I have a few plants that have cobwebs on them. Should I clear these cobwebs and discourage the spiders that live there, as they may cause damage to the plants, or should I leave them, as they might take care of a few airborne pests?

This answer could depend on the type of plant the cobwebs are on, so as an example, I find them on my lavender plants.

  • inside or outside plants?
    – wax eagle
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 23:26
  • 1
    they are outside plants Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 14:25
  • 1
    Just make sure the webs are full of spiders and not caterpillars - some tent caterpillar infestations are not desirable at all.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


Spiders eat meat (bugs), hence the web to trap them, and have no interest in eating plants. If you're seeing spiders, you probably have bugs that they're eating. If you remove the spiders, the bugs are free to eat the plants unencumbered. I would leave them. The caveat to this would be if the spider is a black widow, though its hard to imagine a black widow on a plant since they tend to like dark places (cellars, basements, sheds, behind things, etc).

Therefore, I would leave the spiders alone unless the webs were a visual nuisance or were on leaves I intended to harvest, such as basil.

  • Typically, I see cobwebs on my plants, but the spider is no where to be found. However, at night, the spiders are typically out because that is when a lot of bugs come out to feed. In LA, I've seen black widows on small plants at night. I'm not sure where they go during the day, however.
    – Gaff
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 12:49

Spider mites make a webbing on indoor plants that are heavily infested. These kind of webs should be treated with soap and water repeated at five to six day intervals for at least three repetitions. They look like this (Thanks for the link Randy!)

Spider mites

If the plants are outside and the webs are from spiders I don't see a problem.


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