Have you ever gaped at the colorful lotus flowers in the pond, appreciating how it stands differently from the commonly available terrestrial plants? And if you have, then as any plant lover, you would have thought of beautifying your garden with some water plant varieties. But, are you confused about which water plants to choose from and how to care for them? Then we have you covered with all the details. But before we help you select the best water plant for your house, let us first explain the details about what water plants exactly are.
What are Water Plants?
Water plants, aquatic plants, or hydrophytes are plants that can grow in an aquatic environment. These need water bodies or wetlands to grow. The plants have special parts that let them survive on the water’s surface or when submerged under the water. Some water plant species are particular about the kind of water they grow in, like saltwater or freshwater. These plants could be deep floaters that do not hold on to soil and float in the water body freely. They could be free floaters that float on the water surface. Or they could be rooted that have some parts floating on the water surface, but their roots are bound to the soil.
Why should you grow water plants?
If you are still contemplating growing water plants at home, then here are a few reasons to put your doubts to rest.
- Aquatic plants need less care.
- They create less mess than the terrestrial planets.
- With no soil, the problem of pests is eliminated.
- They are colorful and elegant to display.
- All you need is a vase, jar, glass, or even a test tube that should suffice to grow some of these aquatic plants.
Understanding the terminologies
Before you head to the nursery or an online store to buy aquatic plants, it is important to be well versed with the common water plant terminologies.
- Floaters – These plants do not need soil and float on water. They make a great water garden and can be placed in an indoor container.
- Oxygenating Grasses – These grow at the bottom and are submerged totally. They can be grown in aquariums and water gardens when kept in indoor containers.
- Marginals – These grow on the edge of the ponds and go around four to twelve inches below the water surface. They are known as emergent plants.
- Bog Plants – These usually grow on the pond’s shore with the water surface covering or slightly covering the soil.
- Deep Water Plants – These grow in the bottom of the pond. They need at least ten inches of water for the soil surface to be covered. To grow these plants, you will need a large container.
Planting and caring for the water plants
An indoor aquatic plant garden is mess-free to create and easy to care for. All that you need to do is to:
- Pick an aquatic plant
- Get a leaf or a stem cutting
- Place it in freshwater. This could be rain, bottled, or tap water. If using tap water, let the water stand for 24 hours for the chlorine to dissipate
- Keep the container in a bright area free from direct light. It should not be placed near a heat pump, fireplace, or radiator.
Water plants are low maintenance. Just top it up with water to replenish the evaporated water and change the water when it looks cloudy. A few drops of houseplant organic fertilizer could be added to keep the plant healthy. That is all about its care.
Already tempted to own some lovely water plants? Look at our list below to choose from.
11 Best Water Plants
Below is not the complete list of the best water plants. However, it is enough to help you get started.
1. African Violet
Grow an African Violet plant in water with its leaves. You may also choose the multicolor violets for a colorful water plant garden. Young and healthy leaves are the best to start with. Cut the leaf along with two inches of its stem and place it in a bottle with a narrow neck that will keep the leaf dry and suspended. It will take a month to notice the roots, and soon enough, you will see a tiny plant and its pretty crown.
2. Baby’s Tears
The water plant produces a dense and delicate trail. All that you need to do is to pinch a cluster of its stems either with or without the roots and place it in water. You will see how the plant quickly adapts to the aquatic environment. Leaves that stay submerged in water for long rot, so make sure to change the water once every week and remove the floating leaves. Once the roots form, drop the water level to deliver sufficient moisture to the Baby’s Tears plant.
The Begonia plant can be grown with just one single leaf. Its stem is succulent and thick. It takes a few months to observe the roots. Take care to change the water weekly so that the bacteria do not breed and rot the plant.
The tropical plant touches your senses with its purple, orange, and chartreuse leaves. Bunch up several varieties of this plant and see how easily it propagates and grows in the garden. Just take a six-inch cutting of the plant and remove the leaves at the bottom four inches. Place the cutting in a vase or glass filled with water, and you will immediately see the roots coming out. A little compost tea, when added to the plantlets it thrive better.
Impatiens adores water, and there is no denying this fact. Perfect to place in your shade garden, all you need to do is snip some stems off in the growing season. Grow them in a vase, and you will see the root and a clone of the parent plant.
The stem of the philodendron trails along and is one of the easiest plants to cultivate. They look beautiful when placed in vases. Just make sure that you choose to grow different colors and sizes of the plant. The plant grows well in all kinds of light. If you, however, notice that there are more stems than leaves on the plant, then move it to a place with a better placement of light.
The colorful and low-maintenance plant comes in a purple-leaf and a zebra-striped variety which stands as a focal point in any garden. The plant adapts well to moderate light, and all that is needed is some random clipping placed in water. So grab some stem and add it to your jar, and the plant will soon start to grow.
8. Chinese Evergreen
Easy to maintain and sustainable in low light conditions, Chinese Evergreen is for those who are looking for a no-fuss plant in their garden. There are various species of the plant, each with leaves of a different pattern and color. You have yellow, green, red, pink and white varieties. Clip a six-inch-long stem, place it in water in a bright room away from direct sunlight and see your Chinese Evergreen adorning the surroundings.
9. Dumb Cane
Add an aesthetic appeal to your space when you grow the Dumb Cane or the Dieffenbachia plant. Its variegated leaves are what draw the maximum attention. It is low care and grows well both in water and in soil. Cut six inches of the stem and place it in a container filled with clean water. It should be kept in a place that receives bright light but should not be directly exposed to the sun. The Dieffenbachia stems ooze out a toxic sap, so you may want to clip it with gloves as it could irritate the skin.
10. English Ivy
Visually stimulating, the Ivies are climbers used to cover structures and walls to create a dense ground cover. The English Ivy is a specular one that takes just four inches of its clipping to grow in water. First, ensure to cut the stem where the plant is green. The roots start to grow in a few months, and then all that you need to do is replant it in a pot or keep it as it is in water.
11. Lucky Bamboo
Lucky bamboo is not a bamboo plant but a kind of Dracaena. It has thick stalks that are bundled up and curled up to form intricate shapes. At first glance, they may seem to be cumbersome to maintain. However, on the contrary, they are low-care plants. Just place them in a vase or a pot with water and keep them bright but away from direct light and fertilize them every month or so with liquid fertilizer, and that is all about this plant. Keeping Lucky Bamboo at home is also known to bring good luck.
Whether it is for aesthetic reasons or to breathe healthy oxygen, the sight of greenery of the water plants blends with the calmness of the blue waters to create an effect that is stunning and visually stimulating.