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How We Grow Plants In Water + Why We Love Them In Children's Spaces

Growing plants in water at HWM

Ever since I can remember I have loved indoor plants. It's easier and more affordable to propagate plants and sometimes to share cuttings rather than buy plants new. By propagating plants I've also developed a love for growing plants in water. After having children I've discovered how well they work in children's spaces, not only their learning space but throughout the house! 

Roots  plant in water at How we Montessori Australia

Plants growing in water:

  • Add a 'living' element to the child's space without the hassle of a typical indoor plant.
  • Will show children what roots look like, not through a lesson or presentation but through the child simply observing them every day. 
  • Are interesting and wonderful to observe. 
  • Look a little cleaner and more modern, and they are often more spectacular than potted plants! They are good for areas where you don't want soil like the bedroom. 
  • Don't need as much maintenance as regular pot plants, they don't need to be watered as often. 

Large jar at How we Montessori

Small plant in glass bottle on window sill at How we Montessori

All of these roots (above) have grown from cuttings in water. I put the cuttings in a vase full of water on a high shelf and practically left them for a month. 

Small plant in glass bottle on window sill at How we Montessori

Small plant in glass bottle on window sill at How we Montessori

The plants we have grown in water with the most success include:

I've used whole plants and cuttings. Other ideas for growing plants in water include:

  • Plants from the kitchen, lots of things like basil cuttings will take root, spring onion off-cuts will regrow, and avocado seed can grow in water.
  • I currently have a string of hearts growing in water from a cutting, the roots are growing slowly and the plant looks healthy. 
  • Leaf Supply: A Guide to Keeping Happy Houseplants tells me that Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum), Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa), and Begonias will grow from cuttings in water.
  • Houseplant Journal also tells me that the Pilea peperomioides can grow and propagate in water, I might give it a try!
  • If you have a broken stem or leaf why not pop it in a jar of water and see if it grows.
  • You can force a bulb like a hyacinth in water, this is a lovely way to observe a plant growing roots. 

I look for interesting vessels in which to grow the plants including:

  • Jars
  • Glass vases
  • Drinking glasses
  • Old bottles
  • carafes, jugs or pitchers
  • Small wine bottles, oil or vinegar bottles
  • Science beakers
  • Small terrariums

I have found various glass vessels in:

  • Ikea
  • Vintage and Second Hand Shops 
  • Etsy - has some lovely jars but often at a premium price.
  • Supermarket - look for nice, large or different shaped jars (with food in them think pickles or pasta jars).
  • Garden and Lifestyle stores - I love the glass vessels at Garden Trading.

Other points: 

  • Most of our plants have done well in low light, the plants don't need to grow in a glass vessel, an opaque vase or container will work too. 
  • The plants don't need frequent watering, they need a top up but ours have lasted a long time (weeks) without refilling.
  • I've only ever used tap water and I haven't added fertilizer.
  • Most of my plants in water have grown really well and are healthy. I rarely get a yellow leaf but when it happens I remove it as soon as possible. 

 In the UK I regularly buy indoor plants including our Pilea peperomioides from Crocus

Philodendron in old jar at How we Montessori science shelves

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