How to Revive a Wilting Spider Plant

Spider plants are an attractive and easy to care for houseplant, which makes them a popular choice for indoor gardening.

If you are like me, however, and tend to completely forget about your houseplants for weeks or – I’ll admit it – sometimes months on end, you may find yourself faced with a wilting spider plant.

Lucky for folks like me, this issue is not hard to recover from.

A close up vertical image of a Chlorophytum comosum growing in a container and cascading over the edge, in the background is a string of fairy lights. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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Read on to learn why a spider plant may wilt, and some ways to help it bounce back.

Reasons for Wilting

There are a few different reasons why spider plants may experience problems with wilting.

And if you notice leaves that start to droop, that are pale, or that have become brown at the tips, it may be time to reexamine their growing conditions.

A close up horizontal image of a spider plant turning brown and wilting due to lack of water.
Photo by Rose Kennedy.

Making small modifications to inputs like water, light, fertilizer, or the container it’s growing in can do wonders to revitalize a sad looking specimen.

Too Much Water, or Not Enough?

One of the first things to check if you find yourself faced with a wilting spider plant is how much water it is getting.

Overwatering in particular can lead to root rot. If you tend to water the soil until it becomes soggy, it may be time to cut back.

Bleached looking leaves, possibly with darkening edges, may also be a sign that you are drenching the roots.

A close up horizontal image of the nozzle of a can watering a houseplant.

Conversely, forgetting to water regularly, especially during the summer growing season, can also cause foliage to wither.

In spring and summer, water approximately once per week.

After watering, the soil should feel moist but not wet. In the winter when growth slows down, allow the soil to dry out fully between waterings, about once every couple of weeks.

If leaves start to look dry, try giving them a quick misting once in a while.

If water seems to be pooling at the top of the container and not soaking into the soil, check whether you are using a soil mixture that drains well.

It may be a good time to consider repotting – keep reading for more information on this below.

How Much Light Is It Getting?

Sometimes they will wilt because they are failing to get the correct amount of sunlight.

Perhaps you set a pot in the perfect position in a window during the summer, but when winter comes around, that window no longer receives much light at all.

You may find it necessary to move the container to a different location as the seasons change.

Just make sure you continue to situate the pots in bright, indirect sunlight.

While spider plants do enjoy soaking up some sun, too much direct sunlight can cause the foliage to overheat, burn at the tips, and lose its color.

A close up horizontal image of a Chlorophytum comosum growing on a windowsill in light filtered sunshine.

If it appears droopy, perhaps with some browning leaf tips, and has been sitting in bright direct sun, try giving it a deep soak for several minutes and then relocate it to a cooler, shadier spot.

If it is wilting somewhere in full shade or far away from a window, then move it to a spot that gets more light.

Has It Outgrown Its Container?

Repotting your spider plant is recommended about once a year.

If you start to notice roots protruding out from the bottom of the pot, if growth seems stunted, or if it is starting to look a bit cramped, it might be time to give your plant a bigger space to grow.

A close up horizontal image of two hands on the left of the frame digging up a small Chlorophytum comosum for repotting.

Moving up to a new container also serves as an opportunity to refresh nutrient deficient or poorly draining soil.

A close up horizontal image of two hands from the left of the frame repotting a Chlorophytum comosum plant.

Carefully remove it from its current home and transplant into a larger container filled with potting soil that drains well.

Water until the soil is moist but not soggy. Continue with regular care.

Need more help? Find a detailed guide to repotting spider plants here.

Is It Getting Enough Nutrients?

If you have been watering correctly, providing the appropriate amount of light, and repotting as necessary, and leaves are still looking sad and withered, you may be dealing with a nutrient deficiency.

A close up horizontal image of a Chlorophytum comosum that has turned brown and is wilting set on a wooden surface.

During the growing season, try feeding your spider plant a balanced liquid organic fertilizer once a month.

I advise using an organic product to reduce the potential for chemical and salt buildup in the soil, which could also cause problems such as leaf tip burn.

There is no need to fertilize during the winter, when it will be dormant.

Perfect for Absent-Minded Gardeners

I admit that I have forgotten about my spider plants many times.

Thankfully, these resilient houseplants tend to bounce back easily, once you identify the problem and provide a little bit of TLC. That is why they are my indoor plants of choice!

A close up horizontal image of a Chlorophytum comosum in a decorative pot with a wooden wall in the background.

Have you dealt with wilting spider plants? Please share your tips in the comments below.

And if you found this article useful, you can find more spider plant care tips in these articles:

Photos by Rose Kennedy © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

Photo of author
Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible!

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Nuria
Nuria (@guest_14775)
2 years ago

How to repot my spider plant when it has lots of babies attached to it?!

Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy(@rosekennedy)
Gardening Writer
Reply to  Nuria
1 year ago

Hello Nuria! You can always cut some or all of the babies to start new spider plants ahead of repotting. But you can also leave them on there. If you opt to re-pot a spider plant with the babies attached, just make sure the new pot is just one size larger, and no more than a couple of inches wider than the pot the plant occupied before. That way, the stalks the babies are attached to can easily dangle down the side of the pot the way they did before. If the new pot is too wide, the plant won’t… Read more »

Kathy Kelley
Kathy Kelley (@guest_14798)
2 years ago

Mine has been beautiful for months lots of shoots off it! All at once whole plants turning brown and wilting! What should I do?

Eva Cooper
Eva Cooper (@guest_15681)
Reply to  Kathy Kelley
2 years ago

My spider plant is almost dead! Please help me!

Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy(@rosekennedy)
Gardening Writer
Reply to  Eva Cooper
1 year ago

Hello Eva Cooper. I’m so sorry to hear this! At this point, you may be better off starting with some new shoots from a healthy parent plant. While spider plants are quite hardy and relatively easy to revive, if your plant is close to death, it might be better to go ahead and start over. When you do, make sure to check all the boxes: ample light, moderate amounts of water, and the proper size plant. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Deeva
Deeva (@guest_17688)
Reply to  Kathy Kelley
1 year ago

I wish I had an answer. My spider plant is going through the same thing. It was blooming and blossoming for almost 8 months with gorgeous shoots and then it seems like overnight it wilting with leaves turning yellow and brown at the tips. I really need help!

Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy(@rosekennedy)
Gardening Writer
Reply to  Deeva
1 year ago

Hello Deeva! I hate to hear this about your once-healthy plant doing so poorly. I imagine some of the tips above might work for you. In your situation, the first thing I’d try would be pruning away some of those shoots to start new plants. That way, you’ll at least have some spider plants for your indoor garden no matter what happens. After that, I’d look at whether your spider plant is getting enough light and whether the roots are growing out of the bottom drainage hole. Maybe you just need a bigger pot. Here’s hoping you can revive your… Read more »

Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy(@rosekennedy)
Gardening Writer
Reply to  Kathy Kelley
1 year ago

Hello Kathy Kelley. This info might be delayed, but in case anyone else had the same question, all the suggestions above might help, from checking the water levels to make sure the plants are getting enough but not too much to seeing if your plant needs more light or a bigger pot. I suspect the roots may have gotten compacted in a pot that’s not big enough. This makes it hard for them to draw up water, and the plant can die back quickly in that circumstance. If any of the shoots are still healthy, I’d recommend trimming some for… Read more »

Drake
Drake (@guest_21016)
1 year ago

I have a Baby Spider Plant. His soil is getting gross but I cannot get an opportunity to re-pot him as my only option is a much deeper pot with not much room to grow in.

Two leaves are turning yellow and a lot of his other leaves have reddish/brown tips at the very end of it. I am planning on giving him a re-pot soon but I want to know if I can nurse him back to health.

Susan
Susan (@guest_23920)
1 year ago

HELP! I went on vacation and asked a family member to care for my plants. The plant in concern is my spider plant. This plant is 8+ years and it’s been a beautiful plant. She gave the spider plant a half gallon of water and it drenched. When I returned home, I took it apart and got rid of all the root rot. It no longer has a root ball. That was completely soaked. I separated the entire plant, many had tubulars which I know help with the water supply to the plant. I let it dry out completely over… Read more »

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu(@allison-sidhu)
Editor
Reply to  Susan
1 year ago

Sorry to hear it, Susan! When you say you separated the plant, do you mean you split it up into divisions? Or maybe this happened naturally when you trimmed the affected roots? First things first- propagate those babies ASAP in case the parent plant doesn’t make it! The presence of spiderettes is excellent news, since these give you the opportunity to start new plants identical to the parent right away. We share tips for propagating spiderettes in our guide. You may not be able to save the parent when root rot strikes, but you can keep the spider plant party… Read more »

Susan
Susan (@guest_23957)
Reply to  Allison Sidhu
1 year ago

Thank you for your quick response. I’m going to send along a picture and you can see the current state of my spider plant. Not sure it will allow an attachment.

Susan
Susan (@guest_23959)
Reply to  Allison Sidhu
1 year ago

Yes, I split into divisions lots of separate plants. Maybe 8 or 9 the plant is large. I had some small babies that had new roots. I use the water method and put them in new soil. Wish I could send a photo ??

Clare Groom
Clare Groom(@clareg)
Editor
Reply to  Susan
1 year ago

Hi Susan, I’ve managed to retrieve your photo, it uploaded but didn’t attach to your comment for some reason! Sorry about that!

Screen Shot 2023-01-11 at 3.15.17 PM.png
Susan
Susan (@guest_23990)
Reply to  Clare Groom
1 year ago

Thank you !

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu(@allison-sidhu)
Editor
Reply to  Susan
1 year ago

Thanks for your update and photo, Susan! It’s tough for me to see much of the container here, but this pot does have a drainage hole in the bottom that allows excess water to flow out, correct? Normally I’d recommend splitting plants up into separate containers when dividing, but due to the extreme root loss and since repotting is already complete, you’ll want to avoid causing any more stress to the plant. Give it time to recover like I described above, and I’d also go ahead and snip those babies to propagate in their own containers. You could also root… Read more »

Susan
Susan (@guest_24074)
Reply to  Allison Sidhu
1 year ago

Thanks again, will give it some time.

Sueann Smith
Sueann Smith (@guest_29543)
9 months ago

I left my spider plant inside when we had our floors done. Not sure if the solvent odor or the heat 80°+ temp. It has recovered some but most of the tips and the offspring are brown. I watered it thoroughly.

Allison Sidhu
Allison Sidhu(@allison-sidhu)
Editor
Reply to  Sueann Smith
9 months ago

The heat will do it, Sueann. I hope your plant makes a full recovery! Browned tips and spiderettes can be trimmed and disposed of.