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Why Is My Spider Plant Dying? (Causes+What To Do)

It can be frustrating when you find your spider plant dying, and you are not sure what lead to your plant’s wilting. Whether it’s just a big mistake or a series of small mistakes that lead to wilting, it is crucial to identify and fix the same.

Overwatering or underwatering, excessive fertilization, and pest infestation are common causes of a dying spider plant. These plants usually die back when they are kept under stress for a long time. Thus, identifying the problems early on and finding a solution can save your plant from dying.

There could be many reasons for a dying spider plant, and in this guide, we will discuss the reasons.

Some of the very known reasons could be the rookie mistake of overwatering and overfertilization. Another reason for the dying spider plant is the pest situation, which is one of the worst situations if neglected.

We can also guess that the spider plant is not healthy if we do not see the spider pups in the season.

Let us understand the reasons behind the dying spider plant.

Spider Plant turning brown

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Why is my spider plant wilting?

The spider plant can wilt because of the watering condition, which is the most common situation.

What happens when we overwater the spider plant, or we leave the plant to stay on the excess water that is collected on the drainage tray?

Spider plants are medium and tropical plants. They require the soil to be dried before being watered again.

Whenever we water the spider plants, feel the soil beforehand. The soil should be dry and not moist. If we find that the soil is moist, leave the plant. Water it after a few days.

When the spider plant is overwatered, we will see that the plant starts to wilt and droop. Another change we will notice is the color of the leaves changing to yellow and brown.

We also need to check the drainage holes and the tray. Never allow the plant to sit on the water. This is one way to overwater the plant.

There is a list of other reasons why the spider plant can wilt. 

Some of the known and common reasons are: 

  1. Overfertilization
  2. Light conditions

Let us begin with the light condition.

The spider plant requires medium to bright indirect sunlight. If the spider plant is kept in a place where the plant gets direct sunlight, we will notice the leaves start burning.

Because the leaves burn, the color of the leaves changes to yellow, and the spider plant will start to wilt.

We suggest placing the spider plant near the North window where it will get the indirect light. Keep the plant under a shade or behind a sheer curtain.

Also read: How much light does spider plant need? (+All lighting requirements)

Now, moving towards fertilization.

Let us understand a simple rule first. We never suggest adding the prescribed amount of fertilizer.

Always choose to add less than the amount prescribed. This way, we avoid overfertilizing the spider plant.

When we overfertilize the plant, the mineral intake increases, but the metabolism remains the same. Hence, it can shock the plant and cause the spider plant to wilt.

Overfertilization also calls for a pest situation, and the pest situation is what we need to avoid.

Also read: Do spider plant need fertilizer?

Spider plant leaves getting holes and marks

Spider Plants together

The Spider plant is affected by the pests such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. The reason behind the pest situation can be many, and some of them include:

  1. Pests from another infected plant
  2. Infected scissors/pruners/clippers
  3. Negligence after a root rot
  4. Overfertilization of the spider plant

Let us understand each of them and what happens to the spider plant because of the pest situation.

When we see the pests on the spider plant, we will notice that the plant is droopy and wilting. We will also notice that the color of the leaves changes to yellow and brown.

These pests feed on the new leaves of the spider plant.

If the pest situation prevails, we might not see the new spider pups growing.

If your plants are grouped together, and if even a single plant is infected, then it is likely that all your plants will get infected.

These pests travel from one plant to another.

Whenever we notice these pests on any of our plants, the first step will be to isolate the plant.

Even using infected scissors/clippers/pruners can transfer the pest to the plant.

Hence, we always recommend disinfecting the scissors/pruners before use. These pests feed on the leaves, and we will notice holes in the leaves of the spider plant.

Also read: Pest problem in spider plant+How to deal with it.

Next is the root rot situation where because of the root rot, the unhealthy plant invites pests, bacteria, and fungus.

Bacterial and the fungal root rot situation can cause the plant’s death if neglected.

Overfertilization also invites a pest situation because overfertilization can cause root rot.

How to avoid the pest situation?

spider plant neem

The spider plant requires a little extra misting with neem oil during the late winter and the early spring.

Once we see the spider pups on the spider plants, we will need to mist the plant regularly.

We can avoid the pest situation by:

  1. Using a neem oil solution while misting
  2. We can also use pesticides and fungicides
  3. Disinfecting the scissors/pruners with rubbing alcohol before use

The above are a few steps to avoid the situation. However, if we are already suffering from a pest situation, isolate the spider plant immediately.

Next, spray the spider plant with a neem oil solution. We suggest the neem oil solution because we believe in natural methods.

Spray the solution all over the plant, and follow the process for about 14 days. A fortnight is recommended to remove all the pests and their eggs, if any, from the spider plant.

You are free to use the pesticides available online or from the market. However, always use half the prescribed amount.

Looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.

Spider plant leaves turning brown and yellow

Spider Plant turning yellow

All plants, including the spider plant, send out signals whenever they are under stress. As humans, we need to decipher the meaning and help the plant.

If the spider plant is overwatered or underwatered, then the spider plants show color changes on the leaves.

When underwater, we will first notice the spider plant go droopy. If left underwatered further, we would see that the color of the leaves will first change to yellow and then brown.

The same is the situation with the overwatering. When the spider plant is overwatered, the plant will start drooping, and the leaves change their color to yellow and brown.

When the plant cannot take up more water, then the spider plant will start the shedding of the leaves, and as a result, you may end up losing your plant.

Some of the reasons behind the changing color of the spider plant leaves are:

Spider Plants Need Fertilizer
  • Overfertilization of the spider plant
  • Pest situation
  • Light condition

We have discussed the most crucial reason behind the leaves’ changing color, and that was the watering condition.

Another reason behind the yellow leaves is the overfertilization issue. 

Because of overfertilization, the plant goes through a shock, and the leaves change their color to yellow.

When infected by the pests, the spider plant leaves will have holes and marks. The leaves that the pests had fed upon turns to yellow and brown.

The light requirement for the spider plant is medium to bright indirect sunlight.

When the spider plant is kept outdoor, we will notice that the tips of the leaves turn brown because the leaves burn.

If the spider plant does not receive light at all and is kept in a dark spot, then the leaves’ color will be dull.

We will not notice the variegation on the leaves.

We always recommend providing the spider plants with an hour or two of direct sunlight.

However, if it is not possible, keep the plant near the north window, where it can receive bright indirect sunlight.

Also read: How much light do spider plant needs?

No babies on spider plant

Spider Plant growing

Do you see the spider pups in the season? What is the season for the spider pups? If you did not notice the spider pups grow, then there is something wrong with the plant.

The season for the growth of spider pups is during the early spring where we notice small buds. These buds form into pups, and then finally, they can be propagated as a spider plant.

If you do not notice the pups, it is okay. With little to no effort, we can get the pups. All we need is to check the light conditions and the watering right.

We have mentioned the light requirements and the watering requirements for the spider plant above. Medium to bright indirect sunlight and dried out waterings.

The spider plant requires misting once we see the buds grow and during the winter because they need that extra humidity.

We suggest adding some neem oil solution while misting. The neem oil solution will keep us safe from the pest situation.

Also, a neem oil solution is an organic way to avoid pests. There are no side-effects to the plant.

Check the amount of fertilizer that you might have added. Make sure not to overfertilize the plant.

The spider plant does not like stunted growth. Bring back the plant and repot if necessary.

Spider plant root rot

Houseplants grouped 1

None of the plants likes a root rot situation. Overfertilization and overwatering are two major causes due to which the spider plant could develop root rot.

To understand if your spider plant is suffering from a root rot situation, you need to keep an eye on a few signs.

First of all, it’s the foul odor you will get from the soil. We will notice a mold formed on the top layer of the soil.

To check if the situation has worsened, we will need to pull out the root ball from the soil. Check if there is a sign of any bacterial or fungal root rot.

Also, check the color of the roots. Healthy roots are more white and crusty, whereas the roots with root rot are more brown or black and are not crusty.

To overcome this situation, we will need to keep the root ball under running water and get rid of the soil around the root ball.

Next, prune the roots that are black or brown. These roots might not be crusty but tender.

We will need to repot the spider plant in a fresh pot.

Can you bring a spider plant back to life?

Yes, spider plant can be salvaged even when they are suffering badly. You just need to fix the living conditions and the problems your plant is going through.

After reading through the above blog, we can at least say that now we can tackle any situation that could arise with the spider plant.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Watering
  • Light
  • Fertilization
  • Pest

These are the primary issues that could arise in spider plants, but if left untreated, it could kill the plant.

Spider Plant watering

Always feel the soil before watering the spider plant. They need to be on the dry side and not moist.

Also, check the drainage tray and the drainage holes. The drainage holes have to be cleaned, and the tray should be empty.

We now also know the light requirements of the spider plant. The spider plant loves bright indirect sunlight.

It is also recommended to keep the spider plants under direct sunlight for an hour every day. This way, the spider plants will develop their variegation.

You may always find the difference between a plant kept with proper light conditions and a plant kept at a darker spot.

You should only use the fertilizer during the growing season that is from late spring to late summer.

The spider plants require very little feed and a dilute dosage. A 2-4-4 or a 4-4-4 fertilizer will be enough for the spider plant.

We also need to disinfect our scissors/pruners before use to avoid pests.

If everything fails, then we have one last option, and that is the repotting of the spider plant. If we repot the spider plant into a new pot with new soil, then it could solve the problem.

Lastly, also check the size of the pot. The spider plant prefers smaller pots but doesn’t like to become root-bound. However, too large of a pot could also be an issue, so beware of the same.

Larger pots mean more foliage on the spider plants, but you may risk the plant with overwatering.

Last attempt to save a dying spider plant

You can save a dying spider plant with a little care. We always have an option of repotting your spider plant, but the fun is in propagating the spider plant.

Let us check the ways how we can save the plant from dying.

Can propagating or repotting save dying Spider Plant?

Spider Plant soil

Yes, propagating your spider plant can be a life saver under certain circumstances.

The spider plant is propagated with small spider pups, also known as spiderettes. These spiderettes can be seen when your spider plant matures.

The season for the growth of the pups is from late winter to early spring.

We can propagate our spider plant with the help of these pups and multiply the plant quickly. There are three basic ways of propagation.

We can pluck the pups from the mother plant and propagate the pups in water for the first part. We will notice roots developing after a couple of weeks.

The only note is to change the water regularly while choosing water propagation because still water will form algae growth.

Next, we may choose to propagate the pup in the soil directly. Such propagation can be done quickly. Take a pot, fill it with well-draining potting soil and a perlite/pumice mixture.

The pumice will help in increasing the aeration of the soil. We can also add compost to the mixture. Now, place the pup in the soil. Cover the plant with some more soil and water the plant.

Do not add fertilizer for about a month and let the soil dry out between waterings.

This way, we can save the dying spider plant.

Lastly, if we place the pups in the soil and pin it while the pup is still attached to the mother plant, then we can grow an adult and a new spider plant.

Also read: A complete guide on propagating a spider plant

How to repot the spider plant?

Spider Plant soil Propagation

To repot the spider plant, we will need the following:

  1. A new pot
  2. A well-draining potting soil
  3. Pumice/perlite
  4. Compost

We need to be gentle during the spider plant’s repotting because it has tender roots.

Also, the chances are that the plant is rootbound. The roots are entangled in the pot so much that we might hurt the plant while repotting.

Once the root ball is removed, check the roots.

If the roots need to be pruned, give them a little pruning. Also, prune the leaves which are yellow or brown and won’t be required by the plant.

Wash the root ball thoroughly to remove the soil around the root ball.

Now, take the mixture of well-draining potting soil, perlite/pumice, and some compost. Place the mixture in the pot.

Gently place the root ball in the middle of the pot.

Cover the plant with soil. Water the spider plant, but make sure not to overwater. Place the plant under bright indirect sunlight, and we will see that the spider plant is thriving again.

Within a few weeks after repotting, we will notice a healthy spider plant again.

Also read: How To Revive Dying Spider Plants?

Source: Common insect pests and diseases, College of agricultural studies,  Spider Plants Introduction, University of Vermont, Spider plant careNational science foundation.

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