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Nov 18, 2015 8:28 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Pradhan Balter
Chicago
I have an indoor plant wall, a dozen different plants, all doing extremely well. Because I have very little natural light, I have a high quality grow light. All the plants are happy save for 1 plant that someone gave me as a gift...a very productive variegated spider plant. When it first arrived, if was obviously healthy..bright green with spiderettes galore...at least 50 of them. The spiderettes had spiderettes, just a lovely plant. Well, almost from day 1 the plant has gone down-hill. At first, leaves on the mother plant were turning yellow and softening. I read "over-watering". Okay...I let it go to just about dry and then watered. Slowly, the spiderettes starting to die. The lowest-most ones thinned out, dried and turned totally brown. The mother continued to degrade. I am hoping to save the plant and bring it back to its former beauty. Currently, it gets about 1.5 hours of grow light. I sprayed the spiderettes regularly. Is it possible that the spiderettes actually drain nourishment? Should I cut them all back so that the mother can recover? Do spider plants not like grow-lights? I just cleaned off all the dead and thin legs, but am at a loss as to what to do now. I have uploaded a picture, and while it doesn't look that bad, believe me, it's a third its original density and its lost its brightness totally. Thanks for any help.
Thumb of 2015-11-18/pradhansb/bdb319
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Nov 18, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Hello pradhansb Smiling

When you got the plant, did you repot it? If not, and you think mommy plant is dying, I would check the condition of the roots. This plant is quite drought tolerant with very fat roots, that is why you were advised about overwatering. Since it is indoors, and can take low light, the drying time after watering gets longer. So you really have to adjust and hold back watering. I will just snip off all the dried out leaves of mommy plant, and wait for it to recover. It should bounce back. But do check the condition of the roots, just to see how it is. It may also be too root bound already, so you may have to consider repotting. Typically I would do the repot in Spring, but you grow it indoors anyways, so your growing conditions will be more controllable.

No, those little babies does not drain energy on the plant as far as I know, I just keep mine growing till I snip them off and replant to balance the overall look of the plant. You may want to do that, replant some of the babies with good roots so you have a back-up in case the mother plant is indeed dying.

This is how the roots of a very mature spider plant looks like:

Thumb of 2015-11-18/tarev/4487e8
Avatar for pradhansb
Nov 18, 2015 4:43 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Pradhan Balter
Chicago
Thanks Tarev,

Never re-potted it.I guess re-potting is next. It was so vibrant when it arrived. Now it needs something...Any chance the artificial grow light may be too "intense" for the plant? It's only on for 1.5 hours a day which seems fine for all the other plants.

Pradhan
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Nov 18, 2015 5:10 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
Spider plants grow in full sun here in Mississippi. I doubt any grow-light would be anywhere chose to sunlight.

Though you grow your plants indoors, it would be helpful if you would update your "Profile" and show where you live. Your location will then show in the upper right-hand corner any time you post.

I agree with everything that Tarev told you. She is right-on. Thumbs up
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
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Nov 18, 2015 5:46 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
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Hi Pradhan, I do not think it is the grow light, as Ken said spider plants can take full sun..my spider plants get those full sun light intensities too then some shade in the afternoon. If the plant previously came from a very high light area, then moved to a very low light area, the plant would surely pout. In the same manner, if from a low light and suddenly put in a very intense high light condition, those leaves will burn.

So rule out the possible issues it has, check the roots, repot if needed, adjust and give good intervals in watering and allow the plant to acclimate to your growing set-up.
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Nov 19, 2015 12:41 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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The photo does not enlarge so it's difficult to see the plant clearly but another thing that might be a cause for concern is that the plant may need a larger container. tarev showed a great photo of what healthy roots should look like. You might want to consider un-potting your plant and removing all old soil to take a look at the root system and then re-pot in a larger container with fresh potting medium.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Avatar for pradhansb
Nov 19, 2015 3:02 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Pradhan Balter
Chicago
thank you all for your suggestions...
Pradhan
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Nov 19, 2015 10:24 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Do update us later Pradhan how it goes. Take photos of the roots, so you will have a reference point of its condition. If you still have good babies left stick them for now in some water, it will root and you can then move them to a better media later.
Avatar for pradhansb
Nov 20, 2015 7:46 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Pradhan Balter
Chicago
I think I've discovered part or maybe all of the problem. I brought the plant over to my florist-friend for repotting and he noted the soil was bone-dry. This, despite the fact that I had just watered the plant to seemingly saturation the day before. Apparently, the watering may have been just making its way around the edge of the pot but never getting the soil wet for drinking purposes. He informed me it wasn't uncommon. Anyway, we repotted with nice moist soil. I do hope "mom" revives. I will keep you all posted and thanks for your generous advice.

Pradhan
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Nov 20, 2015 8:24 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I have a feeling that she will now flourish. I also think that she was badly root-bound. I hope you up-potted.
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
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Nov 20, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
My spidies were lookin' pretty ugly this spring when I put them out..........dead leaves, dead babies, etc. After I put them out, watered and fertilized a bit, and they were in the rain............they started looking better. When I took them in this fall and put them in the g'house, pulled out the old leaves and cut off the dead "kids", they looked better. MUCH better, as they had started growing out new "stuff" over summer. I didn't repot; I'll see if that is needed as the winter goes on.
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Nov 20, 2015 10:23 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
When a potted plant gets too big for it's britches Green Grin! it becomes root-bound with a mass of roots filling up the container to where water runs off, not allowing enough moisture to get through to the root system. There's nothing wrong with root bound plants, they are usually very healthy ... the roots are just growing out, searching for moisture and sometimes end up in a tangled mass, filling the container. I've been guilty to the point of letting plants get so root bound that the roots actually split the plastic pots and there have even been times when a thick tap root will grow out the drainage hole and it's impossible to get the plant from it's container so I end up having to cut the pot down it's side to remove the plant or cut the tap root to be able to yank the plant out. In nature when plants are in the ground, the roots have room to spread out in search of water but when in a pot, over time (sometimes a very short period of time) the roots fill the pot and the water cannot soak through to the root system; that's when fresh soil and perhaps a larger container are needed.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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Nov 20, 2015 10:32 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
That is good to know Pradhan! Hope mommy plant recovers! It is a very resilient plant Smiling Good luck! Get photos now and later for your comparison Smiling

Anna, my spiders are like that too, so ratty looking as summer goes on, our area so hot and dry, but they perk up again as soon as the rains returns and the milder temps come about. I love this time of the year for them..Mother Nature waters them for me.
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Nov 20, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Yes, the spiders are quite okay being root bound, but water and air has to reach the roots. I grow one indoors with clay rocks and water and it thrives well, it has a reservoir that keeps some water below and overflow holes midway the container so the roots are able to drink the water below and still get good circulation. Plus, no fungus gnats! Smiling
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