Plants for growing in water

Some plants are so easy-going you can take a cutting and just add water for the easiest indoor plants.

There are many plants that are so easily grown simply by putting the cutting in a bottle or glass jar and just add water. We all have known or been told of the devil’s ivy that was grown in a wine bottle and traversed the rooms via the window frames and stretched for metres. The hardest part was emptying the wine bottle to do this. The two things to remember are how to take the cutting and what plants to select.

Make sure you cut the stem just below the node or leaf when you take the cutting. That is the growing point in the cutting, if you cut just above the node, you will notice that the stem dies back to where the next node begins. In some cases, the die back goes past the next node and the plant dies. It is less stress on the plant to make the cutting about the size of a pencil or 20 cm. You always have the exception to the rule such as African violets who have no node to cut back to and it is simply the stem with the leaf attached. The second thing to consider is not all plants grow this way but it is exciting to trial this method.

Once you have placed the cutting in the water make sure you put it in a well-lit position, but not direct sunlight. Cut off most of the leaves, this is because leaving only three leaves assists the plant in its initial shock. If the leaf is large (such as a fiddle leaf fig) cut the leaves in half to help reduce the shock.  Remember the plant does not have any roots to supply water and so while it is adapting to the new growing conditions you need to minimize the amount of leaf surface for transpiration.  Change the water every three to five days to keep it fresh, and while doing this look for any pests that may have been unnoticed on the cutting. Within a few weeks, you will notice the roots start to develop, the cutting stretch out, and new leaves emerge. 

Once the roots have developed you need only top up the water as necessary. If the water container is in direct sunlight you may need to watch out for algae developing. If this occurs, the water needs to be replaced every three to five days and move the bottle out of direct sunlight. Once the cutting has developed additional roots and leaves you will need to consider fertilising.  A water-soluble fertiliser is needed, such as a half strength solution of SeaMax Organic Fertiliser Liquid mixed with water and placed in an atomizer to spray on the leaves. Be aware this may cause some staining of surrounding furniture and so once a month, move them into the laundry tub to rinse any dust off the leaves and freshen up the water. After that, you can spray them with the fertiliser mixture. After the spray has dried, move the plant back to its original position. 



The right method to take a cutting for plant water growing

When taking cuttings, cut just below the node or leaf where the new growth will start.



Some plants that tend to do well from cuttings are;

• Syngonium

• Philodendron

• African violets

• Rosemary

• Devils’ ivy or pothos

• Jade plants

• Fiddle leaf figs

• Rubber trees (Ficus)

• Dwarf umbrella plants

• Coleus

• Vegetables: Celery, leek, onions, garlic, fennel & bok choy bases


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