Should Spider Plants Be Root Bound? (Explained)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

The spider plant is among the most prevalent house plants available in many places. The ease of propagating spider plants is one of the reasons for its widespread popularity.

It is also a tough plant that requires little care.

Spider plants can be root bound as they are plants that like to be crowded. Unlike a lot of other plants, crowding helps spider plants expand and grow faster.

However, in due time, you will have to repot your spider plant.

Are you new to spider plant cultivation?

Then follow this article as we discuss whether spider plants should be root bound, when to repot spider plants and how long it takes for spider plants to take root among other questions.

What Does It Mean For A Plant To Be Root Bound?

Should Spider Plants Be Root Bound

Plants are designed to be cultivated in the ground and extend out their roots by their very nature.

Plants grown in containers, on the other hand, ultimately run out of space as their roots develop.

If certain precautions are not followed, a plant’s limited root system might become root bound.

A plant’s healthy growth will result in a root system that is too large for its container. In a nutshell, a root-bound plant is one whose roots are “bound” by some sort of barrier.

Even plants growing in the earth could become root bound if its roots become entangled in a series of solid barriers such as concrete slab, footers, or pipes.

Plants grown in containers should be replanted on a regular basis.

The frequency of watering will vary depending on the type and variety of plants in the pot.

The size of the pot, the climate in which the plant is being cultivated, and the type of potting medium used can all influence how often the container needs to be replanted.

Some plants, such as the Japanese Maple, take a long time to develop and may take years to outgrow the pot, whilst others, such as Phlox and Black-eyed Susans, can become root bound in just one planting season.

Here is an article I wrote on do spider plants need fertilizers

Should Spider Plants Be Root Bound?

Spider plants, unlike some other plants, like to be slightly root bound.

Although they are fast growers, they do not necessarily have to be repotted immediately as these plants are popular for thriving on neglect. 

Spider plants thrive in slightly constricted containers.

While root-bound conditions can be detrimental to several other potted plants, the spider plant thrives in confined quarters. It benefits even from being rooted.

The cramped quarters indicate that further expansion is required.

A spider plant that has become root-bound will yield younger and fresh blooms and plantlets (spiderettes) from the mother plant.

However, plants, including their roots, develop rapidly. You should consider repotting spider plants before their containers crack.

Different types of horticultural care result in varying plant growth rates for spider plants. Simply remain vigilant over the spider plants.

When roots are visible above the earth, you should be prepared to transfer spider plants to larger containers.

Spider plants can actually be left alone when they are root bound as they are known to do just fine like that.

However, there are a number of reasons why that is not advisable.

For one, in time, the spider plants will outgrow the pot soil and it will not be able to provide needed nutrients to all parts of the plant. 

Also, when spider plants are root bound, that is the best time to divide them and allow their spiderlings to grow in fresh containers.

These will stimulate growth in the long run. Spider plants usually get root bound enough to be repotted within 2 to 5 years.

Do Spider Plants Like To Be Crowded?

Yes, spider plants absolutely love to be crowded.

They are different from other houseplants in this regard. Some gardeners new to spider plant cultivation have in the past made the mistake of repotting them too early.

This will stunt growth as overcrowding helps to stimulate plant growth.

Before deciding to repot your spider plant, you need to wait until the spider plant’s roots are prepared for repotting.

This implies that you must wait until the roots begin to circle the bottom of the container. The roots should also be able to hold most of the dirt together on their own. 

Checking the bottom of the container to determine whether there are sufficient roots is another method.

This is a great method if you use a pot with drainage holes on the bottom.

The spider plant’s roots escape the pots and begin to spread.

This is an excellent indicator and tells you that there is no more room for the spider plant to develop within the pot. 

Once you notice this, remove the plant from its container and verify that its roots have completely encircled the bottom of the pot.

Then you can safely repot your spider plant.

Also check out this article on growing spider plants in an aquarium

When Should You Repot A Spider Plant?

We have discussed how much spider plants like to be crowded but in the end, repotting is still necessary.

When you see one or more of these signs, then your spider plant is ready to be repotted:

  • The roots of your spider plant are emerging from the drainage hole.
  • Roots are beginning to emerge above the soil’s surface.
  • Your spider plant’s soil dries out very quickly, causing the leaves to droop.
  • The container has fractures.

These show that your spider plant would likely benefit from a larger pot.

If you notice the symptoms in autumn or winter, you must wait until spring to repot.

Typically, a healthy, developing spider plant can be repotted every 1-2 years.

Note that, when repotting a spider plant, you can either place the entire plant in a large new container or separate it and use many smaller planters.

How Long Do Spider Plants Take To Root?

Spider plants are hardy plants and they do not usually take a long time to take root.

The best method for propagating spider plants is to separate spiderretes from the mother plant. It is simple to obtain a spider plant baby from a mature plant. 

The spiderette can be separated from its mother plant by snipping or clipping the stem linking them.

The spider plant baby does not yet have roots when you divide it. However, it is not difficult for it to develop its root system and continue to expand. 

In a few weeks, you should begin to observe fresh development in the form of new roots. Typically 7 to 10 days.

During colder seasons or when there is less light, something can take up to four weeks to occur.

Should You Cut Off Brown Tips On Spider Plants?

You are not required to trim the brown tips, but you may if you so choose. Brown tips by themselves do not damage or harm the plant. 

They are simply dead plant tissue that dries, sometimes turns papery to the touch, and falls off upon contact.

This is caused by a treatable underlying condition, but the old leaves will not repair themselves.


Repotting spider plants is not a major headache and once you know the signs to look out for, you can be confident on the right time to repot.

Spider plants love being crowded as this helps stimulate their growth.

Like every other thing however, root-binding must not happen in excess as sooner or later the plants will outgrow the soil and get less than the needed nutrients. 

Repot your spider plant once you notice any of the signs discussed above and watch your plant grow beautifully.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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