Indoor water plants are the ones that grow in water. With specialized parts which help them sustain in just water, these plants are the easiest to grow at home. Most of these are free floaters and do not need any soil to grow.
Indoor water plants have characteristics that make them attractive to everyone. If you have less space or are a negligent person and still want to house plants, plants growing in water is your thing. There is a wide diversity of plants that grow in water available with fascinating colors and flowers sure to make your indoor water garden lively.
Here we have discussed some of the best indoor plants that grow in the water you can grow at your home, hassle-free.
What Are Aquatic Plants?
Water plants or aquatic plants can grow in a water body, either saltwater or tap water. They are primarily present in wetlands water bodies like ponds and lakes. You might not recognize a water plant immediately as they have their roots submerged in water.
Aquatic plants can be classified as:
- Deep Floaters- These plants float freely inside the water body. They don’t have roots attached to even the soil at the bed of the water body. These include such as hydrillas and bog moss.
- Free Floaters- These plants also don’t have their roots attached to the waterbed, but they don’t float inside the body. They can float freely only on the surface of the body while their roots absorb water. So, you can spot them from the outside.
- Rooted- The roots of these plants are attached to the bed soil, but some parts float freely on the surface. They need sunlight to float on the surface. Some examples are knotweed and redroot.
- Algae- These are the oldest aquatic plants known and popularly found in the oceans. They are small in size and have no leaves or stems. Some examples include lyngbya and musk grass.
In the large water bodies, these plants help sustain marine life by acting as food for the organisms. At home, you can plant these in a pond or a water garden or an aquarium or even in jars and bottles. All they need is water and a little maintenance.
Why Do You Need Indoor Water Plants?
Besides being an aesthetic pleasure to the eyes and even nose, indoor plants that grow in water have numerous benefits. Most of these plants can get transferred into garden soil which serves a dual purpose. They always turn out to be a center of attraction.
Some other benefits of water indoor plants are:
1. It Is Low Maintenance
Most of the aquatic indoor plants are low maintenance. The plants which grow in water require almost no care. You need to water them regularly and change it when it seems too dirty.
In addition, when they are conserved inside your home, you need not worry about going out into the garden to water them. Simply fill a glass of water and pour it into the jar. If you have a garden pond, you can install self-cleaning systems that will take even less effort overall.
2. It Occupies Lesser Area
Aquatic plants can grow even in a glass of water. If you directly submerge a carrot in a glass jar full of water for some days, it will start thriving. They do not occupy much area and can be stored as per requirements.
If you don’t have a garden area, or a large area to keep pots full of soil, indoor plants are your solution. Simply fill a jar of water and put the seed or the plant. You can even buy adhesive jars which simply stick to the doors or windows and can be filled with water.
3. Fewer Pests Infect It
Soil provides inhabitable conditions to most pests, insects, and fungi. They are very irritating, and removing them is a cumbersome task. Soil plants need regular care and still end up being affected by fungi, pests, or even caterpillars.
Plants that grow in water do not face this problem at all. There is no hassle of pests in water. Simply changing the water over some days or even weekly avoids all problems. The plant also remains relatively healthier for a longer period if not given proper attention.
4. It Creates A Self-Sustainable Aquarium
If you have aquariums or fish tanks with some little fishes, indoor plants are a must for you. Not only do they enhance the beauty of the aquarium, but they also keep the fish happy. They make the aquarium feel much more natural and habitable.
Further, aquatic plants help clean the aquarium and provide the fish with a regular supply of oxygen to survive. The fish can even feed in their leaves and sustain themselves. They make the aquarium self-sustained.
5. It Purifies The Air
Many aquatic plants like the Devil’s Ivy or the Spider Plant have been known to purify the air. You can keep them in your living room and always have fresh air to breathe. Some plants also have specific fragrances. You can choose the plants accordingly for their scents too.
6. It Contributes To A Elegant Home Décor
There is no doubt that plants in jars are one of the best house decors. It is not viable to keep pots full of soil inside the house all the time. Water plants are at rescue here. With their amazing benefits, this is still the most noted reason for keeping aquatic indoor plants at home.
Best Indoor Water Plants
Here are seven indoor water plants that you can get today!
1. Sweet Potato Vine
Sweet potato vine is an herbaceous perennial tropical plant native to North America. It is widely cultivated in large parts of America and counts as a major food crop in the southern United States, tropical America, and the Caribbean. They grow best when planted during spring and are not desirable to grow during winters. Sweet potato vine belongs to the same species family as edible sweet potatoes. They are yielded mainly for their leaves more than for their edible tubers.
Sweet potato vines are both outdoor and indoor plants. It produces heart-shaped leaves, tubers which can be found in variable shapes and colors. Like many other plants, sweet potato also needs regular care to keep them in appropriate condition.
The sweet potato vine can be grown from a tuber or cutting. The tuber and cutting are put into a vase and allowed to grow. While pruning the plant makes sure the tools are alcohol wiped to eliminate the spread of pest and diseases. The plants grow on for several years, and the water should be frequently changed to discourage bacteria from growing.
2. Wandering Jew
The Inch or Tradescantia zebrine, also known as the Wandering Jew, traditionally is an easy, fast-growing plant native to tropical regions of America. It has heart-shaped green leaves with purple strips over them. It adds wonderful colors to the container port in the garden with its vibrant foliage that will trail or spread across walls or hanging planters.
The most common Wandering Jew species grown as houseplants are Tradescantia zebrina, Tradescantia fluminensis, and Tradescantia pallid. These plants cannot tolerate cold weather conditions and thus thrive best as indoor houseplants.
To grow and care for the Wandering Jew may be a bit demanding, but with proper lighting, watering, and temperature, it will be a great addition to your room corner. To grow Wandering Jew, choose a wide-spaced container, and submerge the stem cutting of approximately 6 inches into the water. Make sure to cut the leaves from the bottom of all stem cuttings. The new roots will start to form within one to two weeks of planting.
Wandering Jew needs medium to full, indirect sunlight to grow. Direct light fades the color of its leaves. Remove the discolored leaves as and when required. Wandering Jew should be fertilized with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength as it starts producing new growth. You may also re-pot it into a new container if the root systems have grown fully inside the pot. Ensure the container vase is large as it is fast-growing and may require repotting during spring.
3. Spider Plant
Spider plant, a tropical evergreen perennial plant known for its abundant leafage, is native to South Africa. It is also known by other names such as airplane plant, ribbon plant, and spider ivy. It produces long, narrow leaves that grow in a rosette form.
It may produce tiny white flowers during summers and gets its name from the spider-looking plant offset known as ‘pups’ it produces. It is famous for its air-purifying quality and can be grown in your indoor water garden. It is also known to bring luck, prosperity, and good health.
The plantlets or spirderettes, as these are known, are submerged into the water container. Make sure only the lower part of the cutting is submerged. You can see the plant developing in one to two weeks from planting.
The plant thrives best in the morning sunlight and thereafter indirect sunlight during the daytime. You will need to keep frequently changing the water, once every 5 to 7 days, to avoid leaves turning brown. Ensure you don’t use water from the tap directly as it contains chlorine which harms the plant. Also, avoid using too cold water.
You can add water-soluble fertilizer for the better development of the spider plant. Stop using fertilizers once you see the leaves turning brown. You will need to re-pot your plant every 2-3 years during the springtime. Grow the plant in a large container with adequate drainage holes.
Begonia is widely grown among houseplants for having tropical and subtropical origins. It is known for its variant foliage and leafage. The Begonia plant has more than 1000 species and comes in innumerable colors, sizes, and shapes. The best time to plant wax begonias or simply begonias is during the spring season, as they are tropical plants and prefer growing in your indoor water garden with other houseplants.
While looking for begonia stem cuttings, make sure you are aware of its height and spread. This ensures it is embedded in a suitable container. The widely grown Begonia types are fibrous and tuberous begonias. The tuberous begonia can grow up to 12 to 18 inches tall in a mason jar or glass jar and produces colorful flowers.
To grow the Begonia, just root around 4 inches of stem cutting and plant it in a vase with an inch of water. The roots will start developing in over a month or two if the right method is followed. Ensure the water is distilled and not water from the tap. The plant is sensitive to salts present in tap water, and it can be harmful to the leaves.
5. Lucky Bamboo
Dracaena sanderiana, also known as Lucky Bamboo, is not bamboo in the real sense but rather a part of the Dracaena genus. It has been a part of Chinese culture for over more than 5000 years now. It is known to bring happiness, luck, and prosperity and is an ideal gift in personal exchanges.
It is very easy for lucky bamboo to grow in water. To grow lucky bamboo, use a layer of pebbles to provide support so that they remain intact. Submerge the stem cutting into the water container and make sure there is enough water to keep roots covered.
The container should be spacious and have at least 1-inch space all the way around. This helps the roots to grow and spread out. You may choose to provide some sunlight, but it is not essential. Cut the part of roots that turns black or rotten.
You must change the water every 7-10 days to keep plants fresh. You can also increase the amount of water as the roots increase. Ensure not to use tap water as it contains chlorine that may harm the plant. Change the vase water if you see algae growth inside. As the bamboo plant grows, it tends to become top-heavy, so make sure you trim as and when required to keep it in shape.
6. Paper White Plant
Paperwhite is a common and widely grown among indoor houseplants. It produces a white flower loved for its strong fragrance. It belongs to the same family as Daffodils or Narcissus. The plant is native to Europe and Asia.
Paper whites grow in water and indoors during the springtime. If taken proper care of, they bloom all winter. Its general bloom is 4-8 in number, which are about an inch wide and white. They don’t re-bloom.
To grow Paperwhites with your houseplants, in a vase or even in bottles, add at least 2 inches of pebbles or aquarium rocks to provide support to the roots. Now place the bulbs in proximity and submerge them into water. The level of the water should be lower than the base of the bulbs to avoid rotting.
Paperwhites may be provided with indirect sunlight, but it is not important. The temperature should be around 60-70 Fahrenheit for them to thrive. It is important to provide support to the plant with a stake or twine when it is blooming. The paperwhite blooms last for around 2 weeks, and the blubs should be disposed of as these will not bloom again after that. Place them on the kitchen windowsill and enjoy their beauty all day.
7. Devil’s Ivy Plant
Epipremnum aureum, also known as Devils Ivy, are perennial houseplants grown widely. Their origin is in South Asia, Indonesia, and the Soloman Islands, and they are members of the Araceae family.
Devil’s Ivy can be grown both outdoor and indoor. Its height may vary around 6 to 8 feet if it is not trimmed regularly. It produces heart-shaped leaves with various patterns in silver, pale green, or bright yellow colors. The popular names for this plant are Golden Pothos, Money Plants, among others. It does not bloom any flower and is known for the beauty of its leaves.
Devil’s Ivy is not hard to grow in water. Grab a stem of the vine and cut it below the nod and remove any leaf node present. The stem should have at least 3 nods. This is important so that plants don’t rot underwater. Using tap water is fine, but preferably, it should not be used. Provide bright indirect sunlight with a few drops of soluble fertilizer every two weeks to keep them fresh.
How To Care For The Indoor Water Plants
Now that we know about the best indoor aquatic plants, let us discuss some basic tips to care about these beautiful creatures at your home. If you keep the following tips in mind, you will have a full blooming indoor water garden in no time, thanks to these plants!
Although you can grow these plants in any waterproof bottles or vases, yet when considering house décor, using the appropriate container makes a difference. Also, containers impact the growth and spread of the plant to some extent. You can even change the bottle if the plant outgrows it or if it collects dirt.
There are a wide variety of containers used in a water garden, like jars, test tubes, chipped glasses, vessels, or wall vases. With a little creativity of your own, you can create a beautiful water garden in your home. As these plants do not need direct sunlight, these containers can be placed at any place you choose around the house.
2. Changing Water
The only important care aquatic plants require is regular changing of water. No wonder they are low maintenance. On some days, as the plants use the water minerals and excrete in it, the water starts to look dirty. It starts appearing cloudy. This is the indication that water changes are required.
Keeping the plant in dirty water for long can lead to algae formation and might even kill the plant. The water evaporates too, so keep putting some water as and when you see the jar a little empty.
3. Liquid Fertilizer
There is no special type of fungicides or pesticides for plants that grow in water as they do not often face these problems. Still, one problem they might face is the formation of algae. Although the choice of the jar works a lot in preventing algae, regularly cleaning the water is also necessary.
Further, you can use mild liquid fertilizers sometimes. These are not very strong and help boost the growth of the plant along with keeping them healthy.
Propagation refers to the act of transplanting the water plant into the soil. Generally, when the plant develops roots, it is planted properly into the ground or in garden pots with soil. Some people grow plants, like herbs, in water for propagation only.
Even when the plant overgrows the jars and is too large to be kept inside, it can be propagated. Plants are like your babies, and you might not always want to cut them or trim them, so you can choose to transplant them properly in the ground.
Most American households like keeping plants that grow in water indoors for their aesthetic nature, and sometimes they are even consumed. In many other countries, some auspicious aquatic plants, like lucky bamboo, are kept inside the homes for their positive vibes.
Even when put in a proper large garden with large trees and plants, they stand out and need no separate identification. You can hang them in painted, decorated pots or glass jars and voila, you have a better-looking garden. It is a project worth taking up.
This article discusses only seven indoor aquatic plants. There are more plants that grow in water from all around the world you can choose from based on their looks, scent, and uses. Some others you can explore are African violet, Baby’s Tears, Philodendron, Parrot’s Feather, Creeping Jenny, and Lotus.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.