Herbs are wonderful for hydroponics because their shoot tips root very well in water. Here’s how to grow them in water.
If you want to grow herbs, you do not necessarily need a pot with soil. Basil, mint or oregano also thrive without problems in a container with water. This form of cultivation is called hydroponics or hydroculture. The advantages: You can harvest the herbs all year round, you don’t need much space and also the care of the herbs is reduced to a minimum. You only need to refresh the water or add special liquid fertilizer from time to time. The roots of the herbs take the necessary nutrients directly from the nutrient solution.
How to grow herbs in water?
Popular herbs such as basil, peppermint, lemon balm or sage can be easily grown in water by taking cuttings and rooting them in a container of water. To do this, it’s best to take a sharp pair of scissors or a knife and cut off about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) of healthy shoot tips, each just below a leaf node. Then remove the leaves from the bottom two to three cm (0.8 to 1.2 in), leaving only about two to three pairs of leaves at the tip. Be especially careful with basil and lemon balm to use young shoots before flowering.
Location and care
Now the shoots are placed in a container with water for regrowing and placed on a window sill. It is recommended to enrich the water with special hydroponics fertilizer, as the nutrients it contains allow the herbs to thrive. As a vessel, a vase, pitcher or water glass is suitable, in which the shoots can stand upright. However, the vessel should not be too narrow, so that the roots have enough space. A location by a bright, south-facing window and a room temperature of around 20 °C (68 °F) are ideal for most herbs to thrive.
Depending on the type of herb, the first roots will show within one to two weeks. In the case of wooden cuttings, for example of rosemary, experience has shown that it can take a little longer. It is important to check the water level in the containers regularly and add fresh water as needed. Once a week you should change the water completely. Once the roots have developed vigorously, you can harvest the herbs. Use regularly: pruning promotes new shoots and stimulates branching.
Tips for further culture of herbs grown in water.
If desired, herbs grown in glass can also be moved to pots. If you wish to avoid soil in the long term, place the bare roots in a pot with expanded clay and a water level indicator. This should be one to two days below the minimum mark before each watering, so that the roots get enough oxygen.