Simple Guide to Growing Plants in Water

5 Materials
15 Minutes

Do you have a green thumb? If not, it’s totally okay. This foolproof method of growing plants indoors will not only save you a lot of stress, but it will also save you a lot of money.Who doesn’t want to save money!?! In this post, we’ll talk you through growing plants in water so that you can multiply your lovely indoor garden. It’s so easy, you’ll love it! However, this is not a quick process, so don’t expect new plants to magically appear right away. That is why we suggest growing multiple at a time.

Growing Plants In Water

If you’ve read our post on  Indoor Herb Gardening for Beginners, you know that our house is full of plants and herbs. I think they warm up a room, make your house feel cozier, and are easy to take care of. During the colder months, when your plants are guaranteed to die outside, this simple method of propagating new plants is perfect.Instead of spending a ton of money on new plants or herbs, you can take clippings from your current plants, place them in water, then replant! It’s as simple as that.
Growing plants from cuttings in water is a basic form of hydroponic gardening, which is becoming increasingly popular. Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil. Many people have turned to this in urban areas because of their lack of land or space.
You have so many choices when it comes to deciding what you want to grow! The best part is, you can grow as many different plants, herbs, and vegetables as you want. The following are ones that we have grown ourselves and have had great success.Create an endless supply of your favorite herbs for cooking. Here’s our go-to list of herbs to grow in water:
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
There are also a few vegetable plants that grow best in water:
  • Chives
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
We tend to choose low-light indoor plants to grow because not all of our rooms get a lot of sunshine:
  • Brasil Philodendron
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Spider plants
  • Hedera or English Ivy

What Do I Need to Begin?

To begin you will need the following supplies:
  • mason jars or other glassware
  • water
  • plant clippings – from your own plants, or ask a friend to trim some for you!
  • planters/pots
  • soil

The How-To!

Step 1:Once you’ve determined what you’d like to grow or grow more of you’ll need to cut at least 8 inches of the plant, leaving 3-4 inches of leafless stem. See the photo below of the mint plant.
Step 2:Now place the stem in roughly 2 inches of water.
Step 3:Make sure the leaves aren’t in the water or they will rot.
Step 4:Let the clippings sit for 2-3 months in a sunny spot to allow the roots to begin sprouting. Change the water once a month or when it turns muggy.
As you can see in the photo, we have a Spider plant, Brasil, and Mint growing.
We also recommend cutting a few clippings of each plant so that your plant is full if you choose to pot it.
Step 5:Once your roots have sprouted, you can continue to leave the plants in the water or you can plant them in soil for your  indoor garden. There’s so many fun and simple ideas for making your herb garden your own. You can try hanging pots,  mason jars, window boxes and more! Plants such as chives, bok choy, and lettuce grow best in water only. We recommend keeping them and trimming them as needed for cooking.
When planting your newly sprouted roots, make sure you fully cover them in the soil. Water right away so that they can take root in the soil and adjust to their new environment.
Simple enough, right? What plants are you going to grow? If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email at!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Penny Tillery
    Penny Tillery
    on Jan 29, 2020

    How do you get tomatoes to grow. I would love to have them year round

    • John
      on Feb 10, 2020

      Just take your favorite tomato and cut it in slices like you would do for a sandwich. Get you a flower pot fill it up with potting soil and put a 1 or 2 slices in the pot cover them with about 2 inches of soil and water well and keep the soil moist and you’ll get more plants than you can use. Do it every year in the spring time here in New Mexico works like a charm every year

  • Sherri
    on Feb 5, 2020

    When I have tried to grow romaine and celery in water it does great for first few weeks and then it seems to die off. What am I doing wrong?

    • Chris Ann Hanousek
      Chris Ann Hanousek
      on Mar 20, 2020

      Just a guess. My hydroponic kit says not to use well water or softened water. If your source is one of the above, use bottled water.

  • Tammy
    on Feb 5, 2020

    How do you grow lettuce in water?

    • Cassie Benzinger
      Cassie Benzinger
      on Feb 5, 2020

      You can grow lettuce by placing the leftover stem after you eat lettuce you've purchased in water. I'd replace the water every couple of days and you can continue to trim and use the lettuce as needed and watch it grow!

Join the conversation

3 of 20 comments
  • Dee
    on Feb 7, 2020

    very nterested!

  • Anita J. Kyle
    Anita J. Kyle
    on Feb 11, 2020

    How can I keep my basil growing after the summer?

    • Cassie Benzinger
      Cassie Benzinger
      on Feb 11, 2020

      Mine grows well throughout the year inside, so I’d suggest re rooting plenty of stems in water then transferring to the soil. If you don’t get as much sun, you can always add a light to the space

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