• Sun. Jul 12th, 2020

Plants That Need Only Water to Grow and How it is Different from Hydroponics


Jun 5, 2020

Did you know, a phytophilous person is a person who is fond of plants? And a plantsman is one who loves plants? If you love flowers, then you are an Anthophile.

If you can relate to any of these terms, then this blog is for you. We take a look at a few plants that need only water to grow and thrive, learn about how this works, what Hydroponics is, and what water plants you can try growing on your own.

Can plants grow in just water? 

In school, we’ve all learnt that plants require soils, water, and sunlight to grow. Now, we know that there are a few plants that can do without soil and require only water and sunlight! The process of growing these houseplants without soil and in water is called hydroculture.

What you need to do – 

You need a glass jar or bottle, a nice spot near a window ledge, and water. You need to pick plants that grow well from propagation, i.e. plants that can grow from cuttings of healthy plants. You need to snip the key parts of a healthy matured plant, at the leaf node. This is the part of the stem where leaves branch out. It’s best to choose a part of the stem where a few leaves are already sprouting. Move the cutting into a jar with water and place it near a window so that it gets some sunlight.

Picture Courtesy – howwemontessori

In about 2 weeks you will find roots starting to grow from your cutting. You can leave your plant in the container or move it into soil if you please.

If you wish, you could also add things like crumbled Styrofoam, gravel, pearl chips, pebbles, sand, marbles, beads, shells or anything you wish to the water container. Some folks even add a little bit of powdered charcoal or a small piece of charcoal to keep the water in the container clear and free from bad odours.

The benefit of growing plants in water is that they last longer and you’re more likely to have a green garden all year long.

Plants that you can grow in water – 

  • Chinese Evergreen – it grows easily, doesn’t need much light and can even grow when the air is dry.
  • Wandering Jew – grows well in warm climates, is a great indoor plant, very easy to grow and looks great.
  • Philodendron Plants – this grows very easily, even if you don’t change the water in months, it will still look healthy and green.
  • Peace Lily – it grows better in soil than in water, needs a little more care and attention, you can even add a little bit of fertilizer to the water to help it thrive.
  • English Ivy – they need a lot of light, they can brighten up any room and can grow wild if left unattended. Without bright light they might look sick and attract pests.

There are plenty more plants you can grow in water, but you can start with these first.

You can also grow herbs in mason jars or any other glass containers in your kitchen. Herbs that you can try growing are –

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Chives and more.

If you’re looking for plants that grow in water for any outdoor water body, then consider nymphaea 

or water lilies and marsilea quadrifolia or sushni (water clover). They are both beautiful ornamental water plants and grow very well in Indian weather conditions.

What is Hydroponics? 

Hydroponics means ‘working water’ – hydro means water and ponos means labour. In this method of growing plants, the roots are placed in water that contains a nutrient-rich solution. This is said to work even better than growing plants in soil and growers say the yields are higher. Plants need nutrients and that’s why they needed soil, but if we add the nutrients in the water, then soil is not needed. This is more for those who cultivate crops than for homes.

Hydroponics is different from simply growing plants in water as a lot more equipment is needed, such as –

  • Hydroponics system
  • Hydroponic nutrients
  • Inert hydroponics medium
  • Light source 

A hydroponics system will ensure that water and nutrients get supplied to the plant roots in exact quantities. There are various types and styles of systems you can build but they require a lot more time, money and dedication.

If you lack the space and the time to set up a hydroponics system, then choose to grow a plant in water, they require a lot less effort.

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