I have a little monstera with an odd backstory. I found it, abandoned, bare-rooted and in very poor health on the ground in full sun. It had been there at least a week, and with no viable roots. I put it in a vase, thinking the leaves would look nice until it died. One of the two leaves died, but the other has hung on, although looking pretty limp.

To my surprise, it has now rooted vigorously, and put out a new leaf which is probably a couple of days from unfurling.

My question is: how long can it live in water? I suppose I should pot it, but I kind of don't want to disturb it now that it seems to be growing and looking healthier.

1 Answer 1


Generally if the water is changed regularly, weekly for example, the plant should be fine for months in water. Note that plants tend to grow different roots in different mediums, if it gets used to water it will be harder for it to adjust to soil when transplanted. Typically this means that you would have to keep the soil moist, watering more frequently than usual would be necessary in the first 1-2 week. You could consider potting up the plant with sphagnum moss which is not as "drastic" as soil but it would encourage a more sturdy root growth. With sphagnum you would still have the ability to inspect the roots any time you want. Sphagnum Moss: What It Is and How to Use It. Then moving from sphagnum to soil would be an easier step.

Back to keeping a plant entirely in water, after some point you should start to add nutrients to the water that the plant would naturally take up from the soil. Growing plants in water is called hydroponic gardening, you can read more about it here: The No-Soil, Zero-Maintenance Method for Growing Houseplants.

There is a method called semi-hydroponic gardening, where there is additional medium, usually LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) aka clay balls to encourage stronger root growth. Read more about it here What Is Semi-Hydroponics – Growing Semi-Hydroponics At Home.

In both cases nutrients should be supplied to the plants through the water.


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