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Last Updated:May 2, 2023

Trimming a Spider Plant (ALL You Need To Know!)

featured photo-trimming a spider plant-1

Unsure if trimming a Spider Plant is what you need to do? Perhaps you don’t know when, where, and how to prune Spider plants. After reading this blog post, you will be an expert in Spider Plant pruning.

Spider plants can be trimmed at any time, but it’s best to do so when they are actively growing. Trimming promotes new growth, removes damaged or diseased foliage, controls size and shape, and can be used for propagation. To prune, use sharp, clean pruning shears, disinfect them before and after use. Trimming of roots is suggested for overgrown or overwatered plants.

When To Trim A Spider Plant?

You can trim a Spider plant any time of year, but it’s best to do so when they are actively growing. If the plant is overgrown or has brown leaves or brown leaf tips, or when it’s diseases, it’s time to trim it back to keep it healthy and looking its best. You can also trim when you want to propagate.

Spider plant in the woven basket on the table

Spider Plant

What Are The Benefits of Spider Plant Trimming?

Spider plant trimming has several benefits. Pruning Spider Plant can help promote new growth, which will make the plant look fuller and healthier. It also removes any damaged, dead or diseased foliage, which can improve the overall plant health. Additionally, by trimming back the plant, you can control its size and shape, which is important if you want to keep it from getting too large. Lastly, trimming can encourage the plant to produce more offshoots or baby plants, which can be propagated to create new spider plants.

Infographic shows four benefits of Spider plant trimming

Spider Plant trimming benefits: 1) promotes new growth 2) removes dead & damaged foliage 3) removes diseased foliage 4) controls size and shape

Pruning Tools: What to Use and How?

Pruning a spider plant is a simple task that requires only a pair of sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears. Use a sharp blade so you can make a clean cut and avoid squishing the leaves. Clean the blades with rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant before and after use to prevent the spread of disease and reduce the chances of leaf infection.

How to Prune a Spider Plant

Trimming to Maintain a Healthy Beautiful Chlorophytum Comosum

Regular trimming of your Chlorophytum Comosum is very important to keep it beautiful and healthy. If your plant has dead, brown, dry leaves, prune them at the leaf base, close to the rest of the plant. Things like chlorine in tap water, low humidity, or too much fertilizer may cause brown leaf tips on the leaves. Use sharp tools (pruning shears) to cut off the brown tips.

Trimming an Overgrown Chlorophytum Comosum

If your Chlorophytum Comosum is overgrown, you can prune it to reduce its size. If there are plant babies hanging from long flower stems, you can cut off the flower stems at the base of the plant. If there are multiple Spider plants in the pot, you can cut off some of them, by pruning them off at their base. This will remove a lot of healthy growth that is photosynthesizing and producing sugars for the plant, but as long as there is sufficient healthy growth left, that’s fine.

Two photos in one showing Spider plant trimming

Trim your Chlorophytum Comosum if it's overgrown

Trimming for Propagation of Baby Plants

If you take good care of your Chlorophytums as it matures you will see small baby plants (spiderettes) growing on your Spider plants. Babies will hang from long flower stems. You can trim the end of a flower stem where the last baby is, half an inch from the baby. Put the cutting in water, in a warm spot with bright indirect light, and let it grow roots. Or plant it directly in the soil, water thoroughly, and put it in a warm bright spot. The spot can have some direct sunlight.

If you want more than one baby, go up the flower stem and use the same process for the next plantlet.

Three photos in one showing trimming plant for propagation

Baby Spider Plant cutting placed in water after pruning

How to Trim Spider Plant Roots

If you have a plant that needs repotting because its rootbound, you can trim its roots in order to keep it in the same pot. To cut an overgrown plant’s roots, first, untangle the roots. Then use clean, sterile pruning shears to trim a few inches of thin long roots. Don’t cut off the thick tubers, if you don’t have to, as they store most of the sugar reserves. Keep in mind that trimming roots will stress out your plant and it can take a while for the plant to recover, regrow new roots, and continue growing new leaves.

Spider plant roots ready for trimming

Trim a few inches of thin long roots below the red line

If you have an overwatered plant, you will notice soft, mushy, smelly, or brown roots. Use a pair of clean sterilized pruning shears to cut off all of the soft and mushy roots until you reach healthy roots. You can cut off thick tubers as well if they are soft and mushy. Repot the plant to fresh soil. To avoid overwatering in the future, reduce the frequency of watering and provide the plant with more bright indirect light and direct sunlight.


Will Cut Leaves Grow Back?

No, cut leaves will not grow back. However, if your plants are getting good care they will grow new leaves.

Should I Cut Bent Plant Leaves?

No, you should not cut bent Spider Plant leaves if they are still green. Green leaves still photosynthesize and produce sugars for the plant. If the bent leaves have turned brown, they are already dead and you should cut them off.

Plant in its pot next to the window with bent leaf

Green and healthy Spider Plant leaf shouldn't be cut

Can I Cut The Brown Tips Off My Chlorophytum Comosum?

Yes, you can cut the brown tips off your Chlorophytum Comosum. Brown tips are a common issue with spider plants, and brown tips can occur for a variety of reasons such as overwatering, underwatering, fluoride content in water, fertilizer and salt build-up, low humidity, too much sun exposure, or diseases. Trimming brown tips is a simple way to improve the plant’s appearance. When cutting off the brown tips, be sure to use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears and sterilize them before use. It’s also a good idea to address the underlying cause of the brown tips to prevent them from reoccurring in the future.

Pruning brown leaf tips from Spider Plants

Pruning brown leaf tips from Spider Plants


To conclude, Spider Plants can be pruned whenever it’s required. However, for the maximum benefits it’s recommended to trim it during the plant’s active growth. It will encourage new growth, eliminate unhealthy leaves, maintain the shape and size of the plant, and allows you to propagate it. Use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to trim your Spider Plant, and don’t forget to sterilize them to prevent some infection. In case there is an overwatered or overgrown plant, you should trim the roots.

Yours Truly,



  1. Elaine Emmerick August 24, 2023 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Can I use your instructions for a spider plant in water with rocks?

    • MrHouseplant August 25, 2023 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Hi Elaine, yes you can. There will be no difference in pruning 🙂

  2. Elaine Emmerick August 25, 2023 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much👍😊

  3. Emily R August 30, 2023 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    If you prune at the base of the plant to separate multiple plants, can you plant the trimmed one in another pot?

    • MrHouseplant September 4, 2023 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Hi Emily, yes you can. Make sure you trim low enough, so you trim the stem, and not just the leaves (I showed this in one of the images in this blog post). You won’t be able to do this on very young plants, that still don’t have a long enough stem developed.

  4. Sue September 16, 2023 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I have quite a few young Chlorophytums grown from babies in my little raised poly tunnel.. however their roots have gone down into the compost. Is it OK to trim the thinner roots off whilst trying not to cut the tubers? They are all a good size.

    • MrHouseplant September 17, 2023 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Sue, whether it’s ok to cut off the roots will develop on the overall condition of the plant and the amount of roots the plants have. If the plants are healthy, and you are cutting off a small amount of roots, relative to the total amount of roots, then it’s ok to cut them off. And as you mentioned try not to cut off tubers🙂

  5. GG September 30, 2023 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Can I cut the shoots off my spider plant for winter it has so many (12) with multiple babies try to grow and the shoots are so long 2-3foot long ?Thank you

    • MrHouseplant October 4, 2023 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      Hi, yes you can cut them off, your plant will be fine 🙂

  6. Tasha October 11, 2023 at 1:59 am - Reply

    My spider plant has spider mites. If I cut it all back to the base will it die off or grow new leaves?

    • MrHouseplant November 11, 2023 at 1:37 am - Reply

      Hi Tasha, are you positive they are spider mites? It’s important to identify pests correctly to be able to treat the plant properly. If you do cut the plant to the base, it will regrow if you provide it with sufficient light and not overwater it. Since you will cut off all leaves, you will need to reduce the frequency and amount of watering. Since the plant will not transpire (lose water through the leaves, as it will have none), the soil will stay moist longer. To avoid root rot, reduce the frequency and amount of watering and only water once the soil has fully dried out, all the way to the bottom of the pot. You can use a chopstick to check the soil. Hope this helps, let me know if you have additional questions 🙂

  7. Kat October 31, 2023 at 3:22 am - Reply

    I couldn’t find any information online so I went ahead and cut back a spider plant completely due to pests. I didn’t think it was worth trying to treat. Will it eventually grow back or should I toss it? The plant has given me lots of babies so this is more of an experiment at this point, but after stumbling upon your article, I figured I’d ask someone with more experience! Thank you in advance.

    • MrHouseplant November 10, 2023 at 1:36 am - Reply

      Hi Kat, yes, a plant that has been hard pruned (what you did) can grow back, don’t toss it. I would suggest with hard pruning to also treat it against pests. The treatment will depend on which pests you had. In general horticultural oil, insecticidal soap or neem oil are good options. For very difficult pests such as thrips, I would recommend systemic insecticide.

      After hard pruning, you will need to reduce the frequency and amount of watering. Since your plant has no leaves, there will no water loss through them, so the soil will stay wet longer that in used to. As spider plants don’t like to sit in wet soil for long periods of time, by reducing the frequency and amount of watering you reduce chances of root rot.

      Good luck 😊

  8. Taddison October 31, 2023 at 7:26 am - Reply

    I have had a spider plant (that I propagated from another one) for 7 years & it has only grown 4 leaves. It has stayed the same over the years. The leaves are the same size, about a foot each. I finally pulled it out of the soil & it has giant white tuber roots & swirls of little ones.. It looks like an alien. How can I get the plant to start growing? The roots are way bigger than the plant. Should I cut them down to see if the plant will grow?

    • MrHouseplant November 10, 2023 at 1:30 am - Reply

      Hi Taddison, there could be multiple reasons for why your plant hasn’t been growing. To initiate growth repot the plant into a larger pot and loosen the rootball slightly when repotting. Also move the plant into the brightest spot in your home, where it will have an unobstructed view of the sky. Don’t place it several feet away from a window, but in front of the brightest window. If your home has low light, buy a high quality grow light. Within a few weeks, it should start growing again.

  9. Sue bryant November 25, 2023 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Iv just rescued a plant from my dads which is mainly brown thick stem and a few green leafs off the end can I save it ?

    • MrHouseplant December 6, 2023 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Sue, yes you can if the roots are still healthy 🙂

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