I love my growing collection of houseplants, but admit that I’m a semi-negligent plant parent. For this reason, I learned to focus on plants that grow in water. There is no soil to spill and I don’t have to worry about pets digging into my houseplants. Plus, there are fewer pests (no fungus gnats!) and I’ve discovered so many great houseplants that thrive when grown in a jar, jar or vase filled with clean water. If you want to learn more about plants that grow in water, read on!
Why focus on plants that grow in water?
There are many reasons to include plants that grow in water in your indoor garden. Here are five benefits to growing plants like heart-leaved philodendron and golden pothos in water.
Plants that grow in water require less care. Even though I have a large, thriving outdoor garden, I admit that I have a hard time keeping track of my houseplants. The biggest chore is watering, and if you’re a negligent waterer like me or prone to overwatering your plants, growing plants in water is a low-maintenance solution. (For tips on how often you should water your houseplants, see this article from Empress of Dirt.)
Less chaos. My plant stands, window sills, tables, and the countertop where I grow herbs under a grow light always have bits of soil scattered around the pots. Cat owners also know that our feline friends often like to dig in the soil of houseplants. Growing plants in water means no dirty floors to mop up with regular maintenance or pets.
Fewer pests. Houseplant pests like fungus gnats are incredibly annoying. They lay eggs in the soil of potted plants, with the larvae feeding on soil fungi. No floor, no problem!
Get MORE plants! Growing plants in water is an easy way to propagate houseplants like begonias, spider plants and coleus. Once the stems of many tropical plants are cut and placed in water, they develop roots. It may take weeks or months, but you can eventually transplant the rooted plants into a pot of soil or continue to enjoy them in water.
Elegant displays. I love the visual simplicity of displaying a few stems of my houseplants in vases, jars or other containers.
The Best Containers for Plants Growing in Water
Any vase, jar, jar or bottle can be used to grow plants. When choosing a container, I try to match it to the size of the plant. A freshly cut stem may only need a small bottle or shallow bowl of water, but as it grows it will need to be transplanted into a larger container. Here are a few container ideas for growing houseplants in water:
Vases – Vases come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They can be made of glass, ceramic or another material. Just make sure they are waterproof so there are no leaks. For one or two stems, use a vase with a narrow neck to keep the plant upright.
Jars – Who doesn’t have a colorful collection of jars in a corner of their pantry, kitchen, or basement? I use these jars as containers for root cuttings or as a permanent home for houseplants.
Glasses – In my house, chipped glasses don’t end up in the trash. Instead, they are filled with green pieces.
Test Tubes – One of the hottest ways to display houseplants in water is with a test tube set. These can be purchased at a lab, a science store, or online. There are also copycat test tube sets for plants. The narrow tubes are ideal as plant propagators if you want to root cuttings in water or display a collection of individual stems. There are also similar products with wooden stands and glass flasks.
Wall Vases and Jars – Since plants grown in water do not require direct sunlight, they can be placed in wall-mounted containers such as vases and jars. There are countless styles and sizes available. From wood-mounted test tubes to hanging glass balls and wall-mounted vases.
Caring for Houseplants Growing in Water
One of the joys of growing plants in water is that they require very little maintenance. I keep an eye on the water, topping it up as it evaporates and changing it every few weeks or if it gets cloudy. It’s also a good idea to give the plants an occasional treat