Everybody knows we can propagate philodendrons in a glass of water. And extra water in the potting soil causes problems for philodendrons. But do you know that you can grow philodendrons in water only instead of potting soil?

Growing philodendrons in water are as simple as you grow them in potting soil.

Soil-rooted plants get damaged with overwatering. But plants growing in the water get all the nutrients from it. In fact, they depend upon the quality of water in the glass.

Below is the complete information about growing philodendrons in water. Read till the end and start growing Philo plants in clean water.

Steps to grow philodendrons in water

1. Selection of Glass

This is the first and most important step. You need to choose a glass or jar that is shady or colored. Because when the light strikes on the roots sitting in the water, this results in the growth of algae.

To prevent this condition, cover the half of glass with color full paper to block the light.


Use a dark-colored bottle or jar.

Once your plant roots get infected by the fungus you cannot do anything to save your plant from dying. Therefore, select the jar very carefully.

2. Water Quality

It is the second most important growth factor that you need to consider when it comes to growing philodendrons in water. Always choose high-quality water to grow philodendron varieties in the water.

High-quality water means water that does not contain chlorine, fluoride, and heavy minerals that are not soluble in water.

The term hard water is used for such a type of water. Use soft water because you are going to use hydroponic nutrients to boost your plant health.

These nutrients are only soluble in soft water.

The tap generally contains chlorine or its traces. Do not use this water I prefer using bottled filtered water. Buy a case from Walmart and use it for drinking and watering plants that are growing in water.

3. Protect the Leaves

Do not allow the water of the glass to touch the bottom leaves. This will result in leaf roots. This is a fungal disease that eats up the leaves. If not fixed in time this disease can spread to all parts of the plant.

Therefore, make sure the few leaf nodes are under the water and all the leaves stay above it.

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4. Keep Changing the Water

It doesn’t matter your plant is developing the roots or it is fully matured. You have to change the water of the glass on time.

I change the water after every 5 days or when it gets unclear or dirty.

Sometimes the water starts releasing a foul smell. This indicates that the bacteria is building up in the water and to save your plant immediately change the water of the glass.

5. Arrange Bright Light

Light needs are the same for philodendrons growing water and soil. It needs indirect bright light to grow properly.

Protect your plant from direct sunlight. Do not expose it to even morning sunlight.

Whenever the sun rays touch the roots, the result will be algae in the water.

No need to use grow lights when you can place a glass of plant in a bright room where it can get plenty of indirect light.

6. Clean the glass or jar

Cleaning glass is a crucial step because the algae and debris get build up at the bottom of the glass. Whenever you see them immediately take the plant out of its jar and clean the jar.

You can use dishwashing soap to properly clean it, then rinse it with warm water.

Do not place the plant in the air for more than 5 minutes. Cover it with newspaper and do not expose the roots to air and light.

Fertilizers for Philodendrons Growing in Water

Water alone is not enough to grow a plant. Because it does not contain all the essential nutrients. So, you need to help your plants by fertilizing them.

Use water-soluble liquid fertilizers that are made for hydroponic systems. Hydroponic nutrients are specially designed for plants that grow in water.

Choose a balanced fertilizer and dilute the solution in clean water as per the instructions. These nutrients are expensive but you need to choose an inexpensive bottle.

Remember that overfertilization will cause serious damage to your plant. Therefore, following the instruction written on the bottle is very important.

How do philodendrons perform in water than in Soil?

Philodendrons grow fast in water than in the soil. Because it is easy for plants to absorb nutrients from the water than from the moist soil.

This is the reason people use hydroponic systems to grow vegetables.

Generally, soil-rooted philodendrons take 4 weeks to develop roots. Whereas in water they complete this process in half time (just 2 weeks).

If we talk about the general health and size of the leaves. They remain the same in both growing mediums. Because we only change the growing medium but the growing requirements are still the same.

For example, if you do not give indirect bright light, in both growing mediums your plant reacts the same and grows leggy and slow.

The same rule applies to humidity, if it is low in the room your plant will suffer even it is growing in water.


As long as you give a perfect growing environment to grow your philodendrons. They will grow perfectly fine in both water and soil.

Water only speeds up the growth of the plant. Give it adequate light, temperature, and humidity. You will also need to fertilize the plants growing in water like you fertilize plants growing in soil.

When you use water as a growing medium you need to change it frequently to avoid fungal diseases. But with soil, you only change it once in a year or at the time of repotting.

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