I just bought a spider plant from a store recently. The plant is so aggregated that I can see many stems in a 8cm diameter pot ( 10+ ). I wondered if I can separate them. I tried to separate them from the soil, then I see their roots are so fat like a mini-radish, this is a pic from the internet:

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What is this special root called?

This is one of my plant bought from a store:

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You can see there are so many plants inside a single pot. Can I separate them without hurting them?

3 Answers 3


The roots in the picture seem to be simply fleshy, thick, tuberous roots. The special horizontal root a spider plant also has is called a rhizome.

You can separate them without hurting them. Ideally such division would be done after growth stops (during dormancy) or after flowering. You want to just water well, then lift and pry the root ball apart into separate plants and trim any damaged/dead roots from the divisions, and repot.

  • Normally I think spider plants separate themselves on their own (so no ripping required) but I suppose using a clean sharp knife and a proper dressing of fungicide would also work to cut two plants apart.
    – Vervious
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 5:58
  • Maybe they are tubers, but everything I've read calls them rhizomes. Perhaps there are both fleshy roots and rhizomes, which may be where I'm going wrong.
    – Vervious
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 17:08

I take the plant out of the pot, for example, if I have over watered the spider plant. I remove the brown roots and trim the tubers. You can expect new growth from the middle of the plant and some of the older leaves may turn brown and die, but the plant survives.

  • Thank you for your answer; if could include details of your tuber trimming method, how you would separate the roots, and how soon to expect new growth, could also be helpful; We encourage you to take the Tour, and browse through the Help center, to learn more about how the site works! Thank you! Welcome to the site!
    – M H
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 8:10

Yes, you can separate the new baby plants from the mother plant with roots. Then plant it in a good potting mix.

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