Last Updated on November 10, 2022
What is the best soil for spider plants? These are tough plants, and understanding where they come from helps us understand what type of soil is ideal for them. Let us take a walk in an African forest, have a look at what we see, and then work this into how we make up the best soil for spider plants!
What Is A Spider Plant?
Before we start talking about the best soil for spider plants, let’s first make sure we are talking about the same plant! The species name of the spider plant is Chlorophytum comosum. This plant is native to the hills around where I live in South Africa and grows on forest floors.
Spider plants have a typically sprawling growth form where they ramble along the ground spreading via stolons that then root and spread further. If you plant it below trees in semi-shaded parts of the garden it can take over a bit. It loves growing in the soft compost layer of leaves below trees and thrives in areas where rainfall is good, with gaps. It has an incredible ability to survive dry patches due to its water-storage roots. Much like Snake plants, which also grow in African forests, it is able to tolerate prolonged dry periods which are typical of African woodlands. These woodlands tend to be drenched with water for half the year, and bond dry for the other half.
What Is The Best Soil For Spider Plants?
I have personally seen spider plants thriving in forests in clay, loam, and sandy soils! The one thing all three soils had in common was a deep layer of humic substances on the surface and composting leaves. Hence it is safe to say, based on observations of these plants in their natural environments, that a rich compost soil that contains some clay, loam, or sand will be ideal!
However, as humans, we can always optimize things, based on an understanding of a plant’s requirements. I was given a spider plant as a gift by a dear friend who emigrated recently. Her potting soil mix was a sandy loam, with abundant compost and pearlite. The spider plants thrive in this soil.
My parents on the other hand have spider plants growing in their garden and these thrive in compost-enriched clay soil! The plants look equally healthy to the ones in the sandy pearlite loam!!
What Is The Best Potting Soil For Spider Plants?
If I had to choose a premixed soil to buy, I would think that the best soil for spider plants available online would probably be this mix. You can see it has a nice blend of organic material, sand, and pearlite. This will provide the root space for the succulent roots of the spider plant to expand, and also not result in the roots drowning and rotting if you over water the plant.
What Is A Good Soil Mix For Spider Plants?
If you have to mix your own soil for spider plants I would suggest a mix of 50% fine compost, 10% pearlite, and the remainder some sort of sand or sandy loam. I keep feeding my spider plants with a bit of sieved compost that I water in between the leaves. Over time this will mimic the natural forest floors where they grow.
What Is A Good Soil Mix For Spider Plants?
If you scrolled to this question, the actual answers are above! But a quick summary. You ideally need a well-drained, loose, compost-rich soil. The easiest way to achieve this is with a sandy potting soil, add a bit of compost and bit of pearlite.
What Is The Best Fertilizer For Spider Plants?
These plants are really not very fussy at all. Their tuberous roots actually act as a nutrient store, where they rapidly absorb salts such as potassium and store these in the roots! For my spider plants, I take fermented molasses, mix this with a bit of wood ash, and some manure, and let this soak for a week. I sieve this and dilute it and give it to the plants as a foliar feed once a week until they look really good and then I stop.
If you do not have the bits and pieces to make this, you can use a balanced organic fertilizer such as this one which is made from marine emulsions.
Avoid Tap Water If You Have Fluoride In Your Water!!
My house runs on rainwater that I harvest and store in tanks. As a result, I never had this problem. If you are using tap water, beware that some water authorities put fluoride in water ostensibly to help people have better teath. I personally think this is a bit silly because very few people actually drink tap water anymore. Nevertheless, tap water with fluoride in it is toxic to spider plants. Hence, if you want your spider plants to look good, give them rain water, or some sort of filtered water. Flouride makes the tips of their leaves go brown.
In Conclusion – What Is The Best Soil For Spider Plants?
Any soil that is well-drained, but has organic matter in it will work well. If you add a bit of pearlite to the soil this works wonders. Spiders plants will thrive in a wide variety of soils, as long as you do not over water them. They need to have wet patches and dry patches as they would in their natural environment.
Feeding them a balanced organic soluble fertilizer works well. I guess in a way this emulated what would happen when an elephant takes a pee on them in nature – they have to quickly soak up the abundant nutrients before this drains away into the deep sandy soils of Africa.
Spider plants that are healthy are simple plants to care of and add a lot of life to any area you plant them in. For me, I like to plant these as a cover below larger plants. They seem to always enjoy being a living layer under larger plants.