Spider Plant Fertilizer: Everything You Need to Know

I’m here to talk about spider plants. Specifically, how to properly fertilize them to keep them healthy and looking great. As with any plant, the key to a happy spider plant is regular fertilization. But what kind of fertilizer should you use? This article will give you all the information you need to know.

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are easy to care for, which is one reason they are such popular houseplants. They go by many names, including airplane plant, ribbon plant, and sometimes even spider ivy.

They’re a super choice for those who want to add some greenery to their décor but don’t have much experience with plants. And, as an added bonus, spider plants have a reputation for removing toxins from the air.

One thing you’ll want to do if you have a spider plant is to fertilize it occasionally. Fertilizing your plant helps it to grow healthy and robust and can also help keep it looking beautiful.

So, what do you need to know about spider plant fertilizer? Let’s get started!

spider plant on a table

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Common Spider Plant Fertilizer Challenges

One common challenge people have when it comes to fertilizing spider plants is understanding when to do it. Many people believe they need to fertilize their plants every time they water them, but this isn’t actually the case. In fact, over-fertilizing your plant can actually do more harm than good!

Another challenge people often face when it comes to fertilizing spider plants is figuring out what type of fertilizer to use. Many different types of fertilizer are available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your plant. We’ll look at the various types of fertilizer in this post.

Now, let’s dive in.

Why Do We Fertilize?

You want to make sure your plants stay healthy and look their best, right? Plants need nutrients, just like people do. And that’s where fertilization comes in. It’s a fundamental element of spider plant care.

Fertilizer provides your plants with essential nutrients that help them grow and develop properly. It encourages beautiful foliage and healthy roots.

It’s important to fertilize your spider plants throughout their growing cycle, but you should also be mindful of when and how much you feed them.

For example, avoid fertilizing during the colder months or when propagating new plants.

And when you do fertilize, always follow the manufacturer’s directions on how much product to use.

Now that you know a little more about the role fertilization plays in plant health let’s look at some of the types of fertilizer for spider plants.

Types of Fertilizer for Spider Plants

If you do a search for houseplant fertilizer, you see that there are many different types on the market. You’ll find organic and inorganic fertilizers. You’ll also see liquid, granular, and slow-release. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Organic Fertilizer

Let’s start with organic fertilizer.

Organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients, like compost or manure. They’re often slow-acting, meaning that they release their nutrients gradually. 

While organic fertilizers can take longer to work, they are healthier for both your plant and the environment.

If you’re looking for an organic fertilizer for your spider plant, I recommend this one!

Liquid Seaweed for Plants

  • Concentrated liquid kelp
  • Use as a supplement to your main fertilizer
  • Dilute in water

Inorganic Fertilizer

Inorganic fertilizers, on the other hand, are made from synthetic ingredients. They often have a more immediate effect than organic fertilizers. And they can also be more convenient to use.

If you use a synthetic fertilizer for your spider plant, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers are, as you might expect, in a liquid form. They’re usually mixed with water and poured into the soil around your plant.

They are convenient to use because you can fertilize and water your plants simultaneously.

You can also get a water-soluble fertilizer in powder form that’s mixed with water before application. This is also considered to be a liquid fertilizer.

powdered fertilizer ready to be added to a watering pitcher
Water-soluble fertilizer

Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizers are added straight to the soil rather than being dissolved in water first. They can be applied around the base of your plant or mixed into the potting soil before planting.

Slow-Release Fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizer is a type of granular fertilizer that releases its nutrients gradually, so you don’t have to worry about fertilizing as often. It comes in either loose pellets or compressed fertilizer spikes that are driven into the soil.

slow release fertilizer pellets
Slow-release fertilizer pellets

What Do the Numbers Mean?

You may be wondering what the NPK number on your fertilizer means. Don’t worry. We’re here to help!

Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the primary nutrients that fertilizer delivers. NPK is the shorthand way of representing these nutrients. So, if you see a fertilizer with an NPK rating of 10-10-10, it delivers a blend of 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.

Micronutrients like zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn) are also important, but they aren’t represented by the NPK number. So, read the label carefully to see what else your fertilizer contains!

Also be aware that some terms are used interchangeably. You may see the word phosphate in place of phosphorus or potash in place of potassium. .

For example, this label lists 8% nitrogen, 7% phosphate (aka phosphorus), and 6% potash (aka potassium). The NPK ratio is 8-7-6. And it also includes .1% iron.

plant food label

What Fertilizer Is Best?

A balanced, all-purpose houseplant fertilizer is the best choice.

Whether you go organic or synthetic, liquid or granular, look for a fertilizer formulated for houseplants with a balanced NPK number, like 10-10-10.

How Often Should I Fertilize My Spider Plant?

To ensure that your plant gets all the nutrients needed for healthy growth, you should fertilize it once a month during spring and summer.

There’s no need to fertilize it from fall through the winter because they go dormant during the cooler seasons.

You should also wait a week or two before fertilizing newly potted or repotted plants. Otherwise, you risk burning the roots. This is especially true of baby spider plants because their roots will be tender.

On the other hand, if you have a mother plant producing lots of plantlets (aka baby plants), you may want to fertilize it a bit more often so that it has the nutrients to support the new growth. Consider increasing your schedule to every two weeks during the growing season.

baby spider plant attached to mother plant

How To Fertilize Spider Plants

When you’re ready to fertilize your spider plant, mix the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions.

If you’re using a granular fertilizer, apply it around the base of the plant. Be careful not to get it on the leaves or stems. (If you do get some fertilizer on the foliage, just rinse it off.)

Water thoroughly after applying fertilizer to help it soak into the soil.

If you’re using a liquid fertilizer, you can simply mix it into the water you use for watering your plant.

If the plant is dehydrated, water it before fertilizing, so the fertilizer doesn’t burn the roots.

How To Tell If Your Spider Plant Needs Fertilizer

Spider plants are not heavy feeders. However, if you don’t think your plant is growing as fast as it should, then fertilizing it is a good step.

Additionally, if your plant is wilting or drooping, or the leaves are pale, these could also be signs that it isn’t receiving adequate nutrients.

However, nutrients also come from the soil. So it might be time to give it some fresh soil if you’ve been fertilizing your plant regularly and it still shows signs of stress. If you decide to repot it, only go up one pot size and choose a well-draining soil designed for indoor plants.

Common Issues Related to Fertilizing Spider Plants


If your spider plant’s leaves are developing brown tips, this could mean you’ve over-fertilized it. Try cutting back on the amount of fertilizer you’re using, or fertilize less often.


On the other hand, if your plant’s leaves are fading in color or it isn’t growing as quickly as it used to, this could be a sign that it’s not getting enough fertilizer. Try increasing the frequency or amount of fertilizer you’re using.

As with anything, it’s best to err on the side of caution when fertilizing your spider plant. It’s much easier to fix an under-fertilization issue than to correct one of over-fertilization.

Chlorinated Water

Chlorinated water can also cause brown leaf tips on your spider plant. Consider using filtered or distilled water instead. Or simply fill your watering pitcher the day before. The chlorine will evaporate overnight.


Are your spider plant leaves curling inward and you’re not sure why?

Wrapping Up

Now that you know everything there is to know about fertilizing spider plants, it’s time to get out there and give your plant the nutrients it needs to thrive!


Do spider plants need a lot of fertilizer?

No, spider plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer may be harmful. When you fertilize, always follow the manufacturer’s directions on how much product to use.

How do I make my spider plant healthier?

You can do a few things to make your spider plant healthier. First, ensure you’re using high-quality potting soil that drains well. Second, fertilize regularly during the growing season (spring and summer). Third, make sure it gets plenty of indirect sunlight. And finally, make sure you’re not over- or under-watering your plant.

When should I feed my spider plant?

You should feed your spider plant once a month throughout the growing season. There’s no need to fertilize them from fall through the winter because they go dormant during the cooler seasons.

Can I water my spider plant with tap water?

Spider plants are sensitive to chlorine. Use filtered or distilled water instead. Or simply fill your watering pitcher the day before to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

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