I can make an educated guess as to how you've arrived here: You've likely grown sick and tired of the struggle of trying to keep your plants alive and flourishing. Word of a low-maintenance, virtually effortless way to showcase greenery through hydroponic planting caught your attention.
However, while the concept of growing or displaying plants in water is undeniably captivating and seemingly straightforward, it's not as simple as it seems. There's a multitude of factors to take into account, with the primary one being the plant's species. Not all plants are suited for water-based environments, and for good reason.
In this article, we'll delve into the world of plants that thrive in water, shedding light on various essential considerations along the way.
Advantages of Growing Plants In Water
The recent surge in the popularity of growing plants in water can be attributed to several factors. It's no secret that we, as humans, are often inclined towards ideas that make our lives easier, cater to our needs, and elevate the visual appeal of our surroundings.
In the upcoming section, we'll delve into the multitude of advantages that accompany the practice of growing plants in water.
1. Low-maintenance and Reduced Soil-related Issues
Growing plants in water is the epitome of low-maintenance gardening. The only “upkeep” required is the periodic check on your plant's water level. As long as the roots remain submerged, your plant should be more than happy.
There's even the option to add a water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks, but this step is by no means mandatory. Also, remember to replace the water when it becomes foggy.
The shift from soil to water not only simplifies your plant care routine but also eliminates plenty of soil-related issues that can plague traditional indoor plants.
Common concerns like soil mold, sneaky soil-dwelling pests, nutrient depletion in the soil, and the challenge of matching plants with the ideal soil type (whether well-draining or compact) become irrelevant when you embrace hydroponic gardening.
2. Aesthetic Appeal of Clear Containers
There's no denying the enchanting beauty of plants when they're on full display in see-through containers. These transparent vessels not only possess their own unique charm but also provide an intriguing view of the plant's intricate root system.
Depending on your choice of container, some spherical glass options can even create an optical illusion, making the roots appear larger than life. Water-based plants in clear containers don't just elevate the plants themselves but also transform your space into a living work of art.
3. Improved Air Quality and Humidity Control
Air Purification: Plants, whether grown in soil or water, naturally absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen into the atmosphere. However, water-grown plants can potentially be more efficient at this process.
The increased access to water allows the plant's roots to take up more nutrients, which can lead to more vigorous growth and a greater capacity for removing pollutants from the air. This enhanced growth in a hydroponic system can result in improved air quality in your home.
Water-based plants can release moisture into the air through a process known as transpiration. This can help increase indoor humidity levels, making the air less dry, especially in environments with low humidity.
Maintaining an appropriate level of indoor humidity is beneficial for respiratory health, skin comfort, and even protecting wooden furniture and floors from drying out.
Selecting the Container
Choosing appropriate containers for growing plants in water is essential to creating a thriving hydroponic environment. Here are some factors to consider when selecting containers:
Clear containers, such as glass vases or jars, are ideal for showcasing the plant's root system and adding an aesthetic element to your home. The ability to see the roots can be both visually appealing and functional for monitoring the plant's health.
Choose a container that accommodates the size of the plant's root system and allows for adequate water volume. The container should be proportionate to the plant's size to prevent overcrowding and stunted growth.
Ensure that the container can hold a good amount of water to sustain the plant between water changes. The water level should be sufficient to cover the roots, providing the plant with the necessary hydration.
Consider the depth of the container in relation to the plant's root system. Different plants have varying root depths, so choose a container that allows the roots to spread comfortably.
The shape of the container can influence the aesthetics and growth of the plant. Some plants may thrive better in tall, narrow containers, while others prefer wider, shallower ones. Choose a shape that suits the specific needs of the plant.
Glass containers are popular due to their transparency and visual appeal. However, other materials like plastic, ceramic, or even hydroculture systems can be suitable, depending on your preferences and the plant's requirements.
Consider how easy it will be to access and maintain the plant. Some containers may have narrow openings, making adding water or performing maintenance challenging.
Choose a container that complements your home decor and personal style. Hydroponic gardening can be both functional and decorative.
Plants That Can Grow In Water
It's important to consider that not all houseplants will thrive in a water-based environment. The success of a plant's adjustment to a water-based environment is determined by a variety of elements, including its leaf structure, root system, and other characteristics.
Simply said, certain plants prefer to grow in water, and others prefer regular old soil. Understanding these aspects is critical when picking which plants to experiment with in your hydroponic system.
1. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Lucky bamboo holds a special place in my heart as the plant that introduced me to the fascinating world of water-based gardening. These magical-looking plants have gained such popularity for thriving in water that the standard way that they are sold is in small plastic containers, immersed in crystal-clear water.
But what makes the lucky bamboo so captivating? Well, beyond its aesthetic appeal, this botanical gem is believed to bring good fortune and positive energy, making it a symbol of prosperity and well-being in several cultures.
Hydroponic Lucky bamboo tips:
Because of their long bamboo-like stalks, tall, narrow glass containers work best. While they may seem perfectly at ease in their aquatic habitat, these bamboo plants do occasionally become very top-heavy. When this happens, just add a few pebbles to your glass container, and the bamboo stalks will easily remain upright.
2. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos is a crowd-pleaser when it comes to growing plants in water. The biggest reason being that they have the ability to shoot new roots very quickly when submerged in water.
I've got this habit of keeping a few glass jars scattered around the house, each one housing a pothos cutting. I usually start off by trimming my pothos with the intention of propagating them. But the thing is, I tend to get attached to the whole look and feel of these glass setups. And who can blame me?
Pothos, with its tough nature and charming aesthetics, is the kind of plant that can easily win you over. Those heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines add a touch of green to your place, making it feel more alive. It's like the plant equivalent of a low-maintenance pet.
Tips for hydroponic Pothos:
When deciding on a container for your hydroponic pothos, take into consideration that pothos is a trailing plant and might become bottom-heavy, with the plant involuntarily pulling its own roots out of the water. I have found that the solution for this is to tape the top of the container from one side to the other, over part of the plant, to keep the roots in place.
3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are great because they're usually super easy to take care of. But if you find yours struggling a bit, try growing it in water. Just take one of those baby plants hanging from the mother plant, stick its base in some water, and watch as it sprouts these pretty, long roots in the water. It's an easy and effective way to give your spider plant a boost and help it thrive.
Tips for hydroponic Spider plants:
Spider plants tend to grow very "bushy", which is why the container that you choose should be wider than it is tall to accommodate the leaves that will be hanging over the edge of the container.
4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
The peace lily is known for its need for regular watering, and it can be a bit of a drama queen about it. To keep it happy, you often need to provide a good amount of water. That's where the water submersion trick can save the day.
By placing the peace lily's roots in water, you'll say goodbye to those sad, droopy leaves and the constant need to remind yourself to water it every few hours.
Peace lilies just love water, and this method offers a simple and reliable way to keep them hydrated. It's like giving your peace lily a spa day, resulting in lush, healthy leaves that can brighten up your space without too much fuss.
Tips for hydroponic Peace Lilies:
Peace lilies tend to have lengthy root systems, so it's a good idea to go for a container that's taller than it is wide when growing them hydroponically. This choice gives those roots the space they need to spread out comfortably, which, in turn, helps your Peace Lily grow healthy and strong.
So, by opting for a taller container, you're setting the stage for a thriving and long-lasting hydroponic Peace Lily.
5. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
The Chinese evergreen plant, or Aglaonema, is an excellent choice for water-based growth thanks to its resilience and aesthetic charm. This versatile houseplant, hailing from Southeast Asia, thrives when cultivated in water, making it a low-maintenance and visually appealing addition to your indoor garden.
Growing it in a water-based system simplifies care and minimizes the risk of over or underwatering.
What makes the Chinese evergreen stand out is its diverse foliage, featuring various leaf shapes, sizes, and vibrant shades of green. It effortlessly complements interior decor, adding a touch of natural beauty to your living space. Growing it in water not only simplifies care but also showcases its elegant roots, offering an intriguing visual dimension.
Moreover, the Chinese evergreen is an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality due to its air-purifying properties, making it a health-conscious and visually pleasing addition to your home.
6. Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)
Growing the arrowhead plant, also known as Syngonium, in water is a fantastic choice, thanks to its adaptable nature and simplicity.
This resilient houseplant, originally from tropical regions in the Americas, thrives when cultivated in water. By ditching the need for soil, water-based care makes things easier and reduces the risk of over or underwatering, which is a win-win for both newbie and seasoned gardeners.
What's more, arrowhead plants are adored not just for their low-maintenance vibe but also for their unique arrow-shaped leaves, which come in various cool colors and patterns. When you grow them in water, they often develop an intricate root system, adding a fascinating visual touch to your indoor space.
With its versatility, eye-catching foliage, and the simplicity of water-based growth, the arrowhead plant is a fantastic choice to add a touch of greenery to your home with minimal hassle.
7. Philodendron (Philodendron)
Philodendron plants are pretty amazing because they're tough cookies. They can even pull off the water-growing trick instead of soil, which is a testament to their adaptability and durability.
What's even cooler is the sheer variety of Philodendron species you can choose from. Whether you're into the classic heart-leafed Philodendron, the trendy split-leafed Monstera, or any other captivating Philodendron flavor, the water-growing option simplifies care and gives you a peek at their cool root systems.
It's a convenient and eye-pleasing way to incorporate these beauties into your indoor garden, perfect for both seasoned plant aficionados and those just starting their green journey.
Hydroponic Philodendron tips:
Since Philodendron plants can grow quite vigorously and become heavy, there's a chance their roots might pop out of the water. To tackle this issue, a handy trick is to use a piece or two of tape to gently secure the top of your container (no need to cover it entirely). This simple method helps keep your plant from escaping the container and maintains its position within the hydroponic setup.
8. Polka dot begonia (Begonia maculate)
There's no doubt that the Polka Dot Begonia is hands-down one of the most eye-catching houseplants you can get your hands on. Those lush green leaves with their velvety red and stark white polka dots make it a real gem for sprucing up any living space.
Growing these beauties in water is a breeze. Just snip a stem right above a node (that little bump on the stem), and then it's all about having a touch of patience. Roots will start sprouting from that node.
Keep in mind that it won't happen as quickly as with pothos or philodendrons, but the wait is worth it for the Polka Dot Begonia's unique charm.
Hydroponic Polka dot begonia tips:
Polka Dot Begonia's root system is delicate, unlike hardier plants like Philodendrons. To keep its graceful leaves from toppling over and to prevent the roots from being disturbed in the water, opt for a hydroponic container with a narrow neck and mouth.
This choice provides the necessary stability for the leaves, keeping them upright and ensuring your Polka Dot Begonia is snug and cozy in its watery home.
9. Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)
One of my all-time favorite plants is the prayer plant. It's got these fascinating leaf patterns and a unique daily ritual where its leaves gently move throughout the day. Trust me, it's a fantastic choice for growing in water.
Much like the Polka Dot Begonia, it's a breeze propagating in water. Just trim a stem right below a leaf node and then sit back with some patience while you wait for those roots to appear in the water.
Opting for water as its growing medium not only simplifies care but also lets you witness the gradual root development, making it an enjoyable and low-maintenance option for both seasoned plant enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of indoor greenery.
Hydroponic Prayer plant tips:
Prayer plants are a real spectacle with their leaves gracefully dancing to the rhythm of day and night. To make the most of this captivating performance in a hydroponic setup, it's vital to ensure your Prayer plant is securely anchored in the container, allowing its leaves the freedom to move naturally.
So, when picking your container, look for one that offers both stability and enough space for your plant's elegant leafy display.
10. Pancake plant (Pilea peperomioides)
The pancake plant, or Pilea peperomioides, is an excellent candidate for water-based cultivation. Its shallow root system easily adapts to water, often displaying robust root growth. The simplicity of water cultivation makes maintenance a breeze, eliminating concerns about overwatering that soil-bound plants might encounter.
Beyond its ease of care, the pancake plant's playful appearance, with its round pancake-like leaves, adds a delightful and visually appealing element to any indoor setting.
Hydroponic Pancake plant tips:
Pancake Plant roots have this quirky habit of spreading outwards instead of diving deep. So, when you're container shopping, go for one that gives those roots enough room to stretch horizontally.
Also, keep an eye out for little baby Pancake Plants that might pop up at the base of the parent plant. You can carefully separate and nurture these little ones, adding even more charm to your growing plant family.
11. Delicious monster (Monstera deliciosa)
The Monstera deliciosa, or Swiss cheese plant, is already a favorite among plant lovers, and it's no wonder that it's a top choice for water-based growth. What's truly captivating about this plant, with its large, unique leaves, is how quickly its roots take off when you grow it in water. It's always a delightful sight to see.
The process for propagating a Monstera deliciosa plant in water is pretty straightforward, just like with many other plants. You snip below a node where at least two stems are coming out, and you get to enjoy the magic as those roots flourish in the water.
This method offers both experienced gardeners and newcomers a practical way to expand their Monstera family, all while witnessing the amazing journey of root development in water.
Hydroponic Delicious monster tips:
While these plants can thrive in water with proper care and preparation, occasional leaf yellowing can still occur. To prevent this, it's essential to incorporate a consistent regimen of liquid fertilizer into the water every two weeks or as needed, guaranteeing the plant receives a continuous supply of essential nutrients.
This proactive approach ensures your green companions maintain their vibrant, healthy appearance in their aquatic environment.
12. Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrate)
You might find this a bit surprising at first, especially considering the tree-like structure of the Fiddle Leaf Fig. But here's the delightful twist: not only can you propagate and grow a Fiddle Leaf Fig in water, but it actually seems to thrive in this setup.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig, with its majestic, wide leaves and impressive height, is a testament to nature's adaptability. It embraces water-based cultivation with enthusiasm, defying the expectations set by its towering appearance.
This lovely plant not only adds grandeur to your living space but also offers an accessible and visually captivating option for water-based growth. So, if you're looking for a unique way to nurture a tree-like plant in water, the Fiddle Leaf Fig might just be the perfect choice for your green endeavors.
Hydroponic Fiddle leaf fig tips:
Because fiddle leaf figs have that tree-like look, they can get pretty top-heavy with all those lush leaves. It's essential to pick the right container to keep them steady. In my experience, a taller container with a slim neck and a slightly wider opening works like a charm for these beauties.
This design not only gives your fiddle leaf fig the height it needs but also spreads out the weight, keeping it stable and looking elegant in your space.
13. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
It often catches people off guard, and I get it – the Snake plant's structure makes it seem like the kind of plant you'd propagate through root division. But here's the twist: you can actually take a leaf cutting from any Snake plant, stick it in water, and watch roots sprout right at the base of the leaf.
To be honest, it's not all that surprising, given how tough Snake plants are known to be. After all, if they can thrive in different conditions, it's no wonder they can do just fine in water too!
Hydroponic Snake plant tips:
Finding the perfect container for a plant with slender leaves can be a bit of a challenge. Look for one where the leaf's edges touch the sides just right, like a snug fit. It's almost like you're coaxing the leaf into the container with care. This way, the leaves stay upright, and there's enough room at the bottom for those roots to stretch out and grow happily.
Hydroponic Decor: Display Ideas
There's a world of clever and stunning ways to show off your hydroponic plants, each adding a unique touch of beauty to your indoor or outdoor area. Imagine hanging planters gracefully swaying from your ceiling, not only looking elegant but also bathing your plants in natural sunlight.
Or consider tiered shelves creating a green tapestry, adding a touch of organization and visual charm to your space. Wall-mounted hydroponic systems transform your walls into living art, a vertical garden that's both functional and beautiful. And for those who prefer a more minimalistic touch, sleek tabletop hydroponic setups can serve as elegant centerpieces.
Hanging planters are a fantastic way to showcase your hydroponic plants. They not only save you some valuable surface space but also let your plants bask in more natural light, which is ideal for the exposed roots of your hydroponic green friends.
For an easy and budget-friendly option to suspend your plants, you can go for those charming macrame plant hangers. You'll find plenty of helpful DIY tutorials online to craft your own, and they're versatile enough to be used with various types of containers.
If DIY isn't your cup of tea, check out what Mother City Jungle has to offer. They've got ready-made macrame plant hangers, complete with beautiful glass bowls and thriving plants. Take a peek at their selection – you might just find what you're looking for! Remember to use the discount code "BINNE@MCJ" at checkout.
To make the most of your planters, hang them where they can soak up natural light, be it from the ceiling in front of a sunny window, on your curtain rod, or even on a clothing rail. This way, your plants can thrive and add a touch of greenery to your space in various creative ways.
If you've got ample surface space in your home, you've got a world of possibilities for showing off your hydroponic plants in glass containers.
Plus, it's a wonderful way to give unused glass containers a second lease on life. By repurposing these containers, you're not only adding a sustainable touch to your decor but also embracing the art of recycling. Whether you're turning a large glass jar into a captivating mini ecosystem or giving new purpose to old wine bottles as stylish hydroponic showcases, you've got room for creativity and personal style.
It's a lovely way to blend the beauty of hydroponics with an eco-friendly touch, all by reimagining glass containers as vessels of growth and elegance in your home.
Wall-mounted Hydroponic Gardens
Exploring wall-mounted hydroponic displays offers a creative and unique approach to showcasing your plant collection. Wall vases are available in a variety of colors and diverse shapes, allowing you to harmonize them with your wall galleries and other decor elements.
Imagine the visual impact of lush green plants set against a weathered, rustic vase, or the elegant fusion of modern wall vases complementing contemporary artwork. These living wall displays seamlessly merge nature with aesthetics, transforming your living space into a dynamic canvas where your plants become an integral part of your home's design.
I hope this article has boosted your confidence in growing plants in water. Armed with these insights and tips, you're well-prepared to embark on your hydroponic gardening adventure. It's a satisfying journey, watching your plants flourish in this unique and sustainable method of cultivation. Happy growing!