We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Split and Repot a Spider Plant 8/03/2010

Having never owned a spider plant before, I used this eHow article to split and repot my spider plant. I had been eagerly awaiting little root systems to start branching out on the 'babies' and was so happy to see them appear this week!

Thinking all I had to do was break off a few babies and pot them, I was surprised to find through my online research that there is so much more to it than that.  Apparently, when a spider plant outgrows it's container or becomes 'root bound' with the roots forming a tight tangled mass, it will ensure survival by creating little replicas of itself (the babies). My plant abounded with babies when we brought it home from the store so it is past due for repotting!

Before repotting.

I have a terra cotta pot, so before anything else, it needed to be washed an soaked in water for an hour. Great tip from the article! I never would have known that.

Before washing.

I found these good sized pots at a landscaper's flea market booth selling these by the truckload. A great deal at 3 for $2!

Poor thing! It's almost all root and no soil.

A little section of a coffee filter to cover the hole in the terra cotta pot, letting the soil breathe and drain while keeping all of it in the pot.
I was repotting my new african violet as well, as you can tell by the pot on the right already equipped with my homemade drainage.

I ran out of potting soil mid procedure! What chagrin (alright, maybe it was more like panic) filled my green loving soul as I realized my newly split spider plants might die a horrible death. Then, my wonderful man rode his motorcycle to pick up some more potting soil. My hero!

One inch of potting soil on the bottom before adding the plant and filling the sides and surface with more soil.

After a thorough watering, here are my 'new' spider plants, looking much more comfortable in their spacious containers. I now have 5 total! Aren't plants amazing?
I was particularly proud of the blue baskets turned planters, which were a Dollar Tree find I was saving for a master bedroom project. Ah well. I was out of pots and my spider plants needed containers! I lined two baskets with spanish moss, which I use as a mulch on a few ever thirsty plants to hold in moisture. A layer of soil on the moss lining, followed by the plant, followed by more top soil and I had new containers. I truly hope the spider plants thrive in these baskets. I have no idea if they will. We'll see!

The rest of my repotted spider plants and my repotted African violets.
 I can't wait until my repotted plants have really begun to flourish. Once I'm certain they're doing well in their new containers, I will definitely be rotating them in the house and outdoors like the rest of my happy green things.

After all that, I just had to break off one of the many babies and put it in a glass of water to (hopefully) propagate. I've never done any of this so, even though I now have more than enough spider plants, I'm excited about trying this method of creating a brand new plant. All I have to do is make sure it doesn't run out of water. Easy, right? Oh, I really hope I don't kill it!
If all goes well, this little baby will start to sprout roots and keep growing without soil. Once a healthy root system is in place it will be ready to move into some soil in it's own container.

That's my latest contribution to creating little pockets of peaceful space in our new home. Is there something small like this that could make a big impact in the peaceful feel of your home? Take a little time to mark it off your list so you can start enjoying the benefits! I'm off to water my plants along with my little helper.

Who always pays attention to what he's doing :). Later, All!

I'm linking to:


  1. This is a great post, especially since I tend to procrastinate on re-potting plants. Yours look wonderful! That's a pretty cute little helper, too:)

  2. Marie- Oh, I know, I'm such a bad procrastinator! But I'm finding out how much I love caring for plants :). And yup, Baby Boy makes a cute gardener! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. I have a spiderplant too that has lots of babies. I usually just take the babies right off and plant them in dirt making sure to keep the dirt wet all the time. They set roots really easily. My plan is to plant all of them a month or so before Christmas and give them to my friends as little gifts.

  4. Great idea, Marianne! There are so many babies on my plants, and potted plants always make awesome gifts. Thanks :)

  5. I'm anxious to get some house plants started now that we're moved in and settles. I've always loved the spider plants!

  6. Well done with the spider plants! They look great.

  7. Ooh, Melinda, plants are an amazing mood booster! I just think they make any little space a little happier. I hope you get to bring some plants home soon!

    Thanks, Athena :) It was my first time repotting on my own and I'm totally hooked!

  8. I meant repotting a spider plant :) Just thought I'd clarify, even though I'm probably the only one who over-thought that!

  9. So glad you shared at the Tuesday Garden Party- welcome! I love your blog and will follow. You're a girl after my own heart with your "to-do" list for 2010. :-)

  10. Hi, Jami, thanks for stopping by and for following! I'm discovering so many inspiring people in blogland and am so excited to add you to my bloggy friend list :) Uh oh, I really need to get cracking again on that list! :)

  11. I just love plants, but tend to neglect them! These look great! Thanks for linking up to "AP Tuesdays!" Hope to see you again tomorrow!

  12. Amy, I was actually just thinking over what I've posted the last few days to see if any of it qualified for your party tomorrow :) We shall see. I'm just discovering how much I love plants and I'm afraid it's an affair that will have some staying power ;) Thank you so much for stopping by!

  13. This was so helpful. My mother left a spider plant when she passed and i brought it home. And to my horror the billy goat ate it.i was so sad but i put the pot in my garden and when i watered my garden it got watered to. Next thing knew i saw little spiders peeking through the dirt. Now it is so crowded i needed to repot it. Thanks for the info.

  14. Can anyone tell me how to break off the babies. I inherited my grandmothers spider plant (ah the memories) and want to grow one for all of the grandchildren.


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