Why Do Spider Plants Turn Yellow? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Due to their beautifully dangling spiderettes, spider plants are a favorite among numerous gardening hobbyists including experts and amateurs alike.

They are easy to maintain and generally do not have problems unlike other plants. 

However, moisture problems might cause yellowing and browning of the leaves on your spider plant.

Apart from over and under watering, aging, bugs and mineral buildup can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Today we will discuss why spider plants turn yellow, how to fix them, signs of an overwatered and healthy spider plant to mention a few things. 

Why Do Spider Plants Turn Yellow?

Why Do Spider Plants Turn Yellow

The spider plant is one of the easiest and most common plants to cultivate.

There are relatively few problems associated with spider plants, but every once in a while pest, or disease issues may arise. 

Yellow leaves on spider plants are a frequent source of complaints.

The yellowing of your spider plant can be explained by examining your plant closely.

Yellow leaves on a spider plant may be caused by a variety of factors such as overwatering, improper lighting, overfertilization, high fluoride or chlorine levels in the water, pests, or disease. 

Yellow leaves or leaf tips indicate that your spider plant requires care.

Despite the fact that spider plants can tolerate a reasonable share of neglect and a wide range of conditions, they do have their limits. 

Here is an article I wrote on do spider plants need a big pot

How Do You Fix a Yellow Spider Plant?

Yellowing of spider plants can be caused by a variety of factors and before treating your plant successfully, you will have to figure out which of the factors is in play in your case.

Follow the tips below on how to fix a yellow spider plant.

  • Repotting

Spider plants, although not invasive, have a propensity to repeatedly overrun their containers.

Once your plants are getting bigger, you should consider a larger container that will allow your plant to expand.

If they remain in a smaller container, the parts of the plant will get less nutrients which leads to yellowing of the leaves. 

If your spider plant’s root ball grows too large for its new container, you can divide it into numerous little, healthy plants.

  • Lighting and Environment

Spider plants have an optimum environment in which they thrive and anything outside of that can cause them to look sick and get yellowed leaves. 

Spider plants must have access to sunshine, however excess direct sunlight can cause leaf fading, yellowing, and leaf burn.

Insufficient sunlight can also impact your plant negatively, resulting in yellowing leaves. 

Ensure that your spider plant receives indirect, bright light. A spider plant prefers a semi-humid climate with temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your spider plant is located near an air conditioner or heater, this could be the cause of its yellowing leaves.

  • Check The Plants Moisture Levels

You should always be conscious of the amount of water you are giving your spider plant. Your spider plant’s soil should be moist but not soggy.

Underwatering will cause your plant to dry out while overwatering can lead to root rot. Both of these issues can cause yellow leaves for the plant.

  • Remove Bugs and Other Insects

Bugs are a major threat to your plant and you should look out for them. Aphids and mites are some pests that can affect your plants.

They hide in the plant’s base and consume its leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown. Utilize natural methods to eliminate the pests, allowing your spider plant to recover its health.

  • Mineral Buildup and Over Fertilizing

Mineral buildup is a common enough problem with houseplants care.

Avoid over fertilizing and cleanse the soil every few months to prevent the accumulation of excess fertilizer salts in potting soil.

You might consider repotting or beginning distilled water irrigation.

Also check out this article on should spider plants be root bound

What Does An Overwatered Spider Plant Look Like?

Overwatering is the leading cause of spider plant deaths. Their roots require oxygen for optimum function.

When soil is overwatered, it gets saturated, preventing roots from breathing and causing them to drown. 

A spider plant that has been overwatered or underwatered may appear practically identical. Therefore, it is essential to understand the minor distinctions.

A spider plant that has been overwatered typically appears malnourished, discolored, and nearly lifeless.

There could be brown patches, yellow leaves, and brown leaf tips. Additionally, the leaves may appear mushy, shrunken, curled, and withered.

In extreme cases of overwatering, you may observe evidence of root rot at the plant’s base. In addition, a characteristically foul odor of root rot will fill the air.

Can Yellow Leaves Turn Green Again?

When a leaf turns yellow, it is typically dead.

Occasionally, a leaf with a slight discoloration caused by low nourishment or mild stress will regain its green color if the problem is addressed promptly, but this is not always the case.

However, this does not imply that the entire plant is doomed. A few yellow leaves should serve as warning indicators.

Once the issue has been resolved, the plant can regain its former splendor.

Once a leaf has entirely turned yellow, it no longer produces energy for the plant and can be removed.

If only a portion of a leaf has turned yellow, you can remove the discolored portions to extend its usefulness. 

If it appears that your plant’s withering leaves may hold pests or rot diseases, it is advisable to remove them.

How Do You Fix An Overwatered Spider Plant?

An over watering problem is not the end of your plant if treated on time. The tips below will help you fix an over watering problem.

  • Wash The Soil: After uprooting the spider plant and confirming root rot, wash off the soil beneath a faucet. As water dissolves soil, it dislodges severely rotted root parts.
  • Trim Infected Roots: After washing the spider plant’s roots, some decaying pieces will remain. Cut off any yellowing/wilting leaves with sterilized shears.
  • Trim Foliage: this is to accommodate for root loss. Because the remaining roots may not be able to support the plant’s foliage.
  • Treatment: Disinfect the remaining root part using fungicide. You can als try natural fungicides.
  • Repotting: Replace old substrate with organic potting soil and water. After repotting, water until drainage holes fill. The plant should recover in 10 days. In a short while you should see your plant recovering and happy again.

Can You Bring a Spider Plant Back to Life?

A lot of gardeners have reported losing their spider plants and this is most often because they can’t read the plants and end up losing them.

Some signs you can look out for I’m your spider plant include:

  • Brown or yellowish colouring of leaves.
  • Absence of new growth.
  • Bad rotten smell in the soil.
  • The soil is soggy and clumpy.
  • The leaves start to fall off.
  • Droopy foliage and this is more noticeable because spider plants often have sprightly healthy flowers. 

That being said, it is very possible for you to bring a dying spider back to good health.

To save the plant, relocate it to a bright area that receives indirect light and inspect it for damage. 

Most likely causes of ill health in spider plants include excessive water or bug infestation.

Before watering, allow the soil to dry out, and sprinkle neem oil to combat pest infestation. Repot the plant as necessary.

How Do I Know If My Spider Plant is Healthy?

A healthy spider plant has green hanging leaves which spiral down towards the floor in a tight bunch.

A healthy plant will also have spiderettes which are offshoots from the mother plant.  

A healthy Spider plant has a full foliage and is devoid of pests and diseases. Healthy plants also have firm stems and are not root bound.

Anything different from these means that your plant is not healthy and you should look into it before it gets worse.


Spider plant is a favourite with many gardeners because of its low maintenance.

Most often over watering and root rot are the major problems that affect spider plants. This leads to yellowing of the leaves as well as stunted growth.

Once you notice your plant leaves going yellow, try to figure out where the problem is coming from.

Then take the necessary steps to make sure your plant is healthy. In no time, your spider plant will bounce back to normal.

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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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