Ask a Question forum: Spider plant dying

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Jax
Aug 23, 2016 8:14 AM CST
My once-beautiful spider plant is dying. So many leaves/stalks have died that it's about a third the size it was just a few months ago. It's totally wilted and although most of the remaining leaves are bright, bright green--like it's fully watered--more turn brown every day. I moved to a new apartment about four months ago but there's hardly a difference in lighting or the way I'm treating my plants. The spider is one of many and seems to be having the most trouble. I thought they were unkillable! I can't help but wonder if the water in my new place (it's a much older building) has something to do with it? Please help!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Aug 23, 2016 8:27 AM CST
Could be something in water, but they like to be on the dry side.
It does well for me in a north bathroom, a few feet from window.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 23, 2016 3:27 PM CST
If it was a water issue, probably all your plants would be in trouble. Does the water taste funny out of the tap? Rusty or dark stains on the sinks and bathtub? If so, I'd be getting one of those screw on tap filters for your water. Use it for water for the plants as well as water that you're going to drink.

More likely your plant might need to be re-potted. Get a few sheets of newspaper, turn the pot on its side, and slide the plant out onto the newspaper so you can get a look at the roots. If there's still plenty of potting soil in there and it's dry-ish, then just slide the plant back in, and try going and putting it in the sink to soak in some barely-warm water. If the potting soil has dried hard like a brick, bust it up some with your hands before putting the plant back in the pot, then soak it.

If all you see are roots (well mostly) then go buy yourself a nice, bigger pot, some fresh potting soil and pot that baby up. Spiders like to be crowded in their pots, but they do get to a point where they need more room.
Elaine

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 23, 2016 3:54 PM CST
Welcome! Do you know if the water goes through a water softener or is high in fluoride? Spider plants are particularly sensitive to both. If you could post a picture of the plant it may help.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 23, 2016 4:15 PM CST
Hi & welcome! Congrats on your move!

Sounds like the roots could have run out of room to grow. They are huge, like white carrots and need a lot of space. When they fill up a pot, they get all smushed into each other and can then have difficulty accessing enough moisture to deliver to foliage &/or oxygen to be able to stay healthy while doing so.

A build-up of lime or fluoride in the soil from tap water (if it is not running freely out of drain holes when watering) can also happen to spider plants.

(Assuming Chlorophytum comosum.)
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