The spider plant is another excellent beginner terrarium plant. Not only is it easy to find and purchase due to their popularity, they’re also fairly easy to grow and can handle less than perfect conditions.They do spread and grow up to 60cm tall and 45cm wide so keep these dimensions in mind if you want an enclosed spider plant terrarium. A more popular home would be a hanging basket or pot.
Spider plants also improve air quality in your home, reducing pollutants and other chemicals in the air. Like said above, you don’t need to have perfect conditions for your spider plant to survive. But if you’re having a terrarium dedicated to just spider plants it probably would be better to cater to the plant’s preferences. This guide will show you how to best care for a spider plant.
I don’t recommend using them in reptile terrariums. The sap from the leaves may be an irritant to their skin.
Building your spider plant terrarium
If you decide to have an enclosed spider plant terrarium, make sure that the sides are clear. They prefer a fair bit of bright light or at least, indirect sunlight. Again, make sure that the terrarium is going to be large enough to contain your spider plant as it grows and spreads. You can also place your spider plant in a hanging pot or terrarium. This allows the leaves to grow out and hang off the sides.
Spider plants also like their soil moist but not soggy. I suggest layering the bottom of your terrarium or pot with about 1-2cm of gravel or small pebbles. This will help with draining any excessive water.
Next use 1 part peat moss, 1 part potting soil, and one part sand for the substrate. The peat moss will help with absorbing excess water and keeping the surrounding soil nice and moist. The sand will help with additional draining of any water that can’t be absorbed. Note that a soil that is slightly acidic will also benefit your spider plants.
Maintaining your spider plant terrarium
Watering your spider plant terrarium frequently during summer seasons so that the soil is moist but not soggy. Reduce during the winter seasons. Cut back on watering if you notice that the tips are turning black. Water more frequently if you notice the leaf tips turning brown. In either situation, trim off the unwanted parts of the leaves and adjust your watering accordingly.
Spider plants are not fond of fluoride and chlorine, chemicals found in tap water. Too much of either can end up hurting your plant. An indicator of too much fluoride or chlorine are the tips of the leaves turning brown. There are two ways you can solve this problem. The first is using distilled water instead of tap. The second is leaving containers of tap water out for at least 24 hours to allow for the chemicals inside to dissipate. The added effect of this is that the water will be closer to room temperature which is better for your plant.
Humidity shouldn’t be an issue. Though if you notice brown streaks running down the middle of the leaves you may want to occasionally mist your plant. Brown streaks could also be an indicator of too much sunlight. While you should give your spider plant terrarium as much bright sunlight as possible, too much may end up burning the plant. It is a strong plant though so simply reduce the amount of light given and it should recover in no time. Again, spider plant terrariums also do well in indirect light and shaded areas.
Fertilize your plant during times of growth, such as when you see a lot of shoots and stalks developing. This will be more common during the summer seasons. Even then, your spider plant won’t need that much fertilizer. Half strength liquid fertilizer will do just fine though some people recommend high phosphorous fertilizers.
If you opt to use tablets, make sure to water thoroughly afterwards so that the fertilizer is equally distributed throughout the soil. Note that leaf tips also turn brown if too much fertilizer is given so you may want to cut back if you notice this.
Your spider plant terrarium will be best at room temperature (around 21°C) but will do fine anywhere between 20°C to 30°C. While it can survive at temperatures as low as 10°C it is not recommended. Do make an effort to keep the plant away from cold drafts as this one of the few things it will not tolerate.
Spider plants propagate very easily and do so via stalks and shoots. Miniature spider plants will emerge from these extensions and you can use them to create additional spider plant terrariums if you wish. Otherwise, they can leave them be. Some people find them aesthetically pleasing.
The easiest way to create a new spider plant is to take the shoot and plant it in another pot or terrarium. Once roots have formed you can detach it from the parent plant and it’ll continue to grow on its own.
If you don’t have a spare terrarium or pot at the time, simply remove the offshoots and plant them in either soil or water. Once the roots have reached 2-3cm long you can then transfer it into a permanent home.