5 Plants That Can Survive and Thrive in Water

These are great for indoor cultivation!

Photography: (L) Kelsey Brown (R) Max Williams | Unsplash

As you probably already know, you don’t always need soil to cultivate certain kinds of plants. Those that grow in water are great for indoor care as they often don’t need too much maintenance. Starting them out, however, may need a bit of preparation.

Read more: 5 Succulents That Don’t Need Lots of Sunlight

At the very least, water that’s changed every other day can allow these plants to survive, but if you want them to thrive, you’ll need more than that. According to Gardening Know How, once you’ve picked your container (make sure it’s opaque to reduce algae growth), “fill it three-quarters full with florist’s foam (or) gravel, pearl chips, pebbles…” The Practical Planter suggests water/gel beads or expanding clay to allow air to circulate in order to avoid root issues. For best results, mix a small amount of fertilizer (don’t overdo it!) in the water, or if you don’t have fertilizer, a couple pinches of sugar will do. Make sure to change the water regularly.


Interested in having your own indoor collection of water plants? Here are a few you can cultivate:


Pothos plants are some of the hardiest out there, and they can grow in both soil or water. A cutting with three nodes can already grow you your own in a few days. Make sure to change your water-and-fertilizer mix weekly.

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Peace Lily

If you want a plant with blossoms, the peace lily is your pick. A few pebbles at the bottom of your vase is optimal for root growth. According to Almanac, it’s important not to allow the plant to fall too deep into the water as this may easily cause rot. Indirect sunlight is best.

RL Tip: Peace lilies are great in improving air quality in your home!


English Ivy

English ivy grows and crawls beautifully. It takes time for it to root, however, as it may take a month before you see ample growth. This plant grows best in soil, but it can still thrive in water. It’s important to change its water regularly—don’t wait for its leaves to pale!



This herb actually grows in water! You can root it in a jar then transfer it to soil, or simply keep it in its original container if you wish. Give it ample sunlight, and this hardy green will easily survive.


Coleus, which is more locally known as “mayana,” is quite popular in the Philippines, and its cuttings can root in water after a bit of effort. “Your typical stem has a node on the end and an apical stem has a bud. Think of the apical stem as a second stem,” notes The Practical Planter. “To get the apical stem, the plant needs to be a mature plant. With that, take a cut up to six inches long. Using your fingers, pull away the leaves from the bottom part, leaving only the top leaves.”


Once you’re done, simply place it in water mixed with a small amount of fertilizer.

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