What Do Yellow Leaves On A Spider Plant Mean?

Pinterest Hidden Image

One of the biggest mistakes newer plant enthusiasts make is to interpret “low maintenance” as “no maintenance.” Even spider plants (Chlorophytum Comosum), which can take a lot of abuse and neglect, may suffer from too little care.

These problems can involve pest infestations, fungal or bacterial infections, or discoloration. The good news is, spider plants are incredibly resilient, so you can often reverse problems once you identify the cause.

Spider plant leaves turning yellowPin

Why Are My Spider Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

Yellowing leaf tips or entire leaves can be the sign of several issues, some of which can lead to the death of indoor plants over time.

When you see yellowing, don’t wait for it to get worse and look into the following causes and solutions.

Two spider plant leaves with yellowing tips and edges.Pin


Sadly, plants are just as prone to disease as people.

Common diseases tend to be either bacterial or fungal, with root rot being the most common ailment.

Diseases can often be treated, especially in a resilient spider plant.

Check the plant for root rot or any fungal growth and treat accordingly.

Note that you may have to prune away the damaged leaves, but a spider plant can usually handle heavy pruning when necessary.

Heat and Humidity

Putting your spider plant near a vent or other source of drafts can cause problems.

For optimal health, place spider plants in areas with moderate humidity.

A tray of water can also help.

You should keep spider plants in a room or outdoor location where the temperature is between 50 and 80° degrees Fahrenheit.

These three environmental factors can all contribute to or even cause leaf yellowing.

Spider plant with brown leaf tips.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @getbusygardening

Related: Tips on watering Spider Plants


Bug problems can sometimes be hard to spot.

Piercing bugs such as aphids and scale tend to be so small you can barely see them and are usually found on the undersides of leaves.

Sadly, yellow spots on leaves are often your first warning of an infestation.

Piercing bugs feed by literally sucking the sap out of your Spider plant’s leaves, causing them to yellow and dry out.

Left untreated, an infestation can kill the plant.

To check for most insects, grab a magnifying glass and carefully peek at the undersides of damaged leaves, being careful not to dislodge or scare the bugs (at which point they might try to hide).

Spider mites often betray their presence by their thick, messy webs, while other mites behave more like their insect counterparts.

A hand holding a browning leaf.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @thelazyleafling

Once an infestation is found, isolate the plant and treat it using neem oil, horticultural oil, and/or insecticidal soap.


One of the easiest growing mistakes made is giving their spider plant too much or too little light.

Too much direct sunlight will fade the leaves, activate yellow chlorophyll, or result in brown leaf tips.

Likewise, too little light can weaken your plant, causing it to yellow as it becomes sick.

The remedy for this one is simple: move the plant.

Find a spot with bright, indirect light, such as beside or opposite a window.

Conversely, you can place the plant in a spot where it receives a few hours of direct morning or evening sun but is shaded at midday.

NOTE: Once acclimated, Spider Plants Will Grow Outdoors

Soil Quality

Spider plants thrive in poor soil, so it’s easy to forget that the soil still needs to be changed occasionally.

Hand holding a potted plant with curled leaves.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @hl.symphonyofgreen

Salts and other excess minerals can accumulate over time in the root ball from tap water and any fertilizers you use.

This can result in the potting mix becomes mildly to moderately toxic for your plant over time.

As a general rule, you should replace with fresh soil once every 1 to 2 years and use low-strength fertilizer options to avoid making your spider plant sick. Also, make sure to use a pot with drainage holes.

JOIN Our FREE Plant Care Newsletter 

By entering your email address you agree to receive a daily email newsletter from Plant Care Today. We'll respect your privacy and unsubscribe at any time.