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11 Plants that grow in water

Picture of plant growing in water

Do you ever buy houseplants only to find they die on you a few weeks later? If so, then maybe hydroculture’s for you. Growing plants in water is a low maintenance way of creating a beautiful bohemian feel I’m your home using a variety of colourful plants.

All you need to grow plants in water is good selection of glass jars, vases or a fish bowl. It’s also a good idea to keep a container of rain water outside as tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can be harmful to new plants. If you must use tap water you should leave it for 24-48 hours so that the chemicals can evaporate before adding it to plants. Most plants will thrive better if you also add a couple of drops of liquid fertiliser to keep the plants nourished and even a tiny bit of ground up charcoal to stop the water from getting smelly.

The best way to get started is by taking cuttings from an adult plant that is already well nourished and thriving. In most circumstances this is done by cutting 6 inches below plants stem just below the leaf node. There should be about 3 new leaves developing on the stem that you choose.

Believe it or not all plants can be rooted in water it’s just that they can’t all be nourished in water alone. If you’re thinking of planting some varieties that you’d usually put in soil in water then it’s a good idea to put pebbles or gel water beads at the bottom of the jar, then the plant will have access to air rather than being weighed down by soil and bugs.

Here’s a list of plants that grow well in water and the best bit is you won’t even have to get your hands dirty.

1.   English Ivy

This plant can be seen growing up the side of buildings in many traditional English houses which means it’s so hardy it can even grow on brick and concrete.

Like most of these plants you can take a cutting from a healthy plant by cutting 6 inches from a stem with 3-4 leaves already sprouting.

This plant will look really good in a large mason jar but remember to change the water as you’d change a fish tank. When the water is murky and starts to smell rancid.

2.   Spider Plants

No matter how often I neglect my Spider Plant it always seems to keep growing and reproducing. This determined little plant is extremely resilient and easy to grow in both soil and water.

You can use a plant that’s already fully grown by removing it from the soil and then cleaning the roots. Next, put it in a jar or tank with pebbles at the bottom and submerge the roots in water keeping the leaves nice and dry.

Change the water every week to stop it from getting smelly.

3.   Peace Lilly

When it comes to the Peace Lilly’s it’s best to use a plant that’s already mature and clean all of the dirt and soil from the roots using luke warm water. Make sure the water isn’t cold because this could shock the plant roots and discourage growth.

Next, cut back any dead leaves, it’s a good idea to choose stems that already have 4 leaves growing and break off any dead or dying leaves.

Peace Lilly’s love water as they have lots or roots that grow at a very fast rate and love to soak up all the nutrients in H2O. Because of this you’ll need to change the water regularly, around once a week.

We also recommend adding a couple of drops of liquid fertilizer to the water so that there’s plenty of nourishment available for the fast growing roots.

4.  Philodendron

This plants distinctive heart shaped leaves really make it stand out from the crowd. The leaves are dark green in color and the plant itself is incredibly difficult to kill.

This plant isn’t just robust it’s also very easy to grow. The roots grow so quickly in water that you’ll see growth in just 10 days, for this reason it’s important to clip the roots regularly so that the plant doesn’t outgrow the jar.

Philodendrons like a warm climate so they’ll thrive inside and make ideal houseplants.

5.   The Purple Heart Plant

Setcreasea pallida, otherwise known as The Purple heart plant is a purple perennial, the vines and leaves are dark purple in colour and the leaves are very long and slim, sometimes growing as long as 7 inches in length. This plant looks good crawling along cabinets and counters.

To take a cutting from the main plant cut the stems just above the highest leaf at the bottom of the plant. Then, put leaf nodes in water and wait for the roots to grow.

6.   Chinese Evergreen

Setcreasea pallida, otherwise known as The Purple heart plant is a purple perennial, the vines and leaves are dark purple in colour and the leaves are very long and slim, sometimes growing as long as 7 inches in length. This plant looks good crawling along cabinets and counters.

To take a cutting from the main plant cut the stems just above the highest leaf at the bottom of the plant. Then, put leaf nodes in water and wait for the roots to grow.

7.   The Pathos Plant

Otherwise known as Devils Ivy this plant is notorious for spreading like a weed across gardens. Contained to a jar however it’s no devil at all.

Before adding to water you’ll have to take a cutting from a mature plant with 3 leaf nodes on each stem, it’s also a good idea to add some liquid fertilizer to the mix so the roots have access to extra phosphorous and nitrogen

Use a jar with tainted glass for this particular plant because sunlight will encourage the roots to form algae which can be sludge like, smelly and also attracts flies.

8.   Sweet Potato Vine

Believe it or not you can even grow veggies in water. To grow a sweet potato vine we recommend you use an organic sweet potato. To prep the potato stab some cocktail sticks into one side of it. That way the potato will stand up in the water rather than sinking to the bottom of the jar.

Leave the jar on a sunny window sill for about 6 weeks and hey presto! Leaves will begin to grow. This is the beginning of your sweet potato vine, the leaves are edible and make a tasty addition to salads.

9.   Bamboo Plant

If you’re a superstitious person then this plant’s for you. In Chinese culture the bamboo plant (which incidentally, isn’t bamboo. It’s called Dracaena Sanderiana) is considered to be very lucky.

As well as bringing good fortune the Bamboo plant is a decorative houseplant that enjoys the warmth of an indoor environment. To grow it in water you just need a shallow dish with a few pebbles in. Submerge the roots and some of the stem in purified water that hasn’t had any minerals added to it. If you must use tap water then leave it to sit for 48 hours before planting so that any chlorine or chemicals have fully evaporated.

10.        Wondering Jew

Although Wondering Jew is seen as an environmental weed by some, when contained to a glass jar its purple and green colors make a great ornamental plant in your home.

 The plants botanical name is Tradescantia fluminensis and to grow it in water simply submerge the bottom of the cutting in water so it can grow roots but be sure to keep the leaves nice and dry.

This plant enjoys sunlight so if possible grow it near a window and watch the purple colors intensify as the leaves soak up the morning and afternoon sun.

11.        Money Plant

Who doesn’t love a money plant? They’re easy to grow and according to superstition they bring you good fortune.

Otherwise known as Jade, this plant is so drawn to water that you don’t even need to stem them to make them grow. As a fun experiment simply remove some of the leaves from a mature plant and place them next to a container of water.

Without even putting the leaves directly in the water, in a few weeks the leaves themselves will sprout little flowers. Once the flowers have sprouted these little guys will need to be planted back into a soil pot though. Being so young they’ll need the extra nutrients to survive.

If only it was as easy to grow real money as it is to grow a money plant!

Written by Jenny Harland

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