3 Houseplants You Can Easily Grow In Water (and ditch the dirt)

growing plant stem and leaf in vase of water

You’ve seen the Pinterest worthy pictures of living rooms with the stylish collection of lush houseplants and you envy their beauty. But, you worry about the mess.

How do they keep the dirt from spilling, or the water from overflowing? Not to mention, the insects that certain plants are sure to attract.

Choosing to grow houseplants in water instead of soil lets you add some beautiful greenery to your living spaces without the mess.

Here’s a few tips to help you easily grow stunning houseplants in water.

Ditch the Dirt

Houseplants can be messy. One of the most common complaints is when soil spills from the edges. It’s one thing for it to spill over and you notice right away and clean it up but it’s a whole different story if you have little paws or feet in the house who trample through the spilled soil and trample it all through the house.

Some animals and children also look at a plant’s soil as their own playground and start looking for buried treasure, digging out the dirt and flinging it further than you’d think is possible.

Thankfully, not all plants need soil which eliminates this mess all together.

Soil’s main purpose is to act as a fixture for plant support and provides a way for the plant to hold and absorb moisture and nutrients.

However, not all houseplants require soil in order to grow. Turning to hydroculture (growing plants in water) gives you the upper hand as you’ll no longer need soil and will still be able to grow a beautiful plantation. Most plants actually do very well in a water based solution.

Ditching the dirt and opting to grow houseplants in water allows you to eliminate dirt, dust and other health related issues associated to having soil in the home.  

How Is It Possible To Grow Houseplants in Water?

Hydroculture is the method of growing plants without soil. Typically, a clay aggregate is used to anchor the plant in place. You could also use stones or marbles. This will support the plant and give it strength to grow by keeping the roots steady.

Using a hydroculture method to grow plants means the plant’s roots will remain submerged in water. Now, don’t worry, this will not kill all plants as some people think it will. The roots will have the space necessary for storing oxygen in their outer cells which will keep them alive.

Growing plants using a hydroculture method has many advantages. Feeding and watering only requires a top up of the reservoir or a water change, you’ll eliminate the possibility of attracting soil born insects and you won’t find yourself constantly sweeping up dirt which could be traced through the house by your pets.

Related Reading: How To Root Plant Cuttings In Water

It’s Important To Choose An Appropriate Pot

If you’re going to ditch the dirt and attempt to grow houseplants in water you’ll want to choose a pot that is water friendly.

Avoid metallic pots as these tend be filled with a water based nutrient solution and will leak or rust given the ongoing exposure to water.

Instead, stick with glass, plastic or ceramic. A glass pot will make it easier for you to monitor the water level, or you can purchase a moisture meter which will help you monitor the water levels in non-glass pots without disturbing the plants.

Easiest Houseplants to Grow In Water

Air Plants

Air plants absorb moisture through their leaves. They do not require soil and are low maintenance, making air plants easy to care for. Since they do not require a pot and soil, they provide endless display opportunities throughout your home. 

Related Reading: Creative Air Plant Display Ideas

When it comes to watering your air plants there are two options. The best way to completely rehydrate your air plant is through a plant bath. Submerge your air plants in water for 6-12 hours once per week to see the fullness of your air plants return. After their bath, gently shake any excess water off so they don’t drip onto your surfaces.

The other way you can water air plants is by regularly misting them. This method does require you to spray your air plants until they are drenched and will need to be done much more regularly than a plant bath in order to keep them fully hydrated. This method can get a little messy and you risk the possibility of getting water stains, or worse yet, water damage, on your surfaces. Our suggestions is to stick with the plant bath for best results.

If you’re up for a DIY project, check out this simple tutorial and make your own funky upside down hanging air plant containers.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo is the great way to add a little Feng Shui to any room and is said to represent happiness and good luck. Lucky bamboo does not require direct sunlight, making it perfect accent piece for those low light areas in your home.

When choosing a pot for your lucky bamboo (if you don’t like the one it came in), look for one that is proportionate to the size of the lucky bamboo. You don’t want a pot that is too short, resulting in your lucky bamboo getting top heavy and tipping over.

Place the end of the bamboo in your pot, then fill the pot with stones or colored marbles to keep the stem steady. Cover the stones with distilled water. You’ll need to top up the water as it evaporates and do a complete water change every two weeks for best results. 


Philodendrons thrive indoors, providing rich greenery to your living space year round. This plant does best in a bright area yet out of direct sunlight.

Place approximately 6 inches of your Philodendron in a glass of water and watch it grow. You should change the water every 3-4 days, but monitor your plant closely as it may drink more than anticipated based on the moisture level in your home. If you notice the leaves starting to turn yellow it means your plant is under watered.

Seriously, not all houseplants need dirt

If you’ve been holding off on adding some lush greenery inside your home because of the mess, I hope this has provided you with a clean alternative.

Livening up your home with some houseplants is sure to bring good positive vibes to your space, something we could all use a little more of.

grow houseplants in water - monstera stem in clear vase