Spider plants are popular for a reason; they are very easy to care for and look amazing. I’ve owned them for several years now, but when it comes to growth rate there are a lot of misconceptions.
Spider plants are actually quite fast-growing, and can reach a growth rate of about 5-10 inches per year in both height and width when cared for properly. This does vary quite a lot though, and when they mature you can expect the growth rate to slow down.
Want to know which factors are the most important when it comes to getting a spider plant to grow quickly? Keep reading to find out.
What Factors Affect Spider Plant Growth Rate?
I’ve rounded up 5 of the most impactful factors that affect how fast your spider plant will grow below.
There are likely a lot of other factors, but in my experience, these 5 have the biggest impact.
Temperature has a direct impact on the growth rate of spider plants for many reasons, including the effects of heat on both photosynthesis and respiration.
For spider plants specifically, a temperature between 70°F to 80°F (around 15°C to 27°C) is ideal for growth with a minimum of 50°F (10°C) during the night. From my own experience with spider plants, temperatures below this will slow down growth quite a lot.
Spider plants thrive in high-humidity environments similar to those in the areas where they are native such as tropical South Africa.
Without being too technical, humidity affects transpiration greatly. Higher humidity means less transpiration via the leaves, and spider plants are adapted to lower levels of leaf transpiration as it allows the stomata to open for longer allowing for greater photosynthesis and therefore growth.
In an ideal world, the humidity should be between 50% and 70% for optimal growth. If the humidity falls below this don’t worry, your spider plant will still grow but at a slower rate. If you want to increase humidity consider using a pebble tray or simply placing your plant in a different area of the house such as a bathroom where the average humidity will be higher.
I also recommend using a hygrometer to measure the humidity as it’s very difficult to estimate and you may be surprised by the humidity levels in certain areas.
Sunlight is one of the main components of photosynthesis and is crucial for spider plant growth.
Spider plants thrive in areas with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. I would avoid placing your spider plant in an area with direct sunlight as the leaves are vulnerable to sun scorch.
On the other hand, if you provide too little sunlight then the growth will slow down dramatically; it’s all about finding a balance. I find that east-facing windows work well, as well as set-back positions in rooms with south-facing windows.
Fertilizer is often overlooked for spider plant growth as most people assume that the soil provides enough nutrients on its own.
Soil does provide a lot of nutrients, especially if you include lots of organic matter like peat moss or shredded leaves in your soil mix, but it can always be supplemented with fertilizer to ensure all of the key nutrients are being supplied to your spider plant.
These key nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) and are found in complete fertilizers. I typically fertilize my spider plants once per month during the growing season, but you can experiment with different frequencies to find what works best for you.
Water is another component of photosynthesis and is very important for the growth of spider plants.
I water my spider plants when the top few inches of soil become dry and have found this to work quite well.
Overwatering is much more of a problem than underwatering, as it can cause issues such as root rot which can quickly kill a spider plant, so make sure that you have good draining soil and drainage holes as well.
How to Make Your Spider Plant Grow Faster
First of all, make sure you go through each of the points above to check that you’re providing the right conditions for optimal growth. This covers the majority of things that will directly impact the growth rate of your spider plant.
Aside from these points, make sure you use a well-draining soil mix and repot every one to two years to allow for more root growth. Although spider plants can do well when slightly root-bound, it’s important to repot every so often to maintain overall growth.
Keep an eye out for pests as well, as these can stunt growth quickly and lead to more serious issues.
How Long Does It Take For Spider Plants To Reach Maturity?
Spider plants will mature in around 3 to 5 years and reach between 12 and 15 inches in height.
Once mature you may find that the growth will slow down quite a bit. This is completely normal, and you will also probably notice that a mature spider plant produces more spiderettes (or spider babies).
What Can You Do If Your Spider Plant Gets Too Big?
If your spider plant becomes ‘too big’ for whatever reason, it’s quite easy to prune the leaves regularly to manage the size.
I personally let my spider plants grow as large as they want to, but if you’re concerned about your plant getting too big then you can read my guide here for some more tips.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Spider Plant?
Spider plants have a pretty big lifespan of around 15-20 years, but there have been cases of these plants living even longer (up to around 50 years).