7 Tips For Growing Spider Plants in Hanging Baskets
Spider plants are some of the most popular plants to grow in hanging baskets. These hardy houseplants grow quickly and can live for many years if properly cared for. In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton provides her top tips for healthy spider plants in hanging baskets!
Spider plants are one of the most beloved indoor plants around the world thanks to their remarkable ease of care. Their strappy cascading leaves are also perfect candidates for growing in hanging baskets.
Growing plants in hanging baskets is slightly different from regular containers. They still require drainage and proper watering, but there are some factors that will contribute to the overall growth of your plants. You’ll need to think more carefully about the type of container you choose, as well as the hanging location, amongst other factors.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you keep your spider plants happy and healthy when growing in hanging containers. Follow along as we share each tip to help keep your plants happy and thriving!
Choose a Smaller Basket
Spider plants are ideal candidates for hanging baskets for their ability to cascade. Long strapping leaves tower up and over to almost completely cover the pot below when the plant is mature. Top that off with some spider plant pups and you have a stunning indoor feature.
This beauty disappears if your chosen hanging basket is too large. Planted in the center of a large container, this plant will look lost and diminished. The long leaves also won’t reach the sides of the pot, hanging around on the soil and risking your chances of rot and disease in these usually problem-free plants.
To avoid this issue, start off with a small hanging basket. There shouldn’t be more than 2 inches of space around the edges. Don’t worry about lack of pot space – spider plants don’t mind being confined to their containers.
If you already have a large basket you want to fill with spider plants, consider planting more than one in the same container. This way, they can be placed closer to the edges for the leaves to hang down the sides. Once they fill out, you can repot into smaller individual containers or keep them as is.
Larger baskets can also be filled with compatible companion plants for some visual variety. Pair your spider plant with drought-tolerant types of Peperomia or another hanging basket favorite. Just make sure you avoid Pothos as these vigorous growers tend to take over any container they are planted in and will likely suffocate your spider plants.
Pick a Light Container Material
When planting in hanging baskets, you need to consider weight very carefully. Large pots become heavy when filled with soil and even heavier when watered. This impacts how you hang your basket and how easy it is to maneuver.
Choosing the right container material makes growing spider plants much simpler. If the container is as light as possible, you don’t need to worry about the weight of the container when watering.
Plastic is one of the most common materials. It is incredibly light and comes in a wide range of interesting shapes and colors. Plastic pots are also cost-effective and easy to reuse when you need to repot or want to change up the look of your indoor garden.
But, there are many gardeners who don’t like the look of plastic or who would rather use a more sustainable material. Wire baskets lined with coconut coir are also widely available and visually appealing. However, these are typically reserved for outdoor gardens as they can be messy when watering. Their shapes are also much wider than plastic baskets – not ideal for cascading plants.
Take a look online or at your local nursery for other composite options. As long as you choose something that is light and easy to carry, you should have no problems when the pot is filled.
Avoid dense materials like terra cotta or ceramics. Although these look stunning, they are far too heavy for hanging containers, even if the ropes you are using to hang these pots are strong.
Use the Right Potting Soil
Container material is not the only thing that can weigh a hanging basket down. The type of potting soil also makes a difference to the weight and the health of your plants.
Spider plants, like most houseplants, need airy and well-draining soil to grow their best. Dense soil that retains too much moisture leads to root rot in these sensitive plants, ultimately killing them. Potting up with the right soil mix will promote drainage and airflow around the roots, keeping your plant healthy.
Standard potting soil is far too dense and heavy for spider plants grown indoors. Instead, use a houseplant-specific potting mix amended with materials to improve drainage and aeration. These can be found online or in your local nursery.
For the best results and the most control over growth, you can also make your own soil mix. My standard houseplant potting mix recipe consists of two parts potting soil, one part perlite for drainage and one part coconut coir to retain moisture without weighing the pot down.
You can adjust this recipe as needed based on where your plant will be hanging and how much light it will be getting. More light means quicker evaporation, so you may need to use less perlite and more coir to manage your watering schedule.
Hang at the Right Height
Hanging baskets are tricky to manage indoors. They need to be kept out of the way to avoid unnecessary accidents, but can’t be hung too high either as this limits access to light and makes it much more tedious to water.
As spider plants need bright indirect light, it’s best to hang them close to a bright window in an area away from foot traffic. Hang them at the height of the window or just below, allowing them to soak up as much indirect light as possible.
If your plant is hung too high, it won’t get enough sunlight to facilitate growth. Evaporation will also slow in these areas, opening your plant up to the risk of root rot. Make sure they can ‘see’ the sun from a nearby window to avoid stunted growth.
Ease of care is another factor to consider. I have made the mistake of hanging plants high up in rooms with high ceilings to create a living roof of sorts. But, actually getting up there to water them was so difficult that I often put off the task or completely forgot.
Needless to say, this will quickly lead to the death of your spider plants or at minimum, a much shorter lifespan. Make sure they are easy to access so you don’t sigh and roll your eyes when you think about watering them.
Keep Away From Open Windows
Airflow around your houseplants is a vital tool in disease prevention and improves overall health. However, too much is definitely a bad thing. Cold or warm drafts from open windows dry out the soil in containers much quicker. This also changes the environmental conditions frequently throughout the day, leading to stress.
Although it’s good to place your plant in front of a bright window, it’s best to keep that window closed to avoid any strong drafts around the plant. Not only will this damage health, but it can also stress the point the basket is hanging from, weakening it over time and possibly causing the pot to fall.
There should be gentle airflow around the hanging basket – not strong winds. If you see the air frequently affecting the cascading leaves, move your spider plant to a different spot in your home or keep the windows closed.
Take Down the Pot for Watering
Spider plants are known for surviving well without water for a while. However, they do thrive best with a strong watering schedule. When growing in hanging baskets, this task can become slightly tricky, especially indoors.
We’ve all had that moment where we notice our hanging plants struggling for water. We attempt to quickly water them just enough that the excess doesn’t fall out the drainage holes and onto the floor. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever done that successfully.
Rather than ruining your floor and watering incorrectly, water by taking the entire pot down. This allows you to water evenly over a sink or bucket so the soil is completely saturated. Once the excess has drained from the bottom of the pot, you can simply hang it up again to grow as usual.
Repot When Necessary
Just because your spider plant is overhead in a hanging basket, doesn’t mean you can forget about it altogether. Just like any other houseplant, spider plants will need repotting at some point. For quick growers, this may be as often as once per year, but is usually closer to once every two or three years.
When repotting, you can either divide the plant and use the same container or place the entire plant in a larger container. However, as weight and size are a concern in baskets, dividing is typically recommended. This also doubles your stock instantly – a win-win.
Remove the plant from its container and divide it into sections with strong root systems. These can then be planted into smaller individual hanging baskets or even pots for shelves to spread spider plants throughout your home.
If you’re looking for a plant for your indoor hanging baskets, you can’t go wrong choosing spider plants. These plants are hardy, and can withstand a little neglect. They are also one of the prettiest plants to hang in containers due to their ability to spill leaves over the edges of the container. With these few tips, your spider plants will be healthy and thriving for years to come!