What’s better than growing your favorite plants and vegetables in water, without worrying about the soil and mud which can mess them up, or not forget to water them on time?
This is called hydroponics – the method of growing herbs in water.
In this way, you will always have fresh supplies right there on your kitchen counter. What’s more, you can even try transferring some soil-grown shoots to water and keep on growing them.
8 Common Plants You Can Grow in Water
Having several plants with antiviral, antibacterial, immunity boosting and illness-fighting properties within your reach is always a good idea. Here are eight of them you can grow in water:
1. Peppermint and Spearmint
The menthol content of mint provides powerful medicinal properties, besides giving your skin and taste buds a cooling sensation. You can grow both, peppermint and spearmint in water. All you need to do is put few fresh mint stems in water, and wait for them to grow into new plants.
You can add this lemon-scented plant to your drinks to get a healthy punch of flavor. Place few fresh stems of lemon-balm in water during spring or fall, and keep them in a warm and bright room. Clean the water regularly, and if needed, keep the herb outside when the climate is too warm.
In this way, you will reduce the risk of molding. Once it grows fresh leaves, bring your plant indoors.
This plant can thrive well in your warm kitchen. Place few stems in a container with water, and keep the container in a spot with medium light. You can also grow in water cuttings that haven’t flowered yet to preserve them during the winter period.
Use sage to add flavor to your cooking. Pluck several tender stems in spring and place them in water. Since mold can easily affect this plant, make sure you keep it in a well-lighted place with fresh air.
You can add stevia to freshly brewed teas and other beverages you like to make them sweeter in taste. Find a freshly grown stevia to break few soft branches. Just add the branches in a container with water, and keep them in a well-lighted and warm place.
Who doesn’t want fresh oregano in their kitchen to garnish their favorite dishes? Put several fresh cuts of stems in a container with water, and use the new leaves in your cooking as the stems start to grow.
To grow thyme in water you need to pluck green, freshly sprouted stems during spring or summer, and avoid the old, brown stems. Cut them and place them immediately in water as they tend to dry out fast.
If needed, sprinkle them with water once they begin to grow, and don’t forget to trim the stems to allow them to grow new branches.
Rosemary takes a bit longer to root and shoot. But, you can help it grow faster by plucking some new stems in spring and placing them in water. Keep them in a well-lighted place to speed up their growing process.
4 Vegetables that Can Be Water Grown
Watercress, lotus, water chestnut, wasabi, and watercress are few well-known water-borne plants. However, you can also grow some soil-grown veggies in water without being exposed to bacteria or bugs found in the soil.
1. Leafy Vegetables
Hydroponic farmers love to grow spinach, lettuce, and other leafy vegetables in water. What you should do is grow the seeds in net pots, and once they grow enough to just put them into permanent water beds. These vegetables are some of the easiest ones to grow in water.
2. Tomatoes and Peppers
Place some bell pepper or tomato seeds in separate cups with a bit of water. Wait for them to sprout, and then pour more water to reach their height. Growing tomatoes in this method tend to give high yields.
Cut few leaf stem bases of this veggie and then put them in water. They will grow without the annoying mud which occurs when growing them in soil.
To grow cucumbers in water, choose the bush variety. All you have to do is put several seeds in a bit of water, and then increase the amount as they sprout.
4 Tips for Growing These Plants in Water
Plants grown in water don’t have roots as strong as those grown in soil. Therefore, you might want to add some stones, sand, clay, gravel, or even hydro-jelly. Also, you can add some nutrients to the water where your plants grow for a higher yield, better nourishment, and faster growth.
Here are four tips that will help you grow your hydroponic herbs at home:
Use clean water that’s not chlorinated, including collected rainwater, tap water left in open air overnight, water from a well, or fresh spring water.
To keep the shoots upright, use slightly narrow-mouthed container. However, be careful not to be too narrow, as this will block the air movement in and out the container. You can use plastic or glass bottles, mason jars, and even better if they are colored.
This is because herb roots usually move away from direct light. If you don’t have a colored container, wrap a piece of paper around a translucent or transparent bottle so that the roots remain in the dark.
3. Plant Cuttings
The best plant cuttings for growing in water are the soft and tender ones. Cut six inch stems from the growing ends down and place them in containers with water. First, wash them well, remove the lower ends, and cut off the bottom leaves and lower ends of stems.
Then, place them in the water-filled containers with the leaves just above the water. Remember not to let the leaves touch the water to prevent it from spoiling. If you choose rosemary, make sure you change its water once a week, without disturbing it too much. It’ll probably grow within 2-6 weeks.
The lack of soil in this growing method means lack of nutrients. Therefore, you might want to add additional nutrients to keep your plants healthy. For instance, dilute natural fertilizer in the water but don’t forget to clean the residue left by it in the water and container.