Ask a Question forum: Help my spider plant! !!!!

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Name: Hapigrlca
Kitchener, Ontario (Zone 6a)
Sep 4, 2016 4:17 PM CST
I have a spider plant that I thought was very healthy (rapid growth...spiderlettes. ..perky)
But when I went to water it today it looks like aerial roots or tubers emerging from the soil around the base of the plant.
What are they? I didn't think spider plants gave these types of roots 😕

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Name: RJ
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Sep 4, 2016 4:47 PM CST
Hi Hapigrlca,

Welcome on board, pretty sure that is normal, I looked in 3 of my containers and the one that was most root bound had them, I've had a 3 of these plants for 15 plus years, luckily for them...they are pretty tough to kill. I just leave mine outside during the summer then put them in a cool basement all winter with minimal water. They look pretty rough when they emerge in the spring, but no pun intended, they spring into action.
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[Last edited by crawgarden - Sep 4, 2016 4:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Sep 5, 2016 12:46 PM CST
Its run out of dirt. These can be divided and fresh dirt added and they will get much happier. Won't cost it too much growth to thin either. Ours grow year around - they hang indoors in a bright window...
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
Sep 5, 2016 10:42 PM CST
A lot of plants produce these aerial roots which are a good sign. You can buy bags of houseplant compost from a local nursery or garden centre - I would use that to repot your plant.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Hostas Ferns
Sep 6, 2016 5:17 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome!

@Hapigrlca ...

Spider plants have underground storage structures for water. The older the plant, the more numerous and 'fatter' they will be. This is how the plant survives long periods without being water.

As Kittiana said, having them popping above the soil generally means that the plant has outgrown the pot. You know it's getting tight when the plant starts throwing out plant-lets at an alarming rate! You have several options at this point.

1) Move it into a larger pot. You eventually reach the point where this is no longer practical

2) Cut some of the fat roots off of the plant and re-pot in the same container.

3) If the plant is large enough, you could split it, with each piece having some of the fat roots.

Sometimes, what will happen is that the plant keeps growing and eventually ends up with a couple of inches of stalk between the soil surface and the first leaves. It's definitely time to re-pot when this happens.

As a matter of course, I re-pot all of my spiders every other year. This year, all of my plants are full of babies. When this happens, I tend to cut them all off, take them to work and throw them on the break table. They disappear fast!

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner

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