Why Your Spider Plant Leaves Are Turning Black

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Stephanie

The leaves of spider plants turn black when exposed to frost and cold temperatures. The leaves of spider plants are sensitive to frost and typically become black when they come in contact with cold windows or indoors. Fungal pathogens and root rot that are caused by excessive watering can make spider plant leaves black.

Continue reading to find out the reason that the leaves of your spider plant to change to into black…

Cold Temperature Cause Black Leaves

The spider plants ( Chlorophytum comosum) are tropical plants that are indigenous to Southern Africa where they thrive in warm temperatures with intense indirect light and high levels of humidity.

Spider plants thrive at home, because their ideal temperatures for development is about the temperature of the room, which is between65degF (18degC) 75degF (23degC) during the day, and cooler than 55degF (12degC) at night.

They are not tolerant of frigid temperatures or frost, and are resistant up to zone 10.

Spider plants are tough and robust plants that can withstand occasional periods of cold however if it is much colder than 55 degF (12degC) the spider plant will go exhibit signs of stress, with their leaves turning black or brown.

The leaves of spider plants turn dark brown when there is a dramatic decrease in temperature, such as the exposure of frost.

It is usually due to it is located next to the window. If the leaves come into contact with the cold windows in the winter mornings that are cold and frosty, the leaves close to the window will change to into black.

Make sure to keep your spider plant away from cold, draughty rooms and make sure that the leaves arent near windows to avoid any further damage.

Cut off the affected leaves that are black at the base of the plant, as affected leaves dont have a tendency to heal because of the spider plants sensitive to cold.

Root Rot Causes Leaves to Turn Black

The leaves of spider plants also change color from black to yellow when theyre in moist or overly saturated soil, which encourages the growth of fungal pathogens like root decay.

While the spider plant is a fan of humid conditions, it will not like its roots being in soil that is sloppy.

The soil of spider plants needs that is evenly wet and well-drained to remain healthy.

The ideal is that the top inch of the soil should be dry between watering sessions to ensure the proper balance of water.

Fungal illnesses can be caused by:

  • Do not water your spider plant often.
  • Slowly draining soil.
  • Pots with drainage holes not in the base, tray, saucers or outside pots that block the water from escaping.
  • Large pots take an extended time to dry out.

If your spider plant is suffering from root rot or fungal disease and your leaves are turning black, its very difficult to resurrect your plant (unless you are able to propagate spiderettes with form) therefore prevention is more effective than treating.

(For more details, read my article on the best way to bring back the dying web plants).

How To Prevent Spider Plant Leaves Turning Black

Slow Draining Soils

Spider plants dont care about the type of soil they use, but their soil for potting should be well-drained and porous.

The conventional potting soil is perfect for spider plants since it retains moisture, but allows the excess moisture to run away from the root.

Sometimes, soil that is compacted (or roots) may block drainage at the bottom of the pot, which stops the water from draining and increases the chance of root rot. Therefore, examine your pots bottom when you see the soil slow draining after watering.

Avoid Over Watering Your Spider Plants

As we have mentioned, the best way to water spider plant is waiting until that top inch the soil to feel dry.

Typically, this means watering once every 7-10 days , but it could vary based on the climate.

Check the time it takes for the top inch of soil to dry by conducting a test with your fingers to see if there is any water.

If your soil is damp, it is best to put off the watering. When the soil appears dry, thats the ideal time to water.

This balanced watering will ensure that the spider plant gets all the water it needs for active growth, but the soil isnt too wet and could cause root decay.

(To discover the most effective methods for watering, read my article. essential tips to know to water spider plant).

spider plant and flowers in vase in bathroom

The Plant Spider plant is placed in Pots with Drainage Holes in the Base

It is vital that you place your spider plants placed in pots or containers that have drainage holes that allow the excess water to drain away so that the plant can stay healthy.

If the spider plants are placed in pots that are decorative with no drainage holes, the excess water collects around the roots and can cause root decay.

Additionally, the use of trays and saucers which prevent water from spilling into the house can result in the bottom of the soil to become damp around the spiders roots plant if theyre not regularly cleaned.

Larger Pots Take Longer to Dry Out

Spider plants thrive in pots that are slightly larger than their root balls.

This encourages flowering and the creation of spiderettes that could be used to propagate.

(Read my article on the spider plant isnt growing and not putting out babies for more information).

The larger pots have more soil, and thus can hold more water.

It means that a bigger pot will take a lot more time to completely dry as compared to smaller ones, which can increase the chance of developing root rot.

Place your spider plant in the pot equal to its size. This will make sure that the soil does not stay damp for too long, resulting in the leaves of your spider plant becoming black.

Key Takeaways:

  • The leaves of spider plants turn black when they are subjected to freezing temperatures. Spider plants are cold-hardy up to USDA zone 10, and they turn black when subjected to freezing. The leaves of spider plants often change to black when near an unheated window in winter.
  • Cut off the black, frost-damaged or cold spider leaves that are at the bottom of the plant.
  • Spider plants may turn black due to root rot as well as various fungal pathogens. Root rot can be caused by excessive irrigation slow draining soils, pots that do not have drainage holes at the base.
  • Plant spider plants only in pots that have drainage holes at the base and only water once you are sure that the upper inch the soil is dry. Clean out trays and saucers of water that is not being used regularly to prevent root decay.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)