Introduction: How to Multiply Your Spider Plants

Picture of How to Multiply Your Spider Plants

The Spider Plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, is possibly the most popular house plant. They are good at purifying the air in your home and they are very easy to maintain. The purpose of this instructable is to teach you how to make more spider plants from your starter plant.

Step 1: Finding the Baby Spiders

Picture of Finding the Baby Spiders

If you have had a spider plant you will already know that periodically the plant will send down stems with little plants, or spiders on them. If you look closely you can see that there are roots starting to develop on some of these baby spiders. Carefully hold the baby spider plant and separate it from the stem being sure not to break the roots off of it.

Step 2: Option #1: Starting the Baby in Water.

Picture of Option #1: Starting the Baby in Water.

You can take the baby plant and set the roots in a cup of water for a week or two so the roots may grow bigger. I use a blank CD to keep the whole plant from falling into the cup. Be sure to check the water every couple days, if the plant goes dry for too long it may die.

Step 3: Option #2: Starting the Plant in Dirt Immediately.

Picture of Option #2: Starting the Plant in Dirt Immediately.

 If you have a plant that is already going and you want to thicken up the growth in the pot you might just want to add the baby to it right away. In that case just dig a little hole and plant it in. After you finish planting it remember to water the plant right away. If you want to start a totally new plant use a small pot, a 2 inch pot would be plenty big to start one. Just use your best judgement in the proper size.

Step 4: Spider Plant Care

Picture of Spider Plant Care

Spider plants are very easy to care for. Make sure that they have enough sun and water and they will be fine. If you are not sure if they need water just stick your finger in the soil, if it is dry water it, if it is moist leave it alone. Occasionally the leaves will turn brown and die off, this is normal. Just pull off the dead material or snip it off with a scissor and the plant will look good again. If you have any questions of comments please leave one below or send me a message, I will gladly try to help you out.


thebat777 made it! (author)2017-06-30

Hello.....I have rescued a spider plant about last Nov and it has in the last 2-3 months started to grow very fast and i can now see a main shoot/growth growing right through the middle and i don't know what to do with it, i also can see on the shoot that it has tiny growths/shoots that are popping out along the stem at the nodes and i am not sure what to do about them as they are getting very long and looks like it will eventually grow too long for its own strength, i have added a pic to this message and if you could look at it and get back to me with any advice i would be grateful...thanks...the-bat

DonaldT17 made it! (author)2016-05-16

this is a different plant and wonder if you can help. I have a peace Lilly for years. No more Lilly growing and sprouts green leaves but tips seem to turn brown alot new growths that open tips are brown. What do I do. I don't have it near sunlight.

jimkirkncc1701 (author)DonaldT172017-03-27

Another viable reason that your leaves are browning on the edge is due to the plant being watered with tap/city water. The minerals in city water don't agree with plants. If you are using tap, try purified or bottled water instead, see if you notice a difference. Good luck!

KenW5 (author)DonaldT172016-11-02

Leaf browning may indicate this: your plant has TOO MUCH or TOO LITTLE fertilizer.

rush_elixir (author)DonaldT172016-06-06

Just bring your peace lily outside occasionally, they need some sunlight. I have many of them and they grow crazy in partly shaded areas with slightly moist soil.

JoanB47 (author)2016-06-18

Can a spider grow only in water?

MamaonStrike (author)2015-04-13

This is my spider plant. My mother gave me this last September ALMOST dead. It's now overflowing with babies!!! I'm fixing to pull pups off and put them in pots. I've always had it in the corner by window where sun shines thru and change potting soil every three months and use only miracle grow soil.

RobinG62 (author)MamaonStrike2016-06-16

wow yours are so Beautiful!!!

lrahzor (author)2013-08-06

I'm curious.... Ive noticed on my spider plant, and on yours like in your pictures... that some of the tips die. Should i trim the dead part off or leave it be? I don't want to kill it by cutting one that's not totally dead! Just thought it might make it look better! Thanks!!

JohnC356 (author)lrahzor2016-01-06

i read somewhere that its caused by too many minerals in the water and to use rainwater instead, not tried it myself.

RobinG62 (author)JohnC3562016-06-16

It's the salt in the water. they say to use spring water or rain water, we have babies growing all over the place in our Office.

MarnieV (author)lrahzor2016-03-26

I trim mine back to the fresh leaf to keep it looking nice. I've had my plant for 25 years, they will make new leaves and old ones will die off but you won't kill your plant by cutting back the tips. I sometimes give mine a haircut when the whole thing gets too crazy, they just keep growing.

Tomahawk92 (author)2014-10-31

Nice. How much light do these need? I know they grow indoors but where i want it to go it wont get any direct sunlight.

Also can these be grown in only water? this could be an interesting one to throw in a hydroponics system.

ScottB227 (author)Tomahawk922016-05-17

These spider plants are in my office - I have no windows, so they've never seen sunlight. I bought two grow lamps (red and blue LED types) on Amazon and the plants began growing like crazy.

l8nite (author)2010-02-22

Here in florida, spider plants aren't just for indoors, although the recent stretch of cold weather may have some adverse effects = (  Spider plants tend to spread quickly and make great ground cover.. nicely done "ible"

LarryS94 (author)l8nite2016-04-28

Really? I have several spiders growing outside the house. They do fine in Central Florida (Silver Springs)

Scolova (author)l8nite2010-05-28

Same here in south east Texas, and yep my spider plant almost died this past unusually cold winter. Thankfully it was large and I had it in a large pot and the center survived. It's a great multiplying plant.

(thanks for the instructable)

LindaB212 (author)2016-04-17

I got babies from my sister in law and kept them in water until ready to plant and now once planting they are dying....makes me very sad. She is far away and I cannot get any more

ft47 (author)2010-08-07

what do you do with the long stem which hang down on the plant

MarnieV (author)ft472016-03-26

I trim mine back near where it comes from the plant. After a while it will dry out and you can pull it out with ease. I leave the for a while, mine has pretty white flowers and lots of babies. You can start more plants if you like with the babies.

patricia.grindberg (author)ft472015-04-23

the long stem will produce babies which later you can make more plants with..

lea_avon (author)ft472011-04-18

The long stems often put out tiny, delicate white flowers, but only when they're 'in the mood'. I've never noticed any rhythm or reason for them to suddenly flower, so you may have to be patient!

egoi1 (author)lea_avon2014-10-28

It will flower and seed probably when the "babies" don't reach water or soil to continue propagating. Probably also why the babies will grow babies to try to reach the ground..but they are babies so they eventually give up.

jarfon0300 (author)ft472011-09-22

right, what you do is either take them off and root them in water once the plantlets have, what i call root buds, but i would not advise this because the roots that form are water roots and they may not take once potted into compost. another way is to place a pot close to the parent plant and peg down the plantlets and they should root in a couple of weeks. this is the best and most reliable way of propagating chlorophytum (spiderplant). the last way is to take them off, then put them into a plantpot. this method takes about two to three weeks. overall, you have three ways. i have two spiderplants in my greenhouse and it was one plant but i split it into two. they are the most vigorous ones i have ever had and i have a lot of babies. some are rooted and others are just forming. i have estimated about 50 babies from one with 3 stolons and 6 from the other. keep them slightly potbound to get more stolons. after the babies are off the mother, cut the stolons off as low down on the plant as possible. one of mine has got a seed pod and i would like to know if anyone has any tips on growing them from seed. mine are the type with green leaves and a white stripe down the middle. i know the seedlings will be all-green but i have no idea what to do from collecting seeds and then trying to germinate them. all tips are welcome. thank you.

PaulineR4 (author)2015-10-24

I love spider plants. My hubby bought me one this year, I now have 20 growing in pots ?

bobby32x (author)2015-08-01

I have two sibling spider plants that my parents gave me. I have had them for roughly 2 years and they are well established plants. My question is; how do I get the babies to sprout new? All I have are the leaves. I have never seen a new chute.

faitz (author)2015-01-09

I was just wondering how long the roots on the spiderette should be before cutting it from the mother. I have a spiderette about the size of my fist that I'm potting, but I don't want to cut it too early and have it die.

supriya.arcot (author)2014-12-15


I have put a baby spider plant ( with roots ) in mud since 1 year . I water it each week and it is not dead and yet has not sprouted new leaves. What could be the reason .

james.spil.5 (author)2014-08-31

i have had the same plant .....well and its babies for 10 years...... i clip them grow them give them away.......

Gato Nipon (author)2013-01-30

I love these plants. I had one in high school and today i got lots of them in my balcony. Great tips.

mannioncat (author)2012-08-20

Something is eating the tips of my spider plant. I have it hanging outside cause its summer... should I not leave it outside because of whatever is eating the leaves?

bangbangmaxwell (author)2012-06-01

I have a question.  This is my first time on this site.  Can you grow spider plants in only water?  What other plants can be grown in water?  Are there any places you know that will send you free plants or seeds?  Okay, that's three questions.  Thanks for your help!


kjrafn (author)2011-10-04

any idea why my spider plant never had any babies as a houseplant but when I put it outiside this summer (in Philadelphia) it had gazillians?

jarfon0300 (author)kjrafn2011-10-04

if it is a young plant, they generally take up to two years to mature. but i once had one and it was 7 month old and produced five or six stems. it was planted in the ground but i fetched it in and then it reproduced itself. i live in the UK. when they are outdoors they go through, what they call ripening process, that is when they get all the light they need and get the fresh air. thats the main reason why mine did it at a few months of age. hope this informatoin helps you.

Art Nut (author)2010-02-23

Open up a paper clip, straighten out one end and use it to pin the baby spider back into the mother plant's pot.  It's a way to fill up sparse pots or start new plants.
Another term for the spider plant is Mala Madre or Bad Mother because she throws her babies out of the nest!

jarfon0300 (author)Art Nut2011-09-23

other names include Ribbon plant and Plane plant.
the latin is 'Chlorophytum Comosum' and the other species is 'Chlorophytum Elatum'.

jarfon0300 (author)2011-09-22

hi folk

i live in the UK and have two spiderplants with tons of babies and i would like to know if anyone knows any variatoins of the standard spiderplant. the two i have are green with the white stripe down the middle, i thought they were 'Vittatum', as that is the popular variety in the UK. but these two are very small, about 5 inches tall, and the leaves curl over. i think its a 'Bonnie', but the leaves dont spiral, they just curl over. if anyone has a name, please let me know as i really need to know what these spiderplants are. thanks.

PeoplesCar (author)2011-06-13

Great instructable. I have tons of houseplants, but no spider plants yet, and plan on getting one this week (I'll probably put it in a coconut fluff hanging basket over the peace lily in the living room). I look forward to getting some plantlets off it to put in pots on the front porch / more hanging baskets in the kitchen.

AmyLuthien (author)2011-04-04

For the record, baby spider plants are called "pups' ;)

Kostas K (author)2010-03-30

God, a cd! Why didn't I think of that? Thanks, I have 3 baby spiders in cups with water and the lower leaves suffer, being immersed in water. This will definatelly help.

Mehehehful (author)2010-02-23

Aww. I remember my science teacher would grow a spider plant and at the end of the year almost all the students took one home...... I love plants :D

cherriz (author)2010-02-23

I love the idea of holding it up with a CD! Thank you for that.

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