Houseplants forum: Spider Plant Help Requested

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Teshvek
Jul 18, 2017 9:00 AM CST
I bought a spider plant back in March. I've used the same container it came in, bought a rope hang and placed it in there.

I used a globe and a clay stem to water it. (Using tap water.)

The leaves are droopy, and some are brown or brown at the tips. I'm not exactly sure what it needs, but I really want to save this spider plant.

Please help?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 18, 2017 9:11 AM CST
Hello Teshvek, does that container have drainage holes?
Drying out leaves can be two things, either over or underwatered. Though this plant is quite drought tolerant when it has acclimated to its growing area with well formed fat roots, it still appreciates being watered thoroughly, with water draining out so that any accumulated salts in its soil is flushed out properly.

I think I see a new growth on the first photo. So the plant is coping. Trim off the dead leaves, and you can also trim the browned tips to keep the aesthetics nice. But try to water properly, all of the media getting wet and then allowed to drain out.


Teshvek
Jul 18, 2017 9:54 AM CST
It does not have drainage holes, which I'm hoping to fix today.

I have new potting soil which will hopefully be better than the soil I have it in now since the salts have been building up.

I think my tap has high salt/fuloride in it, should I use different water?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 18, 2017 10:00 AM CST
It can handle hard water, but do expect the tips to go brown, just the salt content at times and if your humidity is low, it will get that too. I just trim mine, it is more of aesthetics.

What is important is drainage. Got to let that excess water drain out and get the salts in the soil flushed out every now and then. Do not apply fertilizers, it needs to recover. Actually, mine never gets fertilizers, and are grown outdoors here in part sun/shade year round.

The plant grow such fat roots when it is well established, so as it matures more in a few months, you will need to adjust your watering, since by then it becomes quite drought tolerant. To give you an idea how fat those roots can go:
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Name: Gene Staver
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gasrocks
Jul 18, 2017 11:59 AM CST
Where do you live that you think there is high salt in your tap water? Often, brown leaf tips are caused by not enough humidity. Gene

Teshvek
Jul 18, 2017 12:07 PM CST
Oh, wow. Those roots are huge. Thank you for all your feedback and help!




I live in Illinois closeby to Chicago.

Our neighborhood recently had a new public water filtration system put in and since then the water has been leaving milky white in color residue on the sides of the tub. So I was thinking maybe salt?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 18, 2017 12:14 PM CST
Ah that is hard mineral content indeed. All the more you need to flush out the soil often. If you get rain there, you can collect that too. Plants love rainwater very much. We hardly get any rain here on my side from mid Spring to late Fall, so I have no choice but to use our tap water. I try to collect rainwater here as well if there is a good downpour during winter.
Name: Rj
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crawgarden
Jul 18, 2017 12:21 PM CST
Is it currently outside?
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Name: Zack
Upstate NY (Zone 5b)
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TheWitchBoy
Jul 18, 2017 4:25 PM CST
I'm looking at your plant and, from what I see, I think your friend would like some more water. If the soil feels dry, as a rule of thumb, I'd say "water it," I find my own spiderplants more tolerant of a little too much water than of being forgotten (though, my spideys have also lasted mild droughts, too).

I would advise perhaps taking off dead and mostly dead leaves, watering thoroughly, and perhaps spraying the leave with a spray bottle. I'm not entirely sure why, but every spiderplant that I have given a thorough spritzing has perked up pretty fast. Snip away dead/brown ends, as well (though this one is more for aesthetic value, perhaps). I did these particular steps to my maternal grandmother's duo of spideys, and though I still found them a bit lacking, everyone immediately noted improvement in the specimens, which would lead to a favourable conclusion.

I can also see the roots on some of your friends. Perhaps a bit more soil would be agreeable? If you were feeling adventurous, I might even suggest taking one or two of the individual plants out of the container. Spiderplants like being a bit root bound, but I've found that too many in one pot hampers growth. I've fixed up a few spideys at my paternal grandmother's house by removing excess plants and giving them their own pots.

I believe I saw warnings against tap water, previously, as well. I can't agree more with this. Spideys will still produce some brown ends/leaf burn with the most particular care in water, but if you have your spidey/spideys on bottled, filtered, or rain water there should be significantly less damage than if you had him/them on tap water/city water. In particular, city water has fluoride in it, and plants seem to dislike this (though studies are inconclusive).

Best of luck with your spider friend! My last piece of advice is to name him/them and maybe give it a pep talk. My brother named his spiderplant "Tom Holland" (intentionally after the new Spider Man) and Tom is doing even better than some of my spideys, possibly because Tom feels loved, cherished, and a sense of being from having his own name. Big Grin

Good luck and happy planting! I hope something here helps you.
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Jul 19, 2017 6:32 PM CST
Your Spider Plant is showing definite signs of root suffocation due to the constantly wet soil. The combination of the watering device and the lack of drain holes is the reason. The quality of the soil and water are not the primary problems. Excess mineral salts would cause a very different looking leaf discoloration. Fluoride used in municipal water supplies is never concentrated enough to damage plants.

If there are any healthy roots remaining, move the plant to as small a pot as possible that has drain holes. Provide maximum indoor sunlight and allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings.
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Name: Laurie b
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lauriebasler
Aug 4, 2017 12:27 AM CST
Pots with drainage will make a huge improvement for you.

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