Solid Green Spider Plants: Why Is Spider Plant Losing Green Color

Image by Ju-Lee

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

There are many reasons a spider plant may become discolored. If your spider plant is losing green color or you discover that part of a usually variegated spider plant is solid green, continue reading to learn some reasons and solutions.

Why is Spider Plant Losing Green Color?

In variegated plants, the white colored parts lack chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize. If your spider plant is losing its green color, it is not able to absorb enough energy from the sun to keep it healthy and vigorous.

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Most commonly this bleaching of the leaves is caused by too much sunlight. With too much sun, our skin tans or burns, but sunburn in plants causes leaves to bleach and blanch. For a spider plant that is turning white, first trying putting it in an area with less direct light. Spider plants especially don’t like direct afternoon sun.

If your spider plant is losing its green color and a change of lighting doesn’t help, it could be iron deficient. Try a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen level like 12-5-7.

Fluoride in tap water can also cause spider plants to discolor. You can leach the fluoride out by deep watering with distilled water.

Solid Green Spider Plant

Solid green spider plants occur naturally when plants revert to a parent plant. Variegation in plants is usually a genetic mutation. These mutations are propagated by breeders to create new plant varieties. Sometimes, the original genes can resurface. All green spiderettes can be snipped off and planted as new all green plants.

Occasionally, when spider plant is turning green, it can be an indication of a serious problem. Turning solid green is a survival tragedy for plants that are struggling. It may be reverting back to a more successful form. It could be creating more food producing cells because it is lacking sunlight or nutrients, or is trying to fight pests or disease.

If your spider plant is turning green, repot it into fresh soil and give it a dose of rooting fertilizer. Be sure to clean the rhizomes when you take it out of its pot, look for pest damage and treat immediately. Set the plant in a location with different lighting and water only with distilled water.

In most cases, with just a few changes in watering, location and growing medium, your spider plant may quickly recover from whatever is stressing it and causing it to discolor.

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