34 Best Plants That Grow in Water Indoors

No Soil Necessary—These Stunning Plants Are Easy to Grow

Plant propagation in a jar of water

Andrey Zhuravlev / Getty Images

Many common houseplants are genetically programmed to form roots from cuttings exposed to moisture. This survival adaptation can be used by indoor gardeners to display their favorite plants that grow in water without soil. This minimalist trend incorporates perfectly with bathroom and kitchen decor, and it's easy to accomplish with plants that grow in water vases. Several types of flowers can thrive when grown hydroponically, like orchids, lotus, and paperwhites. They can live this way for their entire natural lifespan with no soil needed.

The following plants, when grown hydroponically, can be used for botanical decor or to propagate your existing houseplant collection. Just make sure to change the water every two to four weeks and use a water-soluble fertilizer when necessary.

How to Grow Plants in Water

Many indoor plants can be grown by propagating a cutting in a water-only medium in almost any vessel that will hold water. Glass vases are atheistically pleasing, as they allow you to see the plant's roots. However, glass is prone to algae blooms, so opt for an opaque vase if you're the low-maintenance type. Make sure to check your plant's light requirements before you give it a home on a windowsill, as different types of plants will need different amounts of exposure to sunlight. Once propagated, change the water every two to four weeks (make sure that it's chlorine-free) and fertilize your plant with a water-soluble fertilizer at 1/4 strength.

Tip

It's OK to use tap water, but if your water is heavily chlorinated, allow the chemicals to evaporate for a day or two before you put the stem in the water.

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  • 01 of 34

    African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

    African Violet Growing in Water

    Unexpected Daisies

    Growing an African violet in water from leaves is usually a good way to get a clone of the parent plant. However, some multicolor violets will yield plants with solid color flowers.

    Choose young, healthy African violet leaves to start new plants. Cut the leaf with about two inches of stem, and place the leaf in a narrow-necked bottle that keeps the leaf suspended and dry.

    Roots take about a month to form. Over time a tiny plantlet will form, complete with its own crown. 

    Tip

    Use a water-soluble fertilizer, per the manufacturer's directions, to keep your aquatic plants lush and healthy. In addition, place a small piece of charcoal in the bottom of the glass vessel to help maintain clean, clear water.

  • 02 of 34

    Baby's Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)

    Baby's Tear Plant

    Reiko Zoe T. / Getty Images

    Baby's tears plants produce myriad tiny leaves on creeping plants that form a dense yet delicate trailing mat.

    Pinch off a cluster of stems, with or without roots, and watch how easily this plant adapts to growing in water. Because baby's tears plants grow so many leaves along their stems, leaves that are constantly submerged may begin to rot.

    Change the water weekly to remove any leaves floating in the water, and allow the water level to drop once roots are well-formed and deliver moisture to the plant. 

  • 03 of 34

    Begonia (Begonia spp.)

    Begonia growing in water

    My Giant Strawberry

    The thick, succulent stems of begonias are very forgiving when harvesting the stems to grow in water.

    Practice with hardy wax begonias, which have very knobby leaf nodes that form roots easily. Even the fancy rex begonias and tuberous begonias will grow in water, and only a single leaf is necessary to start a whole new plant.

    Roots may take a couple of months to form, and it's wise to perform weekly water changes to prevent bacteria that can lead to rot. 

  • 04 of 34

    Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

    Coleus growing in water

     Ali Majdfar / Getty Images

    With many new coleus varieties hitting the market each spring, it's easy to design an entire garden around this tropical plant's orange, purple, and chartreuse leaves.

    As coleus plants have grown in popularity, their prices have increased accordingly. Still, coleus plants are easy to propagate and grow in water, allowing you to create a colony of handsome coleus houseplants.

    Take a six-inch cutting, and remove the leaves from the bottom four inches. Place the cutting in a glass or vase of water, and you will see roots begin to form in several weeks.

    Adding a bit of compost tea to the water during monthly changes will help your coleus plants thrive. 

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  • 05 of 34

    Impatiens (Impatiens spp.)

    Impatiens growing in water

    My Giant Strawberry

    Impatiens are a standby for shade gardens, but sometimes it can be challenging to keep them moist enough. Impatiens can grow as marginal pond plants; that's how much they adore the water.

    Snip off a few stems at the end of the growing season, and overwinter them in a vase, where they will root and grow as clones of the parent plant.

    You'll have a free supply of impatiens in the spring to start your shade garden. 

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    Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

    bamboo cuttings rooting in jars

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

    The hardy stalks of lucky bamboo can become a living centerpiece no soil required.

    Growers often train the stalks of lucky bamboo into spirals or woven shapes, and while these extensions don't affect the plant's ability to grow in water, plants may become very top-heavy and require more than just water to stay in place.

    Surround your lucky bamboo stand with colorful gravel or rocks, adding to the ornamental value and providing some support. 

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    Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)

    closeup of philodendron leaf

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Remember that trailing philodendron stem your mom had in the windowsill that seemed immortal? This ultra-easy houseplant is a no-fail introduction to growing plants in water.

    An established philodendron won't mind donating several of its stems to water cultivation, and they look charming scattered about in vases of different sizes and colors.

    Philodendron plants grow in all light situations, but if it seems like there is more stem than leaf growth on your plants, brighter lighting will produce more leaves. 

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    Spiderwort (Tradescantia zebrina)

    Wandering Jew growing in water

    Magida El-Kassis / Getty Images 

    Spiderwort plants, also called inch plants, fill a color gap in the houseplant collection like no other low-care plant can. Both the zebra-striped variety and the purple-leafed cultivar are well-adapted to indoor living and make a handsome focal point in rooms with moderate light.

    Look closely at the leaf nodes along a spiderwort stem, and you'll see root nubs waiting to grow. Add some stems to a mason jar or vase of water, and you will soon have spiderwort babies to add to your collection. 

    Spiderwort is an aggressive grower and needs to be pruned regularly, especially when gown in a water-only medium. If left untended, the plant may grow top-heavy and topple out of its vase.

    Tip

    Once your plants have grown roots at least an inch in length, they can be moved into potting soil if desired.

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  • 09 of 34

    Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

    Pothos cuttings in a glass jar filled with water with fresh water being poured in.

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Cut a length of pothos vine with three or four nodes. Remove the leaves on the lower part of the vine since any leaves left under the water will rot.

    This trailing vine with pointed, heart-shaped green leaves hails from the South Pacific. Its leaves are sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green striations.

    Pothos grows quickly; it can grow over a foot in a month.

  • 10 of 34

    Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

    Aglaonema cuttings in water

    dropStock / Getty Images

    Despite "evergreen" in its common name, it's not an evergreen tree; it's a perennial tropical plant with floppy green leaves native to Asia and only grows in warmer climates.

    To grow it in water, cut a healthy 6-inch stem from a healthy Chinese evergreen plant using a sterilized pruner or snips. The bottom half of the stem should go in the water. Remove the bottom leaves under the water line. Roots should appear in three to four weeks.

    Put the plant in indirect sunlight and change the water every three days or so when the water becomes dirty or cloudy.

    Give the plant a few drops of water-soluble, liquid fertilizer monthly to encourage growth.

  • 11 of 34

    English Ivy (Hedera helix)

    English Ivy growing in water

    Crystal Bolin Photography / Getty Images

    English ivy is a climbing vine that is an invasive species, growing easily anywhere (and in many ways). It's prized for its evergreen leaves.

    Ivy plant cuttings are easy to root in water, usually taking about two to three weeks for roots to appear. Trim off any bottom leaves and place your cutting in a jar on a well-lit window sill.

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    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

    positioning the spiderette in the water

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

    Spider plant has long, spindly leaf blades, giving it its spidery name. Take cuttings or offsets from the plant. Spider plants make little tufted growths at the end of their stems. You can cut the plantlet from the stolon with clean, sharp scissors.

    Cuttings root quickly. Change out the water every three to five days. Add fertilizer to the water once a month. Keep the plant in bright, indirect light. Never let the leaves fall into the water. Roots should be the only submerged part of the plant. Add rocks to the bottom of the glass for roots to grab onto.

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    Dracaena (Dracaena or Cordyline spp.)

    Dracaena growing in a jar of water

    Mila Naumova / Getty Images

    Take a stem cutting from an established, healthy dracaena. Keep only a few leaves at the top of the stem.

    Remove all leaves below the water line. Change the water every week, especially If you have a clear glass container; the light will encourage algae to grow. By 60 days, the plant will have developed a complete root system.

    It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60 and 80 F. During the growing season in spring and summer, give dracaena liquid fertilizer every two weeks, at 1/4 the recommended strength on the package instructions.

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    Peace Lilly (Spathiphyllum spp.)

    closeup of a peace lily

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Peace lilies have large, glossy green leaves that bloom with a white spathe or "flag of surrender" sheath, hence its name.

    Many people use small, narrow vases for peace lilies grown in water, but you can also use a simple tall glass. If necessary, create a mouth stopper to hold the stem in place at the mouth of the container.

    Unroot the plant from its pot, and clean off the roots with running water. Submerge the plant in water up to the roots only. Replace the water as the water line goes down. Completely change the water once every two weeks.

    Place the plant in a spot that gets bright, indirect light. Fertilize the plant with hydroponic fertilizer, a few drops during water changes. Ideal temperatures for the plant are 65 to 85 F.

  • 15 of 34

    Pancake Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

    Pilea growing in a jar of water

    DuKai photographer / Getty Images

    Also called the Chinese money plant or coin plant for its attractive coin-shaped foliage, the pancake plant is easy to care for and grow in water.

    You can transfer an established plant with roots into a container with water or take a stem cutting and submerge the newly cut stem into the water. The stem will form roots after several weeks.

    To replace the nutrients the plant is missing from soil or rainwater, give the plant houseplant or hydroponics fertilizer once a month. Change the water every two weeks or sooner if the water appears murky.

  • 16 of 34

    Lotus (Nelumbo spp.)

    closeup of a pink lotus

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault  

    Lotus flowers are a marvel to behold, round and centered around a radial notch, appearing to float above the water's surface.

    The plant's root structure grows below the muddy surface, sending a stem above the water's surface. You can replicate this growing method using a dwarf lotus plant in a shallow, 6-inch bowl with pea gravel as the substrate to hold down the rhizome (root).

    Provide hydroponic nutrients during the regular growing season; stop fertilizer during the dormant months (winter). Change the water every few weeks when it looks like it's about to get murky.

    The plant can survive in bright, full sun, with temperatures above 32 F. Anything below freezing can kill the plant.

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  • 17 of 34

    Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

    Rosemary growing in water

    Tetra Images / Getty Images

    Rosemary takes two to six weeks to root in water. Take 6-inch cuttings from new growth, place the bottom of the stem in water (remove the leaves below the water line), and place the plant in a bright window. Refresh the water daily or every few days.

    For long-term growth in water, rosemary will need hydroponic fertilizer.

  • 18 of 34

    Mint (Mentha spp.)

    Mint sprigs growing in jars of water

    Tetra Images / Getty Images

    Mint is such a vigorous grower; it will root within 10 days. Take stem cuttings, remove all the lower leaves, and place the bottom half of the stems in water. Change the water and wash the glass once a week.

    Place the plant in a bright window. You can maintain mint this way for some time with occasional drops of hydroponic fertilizer.

  • 19 of 34

    Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)

    closeup of dumb cane leaves

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    Dieffenbachia has large pointed, oval-shaped leaves with green, cream, and white striations, with large, thick stems. They are easy to grow in water.

    When cultivated in water, they don't grow as quickly as they do in soil, but with fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season, they will grow beautifully.

    Grow it in indirect, bright light and maintain it in an environment between 65 and 80 F. You will need to change the water every few weeks and rinse the roots off, removing any algae growth.

  • 20 of 34

    Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum)

    Syngonium podophyllum growing in water

    Images we create / Getty Images

    Arrowhead vine grows year-round as a houseplant. Its leaf structure changes as it matures, growing from a simple arrow shape to a deeply lobed leaf. Its leaf colors range from dark green and white to lime green and bright pink.

    Arrowhead plants can easily grow in water. Clip a mature, healthy stem below a node, which appears like a bump on the stem. Put the cut end in the water. Roots will start growing within weeks.

    Change the water once a week, place the plant in bright, indirect light, and keep it in a room between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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    Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)

    sweet potato vine

    The Spruce / Autumn Wood

    Sweet potato vines produce leaves that are heart-shaped, deeply lobed, or lacy, occasionally producing darling morning glory-looking flowers.

    You can grow roots from a stem cutting placed in water or half-suspend the tuber (root structure) with its pointy end down, using toothpicks around the rim of the jar to prop up the top half of the tuber above the water. Roots can form within 10 days to two weeks.

    Keep the water level constant. Refill the water every few weeks to discourage algae, mold, or bacteria from growing.

  • 22 of 34

    Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus)

    Paperwhite narcissus with small white blooms indoors

    The Spruce / Heidi Kolsky

    Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) are popular indoor plants for winter with their clusters of fragrant, white blooms.

    Forcing them to bloom indoors is as easy as putting the bulbs in a water dish with some stones or marbles to anchor them. Paperwhites will bloom for a week or two before fading. The flowers will last longer in a cooler spot with dappled light.

  • 23 of 34

    Caladium (Caladium spp.)

    closeup of a caladium plant

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Caladium has beautiful, colorful, shield-like leaves appearing variegated, stippled, and striped pinks, whites, reds, greens, and purples.

    If growing them in water, change the water weekly and give the plant water-soluble plant food. As a South American understory plant, it only needs dim, indirect light.

  • 24 of 34

    Stingray Alocasia (Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Stingray’ )

    A close up image of a small Alocasia stingray leaf in a taupe pot against a white wall.

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    Stingray alocasia hails from the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. It looks somewhat similar to Alocasia zebrina but has leaves more in the shape of a stingray body.

    Unroot an alocasia from its soil and wash the dirt off the roots. Submerge the roots only. Change the plant's water every week and provide indirect sunlight. Feed the plant fertilizer every three weeks.

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    Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)

    closeup of ti plant

    The Spruce / Gyscha Rendy

    Ti plant, also called the good luck plant, can easily grow in water, with roots forming in about two weeks.

    Take a 5 to 8-inch cutting from a healthy plant. Remove the bottom leaves, and put the cutting in a clean glass jar or vase with some pebbles. Place the plant near bright, filtered sunlight. The cuttings will form roots in 10-14 days. Give the plant water-soluble fertilizer every three weeks.

  • 26 of 34

    Sweetheart Hoya (Hoya kerrii)

    Hoya kerrii plant with variegated heart-shaped leaves near glass mister

    The Spruce / Cori Sears

    These Valentine's Day sweetheart plants have gained the name for their thick, heart-shaped leaves.

    To cultivate these plants in water, take a 5 to 10-inch cutting from a healthy, established plant with at least two nodes (bumps along the stem) and about five to six leaves on the end. Add a few drops of fertilizer to the water once a month, or use a foliar fertilizer sprayed on the leaves.

    Keep the plant in indirect sunlight; the bright sun can burn its leaves. Keep the plant warmer than 68 F. Any colder, and the plant can start to fail. Don't let it get hotter than 75 F for a sustained length of time.

  • 27 of 34

    Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.)

    White and pink phalaenopsis orchids in living room

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    For some, growing these stunning tropical beauties in water is much easier than figuring out their soil needs. If removing from soil, wash off all the dirt before submerging only 1/2 or 2/3 of the roots in water. Orchids need their roots to dry out somewhat.

    Replenish water, keeping it at a constant level. Change all the water once every week or two. Give a very weak dose of fertilizer with every water change, but only for a few hours, then change out the water again. Also, ensure no leaves are below the water line; they will rot.

    Orchids may need supports or ties to keep the branches upright.

  • 28 of 34

    Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

    closeup of a prayer plant

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    Prayer plants are native to Brazil, growing beautifully in the understory of the rainforest. It loves humidity and protection from the strong sun.

    This plant is not an aquatic species, so it's not its natural habitat and will not thrive in water, but it can live there with hydroponic fertilizer every three weeks.

    Change the plant's water every two to three weeks.

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    Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)

    Monstera growing in water

    DuKai photographer / Getty Images

    Monsteras produce beautiful showy leaves filled with dramatic splits and holes called fenestrations. 

    They prefer bright indirect light for several hours a day, but keep them out of direct sunlight because it can burn the leaves and encourage algae growth in the water.

    Top off any water that evaporates and change the water whenever it looks murky. Clean the roots once a month and clip away any brown or rotting roots. Use hydroponic fertilizer to feed your monstera once or twice a month.

  • 30 of 34

    Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei)

    closeup of aluminum plant

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    Pilea cadierei, also called the aluminum plant or watermelon pilea, is an Asian native species of flowering plant in the nettle family.

    You can transfer an established plant with roots into a container with water or take a stem cutting and submerge the newly cut stem into the water. The stem will form roots after several weeks.

    To replace the nutrients the plant is missing from soil or rainwater, give the plant hydroponic fertilizer once a month. Change the water every two weeks or sooner if the water appears murky.

  • 31 of 34

    Diffenbachia (Dieffenbachia)

    closeup of dumb cane leaves

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    Dieffenbachia is a fast-growing tropical plant that can grow 2 feet high in one year when propagated from a cutting. However, in a water-only medium, the plant rarely reaches max height.

    Dieffenbachia likes partial sun exposure and will grow well in the middle of the room on a coffee table, or in any room in your home with filtered sunlight.

    Change dieffenbachia's water regularly to refresh its oxygen content and pull out any leaves that fall into the vase.

    Dieffenbachia can easily be repotted when it grows out of its vessel—simply move the plant to a bigger vase.

  • 32 of 34

    Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

    closeup of croton leaves

    The Spruce / Kara Riley 

    Croton's speckled leaves make it an interesting addition to your hydroponic garden. It can also be grown outdoors in the right environment.

    Croton likes direct sunlight from a nearby window, so make sure to grow it in a south- or west-facing window of your home. Change a croton's water regularly, and make sure to give it a light fertilization every few weeks.

    Croton is finicky about temperature and like things warm. Make sure to grow it in a room above 60 F that is free of drafts.

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    Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

    Fiddle leaf fig growing in water

    Ratchapoom Anupongpan / Getty Images

    Fiddle leaf fig is a tropical plant that grows best in warm, wet conditions, making it perfect for a soilless vase.

    Fiddle leaf fig likes bright, filtered sunlight and needs to be turned every few days so that different leaves get consistent sun exposure. If it's not rotated, it tends to lean towards one side, usually the side that gets more sun.

    This plant's large leaves make it top-heavy, so make sure the vase or jar you use is extremely sturdy.

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    String of Hearts (Ceropegia)

    String of Hearts (Ceropegia) growing in water

    AnSyvanych / Getty Images

    String of hearts is a popular ground cover that can also be cultivated in a water-only medium indoors.

    Filtered sunlight will allow your string of hearts to grow abundantly and produce magenta flowers. So, place this plant nearby a window, out of direct sunlight.

    String of hearts grown in soil dislikes overwatering, so make sure that only the roots of the plant are submerged in water to prevent rotting. Change the water every two weeks and provide a diluted liquid fertilizer regularly.