Also known as a ribbon plant, a spider plant is one of the most popular indoor plant options.
If you are wondering what all the fuss around spider plants is about, consider the following benefits. These plants can purify indoor air, decorate your home, absorb ozone, and eliminate indoor allergens.
Plus, since they don’t require much maintenance, spider plants are a great addition to any indoor space. Before you order one for your living room or office, it’s vital to understand the needs of spider plants.
These plants require nutrients, water, and light to thrive. The most challenging resource to find for your spider plant is good potting soil.
In this post, we’ll discuss the best soil for spider plants and other considerations you should make.
Let’s get started!
Why is A Good Potting Mix Essential for Plant Health
Unsurprisingly, the best soil mix will boost your plant’s health, while the wrong soil mix does the opposite. But why is that the case?
Soil does more than support the root system of a plant. It supplies the nutrients, moisture, healthy bacteria, and oxygen a spider plant needs to thrive. It’s safe to say that your spider plant will grow as healthy as the soil you provide.
Indoor plants have different nutritional needs. So, it’s vital to ensure that the potting soil contains everything your plant needs to experience healthy growth. If you get the right soil mix, your plant will develop well, even without much attention.
On the flip side, if the soil mix isn’t ideal for your plant, you’ll notice signs that could tell you something is wrong. More on this is in the section below.
Signs You are Using the Wrong Soil Mix for Spider Plants
It doesn’t take a botanist to know when a spider plant isn’t doing well. There are physical indicators that you can easily identify to determine if your plant is healthy or not.
1. Root Rot Diseases
One of the signs that the potting soil isn’t meeting your plant’s needs is root rot. This could be caused by poor drainage, overwatering, or fungal growth. Regardless of the cause, you’ll need to change the potting soil to save your plant.
You should inspect the entire root system and determine if you can trim off the root rot without killing the plant. If the root rot is extensive, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the situation.
2. Brown or Yellow Leaves
Most beginner plant owners get so excited to have a house plant that they do more than necessary hoping to help the plant grow.
If you put too much fertilizer in the spider plant soil mix, the high amounts of chemical compounds will hurt the plant. So if you notice some brown tips on your spider plant, you should dial back on fertilizer.
Another alternative cause of brown or yellow tips is too much moisture. Overwatering your plant is also a potential cause of damage. But so is underwatering your spider plant.
You’ll need to research and find the right balance of fertilizer and moisture to ensure your plant has enough to grow without any side effects.
3. Wilting or Drooping
You can also conclude you are using the wrong soil mix if you notice your spider plants wilting or drooping their leaves. The leading causes of this condition are overwatering, poor soil drainage, or nutrient depletion.
Other factors like temperature or humidity can also cause issues, but we’ll focus on the ones related to your soil mix.
What to Look for in the Best Soil for Spider Plants
Now that you know what to expect if your plant doesn’t have the best soil let’s discuss the factors to consider when choosing the right soil mix.
1. Water Retention Capacity
There are different types of soils, and each has a unique degree of water retention. We can define water retention capacity as the amount of water a portion of soil can hold for a particular time.
Clayey soil has the highest water retention because it has a dense structure. Unfortunately, this isn’t ideal for a spider plant because you don’t want the water sitting around for too long.
Loamy soil is the best option because it is loose and has moderate water retention. This means that it can hold water without logging it on the surface. Loam soil can retain moisture in a way that’s suitable for spider plants.
Spider plants don’t thrive in soil that’s too wet or dry. As such, loam is the best potting soil for your spider plant.
Sandy soil has the least water retention thanks to the granular nature of its particles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold water long enough for a plant to absorb nutrients, so it’s not ideal for your spider plant.
2. Good Drainage
Soil drainage refers to the natural movement of water down the soil due to gravity. Drainage is essential for the health of your spider plant because water logging can harm the root system.
Of course, it’s not possible for potting soil to drain water without a drainage hole. So, you must ensure that your pot has a hole that allows excess moisture to pour through.
Drainage and water retention are opposite concepts. Nevertheless, they share a sweet spot in loam since it’s naturally well-draining soil.
Clay soil isn’t great for drainage and doesn’t leave any room for aeration. This means that it doesn’t provide a suitable environment for valuable micro-organisms to thrive.
You need a mix of good drainage and water retention if you want your spider plant to thrive in your potting soil.
3. Nutrient-Rich Soil
Something else that spider plants need from the soil is nutrients. These houseplants require consistent amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In most cases, your garden soil won’t naturally contain enough nutrients.
Lucky for you, there are two options to supplement these nutrients to the soil mix.
The first option is to use organic materials in the soil. Blood meal and soybean meal can supply the nitrogen your spider plant needs to the soil.
If you have a farm, compost from organic matter like banana peels can provide potassium. Bone meal and soft rock phosphate can add phosphorus to the potting soil.
The second option is buying fertilizer for your potting soil mix. However, it’s crucial to note that spider plants are sensitive to store-bought fertilizer. As such, you should only use a little time as you monitor the response of your spider plant.
The safest option is to buy a fluoride-free, all-purpose fertilizer. Providing nutrients in the potting mix will ensure your plant has what it needs to grow healthy.
Nutrient deficiency in spider plants leads to discoloration, drooping, and similar symptoms.
4. Slightly Acidic Soil pH
Soil pH is another factor to consider. The best soil pH for spider plants is between 6.0 and 6.5. This pH is ideal for organic potting soil because it reduces fluoride availability.
Fluoride is toxic to a variety of plants, including spider plants. That’s why you should also avoid watering your plant with city water.
Ingredients for the Best Homemade Soil Mix for Spider Plants
If you want to make a homemade succulent soil mix for spider plants, you’ll need several ingredients. In most cases, you’ll need to add these items to your garden soil to make it better suited to nurture your spider plant.
So, here are some soil mix secrets that will meet your plant’s nutritional needs.
1. Sphagnum Peat Moss
Peat moss is one of the best materials to add to your organic potting soil. It offers multiple benefits in soil mix recipes and is an excellent ingredient for your spider plant.
It can increase soil pH for plants that require an acidic potting environment. So, if your soil pH is more alkaline than acidic, you can add peat moss to the mix to increase acidity.
Something else peat moss does is improve moisture retention capacity and drainage.
It’s an excellent solution for anyone with loose garden soil that doesn’t retain moisture easily. As a result, you won’t have to water your spider plant as often as you usually do. Additionally, it prevents nutrients from washing away because of high drainage.
You can add peat moss to your potting medium to prevent soil compacting. When soil becomes compact in the pot, it prevents air and water from quickly seeping through.
If you want the best peat moss for your spider plant, check out Miracle-Gro Sphagnum Peat Moss.
2. Coconut Coir
Coconut coir, coco coir, or coco peat is a natural fiber extracted from the exterior of a coconut. It has numerous uses and can provide several advantages when mixed with soil for spider plants.
This medium is pH neutral, environmentally friendly, and disease-resistant. Coco coir can give peat moss a run for its money. You can use it to improve aeration and drainage in a new soil mix.
It also promotes root growth and can retain the nutrients spider plants require to keep growing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer direct nutritional value to your spider plant. So, it should only account for a third of your potting materials max.
Another reason coco peat can make a good soil mix is it’s reusable. Unlike peat moss which you can only use once, you can wash coconut coir and reuse it in plant soil. This can help you cut costs in your plant maintenance practice long-term.
You don’t have to scratch your head wondering where to get coconut coir. We have the best recommendation right here. Check out Plantonix Premium Coconut Coir, the perfect medium for your potting mix.
Image Credits: thisismygarden.com
Perlite is an inorganic, lightweight, volcanic rock that can function as a growing medium when added to the soil. Like coco coir, it doesn’t add nutrients to the soil. However, it plays a crucial role in keeping soil loose and enhancing drainage in a potting mix.
This material doesn’t break down, so you can use it for years without buying more. It’s a great addition to clay soil since it can improve aeration and allow water to seep through more freely.
Perlite should only occupy 20% of the potting mix for spider plants since it doesn’t add any nutritional benefits. You can try Mother Earth Perite if you want something to aerate your spider plant soil mix.
You can also add vermiculite to your spider plant soil mix. Vermiculite is a natural mineral compound that is non-toxic and odorless. It has a soft texture and can retain more water than perlite.
Vermiculite is a popular choice for growing plants from seeds. It’s also great for improving aeration and drainage.
One of the Vermiculite products that go well with perlite and peat moss is Plantation Vermiculite.
Repotting Spider Plants
Repotting refers to transferring your spider plant to a new pot. After about 2 years, your spider plant will be too big for its current poot, and you’ll need to change it.
Repotting spider plants is a great idea because it gives them more room to take root and allows you to replace the soil with a more nutritious mix.
If your spider plant doesn’t have room to grow its roots, it could die. Additionally, putting it in a different pot allows you to get rid of pests, mold, or diseases that are inhabiting the healthy development of your plant.
It also allows you to redecorate your home with pots of different colors to improve aesthetic appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best soil for spider plants?
The best soil for spider plants is loose, full of nutrients, and has moderate water retention. If you need to choose between sand, loam, or clay, loam soil is the best soil for spider plants.
2. Can I use cactus soil for the spider plant?
Yes, you can. However, a spider plant needs water more frequently than a cactus, and cactus soil could have excessive drainage qualities.
3. How do you prepare the soil for a spider plant?
You can add peat moss, coconut coir, vermiculite, and perlite to a potting mix for spider plants.
4. What kind of pots do spider plants like?
Spider plants can thrive in plastic, metal, clay, or wooden pots.