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Plants That Grow in Water

Several houseplants can flourish in water, usually from cuttings. Growing plants indoors provides the home with a living, breathing air-purifier that helps to keep the indoor air fresh and adds a nice touch to the décor. People usually grow plants in soil, in plant boxes or pots, which can get messy at times when you have to repot the plants. Growing plants in water is a good, low-maintenance idea, particularly if you want to avoid pests if they were planted in soil as is normally done. 

There are a few things to note when growing any type of houseplant in water: 

  • A suitable glass container or porcelain vase, it’s better to use a clear or tinted glass container, so you can monitor root growth and water levels, topping up whenever necessary.
  • Clean water – tap water can be used if allowed to sit for 24 hours to let chemicals evaporate.
  • A healthy cutting from a healthy mother plant.
  • Hydroponic or liquid fertilizer. 

Water should be changed at least once in two weeks or whenever you notice algae growing in the container or if the water becomes brackish. Make sure to clean the container thoroughly when you replace the water, not forgetting to add the fertilizer when done. Algae can form in the water and adversely affects the root system. Note: Tinted glass containers can prevent algae growth.

Not all houseplants can be propagated in water, however, so it’s best if you do some research if you want to try growing different varieties of plants.

Here is a list of houseplants that can be successfully grown and thrive in water:

Pothos

pothos-plant-care

Golden Pothos or variegated Pothos is a hardy tropical houseplant that can thrive well in water. Select a healthy length of vine, with around 3 or 4 leaf nodes, keep 2 – 3 leaves at the tip and strip off the remainder. Fill the container with enough water, add the recommended drops of liquid fertilizer and insert the cutting into the container. Rooting will start within a week or two.

Place your container in a suitably lighted area, bearing in mind that Pothos favors indirect bright sunlight as the direct sun can stunt growth and can cause leaf burn.

Philodendron

Philodendron-plant-hanging-basket

Another plant that grows well in water is the Philodendron. Take a cutting from the growing tips of a mother plant and remove the leaves at the bottom, leaving just two or three at the tip, making sure that there are at least 2 leaf nodes free at the end. Fill the container with enough water, add the recommended drops of liquid fertilizer and insert the cutting into the container. Roots will start appearing within a week or two.

Place your container in a suitably lighted area, as the Philodendron thrives in indirect bright sunlight. Direct sun can cause leaf burn.

Lucky Bamboo

lucky-bamboo-plant-inside-house

Lucky Bamboo, as it is widely known, is not an actual bamboo but rather similar to succulents. It is considered to be “lucky” for its owners. Feng Shui practitioners value it as it is supposed to attract positive energy and luck to the home, depending on the number of stalks growing, with 4 stalks considered as bringing bad luck.

Select a healthy length shoot, with around 3 or 4 nodes and snip off the leaves at the end of the cutting, leaving a couple of leaves at the tip. Use a bed of pebbles or perlite to help stabilize the stems. Tap water can be used but let it stand for at least one day to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Use a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to prevent algae growth. Change the water fortnightly, making sure to clean the container as well as the pebbles/perlite. It doesn’t really need fertilizers but you could add a little diluted fertilizer if you want.

Place your container in a suitably lighted area, as the plant usually grows and thrives in indirect bright sunlight. It might require more light if the leaves begin to turn pale green.

Spider Plant

spider-plant-care-tips-

Spider plants, so-called the baby plants that resemble tiny spiders, have long, variegated leaves and are very easy to grow and take care of. The baby plants can be replanted however, wait until the size of the “babies” is at least 2 inches in size before cutting them from the parent plant. Spider plants look particularly nice if grown in a hanging container.

Use a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to prevent algae growth. Change the water fortnightly, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but do not over-fertilize it.

Spider plants tend to suffer from leaf tip burn if exposed to bright sunlight, so make sure to place the container in an appropriate location. 

English Ivy

English-Ivy-plant-care-hanging-basket

English Ivy comes in literally hundreds of varieties, with leaves of many shapes and colors, usually ranging from an inch to 3 inches in size. Select a healthy length of vine, with around 3 or 4 leaf nodes, leave a couple of leaves at the tip and strip off the remainder of the leaves. Be aware that the sap can cause rashes on the skin.

Use a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to prevent algae growth. Change the water fortnightly, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but do not over-fertilize it.

It will thrive best in an area of bright shaded light and can tolerate low lighting conditions, although growth might be slower and variegated varieties might become plain green. It doesn’t tolerate heat that well so ensure the container is in a cool area. 

Monstera

monstera-deliciosa-indoor-house-plant

Monstera can thrive in water with proper care. Just make sure to change the water regularly, a bit more often than other plants. Select a healthy shoot of the plant that has a few aerial roots, with around 3 or 4 leaf nodes and stripping off most of the leaves and retaining just a couple at the tip.

Use a suitable glass container to view root development and water levels, preferably tinted to prevent algae growth. Change the water weekly or if you notice it becoming discolored, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but be careful not to over-fertilize it.

Place your container in an indirect bright sunlit location. Monstera doesn’t like direct sunlight as it can cause the leaves to burn.

Begonia

Begonia-plant-propagation-

Begonia is another plant that grows well in water. It can be propagated from either cutting or leaves, with roots taking a few weeks to form, so make sure to change the water at least fortnightly to prevent algae or bacteria formation. Select a good length of the plant (or a leaf), with around 3 or 4 nodes on the stem, leave a few leaves at the tip and remove the remaining leaves. 

Use a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to prevent algae growth. Change the water fortnightly or if you notice it becoming discolored, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but don’t over-fertilize.

Begonias can tolerate a bit of direct sunlight but prefer an indirect bright sunlit location. Low lighting conditions might result in reduced foliage growth and less flowering.

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia-plant-grow-and-care-

Dieffenbachia, otherwise called Dumbcane, is another plant that does well in water. Be careful when trimming leaves or taking cuttings as it can cause irritation if swallowed or if the sap gets in the eyes. Select a healthy length of the plant with around 3 or 4 nodes on the stem and remove any leaves at the bottom of the cutting.  

Place it in a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to stop algae growing. Change the water fortnightly or if you notice it becoming discolored, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but don’t over-fertilize.

It does well in indirect bright sunlight as well as different lighting conditions, although leaves tend to develop slower in low lighting conditions.

Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema, popularly known as the Chinese Evergreen plant, has a reputation for being a very hardy plant with over 20 varieties of different colors and patterns. Select a good length of the plant with around 3 or 4 nodes on the stem, keep a few leaves at the tip and remove any remaining leaves.  

Place it in a suitable glass container to monitor root growth and water levels, preferably tinted to stop algae growth. Change the water fortnightly or if you notice it becoming discolored, making sure to clean the container well. Fertilizer can be added once a month but don’t over-fertilize.

Although the plant is very hardy and can even thrive in a windowless room, it thrives well in indirect bright sunlight as direct sunlight can cause leaf burn.

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