11 Houseplants You Can Grow in Water


When I was younger, I had an uncle who had in his house an indoor water garden. It was akin to an aquarium, only larger and without fish- and had a beautiful display of plants that grow in the water. They were different from the regular, earth-bound plants I had so far been used to- they had about them a certain diaphanous quality and ease of movement.

Indoor water gardens are no longer the rarity they were at one point, indeed they are sought after by a lot of homeowners and enthusiastic gardeners. Water gardens are very much like normal gardens, except that there is no soil. Which, if you give it some consideration, is the antithesis of messy.

Plants that grow in water are most often grown in clear pots and vases and require very little maintenance. Additionally, they are beautiful centerpieces and are sure to catch a guest’s eye!

Following is a list of, 11, if I am to be precise, houseplants that you can grow in water.

1. Lucky Bamboo

A popular house plant that grows almost exclusively in water, the Lucky Bamboo is a plant that you can most certainly invest in if you are looking to venture into the world of plants that grow in water.

The plant is not especially wide but can grow up to be quite tall. When grown in water, it needs to be fed no more than once a month. [A good liquid fertilizer is recommended.]

The plant ideally ought to be placed in a well-lit spot. Trim when necessary.

2. Heart-leaf Philodendron

The heart-leaf philodendron is eminently suitable for growth inside water and adapts to a liquid environment remarkably well.

Use a 6-inch ( approximately) long cutting and place it in a sunny area of the house. Take care to ensure that most of the light is indirect, direct exposure to the sun could have adverse effects. Change the water twice every week, in order to give the plant a fresh change and enough stimulus for growth.

If the leaves start to droop or you notice the sheen on the leaves fading it might be a good idea to use some fertilizer.

3. Pothos

It has a similar foliage pattern to a philodendron (the heart-shaped leaf is the point of commonality here), but this plant is fancier.

It is a cascading shrub, which means that you should expect the plant to eventually develop trailing stems and plantlets that dangle from the parent shrub. Place it in a spot with ample space around it, so the plant has unrestricted access to its surroundings.

Bright light is a requisite, as is freshwater every 3-4 days.

4. Wandering Jew

Another in the list of cascading plants, this hanging beauty is pretty low maintenance. It has distinctive foliage- dark green leaves with pale pink edges and a purple center.

Submerge cuttings from a mature Wandering Jew in water, taking care that only the stem is in contact with water. The leaves should not be kept in water, as the moisture causes them to rot.

Keep the plant in a well-lit area, it will show evidence of growing roots in less than 3 weeks.

5. Jade Plant

Also known as the money plant, this plant has the astonishing ability to grow near water. Yes, you read it right, it does not even have to be in the water to grow- proximity to water is enough!

Of course for an optimum level of growth, you would want to plant it in water, at which point it starts rooting. [This is often followed by a shift to the soil.]

The leaves are light greenish, and have a waxy texture which is characteristic of the jade.

6. Paperwhite

A flowering plant, with, paperwhite blooms. The flowers are small, with yellow-orange centers.

Anchor the base of the plant when you put it in water, with some pebbles. This grounds the plant and prevents it from slipping. Take care to ensure that the water level remains below the actual bulbs, in order to prevent rotting.

Indirect sunlight and a regular replacement of water is all that is needed for this plant to exhibit stunning results.

7. Sage

Herb garden enthusiasts, this one is for you. Sage stems grow their roots in water and with adequate light and fresh air, begin to sprout leaves in a matter of weeks.

These are small plants with vivid green leaves that have a very distinct texture- slightly rough to the touch and with serrated edges.

One thing to keep in mind while growing sage, is to make sure to replace the water every week as mold growth is a common problem and can be triggered at the slightest sign of neglect.

8. Thyme

Another herb, thyme is even easier to grow than sage.

Pluck a few stems off of a mature thyme plant ( preferably before they are about to flower) and place them in water. You will find a root growth almost immediately ( in a day or two) and the leaves start growing in a couple of weeks.

Place the vase/jar containing the thyme in a sunny spot inside the house. The plant does have a tendency to dry up quickly. Frequent replacement of water is recommended, as is misting which gives the plant a quick dose of the moisture it needs.

9. Spinach

A leafy vegetable favored by hydroponic farmers, spinach displays a marked affinity to water. They have large green leaves that spread out like fans and grow in clusters. It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, which makes it a very healthy vegetable.

They grow naturally in water beds, growing roots in a few days, and leaves in a few more. They are low- maintenance and generally do not require extra care except for the basics like light and good ventilation.

10. Aluminum Plant

The aluminum plant warrants its name, it has dark green leaves embossed with silver patterns that glint in the light.

It is a flowering plant, and although usually grown in well-drained soil, it adapts very well to water. It requires plenty of light- generally 3-4 hours a day.

Hanging baskets are a good fit for these plants as the height allows it space to grow trailing stems and dangling plantlets.

11. Lemon Balm

I saved the best for the last or what is best, in my opinion at least.

The lemon balm plant can spring to growth from a few stems in a jar of water. Continued exposure to bright ( but indirect) light induces leaf growth.

The leaves are small, with serrated edges and interesting variants of green throughout the body. They also have a knobbly texture. Added bonus? A minty, lemony smell that pervades the home as the plant begins to flourish.

And there you have it, a list of 11 houseplants that you can grow in water. I have a couple of these and can attest to their brilliance and the easy care they require. There really is no reason to defer anymore, is there?


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