Making free plants out of the ones you already have is a great way to add to your ever- growing indoor jungle. Bonnie the spider plant is one of the easiest houseplants to propagate and can be done very easily through water. The best time to water propagate your houseplants is between the months of March-September when the weather is warmer and the plants are actively growing. It’s really rewarding and exciting to see your spider plant growing a new root system that can later be repotted into soil and placed proudly in your home or as a gift for a friend (but no one's saying you have to share). If you’re new to propagating then the process can seem very confusing and complicated when in actual fact it’s quite the opposite.
Propagating is the simple act of taking a cutting from a plant you already own that has a prominent node and placing this cutting in water until it forms a new root system. After a few months when the roots are long enough you can transport your new cuttings into soil. Today we’re going to talk about Bonnie the spider plant but you can find out how to propagate Eddie the pothos here.
First step is to find the right place to cut. Spider plant babies are usually very easy to spot and if you look close enough you’ll see the nodes growing from underneath the babies which is where the roots will develop when placed in water. Make sure your garden scissors are sanitised before and after you use them.
Take your cutting 1-2cm away from the node. If your spider plant has multiple babies, cut evenly between the stems. If you’re not sure what a node looks like then search for nubs or stumps along the stems. They’re often white, brown or an off white colour. See picture above for more guidance.
Once you’ve got your cutting, it's now time to place your cutting into room temperature water. Spider plants can be quite sensitive to tap water so we recommend using filtered or rainwater to place your spider plant cuttings in. Every week drain the water and replenish with fresh water. This will give your spider plant cutting a better chance of developing roots where the water is fresh.
Now you’re in this for the long haul. You might start to notice a few roots developing after a week but it’s best to wait until the roots are at least 1-2 inches long before you transport your new spider plant into potting soil. Use our stylish propagating stands to decorate your bookshelf, coffee table or windowsill. Although this may be the longest step in the process, the small bursts of foliage around the home can certainly be very beautiful.
Roots can take 3-4 weeks to develop and will grow faster in a warm room between 20ºC-25ºC and out of direct sunlight. As roots naturally grow in the dark there’s no need to worry about placing your cutting in a bright room.
After a few months, your cuttings will have a brand new root system that can be transported into potting mix. Your spider plant has just spent the last few months solely in water so it’s good to keep the soil very moist while the roots get used to its drier conditions. Avoid letting the roots or soil dry out as the environment change may shock the plant.
Find a nursery pot with drainage holes that is big enough to accommodate your new spider plants cuttings. For smaller cuttings, a 4cm or 6cm pot may be big enough. Make sure the roots of your spider plant can fit comfortably in the nursery pot but that the pot is not so big that it looks like a toddler wearing their parents shoe.
The best soil mixture for your spider plant is our peat-free potting mix with 20% orchid bark and 20% perlite. The peat-free soil is used for moisture retention while the bark and perlite is used for drainage to stop your spider plants from getting root rot. To find more information about creating the ideal potting mix for your spider plant read our ‘Oh what mud’ - getting to know your potting mix blog.