Chinese evergreens, also called Aglaonemas, are lovely indoor plants bearing stunning patterned leaves. And a common question that comes to everyone’s mind is can Chinese evergreen grow in water? Let’s find out.
Chinese evergreens will grow in water if you provide them with the right care. However, the plant’s growth in water will be significantly slower than what we get in the soil. Also, moving the aglaonema plant from water to soil can be extremely tricky as the water roots don’t do that well in soil.
If you are a novice in gardening, you can always opt for water gardening.
In this article, I will discuss the appropriate steps of rooting Chinese Evergreen in water and how to care for them to keep them healthy in water for an extended period.
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Will Chinese Evergreen grow in water?
The answer to this question is a big yes. The Chinese Evergreen will grow ideally in water, similar to in soil.
Some gardeners do not get good results while growing Chinese Evergreen in water. They state that water roots function very poorly.
But by following the suitable methods and handling them with care, they can be successfully grown in water without any hassle.
The roots will remain healthy in water. As it is water from which they obtain all nutrients, water should be clean. Else, you won’t find any suitable results in the Chinese Evergreens.
Growing Chinese Evergreen in water is ideal for beginners. They might not understand or take proper care by growing in the soil.
You need to consider many things while raising these plants in soil, like watering, drainage, pot, and fertilizers. But in water rooting, all you need is a vase and good quality water.
How to grow Chinese Evergreen in water?
There are many ways to grow a Chinese Evergreen. You can grow them with cuttings. The cutting is done either using lateral or apical shoots or cutting the pieces of the trunk.
There must be a couple of leaves present in the truck. This can increase the speed of the rotting process.
Stem cutting is one of the safest methods for growing the Chinese Evergreen in water. If you want to have promising results in water, try the stem cutting method. It is easy and quick.
Ingredients you will need
Glass jar or vase: You can use any jar or vase of your choice. But using a glass jar will help you to witness the condition of the roots, whether they are growing well or not.
The cutting’s base should be in the water. Using a glass jar, you can check whether the bottom is in water or not.
Water: Choosing the right kind of water is essential during water gardening. When the plant is in water, they receive all the nutrients from the water. So, the rule is to avoid tap water.
Tap water contains multiple hard minerals like chlorine, fluorine, and other bicarbonates. These can weaken the plant and show poor results in it.
Use spring water, rainwater, or distilled water. They are free from all types of hard minerals.
Sterilized and sharp knife or pruners: Before making a proper cutting, you must disinfect your garden shears to remove bacteria and fungus.
For cutting, make a clean and diagonal cut. Cutting diagonally will ensure that the entire bottom doesn’t sit on the water.
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Things to remember before growing Chinese Evergreen in water
Choose a healthy plant: If you want your plant to remain healthy in water, you need to choose a healthy plant that has not yet suffered any serious problems.
Take a cutting from the young shoots. You can also take the older shoots. Both will work, but the younger ones root faster than the old ones.
Do it in spring: These plants grow actively during the spring. So, when you place the cutting in water, they will be developing faster.
Though you can do it at any time of the year, doing it during their growing season increases the pace of root growth.
Make a cut clean: The cut should be made clean. A blunt cut can damage the stems and result in lousy root growth.
Use a broad-mouthed vase: A vase or jar having a broad open will make it easier for you to take the plant out of it.
It becomes hard to take out the plant when a narrow-mouthed jar is used. Moreover, the root system might get damaged.
What are the steps to grow Chinese evergreen in water?
Now comes the final and simple part. For growing Chinese Evergreen in water:
- Choose a healthy stem from a healthy Chinese Evergreen plant.
- Cut the stem maintaining a height of about 6 inches tall.
- Cut the base of the plant below the node. The node is the spot on the stem where leaves will be appearing.
- After you cut the stem, remove the lower leaves from the base.
- Now take a vase or jar and fill it halfway with water. It will ensure that the whole stem doesn’t immerse in water.
- Take the cutting and put it in water. Make sure that only the bottom of the stem is in the water. Drowning the whole stem will rot the plant.
- Now place the vase at a spot receiving indirect sunlight. Keep it away from exposure to direct sunlight.
- Change the water when it turns dirty or cloudy. Using a glass jar will make it easier to watch the water condition.
If your plant is doing well in water, leave it there. Although it can grow better in soil, it will be more healthy in water if all the methods are used adequately.
However, some people don’t get a fair outcome when taking the plant from water to soil.
How should you keep Chinese Evergreen healthy in water?
Keeping the Chinese Evergreen healthy in water is not difficult. Like they are easy to grow in water, keeping them alive for a long is also not challenging.
When they develop their roots, take care the same way you take care of them in soil. Let’s see how to take care of them:
Special care of the water
The plant will get all its nutrients from the water. Firstly, use good quality water that is free from hard minerals. Tap water contains harsh minerals like chlorine and fluorine that are very harmful to plants.
Use distilled water or rainwater. You can also use spring water as it is pure and doesn’t contain any harsh minerals.
Secondly, you need to change the water every 2 to 3 days. The plant will not grow strong or root well in dirty water. Whenever you see the water cloudy, change it immediately.
You can check the water condition and change beforehand if you use a glass jar for the plant.
Let them have indirect sunlight.
Don’t expose them to direct sunlight. Typically, Aglaonemas doesn’t enjoy direct sunlight. These hardy plants will even survive in low lights.
Keep them near a north-facing window. This direction can give mild sunlight.
Using a little bit of charcoal in water will save the plant from infection. You can also apply some charcoal at the cutting before placing them in water.
Cutting might cause infections. Charcoal can prevent it.
Fertilize with a houseplant fertilizer
Because these plants will grow in water, liquid, water-soluble fertilizers will be helpful. Add a few drops of houseplant fertilizer to the water. It will give them nutrients to boost their growth.
Manage temperature and humidity
Don’t expose the Chinese evergreen to excessively high or low temperatures. Keep them away from air-conditioned rooms or kitchens.
They will enjoy temperatures around 68-77°F. So, place them in a location with such temperatures.
The water you use should be of room temperature or tepid water. Extreme cold water can cause cold injury.
They are tropical plants and will enjoy humidity. Let them have humidity no less than 70%. Fix a humidifier in the room. You can try misting them to them have ideal humidity.
Check for pests
Though growing in water reduces the chances of pests, you should still check for signs of infestation. Daily observation can help you to treat the problem at the initial stages.
If an infestation occurs, clean the plant and spray some neem oil as an insecticide to get rid of them.
Pros and cons of growing Chinese Evergreen in water
Growing Chinese Evergreen in water is easy, but you must know both the merits and demerits of this process. It will make you aware and ready to fight the demerits. Let’s check out both.
- It is an easy and quick process. There is no nuisance of messy dirt around.
- It is a good alternative for novice gardeners. They can do it without any complications.
- You can have 100% positive results in this process. Moreover, the plant will thrive much more in water than in soil.
- There are low risks of pest infestation.
- There are also lesser worries about watering and humidity when they are already rooting in water.
- There is no fear of overwatering.
- Frequent change of water leads to wastage of water.
- As they grow in soil naturally, sometimes you may find poor results.
- Frequent changing of water will require taking out the plant from the vase or jar. It can increase the risk of root damage.
- When grown in water, there are also high risks of bacteria and algae formation around the roots and stems of the plant. When this occurs, the plant will not absorb water or nutrients properly from the soil.
Like the plant thrives in soil, Chinese evergreen will also grow well in water if you follow proper methods and take care of them.
Stem cutting is the most common and easy method of growing a Chinese Evergreen in water. It will support quick root growth. Change the water from time to time as water is the most important thing they need.
Growing in water is exciting for beginners. If you are a beginner gardener, go for this method by borrowing a cutting from someone who owns a healthy Chinese Evergreen plant.