17 Easy Vegetables That Grow in Water You Can Try

Consuming vegetables is good for our body and health. The high nutrients inside the veggie will give you strength and recharge your energy. Also, vegetables are the main important part for the vegetarians as part of their daily diet. But sometimes, we face difficulty finding veggies, especially when there is less stock in the groceries or the price is getting higher every day.

So, to solve the issue, why don’t you start growing vegetables in water.

You can try to do it indoors in a water filled container and create a balcony garden. Moreover, it will save money as well since you can harvest them right from your house. Dare to try? Check out our article here!

Why Can Plants Grow In The Water?

It is because the water provides mineral nutrients for the plants to grow. Since it is usually placed in room temperature protection, the plants get enough sunlight yet still protected. The mineral nutrients from water can be added with fertilizer too in order to let the plants grow happily and efficiently.

Vegetables That Grow In Water Without Soil

So, are you ready to grow vegetables in water? You can choose the veggies you want to grow below and yes, no soil is needed in order to propagate them. As beginners, it is very worth trying because there is no mess, dirt, and the level of failure is lower than when you try it with soil. 

1. Lettuce (Lactuca Sativa)

If you are a lettuce person as well, you can grow this crisp veggie in your own house without soil. Yes, no soil since you can put it in water, so no more dirty hands or waiting for the cool season to plant it. The best variety of lettuce or Lactuca sativa to grow in water is romaine.

vegetables that grow in water
Lettuce Water Growing

Moreover, you may regrow the lettuce in water and see the progress within only 3 – 5 days. The lettuce leaves will sprout up and out from the center of the core. You can start planting it after you cut the leaves of lettuce about an inch from the bottom in order to place it in a dish of water, the water is about 0.5 inch. Then you can keep the lettuce on a windowsill or under the grow lights.

Tip for growing lettuce in water: Don’t forget to change the water for 1 or 2 days. Then, you can see the progress and capture the growing lettuce before you crop to enjoy them.

2. Leeks (Allium Porrum)

It is not that difficult to grow leeks without any soil, but still, you have to focus and maintain the progress daily in order to avoid the roots rot and fail to proceed with new leeks. You can do it by cutting the leeks around 1 inch from the roots and keeping the roots in a glass of water. Do not use a small glass since the leeks will grow.

vegetables that grow in water
A Leek Regrowing in A Glass of Water

After making sure the roots are under water, you can put the glass in a sunny window or where the sunlight is enough for the leeks. Always change the water after a few days (around 2 – 3 days) to keep it fresh and avoid bad smells. Then, you can see the new leeks appear in around one week. If the new leeks just grow in an enough length, you can cut it and enjoy it for your cooking.

Tip for growing leeks in water: Leeks are fast growing, always prepare a spacious container to plant this in water.

3. Bok Choy (Pok Choi)

Actually, pok choi or bok choy is a veggie that likes cool weather. But you can grow it in water and do it indoors like the others. Simply just cut the base of the stem, then place it in a small bowl or container of water. Then, if everything is good, in two days, you can see the growth process of bok choy.

vegetables that grow in water
Regrow Chinese Cabbage From Scrap

Try to put it near the windowsill where the sunlight comes, so they can grow properly although there is no soil for them to grow. Bok choy is a medium size of vegetables, after you propagate it in water, you can have the right size of this veggie by moving it to the pots.

4. Cabbage

This is another crisp and crunchy veggie that people love its texture for salad, sauté, or soup, especially for Asian people. If you buy cabbage in the market, don’t throw the bottom head of this plant since you can cut it and grow cabbage by yourself at home.

Cabbage will surprise you since you can have a mini garden of cabbage indoors. Yes, when you think that most people are planting the cabbage in a big veggie garden, you can propagate it in your house.

Cabbage Regrowing in Water
Cabbage Regrowing in Water

Simply just place it into a bowl filled with water and you can see your favorite veggie grow in your home before you can enjoy it.Growing cabbage at home needs three or four days for you to see new roots and new cabbage leaves. Also, you have to change the water around 3 – 4 days.

While you see the leaves grow in small size, you can harvest them because the taste is better when the size is small. So, it is like cultivating a mini cabbage in your home.

Tip for growing cabbage in water: Don’t expect to get the big one since the small one tastes better for the cabbage that is planted in water.

5. Carrot (Daucus Carota)

vegetables that grow in water
Regrowing New Carrot Leaves in Water

Carrots usually can be grown underground, yet by using this method, you can grow the leafy greens of carrots only by using water.

Although it does not grow the carrots completely, you can regrow its new leafy greens that you can use for salads, green juice, or even pesto! So, before you decide to throw the top of the carrot away, you can place the top around 2 inches of this veggie into a bowl of water and place it in a bright light.

Tip for growing carrot in water: Make sure you change the water every 2 days in order to let the baby green leaves begin to appear.

6. Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Fresh Fennel in A Glass of Water
Fresh Fennel in A Glass of Water

If you are a fan of fennel or foeniculum vulgare, and want to harvest this herb from your own home, you can regrow this one since it is quite easy and worth trying. You can take a fennel bulb, then place it in a bowl filled with water. Ensure the water is able to touch the bottom of bulbs. Place the bowl or cup where the spot receives enough sun. Also, never forget to change the water to make sure the fennel will regrow with this method.

7. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)

Lemongrass can grow wild in wetland or open forest, especially in Southeast Asia. Although in the US, you still can find it easily as well. The fresh flavor that you can smell from lemongrass is really undeniable.

Instead of growing it outdoors, you can try to regrow lemongrass indoors in the water.

vegetables that grow in water
Growing Lemon Grass Without Using Soil

It is as easy as keeping the lemongrass stalks inside the water and making sure the lemongrass gets a bright sun everyday. Always change the water daily and then you can see the new leaves begin as soon as possible.

In a week, the new roots start to emerge. Once you see the stalks grow too, you can start to use lemongrass for your own.

8. Garlic Chives (Allium Tuberosum)

Allium tuberosum or garlic chives is one of the flavorful herbs that fits as the additional topping for your meals. If you just bought a bunch of garlic bulbs, you can cut the top portion. Then, take a small bottle, such as a used soda bottle or anything as long as it has a narrow mouth to fit the garlic bulbs.

Growing Garlic Indoors in Water
Growing Garlic Indoors in Water

After that, you can fill the bottle with water before placing the bulb inside. Then, the roots begin to form and while the soft leaves also come in a few days, you can harvest it.

9. Turnips

A great taste of turnips is one of the reasons that this plant becomes an all time favorite for most people to serve the dish for their families. If you just bought the turnips in grocery stores, don’t just throw them away after you cut the top of this veggie because you can grow it at home.

vegetables that grow in water
Green Leaves Regrowing From Tops of White Japanese Kabu Turnips

After chopping off the top of turnips, you can leave around 0.5 – 1 inch in order to place them in a bowl of water or any container that is filled with clear water. Then, place it where there is sunlight.

Tip for growing turnips in water: Change the water daily to prevent pests or root rot,  and you can see new leaves green appear within a few days.

10. Beets

Beets are like radishes and carrots, they are fast growing and when you regrow them in water, the difference is not that significant compared to growing them in pots.

You may start by slicing the top of the beets, to remember that the size of the cut is no more than one-third of this veggie. Then, you can put the beet top in a container filled with water, and make sure the cut side is facing downward.

Growing Beetroot in A Glass of Water
Growing Beetroot in A Glass of Water

Place the water filled containers of cutting beets on the bright windowsill or table near the window in order to get enough sunlight. Then, you can see the plant starts to progress within a couple days by seeing beet greens appear.

11. Sweet Potato (Ipomoea Batatas)

Ever wonder how to propagate sweet potatoes in your own house without soil? This tasty veggie is worth trying for the beginners that don’t have much space to grow sweet potatoes outdoors. So, you can start by preparing the glass and filling it with tap water. You may select sweet potatoes that have visible sprouts, make sure the size is enough to fit inside the glass or containers you have already prepared before.

Sprouting Sweet Potato in A Water
Sprouting Sweet Potato in A Water

Also prepare around four toothpicks and stick them to the potato. Place the sweet potato inside the glass, make sure the bottom part around one-third of the sweet potato touches the water. Place the glass where the bright sunlight can enter to expose the sweet potato daily.

Always keep an eye for this plant daily and change the water if the color changes brown or cloudy. After one or two weeks, the small white rootlets should appear and be followed by the stem. If this happens, congratulations, you are ready to transplant the sweet potato into the soil pot for better growing!

12. Green Onion (Scallions)

Green onion or Scallions , is one of the onions that is easy to propagate if you need them urgently at home for cooking or others.

It is a bit different from garlic chives since garlic chives are more tender than green onions, although both of them have bulbs too. Growing green onion in water is fast because in a few days you can see the roots grow longer and the new leaves appear on top.

vegetables that grow in water
Regrow Green Onion or Scallions in Water

You can regrow it by cutting 2 inches of green onion from the roots, and place it in a glass or jar filled with water. Make sure the roots touch the water enough. Put the jar near the windowsill and change the water every few days to prevent bacteria or pests from coming in. If you are patient and wait, then you can see this plant grow in the same size as you bought.

13. Mint (Mentha)

Actually, growing mint conventionally is pretty easy, yet you will feel a different vibe once you try to grow it using water only. Yes, you can regrow mint and place it in a container filled with water indoors. It can be the best way if your area lacks soil or you are just pretty lazy to prepare the soil outside. There are no fungus gnats, no mess or dirt you will experience.

Rooting Mint
Rooting Mint

Although mint cannot live forever in water, you still can keep it for a few weeks before the leaves turn yellow. So, for occasional harvest, you can start growing mint indoors just by taking some stem that is already cut, before placing it in the glass, make sure there are no lower leaves on the stem.

Tip for growing mint in water: After placing them inside the glass, you have to change the water once a week. Then, you can see the roots develop quickly.

14. Celery (Apium Graveolens)

Celery is like cilantro from its taste and smell. Kitchen lovers must know this herb in order to add to any dishes they want. If you wish you can plant it by yourself, your wish will be granted since you can try to grow celery easily indoors by using water. It can be your new experience to grow the herb indoors, so that you can harvest and enjoy them while you are succeeding in doing that.

vegetables that grow in water
Rooting A Celery Stub in Water in A Glass Jar

After buying a fresh celery, you can cut the bottom of this plant around 2 inches or 5 cm from its base. Prepare the bowl or glass, fill it with water and put the celery base inside. Place the bowl in a bright area yet indirect from sunlight.

It is very beneficial since you don’t have to find out for direct sunlight when the cool season comes, as long as there is a bright light for this bowl. Also, don’t forget to change the water around 3 – 5 day. Within a week you can see small leaves and stems emerge on the base.

Tip for growing celery in water: You can fertilize celery with a pinch of fertilizer or aquarium water.

15. Water Spinach (Ipomoea Aquatica)

Water spinach is very famous in Southeast Asia, this semi-aquatic vegetable can creep on moist soil or near water areas. Therefore, to plant it in water in your house is not that difficult since it is mimicking its original habitat.

Water Spinach Grown Hydroponically
Water Spinach Grown Hydroponically

You can grow it in water, but don’t expect the size will be the same as you plant it in the ground. Also, growing water spinach or Ipomoea aquatica in water only, will make you need fertilizer such as balanced fertilizer or mustard peel fertilizer. It might be tricky but it is worth it while the harvest season comes.

16. Lemon Basil

Usually, when we want to plant this herb, we need to prepare for the warm or dry soil, but now, you don’t have to do it anymore since you can propagate lemon basil after buying it from the market. The tangy taste of lemon basil you can enjoy whenever you want when you succeed propagate this plant. Growing basil indoors won’t let you wait for the best timing since you have to adjust the room temperature for this one.

Lemon Basil Cuttings in A Glass of Water with Roots Already Formed
Lemon Basil Cuttings in A Glass of Water with Roots Already Formed

To start planting it, you can take a few cuttings from lemon basil. Carefully remove the lower leaves and the flowers if any as well. Prepare the jar or glass and fill it with water around 60-70%, then place the cutting lemon basil inside. Place the glass where the bright indirect sunlight can be exposed for the plant. Don’t forget to ensure that morning sunlight should be given for lemon basil too. Also, to prevent the pest or bacteria from appearing, you have to change the water for 2 – 3 days while you keep an eye to see the progress of root growth.

If you follow this step, young roots can be seen around 2 – 3 weeks. The good news for basil is, you can choose whether to move the basil to containers and continue growing it with loamy soil or keep it in water permanently! If you decide to grow it in water forever, never forget to feed the plant with fertilizer. A water diluted balanced fertilizer around 1 gram to 1 liter of water for your basil jar.

Tip for growing lemon basil in water: Don’t just water the 1 liter directly if your container is not that big, adjust it with the size of container. Do it regularly once a month, then you can harvest lemon basil perfectly.

17. Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)

Rosemary is a favorite herb due to its versatile benefits for using it. This plant loves warm weather, but you don’t have to worry if you plan to grow it in water, since rosemary is able to propagate in water indoors. Excited to try? Check out how!

Rosemary Plants with Root
Rosemary Plants with Root

Take a few of rosemary and place it in a glass of water. Make sure 2 inches of bare stem is fully submerged. Rosemary usually will start to sprout new roots in about 3 – 4 weeks. It is quite long since this herb is slow growing. So, if you want to speed up, you can dip the cut end to the rooting hormone first before placing it in water.

Tip for growing rosemary in water: Always use a fresh rosemary and never stick only one stem to the water since it won’t work. Rosemary needs some stems to grow.

How To Regrow Vegetable Stems In Water?

Regrowing the vegetables stems in water becomes popular and favorite for beginners. Before starting to regrow them in water, you have to know these steps first.

  • Prepare the bowl, medium container, or cup that is filled with clear water.
  • Cut around 1-2 inches of the stems. You have to consider whether to place the bottom part or the top part based on the plants you want to grow.
  • Place it near the windowsill or bright spot where the plants receive enough sun.
  • Don’t forget to change the water daily to prevent the bad smell or bacteria appearing.

What Do You Feed Vegetables that Grow In Water?

Feeding the plants that grow in water is by using diluted fertilizer. Water-soluble fertilizer can be chosen as food for your plants. You can mix the water and the fertilizer based on the instructions on the fertilizer packaging (¼ fertilizer is recommended for one medium bowl), then feed it to the plants every 4 – 6 weeks.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can plants live in water forever?

Yes, plants can live in water forever. But, you have to remember the characteristics of plants that can survive in the water since not all plants can do this. Also, you have to provide what plants need to grow in water. Since lights and water itself are not enough.

Is hydroponic better than soil?

Generally, hydroponic is better than soil, because you can grow more plants, such as vegetables, in less area. It also uses less water and can grow faster since you can control the nutrients intake for the plants.

How do you keep hydroponic plants alive?

Giving and maintaining the nutrients for the plants should be done regularly. The nutrients should drain, clean and refill once or twice a month. Make sure you harvest the plants right when they are ready, so the young plant can grow properly as well.

How often do you change hydroponic water?

You can change water for your hydroponic plants every two or three weeks. This method fits for an average size of hydroponic system. You can feel that you need to change the water when the time you water the plants, it needs more time to make the water full.

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