You’ve probably seen Chinese Evergreen plants in stores and wondered if you could grow one by yourself. They’re gorgeous, after all.
The good news is that it’s easy to grow a Chinese Evergreen by yourself. It’s a resilient, strong, and low-maintenance plant that adds a touch of the lush tropics to any living space.
Besides, the plant is well-known for its ability to handle different environments and harsh living conditions. This is why a lot of plant owners opt for innovative ways to propagate their Chinese Evergreens, and water propagation is an excellent way to do so.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through all you need to know about growing Chinese Evergreen in water, from selecting the right cuttings to using the right container.
Let’s jump right into it!
Chinese Evergreens are an ideal choice for novice plant owners and those who lead busy lives and don’t have much time to take care of their plants because of their ability to adapt to various environmental conditions.
Plant owners who don’t have enough resources or space for soil-based plant care often wonder if it’s possible to propagate their Chinese Evergreens in water.
Fortunately, it is!
While the Chinese Evergreen isn’t a true aquatic plant and isn’t suited to grow permanently in water, it still can grow in water under certain conditions.
The best part about water propagation is that it isn’t just an innovative way to propagate your plant; it’s also a simple, low-cost, and organic way to get new baby plants.
All you need is to take a healthy stem cutting, place it in water, and you’ll have new roots and foliage in weeks. More on that shortly.
Water propagation of Chinese Evergreen and other plants isn’t a mere trend. It has quite a few advantages.
Here’s why opting for water propagation can be a key to your Chinese Evergreen’s growth and vitality:
Despite their strength and resilience, Chinese Evergreens are prone to pest and fungus infestations. Too wet or too dry soil is ideal for unwanted pests that reproduce quickly and can eventually kill your plant if not treated.
However, the chances of pest infestations are significantly less if you use water as a growth medium for your plant. So technically, propagating your Chinese Evergreen in water can be an efficient way to manage pests that are usually present in soil-based growing environments.
For novice plant owners, water propagation is one of the easiest and quickest ways to propagate a plant.
The process is straightforward and requires minimal work from your end. As long as you follow the recommended steps and provide your plant with the right conditions, it’ll grow in no time.
When you place Chinese Evergreen cuttings into water, it takes around 2-3 weeks to see roots develop. It’s a tangible and visually rewarding experience for beginners.
If you decide to propagate your Chinese Evergreen in water, you won’t need anything more than water, a container, and stem cuttings. Forget about any costly special equipment. The process is much easier than that.
More importantly, water propagation can be done in almost any indoor space. That’s why it’s an ideal option for gardeners with limited outdoor space. As such, water propagation is a simple and cost-effective way to produce baby Chinese Evergreens without any hassle.
Another unique advantage of water propagation is that it gives you a clear view of the developing root system. This transparency allows you to periodically check the state of the root system and detect any plant root issues as soon as possible.
It’s not just satisfying to see how roots develop every day, but it can help you solve any issues quickly, ensuring the long-term vitality of your Chinese Evergreen.
Now that you understand the benefits of water propagation, it’s time to start propagating your Chinese Evergreen in water.
As we mentioned, the process is easy, cheap, and perfect for indoor gardeners with restricted space. Let’s start with what you’ll need to begin the propagation process.
Obviously, water is the growing medium in water propagation. With that in mind, you should use clean, fresh water. It’s best to allow the water to sit for around 24 hours to dissipate the chlorine.
Avoid using old stagnant water as it may prohibit the roots from absorbing nutrients and oxygen.
Use a clean, transparent container to easily monitor the roots’ development. Choose a container with enough depth so that you can submerge the cuttings without them touching the bottom.
Pick a healthy plant cutting that’s suitable for water propagation. I recommend cuttings that have at least 4-6 inches of stem for the best results.
Chinese Evergreens aren’t needy when it comes to light requirements, but it’s always best to provide them with bright indirect sunlight for a few hours per day for the best result.
So, you need to place your container near a window that receives adequate indirect sunlight daily.
Your Chinese Evergreen can naturally grow in water without using plant nutrients or hormones, but it’s always better to occasionally add liquid fertilizer to expedite root development.
Now, let’s move on to the most important part: propagating your Chinese Evergreen in water. After you gather the required materials, here’s what you need to do:
- Select a healthy Chinese Evergreen plant that has bright leaves with no leaf loss or yellow spots.
- Look for a healthy cutting with a node, as this is where the roots develop.
- Using clean scissors or tweezers, take a stem cutting that’s around 6 inches tall.
- Make sure you take a clean cut just below the node.
- Cut any lower leaves to expose the part of the stem that should be submerged in water.
- Clean your container thoroughly, then fill it with water, leaving enough depth to submerge the cutting without it touching the bottom of the container.
- Gently place the cutting in the container and make sure only the stem’s bottom is submerged in water.
- Place your container in a spot that receives an adequate amount of indirect sunlight daily.
- Monitor the roots’ development day by day and change the water weekly or whenever it gets cloudy.
Remember, even though Chinese Evergreens can be propagated in water, it’s not their ideal growth environment. So, once you see sufficient root development, consider transplanting your Chinese Evergreen into the soil.
Generally, you should expect your Chinese Evergreen to start growing roots within 2-3 weeks after water propagation. Once the roots reach 2 inches or more, it takes around 2-3 months for the rest of the plant to grow.
However, note that these numbers might not be 100% accurate because the time it takes for your Chinese Evergreen to root in water can vary based on several factors that influence root development.
For example, if you place your plant in a warm spot with a temperature between 70-80°F, your plant will develop faster as this temperature is ideal for Chinese Evergreen.
Conversely, if your plant is exposed to temperature fluctuations or low humidity, the roots will take much longer to develop.
The most crucial part is to stay patient, as it’s not uncommon for the rooting process to take a bit of time. Be observant and monitor the gradual development of your Chinese Evergreen so that you can address any issues promptly.
Now you have it; everything you need to know about growing Chinese Evergreen in water! This hydroponic approach has a bunch of advantages as well, especially for beginners. It’s a simple, cost-effective, and organic method to enjoy a flourishing new houseplant in no time.
Remember that the key to successful water propagation is starting with a healthy plant, using clean water, providing adequate lighting, and taking healthy stem cuttings. Once your Chinese Evergreen has established itself, you can either leave it in water or transfer it to soil.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.