If you’re struggling with a droopy spider plant then you’re in luck, I’ve kept spider plants for years and there are a few easy tips you can use to get your plant back in shape.
The most common reason for a droopy spider plant is either under or overwatering. Too little water and the leaves will dry out and droop, too much water and the soil can become drenched, slowing down the transport of key nutrients to the leaves which causes them to droop.
This is only the beginning of the list of things that can make your spider plant droop. Let’s take a look through 10 reasons why your spider plant may droop and the solutions for each case.
- 10 Reasons Why Your Spider Plant Is Drooping (And What To Do)
10 Reasons Why Your Spider Plant Is Drooping (And What To Do)
Generally speaking, spider plants are super easy to take care of.
If you notice your spider plant leaves start to droop, it is usually quite easy to fix. I’ve included a solution with each of the ten reasons below for drooping spider plant leaves, so you can get your plant looking healthy again in no time.
Overwatering a spider plant is a bad idea. If the roots become saturated with water it slows down the number of nutrients that are absorbed which will cause the leaves to droop.
This can happen if the roots become damaged due to things like root rot, or simply due to the water leaching any fertilizer from the soil.
Check the top few inches of soil – if they are drenched with water then it’s likely your plant has been overwatered. Another easy sign is if the water is visible on top of the soil.
I overwatered one of my spider plants by accident last winter. I forgot to slow down the amount of watering during this season, which led to the soil becoming saturated in water.
Luckily overwatered soil is quite easy to fix. In my case, all I had to do was place the plant in direct sunlight for a couple of hours per day (while avoiding sun scorching the leaves) to evaporate the excess water from the soil, while stopping watering completely.
You can also consider places where there is a lot of air movement, or where humidity is low. These conditions increase transpiration, which means more water is absorbed by the roots.
In serious cases, you will need to remove the plant and inspect the roots. I’ll provide a step-by-step procedure for this in number 7 of this list.
Underwatered spider plants are easy to spot.
The leaves will droop, but they will also turn crispy due to the lack of moisture.
First, confirm that your plant is underwatered by checking the top few inches of soil. If they are completely dry, all you need to do is water the plant.
If the soil has been left dry for an extended period of time you’ll need to continue watering every few days until the soil becomes moist again – make sure that you have good drainage in place for this.
3. Incorrect Soil Mix
Getting the right soil is crucial for any houseplant to thrive, not just spider plants.
The type of soil will dictate how well moisture is held, how many nutrients are available to the plant and also how airy the soil is. If the soil doesn’t drain well enough you will find that it is much easier to overwater your spider plant, leading to the leaves drooping.
A low nutrient profile can also cause issues, especially if you aren’t supplementing with fertilizer. Spider plants require a good balance of nutrients to thrive, so this is another important aspect of choosing the right soil.
Without the right nutrients such as nitrogen specifically for leaf growth, the plant will suffer and the leaves will droop.
Opt for slightly acidic, loamy soil that is well-draining whilst holding moisture well and you should have no problems caused by issues with the soil.
4. Poor Drainage
The type of soil that you use can lead to poor drainage, but you also need drainage holes in the pot to allow for excess water to flow out through the bottom.
If there aren’t any holes it becomes more likely for overwatering to occur. It’s also more likely for root rot to develop if standing water is left in the soil for a long period of time. Both of these can cause the leaves to droop.
Make sure you choose a plant pot with plenty of holes in the bottom to improve drainage.
5. Not Enough Sunlight
Getting the right amount of sunlight for a spider plant can be tricky as they prefer indirect sunlight.
This can oftentimes be confused with shade, which may result in your spider plant not getting enough sunlight. Sunlight is a key component for photosynthesis, which creates energy and nutrients for plants to grow.
Without this, the leaves will suffer alongside the rest of the plant, and will likely start drooping in a matter of days.
Choose an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
If you notice symptoms of sun scorch, move the plant to a more shaded area.
Spider plants don’t attract spiders as some people believe, but they are prone to other pests that can cause damage to the leaves and other areas of the plant that will result in the leaves drooping:
- Aphids – Aphids eat spider plant leaves, which can cause them to droop. Certain types of aphids also feed on roots, which will also cause the leaves to droop.
- Spider Mites – Spider plants usually leave damage marks on leaves that are small yellow or brown spots. Over time, the leaves may droop as more of the material is removed.
Pests are attracted to moisture, so avoid misting your spider plant to increase the humidity and instead use a humidifier or pebble tray.
You can also treat your plant with an insecticide to further reduce the likelihood of pests. This also works to get rid of any pests that are present.
Spider plants are luckily not prone to a lot of diseases, and the most common is root rot.
Root rot is tricky to deal with, as it directly affects the roots and their ability to transfer nutrients to the leaves. Root rot can kill a spider plant, so drooping leaves should be the smallest of your worries if you suspect that it has affected your plant.
To cure root rot, follow the steps below:
- Remove the plant from the soil – Take the spider plant out of its pot and gently wash the roots with water.
- Inspect The Roots – Look for any discolored or mushy roots. This is a telltale sign of root rot, and these roots will need to be removed.
- Trim Affected Roots – Once affected roots are identified take a pair of sterilised pruning shears and remove them. Take this step slowly, you don’t want to damage any healthy roots.
- Repot – Once the roots are trimmed repot the plant in a new pot with fresh soil. I would recommend sterilizing the new pot as well before you repot to be extra safe.
- Bonus tip – Before repotting in a new container, dip the roots in a fungicide solution to kill off any remaining root rot.
8. Low Nutrient Content
I touched on this briefly in the soil section, but nutrients are crucial for the overall growth of spider plants, and nitrogen specifically is largely responsible for leaf growth.
Without these key nutrients, the leaves will droop, and low nutrient content can be a result of poor soil conditions or a lack of fertilizer.
If you’ve got the right soil mix, then fertilizing is an easy way to supplement the nutrient content of the soil. I fertilize once every month during the summer with a complete fertilizer, but you can experiment with fertilizing twice per month during warmer seasons.
9. Low Temperature
If the temperature drops too low it has a drastic effect on the overall growth rate of a spider plant.
Prolonged exposure to low temperatures will cause the leaves to droop as nutrient uptake slows down. Extreme temperatures can kill spider plants as well, although this is much less common in a houseplant setting.
Keep the temperature between 70°F to 80°F (Around 15°C to 27°C) for thriving conditions, with an absolute minimum of 50°F (10°C).
10. Low Humidity
If the humidity is too low it will promote moisture loss, as the rate of transpiration increases.
This has a similar effect to underwatering and causes the leaves to droop. Spider plants thrive in humidity levels between 50% and 70%, which can be found in areas around the home such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity, and if it is too low you can consider using a pebble tray or humidifier to increase it. You can also place your spider plant next to another plant to increase the local humidity. This is the method that I use, as I have several spider plants that are all placed next to each other to increase the humidity.