In order to mix things up a bit, I decided to try growing Snake Plants permanently in water, hydroponically, after having so much fun propagating and rooting them in water! On a side note, Snake Plants, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, were previously classified under the genus Sansevieria, but have since been classified under the genus Dracaena. There have been so many changes that I can’t keep up!
My knowledge of growing plants is limited but I can still show you my process for permanently growing hydroponically. It’s simple, I promise.
Wet soil causes plants to rot, but just water won’t do so.
This is a very valid question! If you are not interested in finding out the answer to this question, scroll down to the next section! It is really interesting though!
Oxygen availability mainly affects plant root growth. Roots will take in oxygen from the air and the water in the soil. The oxygen will also be taken in by the roots from the air if the soil is aerated. In the case of a waterlogged soil, the roots will have difficulty getting sufficient air.
When the soil is constantly wet, there aren’t enough air pockets, which will stress your plants because the roots won’t be able to breathe. The more air pockets you introduce to your soil, the less likely it is to be affected by root rot.
Additionally, soil has many microorganisms serving as oxygen competition for plants. As soon as oxygen is depleted, a variety of fungi grow. These fungi then attack weak roots and cause rotting.
Simply with plain water, there is much less oxygen competition, and as a result, your plant will not rot.
Growing Snake Plants Hydroponically
Someone I know has been growing snake plants in plain water for over a decade. They were simply watered with pebbles and given no fertilizer. She said that they weren’t exactly flourishing, but they survived!
I thought about this, and I decided to grow my water propagated snake plant pups hydroponically. Even so, I wanted to improve on things just a bit and also include fertilizer in the system for the best looking plants!
In this post, I will not demonstrate how to transfer soil grown plants into hydroponically grown plants. However, in the future, I will update this post once I have done that. In this step, all you have to do is wash the soil off the roots. You still follow the same procedure throughout the post.
You can follow the steps below to root any plant that has already been rooted in water. In this particular post, I am using snake plants I water propagated. Here is a picture of my pups that I have water propagated.
A new pup has grown on one of the leaf cuttings.
After that I simply took a pair of scissors and cut the pup right where it was coming out of the leaf cutting.
Now my pup is free!
My hydroponic creation using pups was complete after repeating this process for several times. If you are interested in reading more about how I grew the pups, you can check out my blog post on how to propagate snake plants, or sansevieria in water.
Choose a sturdy vase or pot without drainage holes in which to grow your snake plants hydroponically. I used a narrow, shallow glass container.
In a clear container, algae will eventually appear, but I chose the glass container so I could fill it with pebbles.
Mosser Lee River Pebbles are easy to get on Amazon . You do not need to use any pebbles, but it will keep the plant sturdy and in place, and look much nicer!
River pebbles are not the only material you can use, so just make sure they are safe for plants.
I added a few pebbles to the bottom of the glass container, and then I added the pups one by one. I repeated the process adding more pebbles and straightening them as I went. Each pup was buried approximately 2-3 inches deep in the pebbles.
You have to try and fail until you find an arrangement that you like!
You can add water after you add the pebbles, so that the water level is just below the pebbles’ surface.
The water I’m using is just tap water that I’ve added a supplement that I absolutely love. It’s called Dyna-Gro Grow and it’s amazing!
Your plant will not grow much if you only water it with plain water without any fertilizer. Then I suggest you use a good fertilizer on your plants. By the way, if you have a water softener system why don’t you use that!
I like Dyna-Gro Grow because it is a complete fertilizer that contains all the essential micro and macro nutrients that plants need, and it is urea-free so you do not have to worry about burning your plants when following the directions on the label!
In order to mix up a solution for non-recirculating hydroponic systems using Dyna-Gro Grow, I just put 1 teaspoon of powder in a gallon jug filled with water. I used a measuring spoon to measure out the fertilizer. It is essential that you measure both your fertilizer and water accurately in order to avoid problems.
Then you just need to place your plant in the right light-wise location and you’re set. I place mine in a window facing east. I will keep everyone posted on how my plant grows.
Maintenance is scheduled regularly.
For routine care, these are some suggestions:
- You should keep an eye on the level of the water. It’s okay if some of it evaporates, but don’t let it become completely dry. Keep top it off with your fertilizer solution.
- Plants don’t grow much and the light levels are low in the winter. During this time, stop using your fertilizer and just use plain water. The fertilizer solution should be resumed in the Spring.
- The water needs to be changed at least twice a month, so it stays fresh and clean. You can do this by just topping off the tank.
- There is a good chance that something has rotted in the water if it is cloudy or smelly. Removing the water and any rotten debris, and cleaning the container thoroughly can help keep it clean and fresh. You can also use some activated charcoal to keep it clean and fresh.
- I used a clear plastic container like mine and I suspect that algae will grow. You shouldn’t worry about algae, but if it gets out of hand, you can take your plants out of the container and clean it using warm water and soap. Return your plants to the container after carefully rinsing out the container.
Comment below if you have tried growing your houseplants hydroponically. I’d love to hear!
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