Chlorophytum comosum (kloh-roh-FY-tum kom-OH-sum), better known as spider plant, or airplane plant is a common addition to homes and offices.
These popular houseplants require very little maintenance. It can be grown in a wide range of conditions, including different light levels.
The plant is also popular among cat and dog enthusiasts, and it was an early entry on NASA’s list of effective air purifiers.
Many amateur spider plant enthusiasts have a big question about the kind of soil they’ll need.
Unfortunately, you’ll likely get as many different answers and the number of people you ask.
So what kind of soil do you need, and what works best?
What Is The Best Spider Plant Soil Mix?
The ideal soil for growing a spider plant is loamy, moist, and well-drained, with a pH balance of around 6.0 to 6.5 with a high tolerance up to 7.0.
Yet, the plant is versatile and can grow in a wide range of potting mediums.
When Spider Plant Soil Matters
You will likely only need to worry about your choice of potting soil if you want flowers or if the plant’s health is poor.
In such cases, you will want to pick a good premade potting mix or make your own.
You can generally take advantage of any well-draining potting soil you have laying around or even choose a soilless mix.
A DIY Guide To The Best Potting Soil For Spider Plants
Add a few ingredients to an existing general-purpose potting soil mix to make your own excellent spider plant potting soil.
Start by picking an existing potting or garden soil from your stock or a local garden center.
Next, add in any of the following:
These additions provide better aeration and drainage for the soil, reducing the risk of root-based health problems.
You may also choose to add limestone or dolomite to a soil mix with a low pH to get it within that 6.0 to 6.5 sweet spot to grow a healthy spider plant.
The Best Commercial Spider Plant Soil Mix
If you’d rather buy something premade, experts of spider plants universally prefer African violet potting mix for spider plant repotting.
African violet potting mixes have the perfect blend of nutrients, pH, and texture for your spider plant. They are perhaps the best choice for anyone hoping for flowers.
Any peat-based potting mix will also work quite well, although you may find them slightly less ideal.
NOTE: Always use a pot with drainage holes and avoid tap water when watering. Use rain or distilled water.
A Note On Adding Neem Cakes Or Fertilizer
Spider plants don’t need much fertilizer, especially if the soil’s rich or you repot the plant annually.
When adding, pick a balanced liquid house fertilizer and dilute it by half.
Feed the plant every two to four weeks from March to September, with richer soils needing less frequency than more deficient soils.
Don’t feed between October and February, as this is your spider plant’s dormant period.
Meanwhile, you may also choose to use neem cakes.
Neem cakes are a natural pesticide compost made from the solids leftover during extracting neem oil.
Neem cakes provide extra nutrients. They have trace amounts of natural human and pet-safe chemicals, most notably Azadirachtin.
The plant absorbs this substance as a systemic pesticide. It also protects the soil and roots from harmful pests and can help prevent or treat root rot in a similar way to a good neem soil soak.