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Hydroponic Houseplants and How To Grow Them

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -clay aggregate hydroponic1

Are you fascinated by gardening but not so fond of getting your hands dirty? Try growing your houseplants hydroponically! This blog will cover which plants you can grow in water and how to do it. 

What is Hydroponic Gardening?

Hydroponics is a soilless technique for growing many types of plants, including houseplants, that uses a different medium to support the roots and grows the plants directly in nutrient-rich water. Hydroponic growing may help houseplants grow faster, and give you a first-hand look at your plant’s magical root systems during their maturation process. There are a few methods for growing your houseplants hydroponically, and all of them are equally fascinating.

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -TYPES OF HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS

Different Kinds of Hydroponic Systems 

Hydroponic systems can be divided into six different types, including:

  • Water Culture Hydroponics: This is one of the easiest ways to begin your journey of hydroponic gardening! An air pump oxygenates the growing environment when houseplants are grown in deep water culture.

  • Wick System Hydroponics: This method involves using a cotton or nylon wick to absorb water and nutrients from a solution and deliver them to houseplants.
  • Ebb and Flow Hydroponics: This cheap and effective hydroponic growing method involves periodic flooding and draining of the nutrient solutions. The reservoir and plant tray are the two main parts of the solution. 
  • Drip Hydroponics: Drip hydroponics uses a pump to feed your houseplants with nutrients and water slowly over time. They are also known as “trickle” and “micro-irrigation” systems.
  • N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technology): No, we don’t mean the newfangled type of NFTs you read about online! NFT hydroponic systems grow plants without a substrate by coating the roots with a nutrient solution.

  • Aeroponic Systems Hydroponics: This method is notable for its high levels of success in hydroponic plant growing! The roots of the plants in aeroponic systems grow in the open air and are sprayed directly with nutrient water mix.
Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -monstera cutting growing in water

Which Houseplants Are Suited to Hydroponics?

While most houseplants are capable of growing hydroponically, some perform better than others under hydroponic pressure! The best hydroponic houseplants to grow indoors include:

  • Spider plant
  • English ivy
  • Lucky bamboo
  • Peace lily
  • Money tree
  • Pothos
  • Monstera
  • Chinese evergreen 
  • Orchid

How Do I Start?

Beginner hydroponic gardeners will ideally want to stick to the wick, water culture, and ebb and flow methods. Aeroponics and nutrient film systems are more advanced systems for growing hydroponic houseplants. The wick method is the easiest to put together and works well with most houseplants. To set it up, you will need to create a water reservoir that sits under the tray holding your plant and growing medium. Connect the wicks to your growing tray, set it up, and place it under a high-quality grow light or appropriate sunlight. Voila, you’re a hydroponic gardener!

Ted Lare Home & Build -Hydroponic Houseplants in Iowa -houseplant growing with no soil

Can I Transplant to Soil?

Yes, you can safely transplant hydroponic houseplants into potting mix. To ensure the best possible transition, monitor your moisture levels carefully, water immediately at the point of transplant, and cut back on watering gradually as the plant gets established in its new home. 

Growing hydroponic houseplants is a great way to develop a more profound appreciation for your plants’ unique but often-hidden root systems. For more tips on hydroponic gardening with your houseplants, visit us at Ted Lare Design & Build in Des Moines, Iowa, today. 

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To Trail or Train: Skills to Manage Your Vining Houseplants

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-trailing pothos plant

It’s no secret that vining house plants have minds of their own, but with a little persuasion and guidance, you can train your plant to grow in various ways for the perfect decoration in your home. Here is a guide on which vining house plants trail and how to help them grow in the right directions.

The Basics of Vine Training

The key to successful climbers is to train them young. Training your vining house plants in an upright growth habit as early as possible will help them continue growing this way for the rest of their lives. Of course, if you want your plant to grow with trailing vines that hang down, that’s a great option too! 

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-climbing ivy plant

When settling your plant into a new pot, consider how you want to encourage it to grow: do you want it to climb a trellis or pole, or do you want it to climb across your wall or around a door frame? If you choose a pole or trellis, insert it into the container before you plant your vines so that you don’t accidentally damage the roots. Then you can wrap it around the support so it can grow. If you want your plant to grow on your wall or around a window, you can use command hooks, metal picture hangers, plant vine clips, and string for cheap and effective options. 

If your plant needs some help staying attached to its support structure while it gets used to growing, you can use trellis clips or covered wire to keep it close to the structure while the new growth climbs. Once your plant is secure, you can easily remove these. Be sure you don’t tie the wire too tight and damage the plant!

Fantastic Climbing Vines You Can Train


Pothos plants are an excellent option for low-light environments and are easy to grow! They have a fast growth rate and are perfect for framing a bookshelf or training to climb across a wall. They have stiffer stems, so be delicate when arranging your plant. To encourage bushy growth, pinch your pothos’ leaves back routinely; this helps prevent your vining house plant from becoming thin and lanky. 

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-hoya carnosa


Hoya plants feature spectacular showy colored flowers and waxy leaves. Most varieties of these vining house plants can climb, but some have leaves that grow too large to climb and should be left to trail. A classic aesthetic for hoyas is a ring-shaped trellis in the container, creating a halo of waxy leaves and gorgeous blooms. You will want to be extra gentle when attaching your hoya to the trellis so that you don’t break any stems or leaves.

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-philodendron on moss pole


There are many varieties of philodendrons, and many of them climb similarly to a pothos, but they prefer a rough, damp support that their aerial roots can cling to rather than stakes or framework. You can purchase a moss pole at your local garden center or DIY build one at home using some rough textured rope!

Ted lare garden center - skills to manage your vining houseplants-monstera adansonii


Monsteras are a staple houseplant for influencers and plant addicts alike. These gorgeous vining plants love to climb and adapt very well to moss poles and trellises. If you have a mature plant, it may need extra time and slow adjustment to climb the support structure; take it slow and use clips or twine if needed.


Visit us at Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center in Cumming, Iowa, for all your houseplant care needs, we can’t wait to help you get those vines climbing!