Why Is My Curly Spider Plant Dying? Tips for Rescuing Your Dying Chlorophytum Bonnie

The curly spider plant is such a cute, sweet, fun little plant that if you have one in your home or office, and you think it might be dying, you are understandably upset. Fortunately, this compact greenery is pretty hard to kill, so you likely have plenty of options for nursing it back to life.  

A Curly Spider Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office  

With pretty variegated white and green leaves that curl up, down, and around the base, the curly spider plant makes a lovely addition to any home or office space. It offers a ton of positive feng shui flow and symbolizes stability and longevity.  

Please note: Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links. I get commissions for purchases made through those links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you buy something from those links.

A Curly Spider Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office  

You can place this plant near a bright window and cross your fingers that it will produce delightful star-shaped, white flowers if you’re lucky. The airplane plant is an accent piece that will catch the eye of visitors all year round.  

Signs of a Dying Curly Spider Plant  

Although the plant is hardy, the curly spider plant is not invincible and will show you if it is in distress. Look for these signs:  

  • Wilting or yellowing leaves 
  • Crispy or burnt leaves 
  • Browning leaves 
  • Mushy leaves 
  • Soggy soil 

Common Causes of a Dying Curly Spider Plant  

Fortunately, the causes of a dying curly spider plant are few and far between. They include: 

  • Overwatering   
  • Too much light 
  • Pests 
  • Root rot 

While I could have included low light or not enough watering, those causes are highly unlikely as long as you are providing it with a bare minimum of light and water. The more likely result of either of those two is simply a slower growth rate.  

Watering Needs of a Curly Spider Plant  

The curly spider plant grows natively in the dry, arid climates of Africa and Australia, and typically under large cover plants and trees, so it needs minimal water and light.  Take a look at this article on watering mistakes that might be killing your plant.  

The standard approach to understanding the watering needs of your curly spider plant is to learn to check the soil with your finger. If you feel any moisture at all, you can leave the plant alone. If the soil is  completely dry, then you can water it.  

Am I Underwatering My Curly Spider Plant?  

In the unlikely even you are underwatering your curly spider plant, you will notice the soil becoming dry and hard packed long before the plant shows any visual signs of dying.  

Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Curly Spider Plant  

In this case, be sure to run the plant under your water faucet to fully hydrate the soil and keep a better eye on it in the future.  

Am I Overwatering My Curly Spider Plant?  

The most common sign of overwatering your curly spider plant is soggy soil and mushy leaves.  

Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Curly Spider Plant  

If you find you have overwatered your curly spider plant, you likely need to remove the plant from its pot, separate out the root ball, and cut away any mush roots and leaves. Then, lay the root ball out on a screen in the sunlight until it has fully dried out.  

Finally, repot the root ball in fresh soil and be sure not to overwater the plant going forward. Follow the watering check instructions above.  

Soil Needs of a Curly Spider Plant  

Because it hates sitting in water, plant the curly spider in a light, well-drained soil.  

Soil Drainage Needs for a Curly Spider Plant  

You can meet the soil drainage needs of your plant by ensuring you, first, get the right soil, and second, add small pebbles to the bottom of the pot, beneath the soil. Also use a pot with ample drainage holes and a plate at the bottom of the pot to catch excess water.  

Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for a Curly Spider Plant  

If you do notice your plant is not draining well and may be getting root rot, you can follow the instructions for repotting above and place it in a pot with better drainage and a light, well-draining indoor potting soil.  

Lighting Needs of a Curly Spider Plant  

The curly spider plant wants bright, indirect light, but it will tolerate a lower light as well. Just be mindful that it may grow more slowly in lower light.  

Also, be sure not to place it in direct light as its delicate leaves will burn and crisp.  

Resolving Lighting Issues for a Curly Spider Plant  

If you notice the leaves are burning, consider moving the plant farther from or closer to a window. It may take experimentation, but you can nail down the perfect lighting needs by paying attention to the color and vibrancy of the leaves over time.  

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Curly Spider Plant  

You are unlikely to have to deal with pests with the curly spider plant unless your plant ends up sitting in water, in which case it may attract aphids, spider mites, and white flies.  

In this case, you will need to resolve first the overwatering issues, as described above, then you can clean off your leaves by wiping them with a towel. Also, spray the leaves liberally with neem oil once a day for a couple of weeks until the pests are gone.  

The curly spider plant is not known to be subject to disease.  

Fake Curly Spider Plants May Be an Additional Consideration  

You are unlikely to need to invest in a fake curly spider plant as the real one is so hardy, but if for some reason you feel you will not be able to bring this plant back to life or won’t be around to care for it, you can absolutely invest in an artificial version that will keep your space light and bright.  

Fake Curly Spider Plants May Be an Additional Consideration  

And if you’re wondering if fake plants are on trend, check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky.  

What do you think? Have you had good experiences bringing a dying curly spider plant back to life? Let me know in the comments.  

Leave a Comment