When people think about gardening, a few things may pop up in their minds. Soil, water, sunlight, fertilizer — all of these are essential nutrients in helping varieties of plants grow and thrive. But what if there was a way to grow these plants without one of these nutrients present, particularly soil?
Known as “hydroponic farming” this method of plant propagation has been considered a beginner-friendly technique to cultivate water plants. Both experienced green thumbs and beginner garden enthusiasts have ventured into hydroponic farming and gardening. This is an easy and convenient way of allowing plants like pothos, spider lilies, philodendrons, and many more, to thrive without a solid substrate.
For many years, growers have been taking advantage of hydroponic farming to make even non-seasonal produce all year round.
For the average homeowner, on the other hand, water plants have since become an indoor staple — for improved aesthetics, or for simply introducing a touch of green into any space. If you’re planning to grow your own water plants, listed below are some tips to help get you started. Read on.
Find A Plant To Grow
When choosing a water plant, you have a breadth of selections to choose from. The water lily or hornwort may already be an obvious choice for those into aquatic gardening, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these.
Some examples of indoor plants that can be adapted to water are the following: pothos, philodendron, spider plant, wandering jew, monstera, basil, caladium, and many more. All of these grow perfectly well without being rooted in the soil, receiving ample nutrients in the process.
A great tip before you choose a plant is to find out if it can grow in water in the first place. Some are fit for this type of gardening, but other plants may drown and eventually wither.
Choose the Right Container
Unlike typical gardening, hydroponics don’t necessarily require clay pots or vases to grow in. Instead, simple glass containers, jars, jugs, or even a water bottle will suffice. As much as possible, choose a container that’s transparent enough for you to track the plant’s growth.
A spacious mason or spice jar works best with this type of plant. It will allow you to observe the plant’s roots, leaves, and color as they sit over time. Transparent containers also make it easier for growers to assess if the water needs any change or if there are any invasive species inhibiting the plant’s development.
Practice Proper Fertilization
Just as growing plants in the ground will require a healthy soil substrate and fertilizer to live, so will water plants. Fortunately, there are a ton of pre-made fertilizer mixtures available store-bought, or online.
Typically, water plants will require plenty of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium, nitrogen, and other micronutrients. Your water composition will need just enough of these to make the plant survive — too high or too little nutrient content and it may already cause problems for your plant’s survival rate. The water should also be at acceptable pH levels (around 6 to 6.5) before planting. A good habit is to first test the hardness of your water. Over-the-counter test kits are available at your local hardware or garden store.
You can also opt to mix your own fertilizer. Banana peel liquid fertilizer, for example, can be made by simply submerging banana fruit peels in water for several days. This allows minerals like potassium to seep into the water solvent, ready for immediate use. Place drops of your homemade organic fertilizer into the water every month or two, or as needed.
Get Ample Sunlight
It goes without saying that water plants also need enough sunlight, similar to their soil counterparts. Keep in mind that the amount of sunlight exposure also depends on the type of plant you wish to grow.
Beginner-friendly water plants like the philodendron, for example, will survive under medium indirect sunlight. Make sure to place the container on window sills, or any room in your house with adequate sunlight presence.
Properly caring for your own water plants may be daunting in the beginning, but you’ll soon get the hang of it once you stick to the basics. Generally, different water plants will have varying levels of care — some are ideal for beginners while some plants may need an experienced green thumb. Whatever the case, sticking to the fundamentals above sets the baseline for how healthy your indoor water plant and modern home will be.