9 Plants You Can Grow in Water—No Soil Necessary
It's commonly known that plants need three things to survive: light, water, and a growing medium. The third requirement, the growing medium, is a broad category that can include soil, peat moss, clay pebbles, and even just water. Water propagation is a common practice many people utilize to increase their plant collection. However, growing your plants exclusively in water is possible as long as you fulfill a few simple requirements. If you stick to these easy-to-care-for plants that grow in water, you won't need a complicated hydroponics setup. The best part: if you get tired of growing plants in water, all you have to do is pot them up in soil.
How to Grow Plants in Water
Growing plants in water can be as simple as placing cuttings in a watertight vessel. However, if you want your plant to thrive and eventually harvest edibles, a little more work is involved. Here's what you need to grow plants in water.
How Much Light Do Hydroponic Plants Need?
Like growing plants in pots or outdoors, you will need to provide them with their necessary light requirements. Light is essential for photosynthesis, and without the right amount of light, the plant will not thrive. Just like when growing plants in soil, plants that grow in water all require different amounts of light, so it's best to check the light preferences for each specific variety you grow.
Choosing the Right Vessel
Any watertight container will work for growing plants in water. Glass containers are easy to come by, and it's nice to see the roots growing. However, glass containers are also more susceptible to algae growth due to light exposure and stagnant water. One way to avoid this is to use an opaque container (plastic, glass, or ceramic). An opaque container does not prevent algae growth, but it does slow growth. Add a pinch of powdered charcoal or a few small pieces of charcoal to the water to help inhibit algae growth. Forgo metal containers. Metal corrodes, and some metals react to plant fertilizer.
How Often to Fertilize Hydroponic Houseplants
Although plants will easily root in just plain water, they will eventually need food. Typically, plants grown in water require lower strength fertilizer than those grow in soil. In general, you want to dilute a water-soluble fertilizer to a quarter strength, but this will also depend on the plant and the type of fertilizer you're using.
The Right Water for Hydroponic Houseplants
Unchlorinated water is best for plants. Use tap water that has sat at room temperature overnight for best results. Most plants only need a monthly water change to stay healthy, but that depends on the type of vessel, the plant, and the amount of sunlight it gets. Over time, the water will evaporate from the container. Replenish the water weekly and completely change the water once it starts to look murky.
9 Plants That Can Grow in Water
Now that the basic growing requirements are covered, all you need are the plants! These nine plants grow remarkably well in water with little effort.