If you’ve just found yourself growing a long-legged spider plant, you’ll want to take action, because it’s not good for aesthetics.
It’s also not good for the health of the plant, as it means it doesn’t get enough light or it grows faster than it should, resulting in weaker growth.
So here are the signs that you have a long-legged spider plant, what’s causing them, and what you can do to fix it as soon as you notice it.
Signs you have a long-legged spider plant
In general, there are actually 2 signs that you have a long-legged spider plant.
The first and most obvious sign is that the leaves of the spider plant have stretched, which is called etiolation.
This means that the leaves become longer, but thinner than normal and at the same time.
Often leaves will stretch to the nearest light source they can find when growing in low light conditions.
They can also stretch or become tall and thin if they receive too many nutrients, resulting in rapid but unhealthy growth.
Another sign of long legs is when the leaves continue to grow so large that they become heavy and begin to sag due to an inability to support themselves with the weight.
These signs often appear at the same time as they go together.
Causes of growing long legs
There are actually a few different causes for the growth of spider plants, including the following.
lack of light
Spider plants thrive in bright, indirect light and need upwards of 6 hours a day to grow and look their best. If you don’t receive the minimum quantity, you can expect the sheets to stretch.
Often, especially in low light, you can see the leaves extending to the side where they last found a light source.
If there isn’t enough light for everyone, you can also expect the leaves to turn pale or yellow due to chlorosis, a loss of chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis to maintain the natural color of the plant. sheet.
If you notice that your spider plant has grown long and stretched to the side, this is likely the cause.
The other main cause of a long-legged spider plant is due to over-fertilization, especially too much nitrogen.
If your spider plant receives too much nitrogen, it can cause rapid growth that can be too much for the plant, leading to prolonged unhealthy growth.
It’s like someone is going through a period of massive growth and growing too fast.
Sure, they got bigger, but that might not be the healthiest thing to happen if it happens too quickly.
This is basically what you can expect if you give your spider plant too much nitrogen.
In general, you want your fertilizer to be well balanced to avoid unhealthy leg growth, so something like a 10-10-10 fertilizer or as close to full balance as possible.
How to Fix a Leggy Spider Plant
In general, when it comes to sprucing up a long-legged spider plant, it’s best to trim the leaves as much as possible.
Not only do you want to keep growing too long for aesthetic reasons, but pruning is best so your spider plant can use more energy and produce fresh, healthy growth.
Your plant only has so much energy to use.
Wouldn’t it be better to allocate resources for healthy growth rather than using them for slow growth?
Do you know the answer.
So be sure to have sterile pruning shears handy and prune leg growth as close to the ground as possible.
You want to remove the longest growth per leaf for best results, so you end up removing almost the entire leaf each time.
In the meantime, don’t worry too much about the appearance of your spider plant, because you know that healthy growth will soon follow.
Just make sure not to prune too many leaves at once, as this can stress your plant.
To prevent leggy growth from occurring, or after pruning, there are a few things to do, depending on the root cause.
In low light
If you think your long-legged spider plant was caused by low light, all you need to do is turn up the light.
If you are growing indoors, try growing directly near an east or west facing window, as it will provide plenty of indirect light each day.
You can also use a south-facing window, but due to its solar nature, you should move your spider plant away from this type of window orientation.
Avoid using north-facing windows, as they don’t provide as much light.
When growing outdoors, you can grow anywhere that gets plenty of indirect light every day while still being protected from full sun during the hot midday sun.
Pro Tip: Rotate your spider plant a quarter turn once a week to ensure an equal amount of light is provided to all sides of the plant to keep it from stretching to one side.
In case of overfertilization
To avoid giving your spider plant too much nitrogen, choose a well-balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10, which contains equal parts nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
It is also not necessary to fertilize as much.
Once a month in spring and summer is fine.
You may need to dilute the fertilizer to 1/4-1/2, as most fertilizers are strong enough for houseplants in general.
Otherwise, if you fertilize too much or too often, you risk burning the fertilizer due to excessive salt buildup in the soil, which can cause problems such as brown leaf tips, among others.
From now on you will know how to tell if your spider plant is long, what caused it and what you can do about it.
As always, I hope this information has helped you grow a happy and healthy spider plant again!