Written By Ellie Jonas

Can Philodendron Grow in Water (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

A philodendron with green leaves and large roots growing in a pot filled with water

Philodendrons are one of the most beautiful plants with their green, lush foliage. Being a tropical plant, a philodendron prefers warm and humid conditions to grow and thrive well. These plants can be grown both outdoors and indoors and thus, transform the place into a tropical oasis wherever it is placed.

Growing a philodendron is quite easy as these plants do not require much care and attention. Most people love to grow them in pots or hanging containers. However, here in this article, I will share with you a unique and uncommon way to grow a philodendron.

Growing a philodendron in water is quite rare and only gardeners who have been growing this plant for a long time know the method of growing this plant in water. When I suggested to my family and friends to try growing a philodendron in water, they, were a bit confused and stared at me with a shocked face.

So go through this post carefully to find out every hook and nook of growing these low-maintenance plants in water without much effort.

Is It Possible to Grow a Philodendron in Water?

As you all know besides, having beautiful foliage philodendrons are considered as air-purifying plants. So, Yes, they can grow in water with enough indirect bright light and good-quality liquid fertilizer.

Growing a philodendron in water can be the best option for beginners as it does not need much gardening space and can be grown easily without much effort.

A velvet leaf vine philodendron, a heart leaf philodendron, and some other varieties can be grown in water easily.

How to Choose the Best Philodendron Variety to Grow in Water?

There are a few varieties of philodendron that can be grown in water without much effort. Plants with dark green and broad leaves like philodendron, Hastatum, Selloum, and Bipinnatifidum can be grown in water easily.

Growing a philodendron in water requires very little care and maintenance. Just make sure the container where the plant is placed has enough space so, that roots can spread and grow comfortably.

A person is holding a green plant with long roots and leaves, possibly an orchid or other type of plant. The plant has a large root system and appears to be in a pot.

Plastic containers should be avoided as they can cause different problems like root rot by trapping moisture. You need to change the water when it becomes dirty and use fresh and clean water.

A successful water propagation is only possible if, you choose the right variety of philodendrons. Here are some other varieties of philodendrons that can be easily grown in water.

Heartleaf Philodendron (Hederaceum )

A heart leaf philodendron with its vigorous growth and large leaves is one of the popular varieties that can be grown in water easily. This plant can be an excellent choice for growing in indoor water gardens.

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Pothos are not philodendrons but, resemble similar features and characteristics to a philodendron. They are also known as devils’ ivy and can thrive well when grown in water.

To know more about the similarities and differences between a lemon-lime philodendron and a neon pothos you can go through my post Lemon Lime Vs. Neon Pothos.

Monstera (Monstera Deliciosa)

Monstera plants can be easily propagated in water. They have unique split leaves and can be ideal to grow in water-filled containers and vases.

(Comprehensive Guide): Philodendron Watering Guide

How Can You Grow a Philodendron in Water?

Even though you choose the right variety of philodendrons, there are some other factors you need to consider for visually appealing and successful water propagation. Here are some of them.

Location of the Plant

Unlike growing a philodendron in traditional soil-based pots, water propagation needs the same care and maintenance. So, even if you are growing these plants in the water you need to place them in any location with bright indirect light. Always avoid keeping the plant in direct scorching sunlight.

light requirement

A south-facing sunny window can be perfect for your beloved plant as it can receive indirect sunlight all day long. However, you need to keep the plant 3 to 4 feet away from the window to prevent direct sunlight that can cause leaf burn.

Choose a Healthy Plant!

When growing a philodendron in water make sure you choose a healthy and green plant without any spots or blemishes. Growing an unhealthy plant is of no use as it will not survive even if you take proper care.

Never choose a plant with wilted leaves and black or brown spots on leaves. These signs show the plant is not getting enough water or is affected by diseases.

Quality of Water

For better oxygen circulation you need to change the water every 3 to 4 days when propagating a philodendron in water. Always use room-temperature water that is neither too cold nor too hot. Avoid using tap water as it may contain chlorine which can be harmful to your plant.

Fertilizer Needed

To provide proper nourishment you should always use balanced liquid fertilizer. Take 2 gallons of water and mix half to 1 tsp. of liquid fertilizer to it. use this solution to feed your plant once a month.

You can use this solution in a ratio of 1:1 with fresh and clean water if you have an aquarium. You will notice the plant to have a lush growth within a few days.

Caring of the Roots

Always use a larger vase or container when growing a philodendron. Using a small vase or jar can make the plant root bound as it cannot get enough space to spread comfortably.

When growing a philodendron in the water you will notice the aerial roots develop regular roots as, off shoots. So, when you are changing the water, you can remove them if you want.

Useful Tip

Boost root growth with aeration: Add an air stone and pump to your water container like those used for aquariums.

How to Propagate Philodendron in Water?

Propagating philodendrons in water is quite easy. However, the right method should be followed to achieve the desired result. Here, are some effective ways to grow a philodendron in water.

Step 1: Submerge the Cuttings in the Water

Make the container ready where the philodendron is to be placed. Gently place the philodendron cutting in the water-filled container in such a way that the nodes are dipped in water. You can place a few cuttings in the same container. However, make sure there is enough space between each cutting.

Step 2: Maintain Water Quality

It is very important to change the water regularly to prevent stagnation and root rot. So, whenever you notice the water to be unclear or cloudy, change the water and use fresh water after rinsing the container properly. Changing the water after every 1 or 2 weeks can be beneficial for the plant.

Step 3: Right Location

It is very important to place a philodendron in a location where it can receive adequate indirect bright light. So, even if you are growing a philodendron in water make sure the cuttings receive enough light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause several problems.

Is It Possible to Grow Philodendrons in a Fish Tank?

Growing philodendrons in an aquarium can make it look more beautiful. So, sometimes people want to propagate these plants in a fish tank. Although some varieties of philodendrons can grow well in a fish tank, others don’t. So, it is important to choose the right variety when growing the plant in a fish tank.

fish tank

Velvetleaf and heart leaf philodendrons are more adaptable to aquatic environments and can absorb nutrients from the water. So, they can be grown in an aquarium. As an aquarium contains fish so, make sure to keep the leaves of the plant above the waterline as the leaves can be toxic to fish. Only submerge the roots in the water.

As philodendrons prefer warm conditions so, the temperature of the water should be around 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a neutral pH between 6.5 to 7.5.

To make the plant grow and thrive well use the right amount of diluted fertilizer. Excess fertilizer can harm the plant as well as the fish in the tank. Also, place the tank or the aquarium in a place where the philodendron can receive the needed light.


With a little care and maintenance, it is easy to grow these tropical plants in water. Propagating a philodendron in water saves space and makes the area look more vibrant.

I hope this post will guide you to grow your favorite philodendrons in water without any hesitation. By following the tips and tricks shared above you can add a touch of green serenity to your indoor space.

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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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