Indoor Aquatic Gardening: You Can Grow Plants in Water

Last winter, while visiting a school room, I was interested in several kinds of plants growing in water.

Most were common, but the growth method was an outstanding feature.

Indoor Aquatic GardeningPin

Indoor gardeners grow their plants in certain soil mixtures, but they grow in water alone with no soil visible. 

The intriguing thing about it was that the containers were clear glass, so the roots could be seen.

According to the teacher, this kept the pupils’ interest at a high pitch.

When I left the school and returned home, I thought of water culture and how home gardeners and apartment house dwellers, especially those without an outdoor plot of ground, would enjoy trying the method at home.

Plants Successfully Grown In Water

What are some of the plants that can be successfully grown in water, you ask? 

Common Sweet Potato

The common sweet potato is one of the most popular all necessary to select a well-formed potato with live buds or eyes; these are not kiln-dried. 

The tuber is placed in a mason jar or other container that fits it, with the lower half submerged in water, and the operation is complete. 

Charcoal placed in the bottom will absorb impurities. The plant should have a sunny window or one with some sun.

Amaryllis Flowering

It is unusual to see an amaryllis flowering in water, but it will do so if the bulb is of flowering size. 

Simply place it, so the base touches the water, and the unfolding flower stalk will develop before long. 

However, this beautiful plant will send out a flower stalk at any time, regardless of whether it is in water.

Autumn Crocus Colchicum

Another plant in the same category is the Autumn crocus, Colchicum. It, like the amaryllis, flowers even in the storage box if left alone. 

Placing several bulbs in a low dish with a minimum of water will send out the flower stalks, the individuals developing into the most interesting specimens. 

It is not long-lasting, but the fact that it flowers so easily always arouses interest. The pink tubular flowers are 3” to 4” inches wide.

Growing Of The Devil’s Tongue Bulbs

While I am mentioning bulbs that send out their flowers with or without water, I must mention that very obnoxious flower, the devil’s tongue from Cochin-China. 

When ready, the bulb grows to a large size and will send out a flower stalk 2′ feet or more in height.

It is a member of the arum family to which many of our most delightful plants belong. 

The flowers, dotted with greenish-purplish, have an atrocious odor that penetrates every crevice of a room. 

In fact, a gentleman telephoned the writer and asked what to do with the dozen bulbs he had. 

He said his wife told him that if he didn’t get rid of the plants, she would leave home! 

After flowering, and when the weather is warm, the bulbs can be planted in rich outdoor soil, where they send out an amazing leaf cut into segments that make it very ornamental.

Display Of Several Plants Growing In Water

When visiting the recently held outdoor industrial show on Lake Michigan in Chicago, I had to inspect the display staged by the Chicago Park District. Among other displays, I saw several plants growing in water. 

It consisted of rutabaga, carrot, and beets cut horizontally just below the top, or about two inches below, and placed in low containers.

They were sending out a mass of very pleasing foliage, and occasional watering was required.

Growing Early Tulip In Water

Has anyone tried to grow the early tulip Due to Vanthol in the water? 

Good, strong bulbs will do so, sending out their flowers without much attention beyond an occasional watering.

Paper White Narcissus Flowering

Everyone knows about the paperwhite narcissus flowering underwater culture, but the bulbs must be thoroughly cured and cooled, or they may send out foliage instead of good flowers. 

It is wise to anchor the bulbs with gravel, or their strong root system may push them upward at an angle.

Start in a cool, dark place until roots develop, then bring it to the light of a south window. 

Chinese Sacred Lily

The Chinese sacred lily is in the same class and may be treated similarly. It has a yellow center and white petals, which enhance its beauty.

There is much fun – garden fun – for the apartment house dweller if he grows the dumb cane in suitable water bottles.

Take a good, strong cutting and place it in a large bottle with charcoal in an east window that is screened by a thin curtain. 

The beautiful leaves soon appear and are a superb example of nature’s art. 

English Ivy And Wandering Jew

English ivy and wandering jew will last long when grown in this manner, but they must not be expected to endure for years. 

A small amount of a chemical plant food applied at intervals of 30 days will keep them going in a luxuriant manner.

They like a semi-shady location, such as an east or west window, during the dark wintry days. 

They should occupy the north window during summer when the light is more intense.

If they do not do well in one room, try another where the conditions may be more suitable.

Floating Plants For Added Attraction

Some floating plants can be used as an added attraction. Still, they usually enter their resting period during winter, thus requiring a lower temperature than the average room. 

High and dry conditions are the bugbear to the indoor plant growing, but if they can be corrected, better and more kinds can be grown. 

Some of the common floating plants are:

  • The Duckweed
  • Floating Heart
  • The Water Hyacinth

The latter is famous for its rapid increase and tendency to obstruct navigation in Southern waters.

Plants must have a certain degree of light to develop deep green foliage. Without it, they may turn yellow and eventually pass away. 

Tropical Plants Grown In Water

Many tropical plants grown in water are found in the tropics beneath the shade of trees, indicating their needs. 

Flowering plants usually need an abundance of sunlight if they are to attain their maximum beauty.

44659 by Frank K. Balthis