Growing Houseplants in Water

Growing houseplants in water (hydroculture) reduces the work and mess of raising them in soil--some actually grow better in water!

It involves hydroponics which is the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich solutions or moist inert materials instead of soil.  The following have been the most effective media:  expanded clay, perlite, styrofoam, sand, vermiculite, and pea gravel. They must also be able to physically support the plant roots.

Using this method has a lot of advantages for the grower.   For one thing, it takes the guess work out of watering.  You don't have to worry about how much is too much or too little. You rarely need to water more than once every two weeks.

You don't have to repot because the plants never become overcrowded because they develop very few roots. The hydroponic systems require less space because the plant roots don't have to spread and search for food and water.  Plus, you won't be bothered with fungus gnats and other pesty soil insects.

You can grow your plants from unrooted cuttings by removing all the leaves from the portions of the stems that will be under water. The cuttings should be at least six inches long. Place the cuttings in the container and pour in  three inches of clean  gravel or glass marbles to hold the stems in place.

Tip: Use non-chlorinated water at room temperature.

If you want to transfer a plant that is growing in a pot, remove it from the pot and completely wash all the soil off the roots. Cut away any dead pieces of roots. Place the plant in the container, add gravel around and on top of the roots, and gently add water.

Houseplants in water
For added interest in your decorating, use colorful Water Wonder Beads You can also place two different plants with complementing growth habits in one container, for example, a wandering Jew and a dracaena.

Growing Houseplants in Water Is Hydroculture

 1.  Select a dark glass containers whenever possible, or place your clear glass containers inside baskets, decorative bowls, or pots. This is necessary to prevent the formation of algae which develops when exposed to bright light.

2.  Choose only plants that grow well in water such as the arrowhead plant, cast-iron plant, Chinese evergreen, dieffenbachia, dracaena, grape ivy, peace lily, philodendron,  pothos, and the  umbrella plant.
The lucky bamboo, with its upright growth habit,  is an excellent plant to start with.

3. Support plants with a deep gravel base. As the weight from the vines of trailing plants will pull roots  out of the water if left unsupported.

4. Do not place in direct sunlight. Place them in bright, indirect light.

5. Provide average indoor temperatures and adequate and humidity. Water can evaporate quickly if the humidity is low inside your home.

6. Remember to check the container and add water when necessary.

7. Feed once a month with a weak solution of liquid plant food  when roots are well developed.

You will discover growing houseplants in water is really the pathway to lush, vibrant, healthy plants.