If you’ve thought about houseplants that grow in water, the list of possible options might surprise you. There are many hydrophilic plants that need nothing but water to grow!
I’ve grown many plants in water myself, and it’s actually very easy to do. Simply take a cutting (with a node included) from your plant, stick it in water, use a propagator or just a jar and watch it grow!
Based on that experience, I made a list of 10 houseplants that can grow in water. Each guide covers sunlight, toxicity, and propagation advice, so read on to find the perfect hydrophilic plant for you.
Plants that grow in water
1. Chinese Evergreen
With lush tropical style foliage, the Chinese periwinkle is one of the easiest to care for plants that grow in water. Aglaonema Widuri has a mix of dark and light green leaves variegated with deep pink and yellow-green hues. The pink beauty prefers a bit more sunlight than its darker relatives, but should still be kept in indirect, low-light conditions. It’s one of those pretty pink plants that I absolutely love.
Take a cutting that is at least four inches long. You want at least a few inches below the water and a few leaves above the surface.
Chinese Evergreen is a good houseplant in low light. Minimal to medium sun exposure provides ideal conditions for growth.
Like some of the other plants in this guide, Chinese periwinkle (or Aglaonemas) contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are insoluble. These can cause severe digestive disorders in pets and humans.
Begonias can be grown very well as houseplants in the water. This is especially true for wax, bulbous, and rex varieties. Rooting can take a few weeks, so you might have to wait a while!
Take a smooth, sharp cut from a healthy stalk. Be sure to include a knot and renew it regularly once you’ve placed it in water.
A begonia needs sunlight to thrive, but too much can scorch the leaves of some species. Try an east or north-facing window for indirect light.
If you like variegated foliage, then Spiderwort is one of the best indoor plants to grow in water. Both the purple and striped types grow well. Also known as the Wandering Jew or flowering customs plant, it is a member of the Tradescantia family.
Approach the mother plant of the trellis and you will see small tuberous roots that have not yet developed. Take a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 centimeters) long cutting containing some of them. Remove the lower part of the leaves before placing them in water.
Ideally, spiderwort likes indirect sunlight, although it is a plant that tends to tolerate a range of conditions. Too much can scorch the foliage, so it’s best to be near a window but not right next to it.
Spider weed is poisonous to animals and humans. So keep this one away from people or pets who want to taste it!
Pothos is one of the best houseplants for beginners as it is low maintenance and super easy to grow in water. This vine plant grows very quickly. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to kill!
Using sharp, clean-bladed scissors, make a cut about 5 inches long. Snip just below a root node. The perfect specimen will have a few leaves and a few growth nodes.
Plenty of natural sunlight is best for pothos. Mine are hanging in the window to ensure their leaves stay as colorful as possible.
Pothos is toxic to humans, dogs, and cats, although it would not normally be fatal. The crystals of calcium oxalate in its leaves are very sharp and can actually tear the skin. So be careful when handling it!
5. Baby’s tears
This cute little plant is named for its tiny flower-shaped leaves. It’s a pretty hanging plant to place or hang around your home, with an abundance of bright green foliage. I absolutely love mine and can’t believe how fast this plant grows in water.
A cut that is 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long is what you want. Remove any leaves that would be below the waterline to prevent rot.
African violets are one of the most outstanding hydrophilic plants that can grow in water and their colorful blooms will brighten up your home. You can create a new version of the mother plant in about a month.
Pick a healthy looking leaf. Make a clean, sharp cut so you have the full leaf plus about 2 inches of the stem. Place this in a jar with a narrow neck to support the leaf.
A north or east facing window is good for an African violet that doesn’t like too much direct light. Too much sunlight can scorch the leaves.
African violets are not poisonous to humans or pets. So it’s a nice safe plant to grow in a household with animals or small children!