spider plant

When And How To Prune Spider Plants

Spider plants are one of my favorite types of plants. They’re really easy to propagate and make more of, they don’t require very much attention at all, and they can really add a fun splash of foliage to any indoor space. Plus living in a home barely larger than the average tiny house, it’s nice to be able to hang plants from the ceiling and save space. But while they don’t require that much attention, you do still have to prune spider plants from time to time. Let’s break down how, when, and why.

When should you prune spider plants?

As I mentioned already, spider plants don’t really need very much attention in order to thrive, but you should plan to give your spider plants a thorough pruning every year or two at maximum. The easiest way to tell that it’s time to prune your spider plant is by its appearance. Over time, leaves will turn yellow, brown, and die.

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How to prune spider plants

Before you begin pruning your spider plant, be sure to sterilize your pruning shears. Always sterilize to prevent the introduction of potentially deadly pathogens. The best way to do this is by dipping your shears in rubbing alcohol and then drying them on a clean cloth.

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Before you start, consider the time of year it is currently. The best time to prune a spider plant is in spring or summer. Begin at the base of your spider plant and work outward. Remove any leaves that are damaged, brown, yellow, or completely dead. You can also remove any spider plant runners that have grown since it was last pruned. If you want, you can root these in another pot and grow a new spider plant. If you don’t want them you can just discard them.

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What to do about brown spider plant tips

When you go to prune spider plants, you’ll probably notice some of the leaves have brown tips but look otherwise healthy. This is pretty normal, especially if you feed your spider plants water from the tap in a city. Tap water can contain chemicals that harm plants, and this damage in spider plants often manifests as brown tips. Brown tips can also be caused by too little humidity and excessive exposure to direct sunlight.

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You can cut off these unsightly brown tips if you like. Move about an inch up the leaf from the dead portion at the tip and make a cut. For the health of your plant, you may just want to remove the entire leaf that’s been damaged.

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Thomas Nelson
Environmental Advocate
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.
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