If the flowers are pollinated, then they will produce seeds instead of plantlets.

Related Post: Plant Propagation: A Detailed Guide For Beginners

You can propagate your spider plants just about any time of the year. But it’s easiest and quickest to do it during the spring and summer months.

The best time to remove the babies is when they have their own roots underneath. If they aren’t mature enough, it may not work.

I recommend waiting until the babies have a few starter root formations of their own before taking your cuttings.

If the spider plant babies have no roots, or you only see tiny nubs, then it’s best to wait until they’re a bit more mature.

Once you determine a plantlet is ready to be propagated, you can remove it from the mother by cutting it off.

Sometimes the babies will come off easily when you disturb them, and you don’t even have to cut them.

If you’re wondering where to cut spider plant babies from the mother, it really doesn’t matter. But I like to cut them as close to the top of the spiderlings as I can, just so there’s no ugly stem sticking out.

Be sure to use a sterile pair of precision clippers so you get a nice clean cut.

Once you remove the baby, you can prune the long stem back to the bottom of the next one up, or all the way to the main plant because nothing new will come from it.

Growing spider plant babies is the most common method of propagation, and there are a few ways you can do it.

You can root them in soil while they’re still attached to the mother plant. Or you can cut them off and either root them in water, or propagate your spider plantlets in soil.

Related Post: The Best Plant Propagation Tools, Equipment & Supplies

The easiest way to propagate spider plants is by putting the babies in water until they get new roots.

The main disadvantages of rooting cuttings in water are that the spiderette could rot, and or it can go into shock when you plant it into soil.

The babies tend to be weaker when rooted in water, and it can take them a while to recover from transplant shock.

Here are a few tips for the best successfully rooting spider plants in water…

Related Post: Why Do Spider Plant Tips Turn Brown & How To Fix It

You can also propagate your spider plant in soil, and this method will result in the strongest starts.

Baby plants rooted in this way have less risk of dying from transplant shock than those that are rooted in water. The only downfall is that it can take a little longer.

Below are a few tips for rooting spider plants in soil…

Related Post: Make A Cheap & Easy Propagation Box For Rooting Cuttings

With this spider plant propagation method, you put a pot next to the mother and stick the starter roots of the baby into the soil while it’s still on the stem.

The benefit of rooting Chlorophytum comosum plantlets while they’re still attached to the mother plant is that you don’t have to worry about transplant shock.

But it can be a bit more difficult because spiderettes still attached to the mother won’t always root as readily as they do when they’re removed. Here are a few tips…

Spider plant babies can grow roots very fast, you might see them forming in as little as 2-3 days. But it will take 2-4 weeks before they’re long enough for transplant.

The full time range can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on which method you choose and the environment. If it’s cold or very dry, it will take longer.

There are a few reasons why your spider plant babies won’t root. They either weren’t mature enough, they dried out, they were too wet and rotted, or the environment is too cold.

Only use mature spiderlings that have their own roots forming, and make sure to keep them in a warm location.

Never let the roots dry out at any point, and make sure either the soil is evenly moist, or the water is only deep enough to cover the root nubs, and not the leaves.

Wait until they have 2-3″ long roots before transplanting your spider plant babies into a container with fresh soil.

Water it well and allow the excess to drain out the bottom. Keep it evenly moist until the start has become established in its new pot, but don’t overwater.

They may droop for a few days after, but they should pop back up in a week.

Water propagated spiderettes will take longer to recover after being transplanted than those that were rooted in soil.

Learn all about how to grow your new babies in my detailed spider plant care guide!

Dividing spider plants is another common way to propagate them, and the best option if your plant doesn’t have any offshoots.

Splitting Chlorophytum comosum can be difficult if it’s pot-bound. If the roots are really thick and tightly packed, then you will probably need to use a sterile knife to cut through it.

Otherwise, simply tease them apart until the clumps are separated, and plant them into a new container at the same depth they were before.

In this section I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about spider plant propagation. If you don’t find yours here, ask it in the comments below.

No, you cannot propagate a spider plant from a leaf cutting. The only way to do it is by rooting the babies, splitting the rootball, or starting them from seed.

The best way to propagate a spider plant is by rooting the babies that form at the end of the mother plant’s offshoots. These spiderlings can be rooted in soil or water.

Yes, you can propagate your spider plant in water, and this is the quickest way to do it. Just make sure you only submerge the bottom where the roots are forming, because if it’s too deep it could rot.

It’s better to propagate spider plants in soil rather than water because the roots will be stronger, and there’s less risk of transplant shock.

Spider plants are easy to propagate, and perfect to start with if you’re just learning. Soon you’ll have tons of new babies to fill your home, or even share with your friends and family (they make a great gift too).

If you want to learn how to multiply even more of your plants, then my Plant Propagation eBook will be your guide to propagating plants! It will teach you the basic methods of plant propagation for beginners, and give you all the information on propagating plants you need so you can multiply any plant you want. Download your copy today!

How do you propagate spider plants? Share your spider plant propagation tips in the comments section below.

Answer # 3 #

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are popular hanging houseplants that are very easy to propagate.

With the right care, mature spider plants grow babies, or pups, on long runner stems.

Propagation is simple and the spider plant babies grow roots fairly quickly. Usually in about a week or two. Plant them in their own pots and you will have new spider plants in no time!

If you got here looking for general spider plant information, go to the spider plant care article or the post about common spider plant problems instead. This article here covers how to propagate spider plant babies.

There are three ways to propagate your spider plant babies and create new plants. For free!

Want to learn more about plant propagation? Read the complete guide explaining the 6 different ways to propagate your plants.

Looking to buy a Spider plant? Check out the plant growers on Amazon that deliver them right to your doorstep.

You can cut the babies off if you want to propagate them. But you don’t have to do anything.

As long as the stems are healthy and not dried out, you could leave the spider plant babies attached to the parent plant if you like. They will get their water and nutrients through the runners.

They will grow and can eventually even have babies of their own, trailing all the way down like a waterfall.

There is also a way to propagate without cutting the babies off. More on this later.

Propagating spider plants from just the leaves is not likely to work.

You can, however, propagate a large spider plant through division. This is a good option if your plant doesn’t have any babies growing. This way you gently separate the plant and its roots system in parts, and replant them in their own containers.

Propagation may be done at any time of year, but is best done in the spring or early summer, when it is the growing season and your plant is at the peak of its energy.

When your spider plant matures and grows in plenty of bright light, it will send out multiple runners with delicate white flowers on the ends. These small flowers will grow into spider plant babies.

Be patient. Let the spider babies grow a bit before doing anything.

After a while, you will start seeing small nubs appearing on the bottom of the plantlets. These are aerial starter roots. These roots tell you the spider plant babies are ready to be propagated.

Now you can start thinking about how you want to grow your new spider plants.

Do you root them in water first? Or put them straight into the soil? Maybe go for the striking visual of potting the offshoots, but leaving them attached to the mother plant.

Whichever way you choose, make sure to give the baby pups adequate bright, but indirect sunlight. No full sun!

The spider plant is a great plant when you want to try propagating for the first time. The babies, hanging from the parent plant, are basically complete plants already. Just miniature versions.

When you propagate plants in water, you’re letting the roots grow out in water first, before transferring the cutting to the soil.

You can keep the baby spider plants rooting in water for a while and the roots can grow quite long.

But water alone will not give the nutrients that your plant requires, whereas soil will. Growing spider plants in soil is recommended.

If your plant is kept in water for an extended period of time, it will require additional liquid nutrients to survive.

Other than that you should watch out for algae growth. Change the water regularly to prevent this.

The simplest way to propagate the spider plant is to cut off the babies and plant them directly into the soil in their own pots.

It will take a little longer for the baby plant to settle in, grow roots, and show new growth. But that is nothing to worry about.

Your plant is working on its root system first. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not too wet, until new leaves appear. Then continue regular care.

What to do with the long spider plant stems after you have removed the baby?You can cut off the entire runner from the mother plant after removing the spider plant babies. But if you don’t mind it being there, just leave it. New babies can still grow from it as long as the runner hasn’t dried up.

When you think of it, keeping the baby pups attached to the parent plant is most like how they grow in their natural habitat.

The parent plant grows runner stems with all the babies hanging down.

Eventually, the runners grow long enough for the babies to touch the soil. This way they will root right there next to the original plant.

To mimic this at home, don’t cut the babies off your spider plant. Instead, put the baby spider plants in a small pot filled with moist soil next to the main plant.

Don’t pot them too deep. Only the starter roots need to touch the soil.

Keeping the baby plants attached, gives them strength and nutrients from the soil in their own pots, and, at the same time, are still being cared for through the stem by the parent.

Wait until the baby shows new growth, then cut it away from the parent.

TIP: Plant a few Spider Plant babies together in one pot for an instantly fuller look.

Bre Blankfield
Camp Nursing