Learning how to make a spider plant bushier is actually very easy.
Spider plants will become bushier if they are thriving and growing quickly, producing new leaves regularly. This is achieved by providing optimal growth conditions, and utilising tips such as using complete fertilizers and pruning regularly to further promote leaf growth.
1. Make Sure The Conditions Are Optimal For Growth
Spider plants are hardy, there is no denying that.
But, if you give them the optimal conditions for growth they will produce new leaves much more quickly than you would expect. Over time, the appearance of your plant will change and it will look bushier.
I’ve recently started to fertilize my spider plant once every month during the summertime and the difference in appearance is night and day.
Higher temperatures are crucial for spider plants to grow quickly. If you’ve ever kept a spider plant through the winter like me you’ll know what I mean.
Ideally, you’ll want the temperature to hover between 70°F to 80°F (Around 15°C to 27°C), with an absolute minimum of 50°F (10°C).
Spider plants prefer humid environments, with ideal levels between 50% and 70%.
Here are a few tips you can use to increase the humidity around your spider plant:
- Pebble Tray – Pebble trays are an effective method for increasing humidity. Simply fill a shallow tray with pebbles to create a base for the container of your spider plant. Fill the gap with water up to about three-quarters of the depth of the tray, and place the container on top so it is balanced.
- Humidifier – Humidifiers can get pretty expensive, but they’ll increase humidity in the most uniform and consistent way. You can also vary the level of humidity, which will allow for some trial and error.
- Change Location – Kitchens and bathrooms tend to have higher levels of humidity naturally, and sometimes all you need to do is move the plant to one of these areas.
- Place Near To Other Plants – If you have other houseplants that require high humidity, consider placing them next to your spider plant. This increase the local humidity as the plants transpire.
- Avoid Misting – I’ve written about misting quite a few times now, and my opinion is that you should avoid using misting as a technique to increase humidity. It will only increase humidity for a short period of time, and the excess moisture on leaves can attract pests and leave marks behind.
Consider buying a hygrometer to measure the humidity around your spider plant. It’s difficult to judge humidity without one of these, and you may take the humidity too high if you don’t monitor it.
Spider plants require plenty of bright, indirect light.
Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves, and if you don’t provide enough sunlight then you will see quite slow growth. Grow lights have a lot of benefits and can be used if you don’t have any spaces that provide the right type of sunlight.
Watering spider plants is quite easy. The best rule of thumb to follow is to water when the top few inches of soil are dry.
Try to keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater as this can lead to serious issues such as root rot.
Using the right type of soil (well-draining) will reduce the risk of overwatering.
Spider plants require a well-draining, loamy soil that is slightly acidic (pH between 6 and 7). Most houseplant mixes will work well, but if you want to create your own mix you can use 2 parts sand or perlite, with 1 part peat moss and 1 part potting mix.
Once you get the conditions right, it’s a matter of pruning and using the right type of fertilizer to promote new leaf growth and make your spider plant look much bushier.
2. Prune Regularly
Pruning a spider plant is a great way to stimulate new growth if you prune directly above the nodes. This triggers a hormonal response to repair the damaged tissue, causing growth.
It’s also important to remove leaves once they have died, as this will free up nutrients for other leaves to grow at a faster rate. I would recommend leaving the leaves to die fully before pruning, as the rest of the plant can absorb nutrients from the leaf as it dies.
3. Use Fertilizer To Promote New Leaf Growth
Fertilizing spider plants with a complete fertilizer is a great way to promote new leaf growth, which will make your plant look bushier.
Complete fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK). Nitrogen is responsible for the growth of new leaves, which is crucial if you want your spider plant to look bushier.
I personally fertilize once per month during the summer months and avoid fertilizing during winter, but if you live in a warm climate you can fertilize once per month year-round. Start with small amounts of fertilizer and see how your plant responds.
Complete Fertilizer Will Also Promote Flower Growth
Using fertilizer has another benefit in that it promotes flower growth. More specifically, the phosphorus found in complete fertilizers is responsible for flower growth (as well as root development).
Spider plants do actually produce flowers which are white and star-shaped, and these flowers can help a spider plant look bushier. Spider plants can flower anytime during the year when kept inside.