Spider plants are beautiful and enhance any garden, balcony, or living room. They are easy to care for and make babies easily; however, it can be hard to find spider plant seeds, especially if you are looking to buy them instead of getting them from someone you know who owns a spider plant themselves. As such, you may be wondering how long spider plant seeds are viable for.
Spider plant seeds are viable for up to six months when stored correctly. However, spider plant seeds typically don’t store well so it’s best to plant them as soon as possible. When storing your seeds, keep them at 5% moisture and room temperature.
In this article, you will learn more about how long spider plant seeds are viable for, the factors that can affect the viability of spider plant seeds, and how to plant the seeds correctly to get the most out of them. Let’s get started.
Do Spider Plant Seeds Store Well?
No, spider plant seeds don’t last very long in storage. Therefore, it is generally advisable to plant them as soon as you receive them. If you can’t plant them right away, at least do not wait more than a few months. However, if you found spider plant seeds that were stored away for a long time, there is no harm in trying to plant them and seeing what happens.
What Factors Affect Spider Plant Seed Viability?
A study conducted in Kenya, titled Effects of Packaging and Storage Conditions on Quality of Spider Plant Seed and published in the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, examined the viability of spider plant seeds when stored under specific conditions.
They found that seeds stored at 5% moisture and room temperature for up to six months had the highest viability. They had an 85% germination rate.
On the other hand, seeds that were stored at higher moisture levels, including 10 and 20 percent, had lower levels of viability. In addition, seeds stored at different temperature levels also had lower levels of viability.
In terms of how to pack the seeds, researchers found no difference when aluminum foil packets or polyethylene packets were used. So you can use either kind, but polyethylene packets may be more available.
Above are optimal ranges but this does not mean that your seeds will no longer be viable after six months or if your seeds were not dried or stored at room temperature. However, they will be less likely to germinate.
How to Conduct a Spider Plant Seed Viability Test
If your seeds have been lying around for a while in sub-optimal conditions and you are not sure whether they are viable or not, you can conduct a simple test to find out.
First, take a number of seeds and place them in a wet paper towel. You can also use a damp coffee filter instead of a paper towel. Use around 10 seeds.
Then, place the paper towel with the seeds in an airtight bag, and place the bag in a warm location. Check back after a few days, and continue checking back every day for the next 1-2 weeks.
This is a standard test that you can conduct on any type of seed to test viability. However, the problem with spider plant seeds is that they can take up to a month to germinate. This means that you may not see results from your test for a few weeks or even up to a month. During this time, you may as well plant the spider plant seeds, because the longer you wait to plant them, the less viable they are likely to be.
How to Plant Spider Seeds Correctly
If your test results show that your spider seeds have a low viability rate, you can still plant them. There’s no harm in trying. If the viability rate is only 60%, for example, plant more seeds to get better results.
However, it is also important to take proper care of your seedlings and make sure they get all the nutrients they need.
Make sure that your spider plant seeds have enough dirt and soil on top of them (but not too much). Up to half an inch of soil is good, according to Get Busy Gardening, but use no less than a quarter of an inch.
Once your seeds are planted, make sure they get enough moisture and heat. You can put them over a heating mat like this Namotek Plant Heat Mat to help them grow faster. However, be patient with your spider plant seeds. They are delicate and take a while to grow. As such, do not try to put them in a new pot right away. Wait until the seedlings grow out a bit and then move them to a new pot.
Your spider plant seedlings will need fertilizer, so make sure to give them enough fertilizer, so they get the nutrients they need to grow. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer like this Indoor Plant Food bottle from Amazon. Always follow the instructions on the bottle, regardless of which fertilizer you use.
Not all of your spider plant seeds will germinate, depending on the conditions in which the seeds were stored. That is okay. Spider plants are beautiful and easily make “spiderlettes.” Even if you get just one spider plant, you can collect that plant’s seeds and plant fresh, new spider plant seeds that are even more viable than the older seeds you previously planted.
If you notice mold growing on your spider plants, you are probably giving them too much water. In addition, there might not be enough air circulation, causing humid conditions. Scrape off the mold, get more fresh air in the room, and water the plant a little less.
Here is an awesome video explaining how to care for your spider plants:
How to Collect Seeds From Your Spider Plant
Once you have grown your spider plants, you can collect new seeds from them. To do this, their flowers will need to be pollinated. If you don’t place them outdoors, the bees won’t be able to pollinate your spider plant flowers, so you will have to do so yourself using a Q-tip to go from flower to flower.
Once the seed pods dry out and turn brown, they will split open. At that point, you can collect their seeds and plant them again. If you decide to store them for later, make sure to store them in a dry environment at room temperature, in aluminum foil or polyethylene packets.
Although spider plant seeds are hard to find, if you do get a hold of them, give them your best shot and try to germinate them, even if they were stored for several months in conditions that are less than optimal.
However, if you do get fresh spider plant seeds, make sure to plant them as soon as possible to get the most out of them. If you do need to store them for whatever reason, dry them with silica gel so that they have very little moisture (preferably, not more than 5%) and store them at room temperature.
Once your spider plants have grown, you can continue planting new spider plants by pollinating the spider plant flowers and waiting for the spider plant seed pods to dry and break open, giving you access to the seeds inside.