In this era of hydroponics, have you ever wondered whether an anthurium can be grown in water without any soil media?
Just imagine, an anthurium plant growing inside a transparent glass jar filled with water alone. Isn’t it look stunning?
Well, the short answer is yes. You can grow anthuriums in water without soil media. But, it’s not straightforward as it seems.
There are a lot of things you need to know before moving your plant to a jar of water. But don’t worry, this article has everything for you to grow anthurium in water successfully.
Just a heads up, here are the topics that we are going to cover.
- Can You Grow Anthurium In Water?
- How To Grow Anthurium In Water?
- Advantages Vs Disadvantages
- Lots more.
Without any more fluff, let’s get started.
Can You Grow Anthurium In Water?
Growing anthurium in water is tricky, but not impossible. Apart from setting up the root for hydroponics, adding a couple of coarse stones for the root support and liquid fertilizer once a month will make sure that your plant will survive in water without any soil medium.
In the beginning, it may seem very easily doable. But, in reality, it is far from easy.
First of all, anthuriums are not hydroponic in nature. It means, naturally the plant does not like to be in standing water. But, the majority of anthurium plants available for purchase are commercially grown ones that can support a wide variety of conditions including sitting in water.
But still, the success rate of growing anthuriums is very low compared to some other plants like pothos or calathea.
How To Grow Anthurium In Water?
Now you know that it’s possible to grow anthuriums in water alone without soil.
Let’s have a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do it in such a way that it ensures the highest chances of success.
Step 1: Get ready with props
The first step in growing anthurium in a water medium is to get ready with all the items you need for this transition.
It’s not just about growing anthurium in water. Whenever you have a task that requires you to uproot the plant, then you need to prepare everything beforehand so that you don’t have to run around for stuff after uprooting the plant.
The items required in this case include,
- Jar or vase
- High-quality water
- Sterilized knife and scissors
- Clay pebbles
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rooting hormone
- Liquid fertilizer
- Humidifier ( or transparent plastic cover)
Some of these items like humidifiers may be a surprise for you. But, it is very much needed for the preparation of anthurium’s root. We’ll get into the details in the next section.
Step 2: Uproot anthurium from the old pot
If you are ready with all the items that are mentioned above, then it’s time to uproot your anthurium plant from its old pot.
Start by uprooting the plant from your existing pot. To do that, turn the pot sideways, and tap the outside of the pot while rotating it by holding your plant’s stem in one hand.
It is advised to water your plant thoroughly 24 hours before uprooting it from the pot. It is because moist soil is very easy to remove from the pot compared to a dry one.
While uprooting if the soil is very tight, and not coming off easily, then take the sterilized knife to run around the edge of the pot and soil.
Always ensure not to damage the root system with the knife while uprooting.
Step 3: Remove the soil completely
Once uprooting is done, now it’s time to prepare your anthurium’s root for hydroponic or in other words, growing in water.
First, use running water in a washbasin to clean the roots to completely get rid of the soil. If there is even a little amount of soil left, it will trigger root rot in a relatively short amount of time.
Step 4: Prune roots to grow hydro roots
Once the soil is completely removed, cut back at least half of the roots.
The majority of the online guides do not talk about this, but this is a very important step in growing anthuriums hydroponically.
Based on a study published in the International Society For Horticultural Science, the normal soil-grown roots cannot stand in water for a prolonged period of time. In order to grow anthuriums in water successfully, you want to develop a separate root system called hydro roots.
Hydro roots are generally grown by cutting off the existing roots completely and propagating the plant in water by providing around 95% humidity. And, when the new roots grow, they are much more capable of standing in water for a long time.
Instead of cutting all the roots, we advise you to cut half of the roots because, in case something goes wrong (chances are there), you at least have some roots so that you can transfer them back to the soil medium.
Step 5: Treat the roots & prepare the jar
After cutting back half of the existing roots, dip the roots in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and rooting hormone in the order.
Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that will kill and remove any bacteria or viruses present in the roots. On the other hand, the rooting hormone is to trigger the plant to grow roots faster.
After treating your anthuriums root with hydrogen peroxide and rooting hormone, keep the plant aside for a couple of minutes.
During that time, prepare your jar. First, add one or two layers of clay pebbles or any other similar coarse stones to provide support for the roots.
The next step is to fill the jar with water. And, this is where you should be very careful.
Water till only a couple of inches above the clay pebbles or stones. Like other active hydroponic plants like pothos, here you should not fill the jar with water.
Step 6: Place the plant in the jar
Once the jar is ready with water, add in the required amount of a liquid fertilizer that is specifically made for hydro plants something like Dyna Bloom. Based on the size of your plant, add the fertilizer.
Then place the existing roots carefully inside the jar or vase in such a way that the roots are the touch with the clay pebbles at the bottom.
Step 7: Provide the required care
The next and last step in growing anthurium in water is to provide the required care this plant deserves.
Out of all the anthurium care guidelines, providing the highest possible humidity is the first priority until you see a couple of new roots. It is advised to use a humidifier for this purpose, if not possible try to cover the plant with a polythene cover and spray some water to give the feeling of the greenhouse.
When you provide high humidity (in the range above 85%), the chances of growing hydro roots are very high.
Apart from high humidity, also provide bright indirect light for at least 10 hours a day. It doesn’t matter whether the light source is natural or LED grow light.
Also, always ensure that you are replacing the water every 5 to 7 days so that no chance for mold or any other water-borne fungus to grow.
Advantages Vs Disadvantages
Growing an anthurium plant in water without soil medium has its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the commonly experienced advantages,
- No underwatering or overwatering issues
- No hustle of choosing perfect soil for anthurium
- Less expensive to maintain
- Easy climate control
- More control over pH in growing medium
- Looks very beautiful
Some of the commonly said disadvantages of growing anthurium in water are,
- Higher chance of root rot
- Hard to grow
- Slower growth
- Smaller leaves and flowers
- Higher maintenance
- Special fertilizers needed
Anthurium In Water – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Growing anthuriums in water is a new trend and not many houseplant experts know about it. So, it is natural to have a lot of doubts while trying hands-on.
In this section, I will try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions on the internet related to growing anthuriums in water.
Can anthurium grow in water without soil?
Yes, anthuriums can grow in water without soil. But it is highly advised to provide a layer of coarse stones like clay pebbles at the bottom of the jar to provide support for the roots. Also, liquid fertilizers made specifically for hydro plants are essential for survival.
Can you use mineral water for hydroponic anthurium?
Yes, you can use mineral water for hydroponic anthurium. In fact, recent research recommends using mineral water for hydroponic since it has a lot of valuable minerals infused that cannot be easily added from the home.
Can you grow anthurium in a fish tank?
No, you cannot grow anthurium in a fish tank. Anthuriums are not grown underwater anywhere in nature. If the leaves of the plant come in touch with water for a long period of time, they will rot and die.
Even though growing anthurium in water seems to be fancy, a lot of houseplant owners say that it is really hard to grow them. The success rate is pretty low when compared to many other indoor plants.
So, it’s up to you whether to take the risk or not.
If you feel like the beauty of hydroponic anthurium is worth the risk, then follow all the steps mentioned in this article religiously to grow your first hydroponic anthurium.
If you decide to try, we wish you all the best for a successful adventure.
To back up the information we provide in our articles, the Plantials team only uses high-quality sources published in peer-reviewed university or scientific research journals.
- Evaluation Of New Anthurium Cultivars In Soilless Culture, International Society For Horticultural Science.
- Effects Of Different Nutrient Solutions On The Growth And Some Physiological Indexes Of Anthurium Scherzerianum In Hydroponics, Food And Agriculture Organization Of United Nations.
- Guide Values For Anthurium (Anthurium Cultorum Birdsey) Grown In Expanded Clay, Journal Of Plant Nutrition.
- Growth Flowers Quality Of Anthurium Andraeanum Cv. Tropical In Hydroponics, Food And Agriculture Organization Of United Nations.