Growing indoor plants is very enticing, BUT it can be quite discouraging in equal measure. As a green thumb myself, I constantly feel the urge to plant some in my home but then get discouraged by a plethora of reasons not to. They range from “not enough space” to “not enough time to tend them,” and many more.
That’s when I decided to opt for water-based planting. It is not only an alternative, but it can also be the better option in some cases (take mine as an example), as it is much easier to care for. Some plants naturally grow in water without the use of a full-scale (and expensive) hydroponic system.
These plants are easily grown in bottles, glass jars, and other suitable containers. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about plants that grow in water only.
So, Which House Plants Can Actually Grow In Water Alone?
The following is a list of plants that you can effortlessly grow in your home with water. The list includes various types of plants, such as decorative plants, herbs, and vegetables.
This is a beautiful flowering plant that can grow in the absence of soil. To plant this, get a slim neck container ready, and pour water into the container. Cut at least a 6″ long section from an existing plant and transfer it over to that container.
Before cutting, make sure you properly wet the plant the day before for the best result. While cutting, be careful not to affect the node. And remember to change the water if you start to notice an unpleasant smell or change in color.
The Purple Queen is another flowering plant that can add that extra touch of decoration to your home. It is one of the easiest to grow as it grows faster than lots of other plants. It doesn’t require you to wait forever before it starts rooting and blooming.
The variety can be planted easily by cutting from existing plants. Depending on the size and shape of your container, you can simply cut stems and put them in the water holding container. However, stems should each be placed in smaller containers at the initial stage.
While cutting, cut right over the last leaf, and cut off leaves from the lower part of the stem, leaving only the nodes. Carefully place it into a cup-sized container, and wait for the emergence of roots, leaves, and branches. This should not take more than two days to happen.
After this, you can transfer the stems into the original container and voila! You have your beautiful Purple Queen to complement your home.
Quick Tip: Make sure to have enough water in the container, or just enough to keep the nodes immersed.
Lucky Bamboo Plant
Yeah, ‘Lucky’ Bamboo plant! It’s called ‘lucky’ because it is believed by many (especially in China, and some parts of Europe) to bring luck. Who doesn’t want a symbol of good luck in their home? This plant does not require a large or deep container; it can actually grow in a pretty shallow container. As long as it contains enough water to help the plant grow properly, it should be just fine! Cut stalks and put them in a water-filled vase. Water should be changed weekly.
The Pothos Plant (Devil’s Ivy)
This plant has a very funny nickname, but it can be a very great houseplant that can be grown without soil (in water). The Devil’s Ivy can spread pretty quickly, but with regular care and maintenance, your home should be fine. Like other aforementioned water-based houseplants, the Pothos plant can be cultivated by getting grafts from an existing plant. This plant, however, might need some additional application of essential nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. This can be achieved with the help of liquid fertilizers. Grafts are usually around three, each bearing at least three nodes.
The Chinese Evergreen
This plant also belongs to the group of decorative houseplants. It is said to be a bit tougher to grow.
Planting the Chinese evergreen requires you to get a six-inch graft. These grafts should have at least a leaf already for a better success rate. Cut and place in enough water to keep the bottoms immersed. Also, while cutting, be sure to cut a little below the nodes to make sure that you got them.
Pro Tip: Rainwater is allegedly the most appropriate to use in growing the Chinese evergreen.
This houseplant is one that you should add to your list of “plants that I can grow in water.” To plant the Peace Lily, pull the existing plant out of the vase, scrape the roots clean and rinse properly with lightly warm water so you don’t suddenly alter the normal temperature of the plant. Clean till the roots until they are completely devoid of dirt. Afterward, place into a container filled with water enough to keep the roots submerged. Constant checking is required, as the roots can become jam-packed.
The Spider Plant
They are generally easier to grow in soil, but they also grow in water. Their survival in water requires greater effort and might need a little application of liquid fertilizers to grow properly. This plant has plantlets that can be dropped into water-bearing containers. These plantlets then start rooting, with all other growth features coming after.
The Coleus Plant
This plant has two types of stems. The first having nodes and the apical, which has buds (more or less secondary). The node-carrying stem, as well as the secondary, can be used to plant the Coleus plant, which leaves two effective options. Only the nodes (and not the leaves) are required to be in the water. Therefore, the leaves at the lower part of the stem should be cut off.
This plant is particularly great at flourishing, hence, making it pretty easy to grow. Growing this plant requires you to get six-inch-long grafts from an already existing plant. Make sure to cut a little below the nodes. Clear the leaves from the lower part so that there are not more than three leaves on the entire stem, then place it into a container. Also, make sure that the nodes are submerged in water.
There are still a few more plants that can be grown in water but the above mentioned are the most commonly and easily be grown types. There are also a few herbs that can be grown using this method such as lavender, basil, mint, lemon balm, chives, to mention a few.
Advantages of Growing Plants in Water
- You can avoid soil altogether! This method is suitable for you if you are not comfortable – or just don’t want to – deal with the mess that comes with dirt.
- Prevents pest infestation, as bugs and certain bacteria love the warmth and moisture that comes with soil.
- Your water-based garden can occupy a lot less space
General Tips on How to Grow Plants in Water
The general process includes;
- Cutting stems off the desired plant
- Clear the lower part of the stem of leaves; about three leaves should be left at the upper part.
- Fill glass jar or vase with water
- Place stems in the jar (or any other container you choose).
After doing this, all you need do is to wait for the emergence of roots, followed by the rest of the growing process.
Precautions to Take When Planting in Water
Certain details should never be ignored when you embark on your water-based planting journey. They are:
- Be careful when cutting, so the nodes don’t get destroyed. These nodes are very important and essential for the growth of the leaves.
- The water level in the jar/container should ALWAYS be enough to have the nodes underwater.
- Change the water regularly. This can be done every week, or if/when the water begins to ooze foul, unpleasant smell, and change color.
- Add pebbles, gravels, beads, etc. into the bottom of the container. These provide support for the roots of the plants. Most plants need this, so to be safe, I recommend doing this for every container you fill.
- For most plants, a slim neck jar is preferred to act as support for the stems.
- It is also advisable to make use of darker but clear containers. This is required to prevent the formation of algae, which would not only disrupt the beauty of your plant but also compete with it for nutrients. The idea is to reduce the penetration of sunlight, which aids their formation and growth of algae.
In conclusion, the long term survival of the plant almost wholly depends on the beginning of the planting. First tries at times can be very frustrating if you don’t get it right the first time, but don’t get discouraged. A few more tries and gradual accumulation of experience will eventually make you an expert.