If you’ve thought about starting a garden, then let’s assume you’ve decided on the type of plant, and are wondering how to grow plants in water. Well, for starters, think again. Most plants make us happy, and yes they do add great aesthetics to any environment, but they can also be quite difficult for the beginner grower to handle, and require regular maintenance. So, from the onset, advise starting out with a plant that never has to be watered, is virtually impossible to kill, an asset to your garden, and then read on… we’ll show you how to grow plants in water.
Indoor growing and outdoor growing are different, although the two styles of gardening usually go hand in hand with each other. When you start looking at how to grow plants in water, the first things to note is if it is a traditional drought tolerant variety, or whether it is a water retaining variety. Many of the indoor growing varieties are designed to grow well in artificial water conditions, whereas the drought tolerant ones will not, as their leaves will wilt and die when water is scarce. The best choice in such a situation is to go for the indoor growing variety of species. However, if you do get an indoor growing variety of species, ensure that you place the pots in an area where water is available, perhaps in a window box (some plants like the Shasta Gold, Red Cardinal flower) or a water auger (more on that later).
The second step in how to grow plants in water is, of course, the location. Choose a spot where the water can drain freely, as the roots of the plant will tend to expand if they are not able to drain properly. It is not a good idea to put the pots in a corner, as the roots may spread and take over the whole window. Place the pots in an area that has direct access to the outside, either through a door or an outside window that is large enough to allow draining. You will also want to consider the seasons.
The third step in how to grow plants in water is the timing. If you have chosen the traditional species that needs a lot of sun, such as the Red Cardinal flower, then it is a good idea to place the pot in a shaded area, or half way into a building. All other plants need at least three hours of direct sunlight each day, so ensure that you keep the garden door open, or at least a little open during the hours when the main sunlight is not available. On hot summer days, it is wise to shade your plants using curtains, blinds or any other method of temporary shade that you prefer, rather than using pots. This will give the plants a chance to acclimatize to the changing weather conditions.
Once you have established how to grow plants in water, it is important to choose the right kind of potting soil. Soil used for outdoor gardens tends to have clay-like properties, so it is best if you can establish a well drained niche for your plants in water. It may be beneficial to place your pots on a potting bench, as the soil can be tilled to remove any unwanted soil, or just plucked from the root ball. Watering is also important – make sure to water deeply, especially in the early morning when the temperature is high.
One of the best plants for this is Begonia, which produces blooms in the springtime. They are very easy to grow, needing only basic nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Plants that grow well in water are the Anthuriums, Echinacea, Gardenia, Lilium, Pennyroyal, Rosyellas, Squash, Sedumena, Stachys and Watercress. All of these plants will thrive even in heavy wet clay soils.
If your houseplants will be placed outdoors, you should also consider planting a variety of flowers that do well in both wet and dry soil conditions, such as Anthuriums, Catmint, CMS, Mimulus and Creeping Mazus. These plants will thrive in full sunlight and drier conditions. But even indoors, there are a wide variety of houseplants to choose from – look at the catalogues or go online to view photos of plants. Try and get a good range of hardy varieties, as well as ones that can cope with different growing conditions and indoor temperatures.
When you have planted your plants in water, you should make sure to keep them well watered until the soil drains around the base of the plant. Then use a mild dish soap or mild laundry detergent (such as Dawn dish detergent) to clean the container of excess moisture. Be sure to rinse all pots thoroughly, particularly if you intend to repot the plant into a larger container. Repotting into a larger pot often results in plant death because water is lost through the porous surface of the pot. Once repotting, follow the guidelines above for watering and make sure your plants get the required amount of water.
If you are wondering how to grow plants in water, chances are you have not tried it or have not much experience with hydroponics. While it is not as simple as growing vegetables or herbs in water, it does yield rewarding results for a fraction of the time. You’ll enjoy the health benefits of indoor gardening without the work of growing outdoors.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of growing plants in water, thinking that it requires an advanced knowledge of how to cultivate houseplants. It really doesn’t, and there are plenty of books and articles that help new hydroponic gardeners understand the basics. What you need is a simple houseplant container that you can buy or make, some potting soil, a simple supply of water (preferably filtered, if you want to avoid adding lime or chlorine to your water), plant food and some plant fertilizer. If you are growing houseplants, a simple solution is a plastic terra-cotta pot or a window box that is big enough to hold at least one plant. If you are growing tropical houseplants, keep in mind that some require a deeper bass than others, and they grow best if you can provide them with more light than you are able to get in your apartment or house.
One of the most daunting tasks when learning how to grow plants in water is keeping your water clean. If you have a fountain or a water feature in your home or office, it’s especially important to be aware of cleanliness. If the water gets dirty, algae will form and it can spread to other parts of the plant and contaminate the air in your house. Algae is especially a problem with rocks and concrete surfaces. If your indoor water garden is near a shower or a bathroom, make sure to clean it frequently.
When you start learning how to grow plants in water, you’ll need to learn about nutrient cycles. One of the things you should know is that nutrients can degrade quickly. This happens when there is a lot of sunlight or if there is a lot of moisture in the soil. What you want to do is keep your water as rich as possible with nutrients and water – the less you have to work the soil, the better.
Another key step in learning how to grow plants in water is how to control the amount of light the soil and plants get. It’s very common for people to over-water plants because they are given a certain amount of sunlight in a certain season. This can be done by purchasing a timer that you can set to give certain amounts of sunlight and water based on what you need. But the biggest way you control the light is by choosing the right plants. If you use too many trees, you will be lighting too much of the soil, which means the nutrients will be burned off very quickly. So you should choose plants such as water lilies and gardenias that will bloom for a short time each year, then just stop watering them.
When you’re learning how to grow plants in water, you will need to start out with a jar that has a thin lid or an airtight can. Any container with a tight lid will work fine, but airtight jars tend to hold more nutrients than other kinds of jars. Put the jar in a sunny spot and add some good fertilizer. Once the jar starts to saturate, you can put a cloth over the top so that the nutrients don’t Leach out into the soil.
When you’re learning how to grow plants in water, you should take all your cuttings, no matter how small they may be, and place them into a small ceramic pot. The best potting medium is a mix of peat moss, perlite, and clay aggregate. Clay aggregate is ideal because it holds moisture without being too absorbent. You can add as much or as little of these ingredients as you want, depending on how much water you’re getting and what your soil is like in that container.
Your first move as you learn how to grow plants in water is to get a starter kit for hydroponics. A starter kit will have everything that you need to get started and will let you learn how to care for your plants as you go along. Keep in mind that some of these kits contain instruction on how to grow a fruit plant, so you may have to do that separately. As you become more experienced, you can branch out and teach your kids how to grow different kinds of plants, from herbs and vegetables to ferns and trees.