How to multiply plants in water to help purify indoor air

Indoor plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but also improve air quality by filtering toxins and increasing oxygen levels. Propagating plants in water is an easy, cost-effective way to multiply your greenery. This method, suitable for many popular houseplants, allows you to create a thriving indoor garden that helps purify your indoor air. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to multiply plants in water.

Benefits of Propagating Plants in Water

  1. Air Purification: Plants like pothos, spider plants, and philodendrons can remove harmful toxins from the air.
  2. Cost-Effective: Propagating plants in water eliminates the need to purchase new plants.
  3. Space Efficiency: Water propagation requires minimal space and can be done indoors.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Glass containers with growing roots add a decorative element to your home.

Materials Needed

  • Healthy parent plant
  • Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • Glass jars or vases
  • Clean, room-temperature water
  • Optional: Rooting hormone

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose the Parent Plant:
    • Select a healthy plant with no signs of disease or pest infestation.
    • Common plants for water propagation include pothos, philodendrons, spider plants, and mint.
  2. Cut the Stem:
    • Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut a stem below a node (the point where leaves attach to the stem).
    • Ensure the cutting is 4-6 inches long and has at least one or two leaves attached.
  3. Prepare the Cutting:
    • Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving one or two at the top.
    • If desired, dip the cut end in rooting hormone to encourage faster root development.
  4. Place in Water:
    • Fill a glass jar or vase with clean, room-temperature water.
    • Place the cutting in the water, ensuring the nodes are submerged but the leaves are above the waterline.
  5. Position the Container:
    • Place the container in a bright, indirect light location.
    • Avoid direct sunlight, which can cause the water to heat up and harm the cutting.
  6. Maintain the Water:
    • Change the water every 3-5 days to prevent stagnation and bacterial growth.
    • Ensure the nodes remain submerged and the water level is adequate.
  7. Monitor Root Growth:
    • Within a few weeks, roots should start to develop from the submerged nodes.
    • Allow the roots to grow at least 1-2 inches long before transplanting.
  8. Transplanting (Optional):
    • Once the roots are well-established, you can transfer the cutting to soil.
    • Fill a pot with well-draining potting soil and plant the rooted cutting.
    • Water thoroughly and place in a location with appropriate light conditions.

Tips for Success

  • Water Quality: Use filtered or distilled water if your tap water contains high levels of chlorine or fluoride, which can inhibit root growth.
  • Container Choice: Transparent containers allow you to monitor root development easily, but opaque containers can help reduce algae growth.
  • Temperature: Keep the water and the environment at a consistent, warm temperature to promote root growth.
  • Patience: Some plants take longer to root than others. Be patient and give your cuttings time to develop strong roots.

Best Plants for Water Propagation

  • Pothos: Known for its air-purifying properties, pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate in water.
  • Spider Plant: Excellent for removing indoor pollutants, spider plants produce “pups” that can be easily propagated.
  • Philodendron: Another great air purifier, philodendrons root quickly in water.
  • Mint: Not only purifies the air but also adds a fresh scent to your home.


Propagating plants in water is an effective way to multiply your indoor greenery while enhancing air quality. By following these simple steps, you can create a thriving collection of plants that will beautify your home and purify the air. Enjoy the process of watching roots develop and new plants grow, all while contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

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