Choosing between a spider plant vs dracaena can be tricky as these two plants share a lot of the same care requirements and can look quite similar depending on which variety you get.
The main difference between the two plants is that dracaena are shrubs, which means that have woody stems above the ground. Spider plants are herbaceous, which means they lack a central woody stem.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the key similarities and differences between these plants in detail so you can get a better understanding of which plant is best for you.
Is A Spider Plant A Dracaena?
I just want to reiterate that spider plants are not the same thing as dracaenas, as there seems to be some confusion between the two.
This likely stems from the fact that spider plants are often called ribbon plants, which is a name shared by a variety of dracaena called dracaena sanderiana.
There are probably more similarities between these two plants than you would imagine.
There are around 120 different types of dracaena and over 200 types of spider plants, but the most common versions do have quite similar leaves.
To be more specific, the leaves tend to be quite long and sharp. Spider plants usually have more variegation, but if you look through lists of the most common types of each plant you’ll quickly notice how similar the leaves can be:
See what I mean?
Like a lot of houseplants, both spider plants and dracaenas prefer bright, indirect sunlight.
Avoid direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves, and instead opt for more shaded areas.
Warmer temperatures are more suited for both plants.
Anywhere between 70°F to 80°F (Around 21°C to 27°C) is ideal, but it doesn’t have to always be at this level. From my experience, an absolute minimum of 50°F (10°C) need to be maintained at all times, and anything below this will start to cause issues for the plants.
Spider plants and dracaenas both thrive in humid environments, with humidity ideally around 50%-70%.
To increase humidity consider using a pebble tray or a humidifier. Misting is therapeutic, but it does little to increase humidity over a longer period of time.
Pebble trays are an affordable option, but investing in a humidifier can be a great idea if you have a collection of tropical houseplants.
You can also group tropical plants together to increase the local humidity. This works as the plants transpire, giving off humidity, which then builds up as multiple plants transpire.
Easy To Care For
When kept as houseplants, both are incredibly easy to care for.
As long as you provide enough bright, indirect light, decent humidity and avoid overwatering you should have no issues with either plant.
I currently own both a spider plant and a dracaena marginata and they have been some of the easiest houseplants to grow that I’ve come across.
You can easily propagate both of these plants.
This can be helpful to know if you want to increase the number of houseplants that you have without having to pay for more.
Now that we know the similarities between these two, let’s take a dive into the differences to see what sets them apart from each other.
Type Of Plant
Dracaenas and spider plants are different types of plants, which is probably the biggest difference between the two.
As I mentioned earlier, dracaenas are shrubs whereas spider plants are herbaceous.
I like to think of dracaenas as ‘mini trees’, as this is pretty much how they are classified. Spider plants are more like the type of plant that you would use to fill out a flower bed; much shorter in height but quite wide in comparison to their height.
The difference in the type of plant also means that there is a substantial difference between the height of these two plants.
Dracaenas grow much taller than spider plants and can reach up to 10 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Spider plants can reach around 12 to 15 inches tall, which is obviously quite a stark contrast.