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How to grow your indoor plants in water


Would you believe us if we told you plants don’t actually need soil to grow?

Yep, it’s true – all some of them really need is H20. It’s called hydroponic gardening and it can be done in almost any container that’ll hold water.

Gardening Know How founder Heather Rhoades says growing your indoor plants in water is a great idea because it’s both easy and looks fantastic.

The types of plants suited to growing in water need far less care than their earth-growing counterparts.

“Very often, house plants are accidentally neglected as their owners forget to water them,” says Rhoades. “Plants suited to growing in water can be left for weeks – even months – without additional care.”

Growing your plants in water also means fewer pests: “Many pests in one way or another rely on and breed in soil.”

From an aesthetic point of view, while the focus is usually on the foliage of a plant, actually being able to see the roots of the plants can be quite beautiful.

“Growing plants in water in a clear container allows you to showcase both the foliage and the roots of a plant,” she says.

Bamboo can be easy to root in a water environment. Picture: Getty

How does it work?

It’s common knowledge that plants need carbon dioxide to survive. What we often don’t realise is that a plant’s roots also need oxygen to function.

Where do I start

First up, pick any sturdy vessel that can hold water.

Clear containers are best, as they’ll allow you to enjoy and monitor the beauty and health of the plant’s roots.

TIP: Avoid metal containers as the metallic surface may corrode and cause damage to your plant.

Next, choose a water-soluble or water-based fertiliser to help the plant along – but use sparingly, says Rhoades. “Plant roots have better access to the fertiliser in water than they do in soil. Because of this, they’re also more prone to fertiliser burn.”

Finally, add a pinch of powdered charcoal to help keep the water clear and clean.

The roots of the plant can be just as striking as the foliage. Picture: Getty

Suitable plants

Now for the fun bit – picking your plant.

There are many common house plants that will adapt well to growing in water. Rhoades’favourites include:

  • Pothos
  • Peace lily
  • Lucky bamboo
  • Phalaenopsis orchids
  • English ivy
  • Philodendron
  • Spider plant
  • Most bulbs

Lastly, while growing plants in water seem easy, it’s important not to neglect your indoor hydroponics.

“My number one tip is to check the roots of the plant for signs of rot and make sure you’re changing or refilling the water every month or two,” says Rhoades.

READ: These are three of the best easy-care miniature plants

This article was originally published as How to grow your indoor plants in water by and is written by Alice Bradley

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