House Plants that Grow in Water

Ready to try hydroculture? First, discover house plants that grow in water successfully and find out how to get them ready to take the plunge.

For successful results, it's best to take a cutting, then root it in water before transferring it to water gel beads or a clay aggregate. That way, you won't risk tearing any roots by plucking the plant out of the soil. Plants that are rooted in water already have succulent roots and will adapt better to hydroculture. 

Ditch the Dirt

You can also successfully transfer healthy young plants from potting mix to a soilless medium. Here's how:

Ease the plant out of its pot and gently remove as much soil from the rootball as you can with your fingers. Take care not to pull off any roots. Then wash off the roots under running water. Use tepid water; ice-cold tap water will shock your tender tropical plants! 

Once you've completely washed off all the soil, the plant is ready to plant in clay aggregate, pebbles or water beads. Pot it the same way you would normally repot a plant. Fill the bottom of your container with pebbles or beads, spread the plant's roots over the medium, then cover the roots with more medium.

plants that grow in water, houseplants grown in water, growing plants in waterLucky Bamboo will grow directly in water or in water beads.

Your best bet for plants grown in water beads are foliage plants that prefer indirect sunlight. That includes many tropical house plants, so you have a good variety of beautiful plants to choose from.

Did you know that rainwater is ideal for your house plants? It's naturally soft and free from chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals found in tap water that plants don't like.

Use a rain barrel to capture it for watering your plants.

House Plants that Grow in Water

Wondering what to try first? Take a look at this list of easy-care house plants that grow without soil:

  • Hyacinth (shown at right) can be forced into bloom in a bulb vase. Get the how-tos for forcing hyacinth here.
  • Lucky bamboo will grow directly in water with pebbles for support. You can also grow them in water beads (as shown above).
  • Paperwhites can be grown in a bowl of clay aggregate or pebbles with water. They're practically foolproof.

These tropical plants are easy to grow and will thrive in water beads:

Keep in mind that the roots of these tropical plants should never sit in water because they'll rot. Any water that is not absorbed by the water gel beads or other hydroculture medium should be drained off before putting a plant in them.