Plant Graded

Can Spider Plants Tolerate Low Light?

People who have been keeping spider plants love how these green beauties can brighten up the atmosphere of any room. This is not a surprise, considering how spider plants can endure various light levels.

can spider plants tolerate low light

Having said that, does it mean that spider plants can thrive even if there is very minimal light present? Can spider plants tolerate low light?

Yes, a spider plant can stand low light, but they still grow best if they get optimum light. These plants need 8 to 10 hours of medium to bright indirect sunlight. It mostly means that you need to place it right in front of an east-facing window.

You also have to make sure that your spider plants receive part shade throughout the day if you plan to put them near a south or west-facing window.

Can Spider Plants Survive in Low Light?

Life-long gardeners and newbies alike love spider plants because these are not just super easy and simple to grow and notably adaptable but can also stand most light levels.

Spider plants are among the few favorite houseplants that can endure low light, together with the likes of Golden Pothos, Lucky Bamboo, snake plants, and ferns.

But even if they can endure low light, these plants will still thrive and grow best if they receive a medium to bright indirect light. You cannot just put your spider plants in a dark area and expect them to flourish there. Plants placed in dark areas may experience slow growth and might even fail to produce their showy plantlets or spiderettes.

Aside from this, low light conditions might further worsen the negative effects of nutrient deficiencies, disease infestation, drafts, and overwatering.

Signs Spider Plants Don’t Get Enough Light

Since spider plants can exceptionally stand low light, most signs of light shortage are somewhat mild. These signs can even be so subtle in indoor spider plants that you might not even notice them at all.

But still, several signs will let you know when your spider plants aren’t getting sufficient medium to bright light.

Abnormal Color of Leaves

When spider plants receive good light, the grass-like arching leaves are lush green, with the variegated varieties having prominent yellow or white stripes.

But if the plants don’t get adequate light, the leaves may start turning yellow. The tender new leaves are the first ones that go yellow with the rest of the plant following suit.

The leaves might also appear washed out or pale. It is because the leaves start losing their chlorophyll or green pigmentation in a dark area.

The variegated spider plants might also experience losing their white or yellow strips. They will instead turn into solid green after a prolonged period of light shortage.

Drooping Leaves

It is almost expected that the leaves of your spider plants will start to droop in extremely low light. Wilting is often the result of root rot, overwatering, or mostly sickly appearance because of critical light shortage.

The spider plant leaves often lose variegation or turn pale before they slightly wilt and droop. Your spider plant might collapse if you don’t solve the underlying problems linked to low light.

All drooping foliage should be pruned away because these won’t probably revive. If overwatering and too little light have resulted in root rot, it is best to cut back the diseased roots and use a fungicide to treat the remaining ones. Use fresh potting soil to finish the process.

Plant Leans Towards the Light Sources

Just like other plants, spider plants need light to grow healthily and photosynthesize. Plants do everything in their power just to get sufficient light for their energy and growth requirements. This explains why the whole plant itself or the leaves might start to lean towards any source of light if there is not enough.

You are left with no other choice here but to move your spider plant to a brighter area. Just make sure that this transition isn’t made all of a sudden. If the plant is located in a dark spot, try relocating it nearby an east-facing window.

Absence of New Growth

Again, even if spider plants can endure low light conditions, they won’t experience robust growth. You can blame low light if you don’t see new plantlets, shoots, or leaves when they should be showing up.

You also need to remember that spider plants might experience slowed-down growth throughout the winter season. But if your spider plant remains inactive and dormant even when the spring and summer seasons have arrived, it is best to check its light condition.

Production of Small Leaves

A healthy spider plant often produces long medium-large leaves. Healthy plants might also sprout some plantlets or spiderettes under the right temperature and light conditions.

It means that if your spider plant gets new leaves that are small, thin, and underwhelming, chances are it doesn’t get sufficient light. The smaller leaves are often floppy, leggy, or pale.

Soil Doesn’t Dry Out for Weeks

This one is a no-brainer sign. Light, after all, plays a critical role in drying out the potting soil of your plant. The soil dries out faster under bright light because it encourages healthy water uptake. It also speeds up the soil’s moisture loss through evaporation.

For this, the best thing you can do is test the level of moisture using your finger after every four or five days. The upper two to three inches of the soil should feel somewhat dry to your fingers. If it is, that is the only time that you can water the spider plant again.

But if the soil stays wet or moist for weeks, the plant might be located in a spot with low light. If you don’t move your plant to a brighter area or you continue watering your plant, it increases the risk of root rot.

The spider plant might also be in trouble when you notice the soil giving off a rotting smell rather than the pleasant earthy musk. If you dig up your plant, you will likely find some black or rusty brown mushy roots.

The Bottom Line

Spider plants can endure low light, but they need medium to bright indirect light for approximately eight hours per day. It is best to place these plants near an east-facing window. However, excessive direct sunlight should be avoided as it can brown the leaf edges and scorch the leaves.