spider plant repotting: when and how

Just purchased a new curly spider plant that appears to need more room? Is the planter on your current plant beginning to feel a little small? You might be curious about the process involved in repotting a spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). When ought one to execute? What sort of soil and planter does a spider plant require?

Keep reading for everything you need to know about repotting a spider plant to help it grow and thrive.

When Should I Repot My Spider Plant?

If you’ve been growing spider plants for a while, you probably already know how nicely they adapt to being in a small pot. How can you tell if it’s time to pot your spider plant again?

Here are a few signs that it might be necessary to buy an upgraded planter right now:

  • Your spider plant’s roots are coming out of the drainage hole.
  • Roots are starting to show above the soil level.
  • Your spider plant’s soil dries very quickly, resulting in droopy leaves.
  • The planter has cracked.

If any of these apply to your spider plant, it’ll probably appreciate some more space. If it’s autumn or winter, wait until spring; during the growing season, you can go ahead and repot whenever you’d like.

A healthy, growing spider plant can usually be repotted once every 1-2 years. They don’t mind being root-bound, but they tend to grow so fast that you do end up having to change them out relatively often!

Tip: When repotting a spider plant, you can move the whole plant into a big new container, or you can separate it and use multiple smaller planters.

 curly spider plant

Repotting a Spider Plant: A Guide

Pot Dimensions

How do you decide what size pot to use when repotting a spider plant? Well, that depends on whether you’re repotting the plant in its entirety or just a portion of it.

The instructions for propagating a plant with spiders mention the separation technique. This species forms clumps as it grows, so you can typically easily separate the mother plant into several new plants. Naturally, if you do this, all of the new plants that are produced can fit into pots that are smaller than the ones the mother plant was in to begin with.

If you’re repotting the plant as a whole, the rule of thumb is to just go one pot size up. Measure the width of the planter you’re using right now (at the neck). Go for something a few centimeters or about an inch larger. For example, if your plant is in a 20 cm (8″) wide planter now, you can upgrade it to a 25 cm (9″) one when you repot.

Pot Kind

This plant is not particularly particular about what kind of container you should use. The most crucial component is a drainage hole to let excess water drain after each watering session.

Utilizing a typical plastic nursery pot is an excellent choice. Following that you can put this in a decorative overpot that doesn’t necessarily need a drainage hole. When it’s time to water, you simply take the plant in the nursery pot out of the overpot, water it in the sink, and then put it back after the soil has had some time to drain.

Due to its dangling foliage and spiderettes, Chlorophytum comosum is also a very popular option for hanging planters. Same story here: as long as the container has a drainage hole, your spider plant should be perfectly happy in there.

Pot Kind

Ground For Spider Plants

Chlorophytum comosum is not overly picky about what kind of soil it grows in, as it is with all other aspects of care. Because the species’ roots are thick, robust, and tuberous, they can grow almost anywhere.

In the home, you can simply use regular potting soil for houseplants, though adding a little perlite can be beneficial. This enhances drainage and ensures that the soil doesn’t remain wet for an extended period of time after watering, which is helpful because wet feet can lead to microbial rot in indoor plants.

replanting spider plant young

If you own a mature curly spider plant you’ve probably noticed what this species is well-known for: spiderettes! These plantlets, which dangle from the mother plant like spiders from a web, can be used to easily grow a whole new plant. The mother spider basically does the majority of the propagation work for you.

To repot a spider plant baby, you can sever its connection with the mother plant using a sharp and clean knife or scissors. Then, you can pot it up into a small planter with the same soil mixture you use for adult spider plants. Keep the soil lightly moist (though never wet!) and the spiderette should root and continue growing in no time.

If you want to make sure the plantlet is rooted before you pot it up, that can be done as well. Just separate it and then place it in a vase or glass of water, so that the bottom is submerged but the leaves stay dry. This is called water propagation.

Once your water-propagated spiderette’s roots are an inch or so long, you can pot it up as described above. Or don’t: they can stay in water pretty much indefinitely.

Care Instructions For A Spider Plant

Repotting a curly spider plant isn’t the only care aspect you should keep in mind if you want to keep your plant happy and healthy, although it is an important one.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when caring for Chlorophytum comosum:


Spider plants aren’t very demanding when it comes to light (noticing a pattern yet? They’re really very easy.), although they do appreciate it. Try offering bright, indirect light.


Due to their tuberous root systems, spider plants can go for a bit without water. That being said, they do prefer to stay lightly moist. If you wait too long, your plant will let its leaves droop, although it should quickly perk back up after watering.


This species is a pretty vigorous grower during the spring and summer months, so you can supplement it with a normal houseplant fertilizer. Be sure to dilute the fertilizing liquid and stop feeding outside of the growing season.

Pet safety.

Pet owners will be pleased to know that spider plants are in fact non-toxic to pets, as noted by the ASPCA. They do have a strange effect on cats, though. They are said to work as a hallucinogenic not unlike cat grass for our felines. Read more in the post on spider plants and cats.


The most common issue with curly spider plant tends to be when the plant develops brown tips. Although this can be caused by lack of water, the most common cause is excess minerals in the tap water. Read more in the post on brown tips on spider plant.


Want to know more about caring for a spider plant? The full spider plant care guide contains everything you need to know.

If you have any more questions about repotting a spider plant or if you want to share your own experiences with this super easy houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


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