10 Houseplants to Grow in Water

The shared pain of salvaging together something palatable after a long day remains one of the crises of modern life: what’s for dinner. Maybe you’ve answered the question by reluctantly trudging to the refrigerator and rummaging through leftovers, or you’ve decided on ordering delivery through Uber Eats. 

If you’re someone that finds comfort in Salisbury Steak, despite its much-maligned reputation, then it stands to reason that you’d prefer your houseplants to thrive on a no-fuss diet. Even if you’re more of a food connoisseur, it can still be helpful to have plants that subsist solely on air and water. 

These houseplants, submerged peacefully in their watery domains, will not warrant a scolding at inopportune hours, unlike noisy housemates – a relief when all you can think about is what’s for dinner. 

Can you grow your houseplants in water permanently?

Many houseplants can grow in water indefinitely, if not permanently. Some can survive in the water for years and even decades. Typically, offshoots from larger plants are placed into the water for a while (make sure the foliage is suspended above the water), then transferred to potted soil. Beware of root shock, which may occur in established plants that have acclimated to water. 

Though they are deemed low maintenance, that does not mean no maintenance. Don’t forget to replenish the water regularly and snip off roots once they become overgrown. Occasionally, add a few drops of organic houseplant fertilizer to boost growth. 

What are some other low-effort plants I can grow in my own home?

Plunking random cuttings into vases and jars can quickly become addictive, and many gardeners choose to grow a myriad of low-maintenance plants alongside their hydroponic greenery. Supplement your ragtag collection of water-dwelling plants with other practically unkillable alternatives such as herbs grown in self-watering herb planters or air plants, which, true to their name, don’t require soil to live.  

Here are our top 10 house plants you can grow in water.

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioide)

With its cheerful, rotund leaves, it’s easy to see why the Chinese Money Plant has become associated with prosperity. Small cuttings of the plant can be propagated in water for casual enjoyment. In fact, gardening lore has shown that they fare better that way. Scraggly, leggy foliage is a sign that it’s not getting enough light – place it near a windowsill to remedy it.   

Heartleaf Philodendron

This tenacious vine will always respond to the roll call of houseplants as ‘alive,’ though some gardeners may wish otherwise. It is not the most stylish plant, but its commendable ability at thwarting any threats directed at it – overwatering, underwatering, and general neglect – makes it a formidable ally to those cursed with a dangerously unlucky streak of houseplants dying on them. 

Lucky Bamboo                  

In myth, bamboo groves present a striking schematic, though at night, they gain a darker side, and malicious specters are said to lurk in their midst. With lucky bamboo (not real bamboo, but actually a member of the genus Dracaena), you don’t have to worry about stumbling upon any baleful demons. Beyond ample, indirect light, they don’t require much. The only thing to note is that it abhors the chemicals within tap water – notably chlorine and fluorite. Instead, use filtered or spring water. One of its perks is that its stalks can be twisted into fun, decorative shapes, from lattice-like formations to curlicues. 

Snake Plant   

A tough succulent known for its variegated leaves, snake plants can tolerate low light conditions. It is commonly propagated by rooting an individual frond in water. As its leaves can shoot upwards to dramatic lengths, choose a tall vase with a narrow opening to prevent it from toppling over; trim any yellowed leaves to maintain shape – a hori hori knife can cleanly sever though its fleshy foliage. 

Broken Heart Plant (Monstera adansonii)

Resembling a gnawed heart (fenestrations is the scientific term), the broken heart climber, like all plants in the Monstera genus, favors water. Also known by the less poetic moniker of Swiss Cheese plant, its characteristic foliage makes it an interesting contrast to other houseplants – amusing, in a wry way. It prefers indirect light. 

String of Hearts 

The preferred mode for the string of hearts plant is to recline indolently in hanging planters like some fairy-tale character, but it can also grow in water. Left submerged, it will spill over the edges, rapidly evolving from cuttings into a mat-like layer of vines festooned with silvery leaves. Its vines look best when trailing forlornly yet whimsically over the sides.
Green Onions           

It is not unheard of for gardeners to regrow green onions repurposed from the grocery in glass jars filled with water. One downside is that the regrowth tends to be bland, with each iteration more and more lacking. However, it can be a fun experiment to try once a while and save a little extra money. 


Begonias can range from stems laden with profuse flowers (tuberous) or serrated leaves tinged with maroon (Rex varieties) – some even sport jaunty polka dots. Cuttings from a single leaf will eventually form a wholly new plant. Unlike other houseplants, it will take longer to form roots, but sooner or later, they will begin to develop. All begonias seek bright, indirect light – an ideal location is near a large window with a gauzy curtain to shield them from sun. 

Peace Lily   

The peace lily is a classic houseplant that brings a calming aspect to the home. Unfortunately, peace lilies can’t be propagated through cuttings, and you’ll have to dig them up and divide them – a process that can get somewhat messy. Some have opted to purchasing a small plant at the local retailer and transferring the entire plant. To ease its transition into water, follow these instructions.  

Jade Plant  

With their stout, oval leaves, jade plants are funny-looking plants that are begging to be experimented on. Native to South Africa, they will readily flourish in water with a few modifications. To propagate a jade plant in water, take a stem cutting and leave it alone for a couple days for it to develop a callus. Then, place it in a shallow jar and wait for it to grow roots. 


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