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Why Are My Spider Plant Leaves Bending? (Causes+What To Do)

Spider plants are popular among houseplant enthusiasts due to their easy-to-care nature and aesthetically pleasing beauty. However, a new owner might face some difficulty keeping them happy, and one of such challenges is bent leaves in spider plants. But why do spider plant leaves bend, and what can we do about it?

Inadequate watering is the primary cause of the bending of leaves in spider plants. Both too much water and too little water will result in leaf bends. Always feel the soil and water the plant when the soil feels dry. Too little light will also cause leaf bend, thus keep your spider plant under bright indirect light.

If you are still unable to figure out the cause of bend leaves in your spider plant and how you can fix that, then don’t worry. We will go through all the problems and their solution in detail. Let’s dive right into it.

Also read: How to tell if my spider plant is dying?

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Why does my spider plant leaves bent?

Spider plant can survive in harsh conditions, but it has to look healthy and aesthetically pleasing when kept indoor.

This article is mainly about the reasons behind the bending of spider plant leaves.

So, please take a deep breath, and let’s dive into the list of all causes behind the bending of the spider leaves.

  1. Watering
  2. Sunlight 
  3. Fertilizer
  4. Pests
  5. Pot size

Watering

If you ever noticed, bending leaves of spider plants often begin to occur during summers, and it’s mainly due to lack of water.

Summer comes with excessive heat, which causes the evaporation of water molecules or moisture inside the plant and soil.

So, if the spider plant isn’t getting enough water or there is excess water loss caused by evaporation, the leaves will start getting bent.

But wait! Many hobbyists already know this and hence what they do is keep watering their spider plant frequently. 

If you are one of them, you will be shocked to know that doing so can also result in leaf bending, and it may lead to a bigger problem called root rot.

Therefore, taking any step by yourself until you are not aware of both the ends of every matter can make the plant suffer such health issues.

Also read: How much water do spider plant need?

Sunlight

We already know that direct exposure to sunlight causes severe damage to the spider plant. But keeping it in a too dark area does the same. 

Both too much sun and too little light can lead to the bending of leaves in spider plants.

During the summer, the sunlight is too intense for your spider plant as it can lead to leaf burn and bending of leaves.

Winters are not getting any better as the availability of sunlight is relatively less. That can cause plants to suffer many issues, and one of them is bent leaves.

Fertilizer

Overfertilizing causes nutrient toxicity. However, it doesn’t mean that you should stop giving them fertilizer.

Fertilizer is essential for fulfilling the nutrient requirements for the plant.

So not using fertilizer could be a direct invitation to many issues like bent leaves, as might be in your case.

Underfertilizing causes nutrients deficiency. It sounds funny how both the circumstances aren’t suitable for the spider plant to survive. But “what should be done?” is the crucial question that arises ultimately.

And then, even if you are providing an ample amount of fertilizer and it still feels sick. That may be because it’s not getting enough nitrogen. 

Insufficient nitrogen can stop the production of new foliage in plants, resulting in leaf bends.

Pests

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If you have done everything else right, yet the leaves are bent, then it could be a pests attack. 

Several pests like aphids and spider Mites are the convicts for leaf bending who feed on plant juice. 

Once they get in touch with the spider plant, they keep on sucking the juice from the plant and eventually resulting in the bending of leaves.

These small-sized pests have a significant advantage of invisibility from our eyes; hence they can be sucking the life out of your spider plant even without getting noticed.

Pot/Container size

The size of the pot or container plays a significant role in the growth of a plant. 

If the pot’s size is too small compared to that of the plant, you can see the overgrowing roots coming out of the drainage hole. 

It will ruin the aesthetics of the spider plant and cause damage to the plant’s foliage as well.

Similarly, if the container’s size is extra large than the plant, it will still create different problems like waterlogging and eventually causing root rot.

Having a small pot will cause water deficiency, and the extra-large pot will cause waterlogging. Hence both situations are responsible for leaf bending in spider plants.

Also read: Do spider plants like to be root bounded?

How do you keep spider plant leaves from bending?

Now, we know some of the primary reasons behind the bending of the spider plant’s leaves. Moving ahead, now it’s time to solve those problems. 

Let us have a look at the solution for fixing leaf bends in spider plants.

Watering

If you love your Spider plant, then you should never underwater or overwater your spider plants. Both of these situations can lead to leaf bends in spider plants.

You shall water your spider plant about once a week in summers as the water evaporates faster due to excessive temperature, and because it is the growing season, the plant needs more water. 

In winters, the growth slows down, and the atmosphere also stays cool. As a result, the water doesn’t evaporate quickly. So watering your spider plants biweekly shall do the trick.

However, it might work better if you keep an eye on your plant by yourself. Dip your finger in the soil whenever the top inch or two of soil feels completely dry, then water your plant thoroughly. 

Don’t let the soil get soggy just keep it moist. If the soil stays soggy or muddy for too long, it will cause root rot as well.

If you are watering the plant adequately and still you see the water pooling above the soil, check the pot’s drainage holes. A blocked drainage hole can often result in waterlogging and root rot as well.

Also read: Overwatering vs. Underwatering

Sunlight

Sunlight is one of the most critical elements that help the plant in food production by photosynthesis.

But too much or too little sun can result in bending leaves of spider plants.

Ensure the plant is away from direct sunlight exposure, but bright indirect light is crucial.

Keeping the spider plants on the window during summer may provide ample light to them, but I prefer finding a better spot during winters as the light at the same spot might not be sufficient.

Artificial light might work fine as an alternative to natural light for a certain amount of time in the absence of natural light due to bad weather or any other reason.

Just make sure your spider plant gets bright, indirect lighting at all times to ensure healthy and beautiful foliage.

Also read: How much light do spider plant need?

Fertilizer

Minimizing fertilizing during winters won’t show any adverse effect as the spider plant goes through a slow growth during this time, and hence they don’t need many nutrients.

However, make sure you start fertilizing the spider plant as soon as spring comes around. You definitely don’t want your spider plant to slow the growth phase.

Also, make sure to rinse the soil out every 3-5 months to flush out the salt buildups in the soil. That can help prevent overfertilizing in the long run.

When it comes to plant care, choosing the best quality fertilizer will lead to your spider plant’s better growth. 

Few tips for fertilization:

  1.  Choosing an organic fertilizer can be a way better option than synthetic fertilizer. (Espoma Organic Indoor Liquid Organic Plant Food will be the best choice.)
  2. If you can’t find the organic one, get any good quality fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio to ensure that the plant won’t face any nutrition deficiency. (Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer is what I recommend)
  3. Additionally, Sometimes nitrogen-rich fertilizer is what the plants ask for. It helps the plant to built protein and hence, is responsible for the production of new tissues.
  4. Always dose half the recommended dosage to start with and adjust the same according to your plant’s need.

Also read: Do spider plant need fertilizer? How much? How often?

Pests

To keep your plant safe from pests attack, consider making a schedule for wiping out the leaves.

If the plant is already under pests, attack, firstly cut down the most affected part with a shape pair of scissors and mist the rest of the plant with neem oil solution. Doing so will be an excellent option to avoid the pests from damaging the spider plant anymore.

Whenever you detect pests causing damage to your spider plant and treat them with insecticidal soap, Alternatively, vinegar or neem oil can be used as a natural insecticide.

If you don’t want to deal with such frequent activities, you can go for predatory mites. These are different kinds of mites that feed on spider mites. Yes! You read that right. You are hiring a foe for a foe.

Keep in mind that if you wish to go predatory mites, then do not use any insecticides as this will kill your mites. Choose either one way or another. It’s up to you.

Pot/Container size

If you bought your spider plant a few years ago and you haven’t repotted it in a bigger pot yet, then I guess it’s time to get the spider plant a new pot.

The old pot might not be providing any additional space for the spider plants to thrive properly.

Repotting the spider plant once every other year can help the plant get additional space to expand its roots and help the plant thrive.

A cool fact to know: It is proven that repotting the plant to a bigger size pot can help the plant grow 40% larger.

And yep! You can say, POT SIZE MATTERS!

Also read: What happens if your pot size is too big?

Tips to prevent bent leaves

Breathe a sigh of relief as you probably know by now how to fix the bending of leaves problem in your spider plants. But if you want to avoid such a situation in the future, then here are few tips you need to know.

  • Water the spider plant after feeling the soil. When the soil gets dry, you need to water your spider plant. Else, refrain from watering.
  • Use a moisture meter if you are unsure of watering needs.
  • Only fertilize your plants once a month during spring and summer, and refrain from fertilizing throughout fall and winter.
  • Place your spider plant at a bright spot where it gets indirect but bright light.
  • Make sure the humidity level is above 50%.
  • Mist your plants with neem oil once a week to keep pests at bay and clean the foliage and maintain the humidity levels.

Everything may seem difficult for newbies but don’t overthink all these things. Once you get accustomed to the tips mentioned in this article, your spider plant will amaze you with visible results.

That is it for now! Let’s put an end to the article with some frequently asked questions.

Also read: Why Are My Spider Plant Leaves Curling?

Frequently asked questions

Why does my spider plant keep facing problems like leaf bending?

Unlike humans, the plant can’t speak, but if they look sad, that means something isn’t right with them.

Bent leaves, brown tips, and such issues are the clear indication that your spider plant is asking for help. You need to identify the problems and fix the same to prevent bending of leaves in the future.

Be a good plant parent and know your responsibility. And don’t worry. We are always here to help you throughout your plant parenting journey.

Should I cut bent leaves?

So, when such a problem occurs, many of you might have been thinking about cutting down those bent leaves with the hope that the new growth will be healthy.

But doing so might not help. Until you don’t take proper care of your spider plant, it will keep growing bent leaves.

That means restoring your spider plant leaf to normal isn’t possible if you are careless towards your spider plant.

So it is essential to know what’s wrong with your spider plant and, most importantly, fix the problem they have so that your spider plants grow and remain healthy.

Also read: How to save a dying spider plant?


Source: Common insect pests and diseasesCollege of agricultural studies,  Spider Plants IntroductionUniversity of VermontSpider plant careNational science foundation.

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