Grow plant cuttings in water

Mess-free, stress-free houseplants

We all love the idea of a home full of houseplants, but some of us are less keen on getting our hands dirty with soil, and worry about leaving a trail of mud indoors. Others worry that they'll fall behind with the watering schedule. Or perhaps you like your friend's plant so much that you want one just like it. The solution to all of these problems is hydroponics.

Grow plant cuttings in water - Thejoyofplants.co.ukCopyright: www.heimelig-shop.com

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water (or sand or gravel) – without soil. If you take a cutting of certain plants at the right level, they'll sprout roots when you place them in a glass of water.

Which plants work best?

This is an ideal project for a kitchen windowsill herb garden, as common herbs such as basil, rosemary, lavender and sage all grow fast in water and will sprout new leaves on a daily basis.


Pictured is the branch of a deciduous tree that has happily taken root. Other plants that are happy in water include English ivy, a great trailing plant for a bookshelf, glossy-leafed philodendron, coleus and begonias for a burst of colour, even in winter.

How to grow your plant in water

  1. Take your cutting: Cut the plant just below a leaf, at the leaf node. This is where the plant’s rooting hormone is concentrated.
  2. Choose your water: Use bottled spring water, packed with minerals, that will help your plant grow.
  3. Choose your vase: A bottle-shaped vase with a narrow neck will help to hold your plant in place.
  4. Fill your vase: Half-fill your vase with water, position the plant inside and watch it grow.

Style ideas

This gardening method is super stylish as well as super easy. Clear glass bottles look elegant in any space, and you'll be able to admire the beautiful structures of the plant's roots, which are usually hidden away below the surface of the soil.

Place a single vase on a desk, dressing table or bedside table for an interesting scupltural showpiece. Or, you could create a statement with a whole cluster of glass vases, filled with plants of different sizes.

Find out how you can build your very own hydroponic herb garden here.