33 Plants That Grow In Water Only (With Photos)


Did you know that there are many houseplants and herbs that you can grow in water only? This is known as hydroculture and is an easy way to have an indoor garden without the hassle of messing with potting mixes and remembering to water your plants. In fact, plants grown in water require very little maintenance and have very few pests and disease problems.

You can use almost any waterproof container to grow your plants in, but glass is usually best because you can see the roots as well. Actually, this method has been used by experienced gardeners the world over to propagate new plants quickly and easily.

Here are 33 plants that you can easily grow in water.

1. African Violet

You can grow African violets in water from just the leaves of an existing plant. Just cut off a few leaves from the mother plant, making sure that there are about 2 inches of stem on the leaf. Place these leaves in a lovely small glass vase or jar and make sure that only the stems are in the water.

It will take about a month for roots to start forming, and eventually, a small plantlet will form.

2. Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)

Forest & Kim StarrCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The arrowhead plant is easy to grow in water, and the large leaves make it quite an attractive addition to your indoor “garden.” Use stem cuttings and place these into an attractive jar filled with clean water. Refresh the water once or twice a week to keep your plant growing strong.

3. Baby’s Tears

Baby’s tears are surprisingly easy to grow in water. All you need to do is cut off a cluster of stems and put these in a small jar or vase of water. Make sure that you strip off the leaves that are on the parts of the stem that is going to be submerged. Otherwise, these leaves will rot if left sitting in the water.

It’s also a good idea to change the water frequently to remove any leaves that may be floating in the water.

4. Basil

Basil is one of those useful herbs that we can never have enough of. Especially in the cooler months when it won’t grow outside. The solution is to grow basil in water in your kitchen or other warm, bright spot in your home. 

All you need to get started are a few stem cuttings from an existing plant. Remove the lower leaves and place the stems in a glass jar filled with water. You want to submerge two-thirds of each stem in water.

Place this on a bright windowsill that gets plenty of morning sunshine. Change the water every two to three days. In about two to three weeks, you should see new roots starting to form. To keep your basil continually growing, add a drop or two of liquid fertilizer to the water every four weeks.

5. Beet Greens

Did you know that the green leaves produced by the beetroot plant are higher in iron than spinach? They also contain Vitamin A and can be easily grown in the water right on your kitchen bench or windowsill.

This is really simple to do. Just slice off the top third of the beetroot and place in a glass of water cut side down. After just a few days, you should see some new leaves growing from the top. Just note that the leaves will bleed a little, just like the beets themselves.

6. Begonia

SalicynaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Begonias have waxy leaves and succulent stems. They come in a variety of colors. The most common water-grown Begonias are wax, Angelwing, and rex. For wax Begonias, use a stem cutting. However, Angelwing and rex Begonias can be grown from just a single leaf with the leaf stem attached. Place any of these cuttings in a pretty glass bottle for an interesting display.

Remember to change the water once a week so that the roots don’t rot.

7. Bok Choy

Bok choy is an easy vegetable that you can regrow in water on your kitchen windowsill. In fact, this vegetable is commonly grown by commercial growers using hydroponics.

To grow your own, all you have to do is cut off the base of the stem and place this in a shallow bowl or jar of water.

Change the water daily, and you should start to see new growth within only two days. Once the leaves are large enough, you can simply cut them and use them in your cooking.

8. Carrot Tops (Greens)

Many people tend to throw out the green carrot tops when they prepare carrots for dinner. But did you know that the carrot greens are edible and make a lovely pesto? While you can’t grow actual carrots in water, you can grow carrot greens and then cut these to use in your cooking.

To do this, just cut off the top part of a carrot where the green growth would have been. Place this in a shallow bowl of water and put it on a nice bright windowsill. Change the water every couple of days.

After a few days, you’ll notice the greens starting to grow from the carrot top. Once they’re large enough, you can cut them and add them to a salad or make carrot top pesto.

9. Celery

Celery is one of those useful vegetables that you can add to just about any dish. But did you know that celery has diuretic, digestive, purifying, and anti-inflammatory qualities as well? And, it’s another very easy vegetable to regrow in water.

All you have to do is cut off the base and place it in a shallow bowl or jar of water. Once you do this, you should see new leaves growing in about 3 to 4 days. Remember to change the water frequently to keep it fresh.

10. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonemas)

File:Aglaonema simplex - Lyman Plant House, Smith College - DSC04243.JPG
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of different species of Chinese evergreens that you can grow in water. Many have variegated leaves or different leaf colors. To grow Chinese evergreen in water, use a 6-inch stem cutting and place in a nice clear glass bottle or vase. Keep in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.

11. Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

With its colorful crinkly leaves, Coleus makes an attractive addition to your indoor houseplant collection. This plant prefers indirect light, so it’s ideal for placing it in the center of a table or on a bookshelf or desk. Choose an attractive mason jar to grow your plant in. You can also add some compost tea or a drop of liquid fertilizer to the water to ensure strong growth.

12. Croton (Codianeum variegatum)

Crotons are colorful, tropical plants that many tropical gardeners use to add color and interest to their outdoor foliage gardens. If you don’t live in a tropical climate, you can easily grow this attractive plant indoors in an attractive glass jar filled with water. You may need to add some pebbles or decorative stones into the bottom of the jar to hold the plant in place while it produces its roots.

13. Dieffenbachia

MokkieCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Commonly known as dumb cane, Dieffenbachia is easy to grow in water. Take a 6-inch stem cutting and place it in a glass jar or bottle filled with clean water. Keep in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. Take care when cutting the stem, as the sap can cause skin irritation in some people.

14. Dracaena

Dracaenas are ideal for growing in water indoors. Use a nice glass jug or attractive glass jar to display the extensive root system. It’s a good idea to use filtered water that doesn’t contain any chlorine or fluoride. Also, make sure that you change the water frequently to keep it nice and clean.

15. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

When grown outdoors in the garden, English ivy can be quite invasive and often chokes out other plants. However, you can easily grow this plant indoors in water. Take a 4 to 6-inch cutting and place in a jar or bottle filled with clean water. Make sure that the stem cutting is still green and not woody. Remove any leaves from the stem part that will be sitting in water.

It will take a few months for the roots to start growing, but your plant will thrive growing indoors in water.

16. Fennel

Fennel can easily be regrown in water, and you can cut some of the tops whenever you want to add them to your cooking. Just grab a fennel bulb and place it in a small bowl of water. Keep the water level so that it just touches the base of the bulb. Make sure to change the water every two days and cut the tops as you need them.

17. Garlic Greens

Garlic sprouts are great to add to all sorts of dishes as they have a lovely mild garlic flavor. And, the good news is that you can easily grow these in water on your kitchen windowsill.

Find a garlic clove that has a green shoot starting to sprout. Place this in a glass of water and make sure the water level just touches the base of the clove. You should see the green shoot growing in about two to three days, followed by roots.

The green shoots can be cut when they reach about 3 inches in height, but you should leave about a third of the shoot intact on the clove. The remaining shoots will continue to grow. Just make sure to change the water regularly to keep it fresh.

18. Geranium (Pelargonium)

Geraniums root extremely easily and are ideal for growing in water indoors. Take a 5 to 7-inch stem cutting and remove the lower leaves. Place this in a nice bottle of clean water. Change the water every few weeks to keep it nice and fresh.

19. Green Onions

Regrowing green onions in water is super easy. All you have to do is cut off the bottom inch or two of a store-bought green onion but don’t remove the very end that still may have a few roots attached. Place this in a jar or glass of water and put it on the kitchen windowsill.

Remember to change the water every couple of days. After just a few days, you’ll start to see new roots forming, and the green tops will start to grow. Just remember to keep changing the water until you have enough growth on top to use for your favorite recipes.

20. Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)

File:Impatiens walleriana kz03.jpg
Krzysztof Ziarnek, KenraizCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Impatiens are thirsty plants when grown outdoors in the garden, so it makes sense that they would be suited to growing in water indoors. Take some stem cuttings from an existing plant and remove the bottom leaves before placing the cutting into a jar of water. You want to ensure that only the stem is sitting in the water. 

21. Lavender

Lavender is a popular herb that many people love to grow. It’s even easier to grow lavender in water than in the soil as long as you give the plant plenty of bright light and add a couple of drops of liquid fertilizer to the water around once a month during the active growing season.

One of the best places to put your lavender is on a bright windowsill. If you have a bright spot in the bedroom, you’ll find that the lavender will help you sleep better as this herb is well known for its calming properties.

To grow lavender in water, take a few stem cuttings from a mature plant. Try to choose young stems that haven’t flowered yet. If you only have stems with flowers on them, then cut off the flower before placing the stem in water. If you don’t do this, the lavender stem will put all its energy into producing the flower and won’t produce any roots.

Before placing your stems in water, remove all the leaves from the bottom third or so of the stem. You don’t want to have any of the leaves sitting in the water because they’ll rot.

Choose a pretty glass bottle to grow your lavender in and try to use distilled or filtered water. Place the stems in the water, and make sure you position your plants where they can get plenty of morning sun. Roots should start to form within a few weeks.

Change the water often and add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every four weeks or so.

22. Leeks

Leeks are amazingly easy to regrow in water. All you have to do is cut off around 2 inches from the base of the leek and pop it in a glass or jar of water. You’ll be surprised how quickly the roots grow, and the top of the plants starts growing a green shoot and leaves. You can snip these tops when they’re large enough and add them to your cooking.

23. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is an interesting herb to grow in water. Take a few stalks and put them in a jar of water. Make sure you change the water every day. You should see leaves growing really quickly, and after about seven days, roots should start forming on the base of the stalk. 

After a few weeks, you’ll even see some offshoots growing from the original stalks. You can then use these baby shoots in your cooking.

24. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

File:Starr 080117-1760 Dracaena sanderiana.jpg
Forest & Kim StarrCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow in water. Choose a narrow vase or jar and fill the bottom with some gravel or decorative stones. This helps to anchor the stems and keeps the plant in place. 

25. Mint

Growing mint in water is a clever way to ensure that you always have enough on hand when you need it. All you have to do is take some stem cuttings from an established plant and strip the leaves from the bottom half.

Place these cuttings in a glass or jar of water and put this on a bright windowsill out of direct sunlight. Very soon, you’ll start to see roots forming, and you’ll have access to mint whenever you need it. Just make sure you change the water regularly to keep it nice and clean.

26. Ornamental Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)

File:Ipomoea batatas (Purple Sweet Potato Variety) Flower.JPG
Earth100CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet potato vines come in a range of different leaf colors, from burgundy to bronze. If you take 6 to 8-inch stem cuttings, you can easily grow these indoors in water. Make sure you clip just below the leaf node and remove the lower leaves from the stem. Remember to change the water regularly to keep the plant growing.

27. Paperwhite (Narcissus papyraceus)

File:Narcissus papyraceus-Jerusalem.jpg
Yair HaklaiCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paperwhite bulbs can easily be grown in water and will produce lovely white flowers. The best way to grow these is in a glass terrarium. Fill the bottom quarter of the terrarium with pebbles, decorative stones, and seashells. 

Place the bulbs closely together on top of the pebbles and half cover them with additional pebbles or stones to keep them securely in place. Fill the terrarium with water but only to the base of the bulbs. The bulbs themselves should not be sitting in the water. 

Put the terrarium with the bulbs in a nice bright spot, and you should get some lovely flowers within four or five weeks.

28. Peace Lily

File:Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum Genus.jpg
Christopher HollisCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn’t love the gorgeous dark green foliage and the crisp white flowers of a peace lily? However, these plants have a massive root system, so if you’re growing one in a pot, it will need repotting every year. Here’s how to easily grow this plant in water instead next time it needs repotting.

  • Take the plant out of the pot and remove all the soil from the roots by washing them in lukewarm water.
  • With a sharp knife, remove the offshoots from the main plant. Ensure each offshoot has about four leaves growing from it.
  • Pop these into a clear jar or vase filled with water. To keep the plants nice and healthy, remember to change the water at least once a week. Add a drop or two of liquid fertilizer around once a month.

29. Philodendron

Philodendrons, in general, are easy to grow but for growing in water, choose the heart-leaf philodendron as it will do best. To grow your philodendron, choose a clear glass jar or bottle and add some charcoal to the bottom. This will prevent fungus and algae. Take a 6-inch stem cutting from an existing plant and place it into the jar. 

Keep your plant in a bright spot that gets indirect light. Change the water every three to four days. You can also add a drop of liquid fertilizer to the water occasionally to feed the plant.

30. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos looks lovely in a glass bowl as the leaves will cascade down over the edges. Just use stem cuttings. Remember to change the water every few days. This will help to maintain the correct oxygen level for the plant to survive and grow.

31. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Growing a rubber plant in water will help to keep it much more compact than if you were to grow the plant in soil. Take a stem cutting around 6 to 8 inches long and remove any leaves on the bottom half of the stem. Place the stem into a glass jar or bottle and keep it in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. It might take around 3 to 4 months before you’ll start to see roots growing. 

32. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

File:2007-06-24-Chlorophytum comosum-light.jpg
User:WildfeuerCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spider plants are extremely easy to grow in water by using the ‘pups’ that are produced along the stems of the plant. Clip these baby plants off the main stem and place them in a jar or bowl of water. Change the water once a week if it starts to get cloudy.

33. Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallia, fluminensis, or zebrina)

File:Silvery Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) 5.jpg
MokkieCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When grown in the garden, a wandering jew can soon become a pest and take over as it spreads quickly and freely. However, growing this plant in water indoors means that it’s easily contained, and you can enjoy the colorful foliage, especially if you choose one of the variegated varieties. 

Greg

Greg has been interested in homesteading for years. He produces part of his food by himself. And tries to live the most sustainable lifestyle he can.

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