Water culture is the method of cultivating plants simply by growing in drainless, water-filled containers, such as jars, vases, glasses or bottles. Houseplants grown in water tend to grow more slowly than their pot-grown counterparts. However, water-grown plants need less-frequent watering and exhibit fewer infestations of soil-borne insects. Not all plants are suitable for water culture, but several houseplants adapt well to this method.
Red ivy (Hemigraphis colorata) is a foliage plant with simple, rounded and puckered, dark-green and burgundy leaves with a slight metallic cast. This plant prefers medium to low sunlight levels, such as light received 4 to 10 feet away from south-, east- or west-facing windows.
Grow plants in a water-filled container with a very slight amount of soluble fertilizer, replenish the water as necessary and change it completely every 2 to 4 weeks. Keep water-filled growing containers out of direct sunlight. This is a standard method of simple water culture.
Variegated Wandering Jew
Variegated wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminenis 'Variegata'), a hanging or trailing vine, displays cream and green-striped leaves. It tolerates adverse growing conditions and is easily rooted and grown in water. Pinch back the stems occasionally to promote fuller growth. This plant prefers medium sunlight conditions.
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) produce dense clumps of narrow, long-curving, leaf blades of green or green-and-yellow stripes. Plantlets grow on stems hanging well below the growing container and may be removed and transplanted to another container.
Arrowhead Plant 'Emerald Green'
The arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum 'Emerald Green') is a foliage plant with glossy-green, arrowhead-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches long. As arrowhead plants mature, the leaf joints or nodes produce short, potential roots useful for stem and leaf cutting propagation. Arrowhead plants prefer medium sunlight.
The creeping or hanging Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis), also known as creeping Charlie, has lush, roundish, succulent leaves. Promote fullness by pinching back terminal growth, borne at the end of a stem or branch. Swedish ivy prefers medium indoor light conditions.