9 Hydroponic Plants Flourish Without Soil, Blooming Directly in Water

It’s widely understood that plants have three fundamental needs: sunlight, hydration, and a place to expand. This third element, a growth environment, can encompass a variety of mediums like soil, peat moss, hydroton, or even pure water. Water-based propagation is a favored technique among enthusiasts to expand their flora collection. But, you can also entirely cultivate certain plants in water, provided you meet specific conditions.

When you choose plants adapted for water growth, there’s no need for a complex hydroponics system. And the beauty of it? Should you decide to shift away from water cultivation, simply transition them to soil.

Cultivating Plants in Water

Initiating plant growth in water can be as straightforward as inserting cuttings into a sealed container. But, for a plant to truly flourish (and perhaps yield edibles), a bit more effort is necessary. Here’s a guide on cultivating plants in water:

Ensure Adequate Light Exposure

Regardless of whether you’re cultivating plants in containers, the open ground, or water, sunlight remains crucial for photosynthesis. Without appropriate light exposure, plants can’t flourish. Remember, plants cultivated in water have varied sunlight needs, so always verify the light necessities of each species you’re nurturing.

Selecting the Ideal Container

For cultivating plants in water, you need a container that doesn’t leak. Glass vessels are commonly used, and there’s a charm in watching roots develop. But, a downside to glass is its vulnerability to algae, especially when exposed to light and still water.

To counter this, consider using a non-transparent vessel (be it plastic, glass, or ceramic). Though this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of algae, it does retard its growth. To further prevent algae, sprinkle some powdered charcoal or drop a few charcoal bits into the water. Metal containers aren’t advisable as they can rust and might adversely interact with certain plant fertilizers.

Feeding Your Aquatic Plants

While plants might initially root in pure water, they’ll eventually crave nourishment. As a rule of thumb, plants in water require milder fertilizers compared to soil-based ones. It’s generally advised to weaken a water-compatible fertilizer to a quarter of its strength, but specifics can vary based on the plant and fertilizer type.

Choosing the Best Water

Plants thrive best in unchlorinated water. If using tap water, let it sit at room temperature for a day for optimal use. For most plants, changing the water once a month suffices, but this can vary based on the container, plant species, and sunlight exposure. With evaporation, water levels will reduce over time. Top up the water weekly, and if it starts appearing cloudy, opt for a full change.

9 Aquatic-Friendly Plants

With the foundational growth necessities sorted, you’re just one step away from a thriving aquatic garden! Here are nine plants that adapt seamlessly to a water-centric environment:

1. Herbal Delights

Soft-stemmed herbs can flourish solely in water. Aim to cut from the fresh, verdant stem rather than the more rigid, woody part. While woody-stemmed herbs can adapt, their stems might turn soggy before rooting. Snip from a robust, mature plant and ensure it gets ample sunlight. For peak health, these herbs prefer abundant, filtered light.

2. Reborn Veggies

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Did you know you can revive certain vegetable remnants like lettuce, spring onions, and carrot crowns? This innovative approach lets you experience the growth journey of the parts you’d generally discard. Just remember, they might not yield a bumper crop—think of it more as a quirky gardening experiment.

Retain around 3 inches of the base of these veggies and submerge them in a bowl with a little water. Soon, they’ll sprout roots and showcase fresh growth from the middle.

Fortune’s Green Spear – Lucky Bamboo

Predominantly available in water jars, this plant is often anchored using small stones to hold the stems upright. Ensure its roots stay submerged. While it’s self-sustaining without it, an occasional, diluted dose of fertilizer wouldn’t harm.

Resilient Pothos

A favorite among indoor gardening aficionados, pothos thrives in water. This plant is a powerhouse producer of auxin, a hormone that propels growth and roots. Many plant enthusiasts co-plant pothos cuttings with other plant stems to catalyze their growth.

Pothos, being a climber, sprouts aerial roots, which makes rooting an effortless process. This trait isn’t unique to pothos—other climbers like monstera, English ivy, and hoyas also exhibit similar characteristics.



Philodendron Wonders

Whether you’re looking at their sprawling or erect varieties, philodendrons adapt smoothly to water. Those with a trailing nature, like heartleaf, Brasil, and micans, find water as congenial as pothos does. For the standing types such as the pink princess, lemon lime, and birkin, ensure you snip below a leaf junction before their water immersion.

Vibrant Coleus

Coleus, renowned for its striking leaves, forms roots in water with ease. Snip a segment around 6 inches, clear the bottom 4 inches of foliage, and submerge in water. It relishes sunlit spots and a monthly dose of nutrients for optimum growth.

Graceful Begonia

Almost every begonia variant takes to water, but the rex and tuberous kinds truly excel. Procure a robust stem segment with a noticeable node and it will root in due course. Roots might take their time appearing, but as long as the leaf and stem maintain their vigor, regular water changes and a dash of patience are all you need.

Sturdy Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreens, known for their robust nature, thrive both on land and water. Slice a generous segment of this plant, ensuring a mix of submerged length and a part with exposed leaves above the water. Top off the water when necessary.

Delicate Baby’s Tears

This plant drapes gracefully, dotted with minuscule leaves on its tendrils. Extract a piece about 6 inches long, clearing any foliage that would touch the water to prevent decay. You’ll soon witness new roots sprouting from where the leaves once were.