ON HOLIDAY LEAVE | Shop on closed through 1/1/24

Plants That Grow in Water: Indoor Gardner's Guide

Large propagation plant wall

Keeping up with houseplants can be a daunting task. Did I remember to water this plant? Do we need to re-pot it? How often should I water it? There are even apps designed to make indoor plants more manageable. Plants that grow in water make indoor greenery less of a chore and liven up your living space without any added stress.

Many plants thrive in just water. With water vases, it is easy to determine when you need to add water (and you don't have to worry about watering too much). When taken care of, plants that grow in water should last for years - perfect for even the anti-green thumbs.

If you're looking for easy-to-maintain indoor plants, this is the guide for you! Your search is over for the perfect plants that grow in just water. In this article, you’ll learn about different types of houseplants, tips for growing a houseplant, and some of the best plants that grow in just water.

Do All Plants Need Soil?

No! However, not all plants will continue to live in just water. Most plants can propagate in water to start new growth, but the plant families that continue to grow best in just water are aroids and succulents.

If you’ve ever tried to grow a plant, you may have learned that plants need soil and water. This is often true, but there are some exceptions. Some plants thrive in water or don’t need soil because they can get their nutrients from the water alone.

How Much Light Do Hydroponic Plants Need?

Light is a key aspect of keeping your plants healthy. There is a balance between too little light (where they won't be able to photosynthesize) and too much light (where their leaves will burn and brown).

The majority of plants in water do best in medium light. Look for bright rooms, and place your vases on a wall that does not get direct sunlight. If your home doesn't have great natural light, you can always supplement with grow light bulbs. In these conditions, you can be sure your indoor water garden plant will be happy!

You can find a guide on any plant on our site here. But when in doubt, find medium or bright indirect light for your plants to thrive.

The Best Plants to Grow in Water

Alocasia Growing in Water


Alocasia come in all sort of sizes and shapes, and are best defined by their stunning leaves with beautiful patterns and designs. Alocasia and Colocasia plants can often be found in nature growing in swamps, bogs, or lining lakes and rivers; making the transition to growing in water, hydro, or semi-hydroponic setups an effortless transition for them. 

Once established in water, most varieties will continue to throw out new leaves steadily through the warmer summer months. Larger varieties can sport leaves spanning 4ft, though the majority, in home environments will grow leaves to 1ft in diameter at most. 

We recommend growing these directly in water with a bit of nutrients in a tighter necked vase to support the plant upright. Larger varieties such as elephant ear varieties do great in leca or other semi-hydro mediums to offer better root structure to support their weight. Below are a few of our favorites. 


Anthurium Growing in Water

Anthurium Andraeanum

The botanical name for this plant is Anthurium Andraeanum. Other common names are Tail flower, Heart flower, and Flamingo Flower.

Anthurium plants are very waxy and hardy- making their care requirements little to none! It's important to note that they can be picky houseplants - so it's essential you give them proper lighting (but not too much!) as well a temperature that stays relatively stable in order to really thrive.

Anthurium plants don't actually have flowers but instead, have spathes or bracts. You can find these plants in tons of different colors like purple, white, and orange, which makes the perfect addition if you're trying to add diversity to your wall! Although most don't show signs of having any smell at all, some may occasionally emit a sweet fragrance.

These plants should not be kept where pets can eat them because they are toxic when ingested.

Coleus Growing in Water


This low-maintenance plant, which can grow to be around a foot tall, thrives in wet soil and shade. Many people don’t know that Coleus is one of the best plants that will thrive in just water. You should consider planting this low-maintenance plant, which can grow to be around a foot tall, if you have a shady area or lack of space. One great thing about Coleus is it doesn’t need much attention.

Calathea Medallion Growing in Water


The Calathea is a favorite at Modern Botanical due to its incredible leaves, green with stripes on the front and a beautiful dark pattern on the back. Calatheas are also known as prayer-plants, because at night you will see that their leaves raise and fold inwards like prayer hands. Although hard to find, they're quite loved due to their beautiful leaves and interesting patterns!

Calatheas may need just a little extra TLC than most plants if you want them happy and healthy- making these not so great for beginners or those who are super busy- but growing them in water has solved this problem. With proper indirect lighting, they'll be thriving up on your walls!

One of calathea's best features is that it tends to do well in low light conditions while still being pet safe!


Rubber Plant Growing in Water

Ficus Decora

Rubber Tree Plants are graceful and slender in nature. They're generally straightforward to care for, once they've adjusted to their new home. We know that they prefer brighter lighting than other plants do-the Fiscus Tineke is one of the highly variegated variants within the Rubber Tree family and tends towards higher light needs in order to maintain its beautiful leaf colors.

Something to keep in mind when growing a Ficus Tineke is that it hates sudden changes in environments, so you'll need to stay consistent with your plant care.

Toxic for pets and humans if ingested; watch out for milky substances leaking from your rubber tree if cut! This oozing sap can irritate skin, so wash with warm water or soap immediately after coming into contact with it.

Maranta growing in water


Maranta's are one of the most beautiful indoor plants you'll ever see! They have a mix between reds, greens, and yellows that look velvety. These plants grow from existing leaves and as they're ready to bloom, they shoot out more new leaves in all directions till it's time to flower again. One thing to keep in mind is that Maranta's need lots of water so their roots can stay healthy - too much sunlight will often lead them to brown spots or crispy ends.

If you notice your plant losing its variegation or drooping more than usual for longer periods of time then be aware your Maranta might not be feeling well!

Monstera Adansonii Growing in Water


Monsteras are unique, easygoing houseplants whose dramatic leaves are adorned with dramatic hole formations. Monstera plants vine and need bright light but will grow under fluorescent lights as well. They're tolerant of occasional missed watering so they make a good plant for inexperienced plant parents! The slits and holes in Monstera leaves are called fenestrations and are what make them so distinctive from other leaf types.


Peace Lily Growing in Water

Peace Lily

The peace lily is a beautiful plant that prefers to live in a shaded area. This is because sunlight can lead to harmful health issues for the peace lily. We find most of them thrive in areas without any windows, but with plenty of light coming from lamps or other sources (depending on the season).

Also, this beauty tends to grow large and fast so it's important to keep up with oxygen levels and supply proper care and attention- like many house plants! One key signifier of plant health is its leaves: if they're wilted there might be something wrong inside. The peace lily's mildly toxic nature means you should make sure your pup stays away from it!


One of our favorite facts about Peperomia is that the entire family of plants is pet safe, making them a great houseplant option for anyone with a mischievous cat or dog. 

These plants tend to be on the more delicate side and can go through spells of loosing leaves from time to time as temperatures fluctuate or light cycles change through the year. 

On the plus side, peperomias are a great option to add a splash of color or bit of sparkle to your growing in water collection.  


philodendron birkin growing in water


If you are new to hydroculture, Philodendrons can be a great plant option. The plant will grow in water and root easily. We Philodendrons to be hardy and fast growers. New cuttings will often grow roots within weeks of propagation and continue to thrive in water when given the right living environment. 

Though it's common to see Philodendrons draping from the wall or ceiling, they are a climbing species of plant and love being given the support of a moss pole, tree, or wall to climb.  


Golden Pothos Growing in Water


One of the most popular houseplants that grow in just water is the pothos plant. This plant has a trailing vine and can be used to fill up areas or windows with greenery. It's also known for its ability to clean the air. The pothos plant does not like direct sunlight, so make sure you keep this in mind when you place it.

Pothos plants are unique for the pattern on their leaves, as well as for being quick to grow. Plant parents love them because they're easy to care for and provide an aesthetic addition to any home!


Snake Plant

The snake plant became popular due to how adaptable it is in a wide range of growing conditions. They're pretty well recognized as being one of the easiest plants to care for in soil, a trait that extends to growing in water as well. 

We love the sword-like leaves that may be banded or edged with gray, silver, or gold depending on the variety. Roots often form within weeks of making them into one's home and new leaves will start emerging from the water and grow up in your vase.

In general, snake plants are super rewarding plants because they're resilient and their fast-growing nature makes them really easy to take care of too!

Spider Plant

Spider plants are a popular houseplant because they’re easy to take care of. Plus, they come in a variety of colors like green and white. This plant thrives in just water and doesn't need soil. The spider plant prefers indirect light, so make sure you place it away from the sun.

The Spider Plant is resilient and easy to care for ornamental plant. It features a bushy mane of long grassy leaves with green, white stripes and yellow outlines. 

On top of this, it has the ability to remove toxins from the air in just 24 hours!

Syngonium growing in water


The syngonium is also known as the arrowhead plant, and can be found throughout Latin America. This plant family is super diverse yet they have similar needs - generally. Since they're pretty easy to care for, adding the Syngonium Berry Allusion to your wall will make it more colorful! We find that a cutting with an exposed node will show roots within a few weeks of proper care in living conditions- once warmer months come around leaves will grow too!



This plant family can go by one of many names with our favorite being, "wandering dude."

This vining plant is one of the fastest growing houseplants we know of, both in and out of water. We've seen cuttings of tradescantia show roots within 48 hours quite often, and once established, new growth seems to be daily. 

You will find the Tradescantia plant in every nearly color of the rainbow, including beautiful pink pastels and glittery purples. 


Kitchen Plants


Herbs grow exceptionally well in water! This is because they will grow just about anywhere. The key to growing them though is starting with a healthy and established plant. You won’t get very far if you try to start these from seeds in the water.

Herbs tend to do best in bright direct light, so glass vases typically sold on our site aren't your best bet for these because too much algae build up will occur. We recommend opting for small hydroponic setups or ups and bottles that aren't see through. 



Vegetable Scraps

One of the best ways to propagate plants from scraps is with a system that uses water. A pot is placed in a shallow bowl of water and some vegetable scraps are placed in top. The plant will then form roots from the scraps and grow. The advantages of this method are that you don’t need to worry about soil--only water and scraps are needed. You can also move it around as you please, so it’s great if you happen to have a few different locations you’d like to grow your plants. Once they start growing roots, its time to move them into your garden.

How to Grow Plants in Water

You can easily keep your plants alive by keeping them in an area without much temperature variation and topping off the water every 1-2 weeks. We also sell nutrients that come with a full care guide.

Water is crucial not to only their growth but also to provide oxygen to support photosynthesis; however, you should replace or add new water if there's little remaining gas left because eventually, they will die from lack of oxygen if their water isn't replaced at all.


Our frames and wall hangersare designed with your home (and plants) in mind.

We know our product uses natural resources, so we make responsible decisions about sourcing. Our wood is sourced from generational forests that manage the harvesting and growth of their own trees. We minimize plastics in our packaging and use natural oils to finish off products- there are no shortcuts to caring for the planet!

With both wall mounts and table options available, your growing plants will thrive in a Modern Botanical glass vase.

Get Growing in Water