Spider plants aka airplane plants are generally grown indoors. They are eye-catching and look really nice and unique indoors especially when grown in hanging containers. This is the reason why most people know them as houseplants. However, the fact that they look really nice indoors does not mean they cannot be grown outside.
I personally know many people who grow them outside and they really look nice in their gardens. They particularly look nice in gardens and backyards where I have seen them grown in hanging pots.
So the answer to the question, “Can you grow spider plants outdoors?” is “Yes, you can.” You may need to protect them from frost if you live in a colder climate and ensure they are well watered if you live in a drier climate.
Growing Spider Plants Outdoors in Warmer Climates
It is very easy to grow spider plants outdoors in areas with warm climates. This is because spider plants thrive in warm climates and can grow in such areas all-year-long.
As I mentioned above, spider plants really look nice outdoors when grown in hanging pots. This is because they show off their plantlets really nicely especially when they are healthy and watered properly. So you can definitely grow them in pots/ containers outside.
While spider plants look really nice in hanging containers, they can also thrive and look nice when planted in-ground. In-ground, they make nice groundcovers because of their plantlets root when they touch the ground. They can also make an eye-catching edging for raised beds.
In my opinion, it is best to grow spider plants in containers when growing them outdoors. This is because they do not tolerate low temperatures. So if you are in an area with a warm climate that sometimes experiences temperatures below 45 degrees F or even freezing temperatures, you should grow your spider plants in containers that you should relocate indoors if low temperatures or freezing temperatures are predicted.
If you instead grow your spider plants in the ground, they will sustain damage and they will probably even die in case of sustained freezing temperatures. The best you can do to try and protect them is to cover them with a light cloth that does not touch their foliage.
Growing Spider Plants Outdoors in Cold-Winter Climates
As I highlighted in the section above, spider plants thrive in warm climates. Nevertheless, they can be grown in cold-winter climates aka regions that experience true winters.
If you are living in a cold-winter area, you should grow your spider plants in containers. This is because doing so will allow you to move your plants indoors when cold weather is forecasted and to take them back outside when warm weather returns.
While it is usually warmer inside when there is cold weather outside, the indoor warmth sometimes is not enough to sustain spider plants in areas where it gets really cold. So check if your indoor temperatures are below 55 degrees F and if they are, switch on your heater or get an extra heater to warm your house to at least 60 or 65 degrees F.
And before moving your outdoor spider plants indoors, investigate them closely for any signs of pests and eliminate the pests. And even if you do not find any pests on them, spray them thoroughly with a good insecticidal soap. This will eliminate all soft-bodied pests and prevent you from transferring them inside.
Growing and Caring For Outdoor Spider Plants
If you want to grow spider plants outside, you should follow the tips below to take good care of them and to make them thrive.
- Grow Your Plants In Commercial Potting Soil. Spider plants are somewhat hardy plants. By this I mean they can grow well in just about all types of garden soil. However, to make them thrive and grow quickly, you should only grow them in well-drained garden soils. If your garden soil is not well-drained and you want to grow your spider plants in-ground, you should get a good well-drained garden soil to use.
Getting well-drained garden soil is, however, much more difficult than getting commercial potting soil. So my recommendation, if your garden soil is not good enough, is that you buy a commercial potting soil. All pointing soils are great and well-drained. Just make sure that the planter pots you use also have good drainage so that the good work of the commercial potting soil you will use will not be sabotaged.
- Position Them Perfectly. You probably want to grow spider plants for their aesthetic value. This will probably be the main factor that will determine where you position them in your garden or backyard. However, even with this in mind, you should also consider if enough sunlight will get to your spider plants wherever you want to place them.
Spider plants can do well in many outdoor light conditions. However, they love indirect sunlight e.g. the sunlight under trees with open canopies or the sunlight filtered by pergolas. If the sun does not get too hot in your area, you can grow them anywhere you want in your garden.
In case you live in an area where you regularly have to take your spider plants indoors to protect them from cold weather, you should buy grow lights or fluorescent lights and hang them about 10 inches from the plants. They will provide your plants with the light they need to stay alive.
- Water Your Spider Plants Regularly. While spider plants generally do well in warm climates, it does not mean they do not need water. They need moderate amounts of water to thrive.
Therefore, you should make sure the soil around their roots is moist. The easiest way to do this is to water them daily in the morning but only after sticking a finger into the soil next to their main stem to feel if it is moist. If the soil is moist you should not water them as overwatering is harmful to them. Only water them if the soil is dry and not sticky.
On the issue of overwatering, it is harmful because it drowns plant roots and prevents plants from functioning normally. So don’t water your plants before assessing the moisture content of the soil they stand in.
- Fertilize Your Spider Plants Biweekly. To ensure your spider plants grow and look as fine as you want them to look, you should use organic fertilizer on them biweekly. Make sure the fertilizer is organic, water-soluble, and balanced and use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to get the most out of it.
You should add the fertilizer in the evening to give your spider plants time to absorb them at night.
Spider plants are generally grown as houseplants but they can definitely be grown outdoors. They thrive in warm climate areas but they can also be grown in cold-winter climate areas if they are protected during cold weather. Happy growing!