Hydroponic house plants are completely soil-free which saves space, reduces mess and deters pests. A simple water and nutrient solution provides all they need to thrive! We’ve scoured the internet to find the best articles, videos and Instagram posts to help you grow your own lush hydroponic house plants. We’ve also included information on semi-hydro growing and tips for propagating cuttings in water.
Almost all house plants can be hydroponic
“Any plant can be grown hydroponically,” explains Michael Perry at Mr Plant Geek. Not only do hydroponic plants look like works of art inside the house, he says they also have zero risk of succumbing to soil borne pests like pesky fungus gnats, so they always look fresh and healthy. The good news is that “you don’t need to spend money on a fancy hydroponics set-up.” Read Michael’s helpful article to learn how easy it is to grow in water.
Decorative vases display hydroponic plants best
“Have you tried growing plants in anything other than soil?” asks Ria at @plants_paws_pastimes.She says that she’s propagated in water and tried semi-hydro growing, but fully hydroponic house plants are a new thing for her. Her vintage vases certainly make magnificent homes for this monstera and syngonium experiment. It’s all about enjoying the process, she says, and “when you find a technique that works it feels so rewarding!” Follow her on Instagram to see how it turns out.
Orchids are especially suited to growing in water
Orchids are particularly suited to growing hydroponically, says exotics expert James Wong from @botanygeek, “and they also have attractive looking roots.” His favourite is the moth orchid. Once you’ve removed it from the pot and teased away the bark chips, pop it into a glass vase and add enough water to cover the bottom third of the roots. James feeds his happy hydro plants by soaking the roots in liquid feed overnight once a month, and rinsing the next day. If you’re interested in the science of plants, you’ll love James’ botany-focused Instagram page.
Soil-grown plants can be transferred to hydroponic containers
Plants don’t need to start life in water to be grown hydroponically! YouTubing house plant legend Richard at Sheffield Made Plants demonstrates how to turn his soil-grown snake plants into hydroponic centrepieces in this excellent video. All you need to do is thoroughly rinse the plant’s roots under a tap to remove all the soil. He likes to fill his vases with colourful aquarium pebbles before adding the clean plants and topping up with water. Richard uses different coloured pebbles to create a bit of drama, but it also helps him remember where the roots of the plants are hidden so he can keep the water topped up correctly. Watch his quick calathea video if you want to try another.
House plants are easy to propagate in water
Even if you don’t grow your house plants in water, Sabrina Wolfe from @wolvesinlondon recommends propagating cuttings of your favourite house plants using hydroponic methods. Whilst you’re waiting for roots to form, replace the water in your propagation bottles regularly to keep it fresh and free from algae, she says. Watch Sabrina’s Instagram story to see how she propagates a glorious rubber plant.
Build a hydroponic tower as a fun weekend project
A hydroponic system can be as big as you like! Peter from A Thorny Pot built his impressive tower system by hand using PVC piping and a heat gun. He uses it to grow delicious veggies but a flower tower or house plant cascade would be just as fabulous. Make sure you carefully place the grow baskets so they’re facing upwards to keep the water securely contained in the system, he says. “It’s hard to describe the pure pleasure of growing in this way,” enthuses Peter. Watch his helpful video tutorial for lots of tips.
Hydrogen peroxide helps keep hydroponic water clean
Want to try growing hydroponic veg alongside your house plants? Growing crops in this way actually saves water! YouTuber Barry from Grow It! says it makes perfect sense to grow salad leaves, kale and even strawberries in his cheap and effective hydroponic box. His top tip? Adds a dose of hydrogen peroxide to the water. “It won’t harm the plant roots but will clear up any biological pollutants like algae in the water,” he explains. Visit Barry’s channel to learn how to build your own cheap hydroponic grow box.
Try semi-hydro methods to support plants without soil
If you’re growing plants that need a bit more support than water alone, Memo from Houseplantygoodness recommendstrying a semi-hydroponic medium like pon (a volcanic rock mix). He explains that pon is available in different ‘grades’ or sizes to suit the plants you want to grow. The smaller grade is best for finer roots like ferns whilst coarser grade is better for plants with thicker roots, he explains. Whatever size you use, use a clear pot so you can see what’s happening and be sure to drill holes to allow airflow. Watch Memo’s full video to learn more.
Find plants that thrive in semi-hydro mediums
If you prefer to use a semi-hydro system, it’s a good idea to know which plants like it! Luckily house plant sage Emma from Good Growing has tested a lot of them and, in her friendly video, she shares which indoor plants thrive in pon. Emma’s philodendron looks super happy and she explains that her gorgeous alocasias are thriving because the pon holds the moisture just where they like it. Nice one Emma!
Use distilled water with soil alternatives
Hydroponics isn’t just about water. Over at The Jungle Haven, Claire grows her impressive menagerie using perlite, sphagnum moss, pon and dehydrated clay balls called LECA which are all great options for soil-less growing. Whichever growing medium you choose, it’s important to add the nutrients that your houseplant needs, says Claire. Watch her excellent video on soil alternatives to learn more about the pros and cons of each.
Don’t forget about light!
Whether you grow your house plants in soil or water, you’ll need to make sure they get the optimum amount of light to thrive, explains Annelise Brilli at the Thompson & Morgan blog. One of the easiest plants to grow in water, Epipremnum aureum (pothos) will need to be positioned in an east-facing window to get the bright, indirect, light it prefers. This is a great spot for monsteras too. If you’re looking for a plant to grow in a sunny, south-facing spot, choose a sun-loving tradescantia or alocasia, she says. Read her full guide to house plant lighting to find the perfect place for every plant.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of the best online hydroponic house plant content. Find everything you need to know about caring for house plants over at our dedicated hub page where we share even more advice, articles and growing guides.
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