How To Prune A Spider Plant

  • By: Carl Adams
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Spider Plants are easy-to-grow houseplants that don’t need much care. They’re also very attractive because they have long, thin stems with many small greenish flowers at their tips. The best way to keep them looking great is by regularly trimming. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about pruning your spider plant.

Why prune your spider plant? Pruning your spider plant and trimming back the foliage, so there’s less for pests like aphids and mealybugs to feed off of. Another reason you should trim your spider plant is to encourage more flowering. When you cut down some of its branches, it will grow out again from those areas.

This means that when you do this every few months, you’ll see lots of new blooms coming up all over your plant. It may take several years before you start seeing these fresh blossoms, but you won’t want to stop cutting back once you do.

Spider Plant Pruning Frequency

When should I trim my spider plant? You should always prune your spider plant after each bloom period ends. That means you should wait until about two weeks after the last flower petals fall off before you cut back and clean up your spider plant.

You might not even know how often your spider plant produces flowers, though. Some varieties only produce one big showy bloom per year, while others give you multiple smaller ones throughout the season. In either case, you shouldn’t let the plant go too long without being trimmed.

You should also check your spider plant after heavy rains or periods of high humidity. These conditions cause waterlogged soil, which makes it difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients. As a result, your spider plant might look droopy and unhealthy.

In addition, if you live somewhere humid, you may find yourself having to deal with mildew problems as well. So make sure to give your spider plant plenty of air circulation during rainy weather.

Spider Plant Pruning Tools

Useful spider plant pruning tools:

  • Sharp shears
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hand sprayer

If you’ve never pruned a spider plant before, here are three helpful tools that will help you achieve perfect results every time.

First, use sharp shears whenever possible. Shearing with dull scissors could damage the delicate webbing between the leaf veins. Also, using blunt scissors could leave behind unsightly scars. Sharp blades allow you to remove just enough material to maintain an attractive shape.

Second, choose a pair of gardening gloves explicitly made for handling plants. Your hands will stay cleaner than regular garden gloves since you won’t accidentally touch anything else while working on your spider plant. Plus, wearing gloves helps prevent cuts and scrapes from getting infected.

Finally, invest in a good quality hand sprayer. Using a hose attachment allows you to mist your spider plant with an insecticidal soap solution easily. This prevents insects such as whiteflies and thrips from feeding on your plant.

Spider Plant Pruning Step By Step Guide

If you have an indoor or outdoor spider plant, the chances are that the plant is growing out of control and needs some help with its appearance. The good news is that there are many ways to trim back this type of houseplant without harming them in any way. Here’s how to do it right.

Step 1: Remove dead parts first.

The most important thing to remember when pruning a spider plant is to get rid of any damaged leaves or broken stems first. If you try to work around these issues, you risk damaging healthy tissue instead. Dead leaves mainly appear yellowish or brownish because they contain less chlorophyll.

They’re usually easy to spot, so don’t worry about removing them unless they interfere with other growth patterns. Broken stems can be tricky to identify at times, especially if the stem has been cut clean through. In either case, approach them from above, so they don’t hit the ground first. The common area that often contains dead parts is near the base of the stem, where it meets the potting mix.

Use your fingers to pull up the top layer of dirt gently and then carefully dig down into the root ball. Once you reach the bottom of the pot, feel free to cut away all the debris. Once you’ve cleared away everything dead, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Cut back the main trunk.

Once you’ve got the basics taken care of, you can begin removing excess growth from the center of your spider plant. Start by cutting off about one-third of the total length of the main trunk. Then take another section of approximately half the original size and repeat the process until you’re left with only two small branches remaining.

You’ll notice that each branch has grown at least twice as long as the previous one. Now comes the fun part! Take both ends of the last branch and snip them off close together. Repeat this same procedure on the other side of the plant. When finished, you should be left with four short stubby branches.

Step 3: Remove weak stems.

Now that you’ve trimmed away the extra growth, you need to ensure that every single piece of the plant remains strong and sturdy. Look closely at the tips of each branch and see if any of them look like they might break under pressure. If so, clip those pieces off immediately.

It may seem counterintuitive, but leaving too much foliage on your spider plant makes it weaker. Instead, focus on keeping the overall structure intact.

Step 4: Cut away excess branches.

After you’ve removed all of the unnecessary material, you can start focusing on shaping your spider plant. Begin by taking a sharp knife and making three vertical slits along the sides of each branch. Next, use scissors to remove the outer layers of bark. Finally, use a clean razor blade to shave off the rest of the woody matter.

As soon as you finish shaving, give the entire tree a light coat of water using a watering can. You should only need to make one lengthwise cut through all of the stems near the bottom of the plant. Then take another downward stroke across the entire plant until you reach the first set of cuts.

Continue making these cuts down the rest of the plant. When finished, you’ll see that most of the lower part of the plant looks like a single trunk.

Step 5: Trim the tips.

Now that you’ve removed the bulk of the old foliage, you need to ensure that the new shoots coming out of the roots are adequately trimmed. First, grab a pair of sharp shears and start making horizontal slits along the sides of the branches.

Make sure not to go too deep because you want to keep the bark intact. Afterward, use scissors to remove the outer layers of the leaf buds. Finally, clip off the tip of each shoot using clippers. Be careful not to overdo it, though; otherwise, you could damage the plant.

Step 6: Clean up the mess.

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to clean things up before moving on to the final steps. Wipe down the entire surface of the soil with a damp cloth. Also, spray some diluted dish soap onto the leaves to help get rid of dirt and debris. Once everything is cleaned up, place the pot back into its permanent location in your home or garden.

Give the whole thing a good soak for an hour or two to ensure that there aren’t any leftover chemicals lingering around. This will also allow the root system to continue growing deeper into the ground.

Tips For Pruning Spider Babies

As for spider baby plants, the pruning procedure is similar to what we have done in our regular spider plants. The difference lies in how you trim the leaves. In the case of spider babies, you will find that there are no leaves or flowers.

So instead of slicing the stem into multiple sections, you need to cut the whole thing off. This way, you won’t end up damaging the root system.

The best time to do this would be when the plant starts growing again after winter dormancy. But before doing anything else, wait till spring arrives. Once the weather warms up, you can then move forward with the next step.

If you’re looking to prune spider baby plants for propagation, consider cutting back about half of their height. That’s enough to allow room for the sprouts to grow without hitting other parts of the potting soil. Then, transfer these newly developed seedlings to fresh pots filled with good quality potting mix.

You can also try planting some seeds directly into the soil. Just remember to add plenty of fertilizer once the seedlings begin to emerge from the ground.

Post-Pruning Tips

When it comes to general spider plant pruning care, here are some helpful hints:

– Keep the soil moist during the process: Watering regularly helps prevent dryness which may lead to fungal infections. It also allows the roots to absorb more nutrients.

– Don’t forget to fertilize: Fertilizing keeps the plant healthy and strong. You should apply a balanced organic fertilizer every month or so.


In conclusion, some of the most important things to remember when trimming your spider plant are to wait until after it flowers, or trim it in early spring.

In addition, it is also important to use a sharp pair of shears because when you make your cuts, you want them to be clean cuts. If the shears are dull then it will smash the ends and they won’t be even.

Make sure you clean up any scrap pieces in the container to help prevent any pests and make sure it is well watered to help prevent any stress to the plant.

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