9 Reasons Why Your Spider Plant Won’t Grow Roots

Spider plants are a fantastic addition to most homes due to their stunning leaves and easy growth. However, if you struggle to get a spider plant to put down roots, there is likely something wrong. And it’s crucial to find the most likely causes of non-existent root growth in these plants. 

Reasons why your spider plant won’t grow roots include lack of maturity, inadequate water, incorrect temperature, and lack of sunlight. Spider plants are pretty hardy but will struggle to put down roots when their needs aren’t met, and they’re stressed. The time of year will also affect growth.

In the rest of this article, I will discuss why spider plants don’t grow roots. However, your plant not growing roots often signifies a more significant underlying issue that needs resolving. So if you want to learn more about why spider plants struggle to root, read on. 

1. Your Spider Plant Is Not Mature Enough

First, one of the most common reasons spider plants fail to put down roots is the plant’s age. The plant might not be ready to put down roots yet, and you must be patient. Typically it will take a baby spider plant 7-10 days to begin growing roots and 2-4 weeks before the roots are healthy enough for transplant. 

A spider plant is only considered mature at 1-2 years of age. After the plant has matured, you will get better results propagating and getting baby spider plants to grow roots. If you have recently grown a spider plant from your mature plant, that baby plant will likely not produce other plants for a few years. 

So be patient if your plant is still young, and know it’s normal for juvenile spider plants not to grow roots if the parent plant isn’t mature yet. 

2. The Plant is Constantly Underwatered

Another common reason spider plants struggle to root is lack of water. Spider plants are relatively resistant and will still manage if you forget to water occasionally. However, with consistent neglect, your spider plant won’t thrive, meaning that putting down new roots is practically impossible. 

Typically it would be best if you plan on watering your spider plant at least once per week. However, you should never add water to their container if the soil is still wet. Also, you want to be careful with overwatering since these plants are susceptible to root rot.

Creating a watering schedule is the best way to ensure your spider plant gets enough water. If you live somewhere warm and dry, you will likely have to water more frequently than if you live somewhere cooler or humid. But, again, remember to always check the soil’s moisture content before adding more. 

3. Incorrect Humidity Prevents Root Growth

Another possible culprit is humidity if your spider plant is struggling to grow roots. Spider plants are more tropical, preferring around 50-60% humidity. You can add more humidity to your plants by lightly misting them once a week. So monitoring the humidity levels around your spider plant is extremely important for root growth and overall health. 

But how exactly can you monitor your plants’ humidity? Luckily, you can purchase devices like a hygrometer that will tell you exactly how much humidity is in the room. With a monitor, you can also ensure you aren’t over-moisturizing the plant. 

Additionally, spider plant humidity is relatively easy to manage. Indoor humidity levels of up to 50% are comfortable for both your family and your spider plants.

You can also improve these levels by occasionally keeping the plant watered and misting. If you provide the correct amount of moisture, no adverse effects will happen to the plant. When increasing the humidity, it’s always important to monitor the plant until you see improvements.

4. Your Spider Plant is Overwatered

As you’re likely starting to see, water is a huge factor in your plant’s health and ability to grow roots. Just like too little water will harm your spider plant, overwatering is also a significant issue. 

Spider plants are highly prone to root rot, primarily if overwatering occurs. When too much water sits stagnant on the root system, the roots begin to rot, weakening the plant. 

Additionally, overwatering can lead to fewer nutrients in the soil since it leaches essential vitamins and minerals from the reach of the roots. You can avoid overwatering by checking the soil for moisture and setting up a watering schedule. However, you can always get a moisture meter if you don’t trust your moisture judgment.

A meter will take the guessing out of watering your plant and ensure you know how much water to add. Additionally, you can use these gauges on any plant pot in your home to check the moisture content in their soil as well. 

5. The Temperature Is Too Cold

Another factor that can contribute to your spider plant’s lack of root growth is the temperature. Spider plants tend to go dormant during the winter once the weather begins to get cold. During dormancy, the plant will grow very little, if at all, especially when placed somewhere cold. You can remove the plant from drafty areas such as windows or doors to help remedy this. 

However, every plant has a growing season, and giving your plant some time off from growing is healthy. You won’t see much plant growth in temperatures below 65 °F (18 °C). You also don’t want the plant to freeze, and you must keep your spider plant’s temperature above 35 °F (2 °C).

Since they are more tropical, a spider plant will grow their best when kept at temperatures between 70-90 °F (21-32 °C). So do your best to ensure your plant keeps warm, but don’t fret if you notice less or non-existent growth during winter. Your plant will likely resume healthy growth in the spring.  

6. The Plant Isn’t Getting Enough Sunlight

Your spider plant could also be struggling to put down roots due to lack of sunlight, especially if it’s a house plant. Not all homes have adequate lighting for plants, and where you place your plant in your home dramatically affects its growth rate. 

While spider plants don’t love or require direct sunlight, they need the sun to grow healthy roots. Therefore, the best place for your spider plant is indirect sunlight in a brightly lit room. Avoid direct sunlight because the heat will easily burn the plant’s leaves. 

If you already have your spider plant in indirect sunlight, try moving it to a new place in the home with slightly brighter indirect light. You can also place the plant near a window so long as the window isn’t exposed to direct sunlight all day. You can also place your plant outside for a few hours to get extra light.

If you would like to explore your options for giving indoor plants enough light to grow, check out my article: How to Give Indoor Plants Enough Light to Grow

However, when placing a plant outside, be careful, as unwanted pests may hitch a ride back inside your home. So don’t leave your plant outdoors unattended too long, and also be careful of extreme outdoor temperatures. 

7. There Aren’t Enough Nutrients in the Soil

If nothing seems to bring your spider plant out of a funk, then there’s a chance the nutrients in the soil are off. Without nutrients, your plant can’t grow new healthy roots. The soil itself needs to be loosely packed for optimal drainage and nutrient-rich. Premixed soil bags are ideal since they have a healthy nutrient mix. 

Typically your spider plant will enjoy soil with a pH between 6.0-6.5, though the plants can often tolerate higher levels. Also, nutrients are sometimes leached from the soil due to water and the plant consuming them. These nutrients then need to be replaced to support healthy new plant growth. 

If there aren’t enough nutrients in the soil, you will also likely notice other symptoms, such as:

  • Discoloration.
  • Burned leaves.
  • Holes in leaves. 
  • Stunted growth
  • Broken leaves. 

These are just a few other signs your spider plant needs better soil. Adding in a good potting soil mixture is a fantastic way to ensure your plant gets healthy and can produce roots. Just be careful to do it sparingly. Too much fertilizer will also result in an ill plant, so you should conduct a soil test before changing up the plant’s soil too much. 

I’ve specifically written a comprehensive guide about broken spider plant leaves and how to treat them. You can check it out here: Here’s What to Do With Broken Spider Plant Leaves

9. The Spider Plant Is Stressed

Lastly, if your spider plant won’t grow roots, it might be due to stress. Stress is a leading cause of poor growth in any plant, and almost all the factors discussed above will cause a plant to feel stressed. 

A spider plant becomes stressed for several reasons, including the following:

  • Transplanting.
  • Temperature fluctuations 
  • Inadequate water
  • Illness
  • Pests
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Lack of proper light 

A stressed spider plant won’t feel comfortable growing roots if threatened. The best way to remedy stress is to fix what you can and give the plant time to recover. Transplanted spider plants need some time to adjust before making baby plants sprout roots.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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