Did you know some plants can grow in water? This is handy, especially if you want to propagate plants indoors without soiling your house.
You can grow anything from pond plants, herbs, and vegetables in your kitchen.
Several containers, whether old or new, work well, such as fish bowls, jars, test tubes, and vases.
This article gives you a comprehensive list of plants you can grow in water and how you can propagate each of them.
Not all plants will have the same success rate, though.
Some are easier to propagate than others, but that shouldn’t worry you since the overall process is relatively easy.
Let’s get down to the list.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)
- 2 2. Begonia (Begonia)
- 3 3. Garden Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
- 4 4. Horsetail Reed (Equisetum hyemale)
- 5 5. Weeping Willow (Salix Babylonica)
- 6 6. Giant Peppermint Reed Grass (Arundo donax)
- 7 7. Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata)
- 8 8. Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
- 9 9. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
- 10 10. Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
- 11 11. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- 12 12. English Ivy (Hedera Helix L)
- 13 13. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel)
- 14 14. Geranium (Geranium L.)
- 15 15. Philodendrons (genus Philodendron)
- 16 16. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- 17 17. Green Onions (Scallions)
- 18 18. Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
- 19 19. Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes L.)
- 20 20. African Violets (Saintpaulia Wendl.)
- 21 Conclusion
1. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)
Bamboo could grow in water if you didn’t know. For the record, it’s among the easiest plants you can grow and is maintainable.
Bamboo tolerates dry air and doesn’t require constant spraying.
It likes confined spaces with scattered light since direct sunlight leads to the yellowing of leaves.
To propagate bamboo, cut it into the desired length and place it in water. The stem must have a joint or node because that’s the point from where root formation begins.
2. Begonia (Begonia)
The list of Begonia species is almost endless. The plant genus has over 1800 species.
It’s a perennial flowering plant that can propagate in water with ease. To get this right, follow the process below.
Propagating Begonia in Water
First, identify a Begonia plant that is healthy to propagate. That means it should be long and thin, and there should be a large expanse between the stem leaves.
Identify a stem about 4 inches and just cut it below the node. Make sure to remove all leaves except those at the top of the stem.
Also, get rid of all the flowers since they consume a lot of nutrients. The next important step is to place the branch in water, beginning with the cut end.
You want to use a small water container to ensure the rooting hormone released by the plant is concentrated to promote faster rooting.
You have the liberty of placing several Begonia stems in one water container, depending on their size.
3. Garden Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Garden Croton is one of the best indoor plants that root easily. It also comes with striking foliage to bring aesthetic value to your environment.
The foliage color ranges from green to pink, yellow, purple, orange, red, and other combinations as the plant ages. It flowers less when grown as a houseplant.
Growing Croton from Cuttings
You need a leaf, and the preceding steps are reasonably straightforward.
Cut the leaf from the mother plant at the stem’s edge and place it in a glass filled with water.
Place the glass in a space where you get enough sunlight, like a windowsill. You should see a new rooting system after one month.
4. Horsetail Reed (Equisetum hyemale)
Horsetail has got no fuss when it comes to planting it in water because that’s the natural habitat you will find it in.
You can use the plant to decorate your water garden or grow them in large patio pots. All you need for propagation is a runner.
Place the runner in a water-filled jar and see the roots form.
5. Weeping Willow (Salix Babylonica)
The Weeping Willow is propagated through cuttings that root easily in water. It’s a deciduous tree that is medium to large and grows up to 66-82 ft tall.
Propagate the plant by cutting a sizable stem length and placing it in a container filled with water. The part of the stem submerged in water should begin to form white root buds within a few days.
Avoid covering areas of the plant that you intend them to leaf.
6. Giant Peppermint Reed Grass (Arundo donax)
Giant Peppermint Reed Grass clumps itself together when growing. It has alternate swordlike leaves that appear grey-green.
The leaves are 12-24 inches long with a tapered end. The base of the plant has a hairy tuft. The plant grows at a rapid rate and forms roots in a week.
To propagate them in water, identify branches on the grass stalks.
Cut below the stalks and place them in a glass of water. Roots will begin to form after a week. You can replant them in your garden from there.
7. Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata)
The Chameleon plant also adds to the plants you can grow in water. It loves to spread across the ground as it grows, and botanists have termed it an invasive species.
You can root the Chameleon overnight with a sprayer. The Chameleon plant roots typically burrow into the soil and produce stems that grow close to each other.
Propagating Chameleon Plant in Water
To get cuttings for the Chameleon Plant, get to the bottom of the stem to pull up the vine and get it out of the soil.
You want to get a little bit of the root before placing it in water. With enough sunlight, the Chameleon plant will form more roots in water.
8. Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
Coleus, a genus of annual and perennial shrubs and herbs, can quickly grow in water. The plant comes with colorful leaves that are serrated.
All you need to get hold of is its stem. Place the stem inside a jar of water, and Coleus won’t disappoint. It takes only a couple of days for the plant to form roots.
You don’t need frequent spraying to initiate rooting in water.
You can place Coleus at the center of your table in a wine glass and bring the plant to life inside your house.
Growing Coleus in Water
Get a stem from a preferred Coleus plant about 4-6 inches long. Prepare the stem by cutting beneath the leaf node.
Ensure to get rid of the leaves on the stem. This helps to avoid transplanting shock.
Next, dip the stem in a glass of water and place them in an area with enough sunlight. Coleus roots in 1-2 weeks.
A little addition of compost tea to the water will make your plant thrive.
9. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
Chinese Evergreen grows well as a houseplant. It’s a perennial shrub that grows to a height of 1.5 feet.
Its leaves are lance-shaped and dark green. You will love its appealing silver blotches on the upright stems. It thrives well in low-light situations.
Propagating Chinese Evergreen from Cuttings
It would help if you did this, preferably at the end of spring.
Identify stems around six inches long from the mother plant. Prepare the cuttings by snipping just below the nodes.
You want to eliminate any leaves growing on the lower half of the stem cutting.
Place the cutting in a glass of water. The roots will form after two weeks.
Allow them to grow to about half an inch before transplanting them to a large pot. Chinese Evergreen is a tropical plant and therefore does well in the temperature range of 21-22 °C.
10. Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
Wandering Jew is a common ornamental plant with purple and green leaves.
It loves spots that are shady and moist. The plant does well indoors, given its preference for the warm climate. You can grow Wandering Jew in water using stem cuttings.
How to Propagate Wandering Jew in Water
A six-inch stem from the mother plant will do the trick.
Prepare cutting by chopping the stem below the leaf node and removing all leaves on the cutting’s lower parts.
Dip the plant in a vessel of water and place it in an area lit with sunlight.
The sunlight should not be direct, as it may interfere with rooting.
Check on the water levels regularly and replace them as needed. Wandering Jew thrives well in warmer temperatures.
11. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos has various names, and one of them is Devils’ Eye. If you are getting started, we recommend this plant for you as it is easy to take care of.
It’s easy to identify Pothos because of its tumbling green leaves. Pothos do well in low light levels and prefer indirect sunlight.
Beware that Pothos grown in water may find it challenging to transition to a soil environment. The opposite is also true.
Propagating Pothos in Water
Snip cuttings from the mother plant below the leaf node. The stem from the mother plant should have at least three nodes.
Remove any leaves at the bottom of the cut stem. Your next step will be to submerge the bottom part of the stem in a glass of water.
Keep the glass near a window but avoid direct sunlight. Replenish water every two weeks and ensure to add some liquid fertilizer.
Transplant Pothos to the soil when they have at least an inch of roots.
12. English Ivy (Hedera Helix L)
If you are looking for an expansive outdoor feel, this could be the right plant.
It’s attractive because of its lush and long growth pattern. It would be best if you kept it happy with plenty of bright light for it to thrive.
In the absence of light, English Ivy becomes sickly and susceptible to pests.
Planting English Ivy in Water
You want to water the mother plant a day before to prepare the stem cuttings for propagation. Cut off six inches of stem from the mother plant that contains three leaf sets.
Cut below the bottom leaf set and get rid of any leaves on the stem. Place the cutting in a vase of water, ensuring to submerge the stem part in water.
Place the vase on a windowsill for enough lighting.
We advise using transparent glass to know when to change the water and monitor rooting. English Ivy develops roots in 4-6 weeks.
13. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii Regel)
The peace lily is a vascular plant that has no significant wood tissue. It’s both a forb and a herb and grows as an annual, biennial, or perennial plant.
It’s a water plant but thrives well in soil. Peace Lily always develops small roots in water that feed the plant.
To grow Peace Lily in water, you will need to remove it from its pot and shear off any old or rotting roots. Wash the roots to get rid of any soil particles.
Deep the lily into your vase water and keep changing the water after every two weeks. Keep the vase where there is sufficient sunlight for the lily to grow.
Some gardeners prefer adding liquid fertilizer to the water for nutrients and healthy growth. The most popular is Miracle Grow.
14. Geranium (Geranium L.)
There are several species of the Geranium plant. It’s a popular house plant because of its hardiness and ease of maintenance; you will love its scented leaves and beautiful flowers.
How to Grow Geranium in Water?
Geranium is propagated through stem cuttings. Take six-inch cuttings from the mother plant in late summer.
The mother plant should be healthy and well grown. Use cuttings from leaf stalks and not flower stalks. After snipping below the lower node, put the cutting in a vessel of water.
Ensure you remove all the leaves found at the bottom of the stem, leaving only the top ones. Place the vase of water in a well-lit area that is not exposed to direct sunlight.
Geranium is an all-season plant, and you shouldn’t worry about the best time to propagate it. Geraniums root after a month.
Leave the roots to develop for 2-3 weeks before transplanting them to the soil.
15. Philodendrons (genus Philodendron)
If you are a novice gardener and intend to grow houseplants, Philodendrons can be your good friend. It’s pretty forgiving to the forgetful.
Most of the Philodendrons begin growing as vines before transforming into epiphytes. Philodendrons prefer low light levels in rainforests, making them suitable for potting in homes and offices.
The leaves of Philodendrons are typically green, but some species are red, purplish, or coppery. Philodendrons are great climbers and will grow upwards with their roots wrapping around the trunk of trees.
How to Grow Philodendrons in Water?
Philodendrons form roots in four to six weeks. To propagate them, identify healthy four to six-inch stems from the mother plant.
Cut beneath the lower node and remove any leaves on the lower parts of the stem leaving only the ones on top of the plant. Place the chopped end in a glass of water.
The rule of thumb is to replace the water weekly. During root formation, the water levels in the glass may drop due to consumption and evaporation.
You want to ensure the roots are submerged in water at all times. You are free to transplant philodendrons in the soil after four to six weeks. However, you can keep it long in the water if you want to.
If your philodendrons have a challenge forming leaves on the stem, this is probably because of low lighting. Please put them in bright light to bring a difference.
16. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The spider plant is known for long narrow foliage that can grow up to 45cm in length. Flowers also follow a similar pattern and grow up to a length of 75cm.
Spider plant produces flowers in an inflorescence that grow towards the ground.
The individual flowers of the Spider plant are always greenish-white. To grow them in water, pull clumps found at the branches’ end and place them in water.
Keep changing the water every 2-3 days.
17. Green Onions (Scallions)
Green onion also forms part of the list of plants that can live in water.
The leaves are consumed as a vegetable. To propagate them, pull out some of the mother plant’s bulb-shaped roots and submerge them in a glass of water.
The plant will surprise you with rapid growth.
18. Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
The Northern Blue Flag forms part of the Iris family. It thrives well at the margin of water bodies.
If you have a pond in your garden, the Northern Blue Flag is among the best plants to go for. The plant can grow up to 15.3 cm in height with enough sunlight.
Propagating Blue Flag is a straightforward process that involves the use of rhizomes. Using a shovel, scoop the rhizomes and divide them.
You want to place the rhizomes back in the water at your desired location.
19. Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes L.)
As the name suggests, water lettuce is an aquatic plant that grows to form a dense water mat. The plant is free-floating and does not tolerate low temperatures.
It’s also intolerant to saline water, and fish love to use the plant for cover.
Propagation happens naturally because of its aquatic nature. However, you can help in propagation by scattering the baby plants away from the mother plant.
20. African Violets (Saintpaulia Wendl.)
The African violet plant thrives well in water. Typically, they grow in water through their leaves.
All you need is a leaf from the mother plant that will grow into roots. To give it the best chance, peel an old leaf.
Pick a part of the stem when separating the leaf from the mother plant. The best rooting environments for African violets include areas with high humidity.
Ensure the container of water is in a sunny location for optimum results. Propagating African violets requires patience as it takes 1-2 months for baby plants to form from the leaves.
Growing plants in water indoors not only adds to the overall aesthetics of your house but can also be a full-filled learning activity for your kids or students.
Something astonishing is the relative ease of going about this.
You can choose any plant from the exhaustive list above and kickstart your gardening stint.
Hello, I am Anubha Gupta, the architect in chief of FallsGarden. I am so excited to share some of the best gardening tips and advice I have learned over the years. Visit our about page to know more about me.