Which Indoor Plants Can Grow on Water?


If you are interested in gardening but live in a small apartment with absolutely no outside space for a plant box, indoor gardening can definitely work out for you. With a variety of plants and methods available, choosing which fits best for your lifestyle can make a world of difference. For those busy-bodies who may not be able to schedule in daily upkeeps for their plants, indoor water plants would be the best choice.

Indoor water plants are low-maintenance and pest-free, which is why it is often preferred. Some indoor plants that do grow well in water include Chinese Evergreens, Dumbcanes, Pothoses, Arrowheads, Coleuses, English Ivies, Purple Hearts, Philodendrons, Sweet Potato Vines, and Spider Plants.

Classification of Water Plants
When choosing water plants, it is important to know what exact type they are. Through this, you would be able to determine the proper maintenance and care for your plant.

  1. Emergent Plants
    The vegetation of these plants are above water, but their roots are secured to the ground of the body of water they are planted in. These plants constantly need sunlight to thrive and is pollinated through wind and flying insects. Indoor plants under this classification require a bed of soil, gravel or rocks within the container.

  2. Submerged Plants
    Submerged indoor plants are commonly used for aquariums. They are also known as true aquatic plants or hydrophytes, meaning they grow and thrive under water and would need minimal sunlight.

  3. Free Floating Plants
    True to its name, this type of indoor plant does not anchor itself to the ground. It will also not require any soil at all making maintenance hassle-free. The roots thrive under water while the rest of the vegetation floats on the top.

  4. Floating-Leaved Plants
    In contrast with free-floaters, these indoor plants have root systems that attach to the sediments at the bottom of the container while leaves float on the water. This type of aquatic plant are more frequent in ponds and is rarely seen indoors due to its large structure.

Whichever plant type you may choose for your indoor water garden, be sure to appropriately place them in containers as per their type in order for them to thrive and flourish.

Advantages of Indoor Water Plants
Aside from the general advantages of having plants in your home like improving the quality of air by reducing carbon dioxide and balancing humidity, indoor water plants are definitely more beneficial in terms of care. Here are a few advantages of having indoor water plants:

  • Low Maintenance
    One of the most trying tasks, when you have an indoor garden, is the responsibility of watering the plants. With water houseplants, you completely eliminate the need for regular watering. This is why people often prefer taking care of this type of plant. It’s less of a hassle to deal with compared to soil-potted plants.

  • Pest Resistant
    Due to the waxy exterior of water plants in general, they have been deemed as pest-resistant. This virtually ensures less fuss in intenance. Unlike regular soil-based plants, water plants won’t attract aphids and other pests that can be quite stressful to get rid of.

  • Less Mess
    Soil is quite messy to handle. Eliminating this saves you a lot of time in clean up especially when you have pets or kids around the house.

  • Minimal Space Required
    Indoor water gardens are usually situated by the window to expose the plants to sunlight. They are often kept in containers that are big enough for them to grow in. Most of the time, these containers occupy minimal space and is aesthetically pleasing to look at.

  • Great for Aquariums
    If you also happen to have fishes as house pets, indoor water plants are great additions to your tank. With these plants you would be able to reconstruct the natural habitat of your fishes, giving them a more adaptable environment to live in.

With these advantages and benefits, we can determine that indoor water plants can be one of the best types to keep at home.

Choosing the Right Container
This is the very first step in starting your indoor water garden. Using a clear container is always preferred to be able to see the condition of the water and extent of growth of the plant for re-potting purposes. The material of the container has no bearing in the decision you make, plastic or glass would work fine. You may also use shallow clay pots for free-floaters or semi-aquatic plants. Choosing the right container would be dependent on what kind of plant you have. Going back to the mentioned types, we would need to consider their structure. For example, if your plants are emergent and have stalks, using a tall slender container is better than using a wide-mouthed one. You can also opt order fancy vases online or just use an old jar you already have.

One thing you also have to keep in mind is to not crowd various plants in one container. Overcrowding will limit the growth of the plant and eventually rot the smaller ones that are not as strong. Proper proportion is definitely important.

It is basically all about preference. Most people would pick large glass containers to be able to showcase the beauty of the plant without compromising growth and space among the plants they choose. Others would prefer hanging pots to allow the foliage to grow laterally.

Maintenance and Care
Taking care of indoor water plants is relatively easy. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your indoor water garden:

  1. Container Maintenance
    When you first get your plant, you would want to clean your container. It is important that you don’t use any form detergent to do so. The chemicals in these detergents stay inside the container and will not allow the plants to breathe well.

  2. Lighting
    Sunlight is a big part of photosynthesis when positioning your plants you would need to keep them in a place that is exposed to at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. Set up an area near the window.

  3. Water Replacement
    Do not completely replace the water whenever it gets murky, this will lead to algae growth. Instead, remove three-quarters of the water and then replace it.
    When water evaporates due to the change in ambient temperature, you will notice that the level decrease over time, all you need to do in this case is replenish the supply according to its original amount.

  4. Aquatic Life
    For submerged plants, having aquatic life present is great. In an ecological sense fishes and plants work great together. They both provide benefits to each other’s survival.

  5. Use Charcoal
    One issue most people would complain about is the smell of the water especially when the plan has been around for quite some time. In order for this to be avoided, you can add one or two pieces of charcoal to eliminate the stench and keep the water clear.

These efficient tips are a sure way of keeping your plants in tip-top shape. Proper maintenance and care can truly help them last longer than expected.

Best Indoor Water Plants

With hundreds of indoor water plants species, it can get quite confusing to choose one for your garden. Based on benefits, lifespan, maintenance, and aesthetics, here are our top ten picks:

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This plant helps filter out a variety of air pollutants and is quite easy to maintain. It is popular among more novice gardeners.

Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)

Due to its resilience to different conditions, low light and neglect. This plant has been a favorite of most beginners. These strong species are especially great for first-time gardeners.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

A native plant to the tropical countries, this is one of the most preferred water plants due to low maintenance and the superstitious belief that it attracts money to your home, giving it the nickname “money plant”.

Arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum)

This plant is heavy on water, which means replacement may be more frequent than usual. It is quite resilient and easier to replant due to rapid growth.

Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

Easily adapts to any weather condition, it is easy to root and has a variety of colors to choose from. It is quite versatile in nature and excellent for your garden.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

There are dozens of variants available and all are easy to grow even in shady areas. It is a climbing vine, which is why hanging vases would be the best place to plant them in.

Purple Heart (Tradescandtia pallida)

With the unique leaf shape and deep purple color, this plant is quite beautiful. Some variants even bear flowers. It is favored not only because of its appearance but also because of its durability and strength.

Philodendron (Philodendron scandens oxycardium)

Readily adapts to any environment and can thrive indoors all year round. Be sure to acquire the water plant variant, since the soil-based variant will rot in excessive watering.

Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)

It is easy to replant, edible and a fast grower. In addition, the sweet potato vine comes in a striking chartreuse hue.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

According to NASA, these plants are the best for air purification. It is the easiest to maintain making it absolutely great for beginners.

Starting your indoor water garden can definitely be exciting. With a variety of plants available at your disposal, you can’t just pick one! Following these tips and choosing your first few plants based on our top picks will definitely help ease you into the hobby.

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