Did you know that a ton of plants can grow hydroponically? Yessssss, you heard us right. A number of herbs and common house plants can survive entirely without soil. Mind = blown. Take a moment to process this and meet us on the other side.
We know what you’re thinking: how the heck does this work? Well, usually soil provides plants with oxygen, nutrients and helps them stay upright, but if you submerge a plant in spring water, which is packed with nutrients and use a vessel that will also prop it up, then you can ditch the soil entirely.
Roughly two weeks after you set up your plants in water, the roots will continue to grow – this process is called rooting. Trust us, you’ll be anxiously watching your plant and may actually jump up and down when you see it happening.
Setting up a water garden (as they’re often called) not only makes for a really fun DIY, it’s also a really beautiful and easy way to keep indoor plants alive. It’s practically failsafe. If you’ve got a brown thumb then this process is calling out your name.
I started my water garden in October and was really happy with how it turned out. Naturally, Alyssa and Vanessa were jealous and wanted to start one of their own, so it got put into our activity queue.
So, grab your pals and head to your local greenhouse or nursery. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about starting your very own water garden below. You’re welcome.
- A plant that will root in water. Apartment Therapy has a full list for which plants qualify here. There’s lots to choose from!
- A vessel with a thinner neck, to support the stem of the plant. Here’s a great option.
- Bottled spring or well water.
Here’s the process if you’re choosing to propagate a plant, like we did in the photo below:
- Grab your plant and cut just below where a leaf attaches to the stem, known as a node. This is where the plant’s natural rooting hormone is active. If you leave a section of stem below the node, it will likely rot off. Make sure that any part of the plant that will be sitting in water is free of leaves, as ultimately the leaves will just rot.
- Place the piece of the plant in a container filled with spring water. It’s important not to use tap water, as it just doesn’t have enough nutrients to support your plant.
- Make sure the root area is always submerged in water, so consistently top it off with spring water as the roots soak up what’s in your vessel.
- Monitor your plant to make sure it’s rooting. This should begin about two weeks after setting it up. Yay!
- The end result is a pretty gorgeous, low-maintenance houseplant.
Here’s the process if you’re choosing to support an entire plant in water, like we did in the photo below:
- Rinse the roots clean. And let us tell you, this took some time. After we completed an initial rinse, we trimmed the roots, especially around the sides, and rinsed it again. And again. Using a big bowl full of water and bobbing the plant up and down worked really well. This method also helps to avoid wasting water. We promise all this work will be worth it.
- Fill your vessel with spring water and place the plant inside, ensuring the roots are fully submerged.
- Look at your plant and feel proud of yourself.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: you could really use a drink to sip on during this process. We could not agree more, and we’ve got the perfect cocktail for you. It’s called the Aloe Ginger Spritzer. It delivers, and may be just as pretty as your water garden. You can grab the recipe here.
Walking on Sunshine
These tunes will match your excitement for planting, we promise.