Photo: PohKim via Adobe Stock
The first time I propagated a houseplant was completely by accident. While combing through the tendrils of my string of pearls plant (it’s oddly therapeutic), a few strings of said pearls popped right off. Not wanting to chuck them in the compost bin, I grabbed a vintage glass bottle and filled it with water, allowing the roots to sit in it while the rest of the pearls cascaded gracefully over the side. It looked, as Lizzo would say, good as hell.
According to Pinterest’s November insights, searches for “indoor water gardens” — aka houseplants you can propagate in water or grow entirely underwater — have spiked 334 percent year-over-year. Style them with rocks, marimo moss ball or fish friends. And if you’re looking to grow your collection of houseplants, you can repot the cuttings in soil once they’ve begun to sprout roots in water.
Here, Pinterest has identified the top six houseplants that thrive in water. Scroll on to find out if any of your faves made the list.
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1. Fiddle leaf plant, +2476% year-over-year
Fiddle leaf fig trees can be finicky, but propagating their stem cuttings is fairly easy. It will likely take about a month for it to begin sprouting roots, so patience is key! Once you’ve got substantial growth in the roots, you can transfer the cutting into soil.
2. Pothos varieties, +531% year-over-year
I live in a cave/apartment that receives hardly any sunlight and my pothos is still kickin’. When you snip off the vines of these hardy houseplants, make sure to cut them into individual stems, just below the root nodes (those brown stubby things).
3. Succulents, +236% year-over-year
Succulents are most often propagated in soil, but you can also give water a whirl. Suspend the cuttings in the air, over a water source, so the roots grow gradually towards that H2O. Here’s a quick video tutorial using only a mason jar, plastic wrap and a toothpick.
4. Snake plant varieties, +220% year-over-year
I know what you’re thinking — snake plants basically hate being watered, they love it when you go away on vacation and just leave them the hell alone. But the water propagation process for snake plants is easy peasy. Just remember to let the tip of the leaf cutting callous for a few days before placing it upright in a glass of water.
5. Lucky bamboo plants, +185% year-over-year
For me, no visit to IKEA is complete without snapping up a stalk of lucky bamboo. This plant is ridiculously easy to grow in water — I like to display it in a clear glass KORKEN bottle, also from IKEA. Replace the water (preferably distilled or left out overnight to remove any additives) every seven to ten days.
6. Spider plant propagation, +76% year-over-year
Chlorophytum comosum is the rabbit of the plant world, constantly reproducing with no end in sight. Spider plants grow dozens of ‘spiderettes,’ which you can cut or pluck from the mother plant and root in a shallow layer of water (just enough to cover the roots). To speed up the growing process, cover the propagating plant with a glass cloche or plastic bag.