Back in 2001, Martha Stewart Living featured an article on Indoor Water Gardens, a step-by-step instructional on growing aquatic plants in your home. Little did we know that this crafty project would probably come in handy for poor Martha in 2005 when her access to the fresh outdoors, garden shears, and freedom in general would be rather restricted. Seeing as indoor water gardens mainly rely on a container of water to grow (presuming hers wasn’t already in use – I don’t know, I just don’t see Martha as the type to try a Peeno, er, Pinot that wasn’t a vintage) – these lovely lilies may have indeed helped her days go by during that dark era. But even us free folk can enjoy indoor water gardens, especially as winter draws close.
First, you’ll want to research what kind of aquatic or semiaquatic plants you’d like to grow as different varieties have different needs. Would you prefer pads, grasses, flowers, or mosses? Many pond plants are divided by whether they are “bog plants” (the toilet humour just doesn’t stop!), floaters (tee hee!), lilies, lotuses, grasses and submerged plants (not to be confused with – heeee – sinkers). Some popular indoor water garden varieties include Parrot Feather, Water Lettuce, Taro, Water Hyacinth, Fairy Moss, and Duck Weed.
Your decision might also depend on the space you have and the containers you have access to. Indoor water gardens can be grown in containers as little as Crystal Clear Glass Tea Cups and wide-mouth mason jars, and as large as aquariums or terrariums. Certain varieties of pond plants do better with more sunlight, so keep in mind where you can place your container (and whether you’re able to move it there once it’s filled with water). Most indoor water gardens require some soil although this is often in the form of pebbles, rocks (hopefully you can acquire yours easily, unlike Martha, who may have had to break hers from boulders first), charcoal bits, brick, sand, or peat. The last ingredient you need is pure water, such as distilled water readily available at the grocery store.
As each plant is a little different, it’s best to read up on the particular pond plants you’d like to grow and create and maintain your indoor water garden based on that specific information. One thing to note: These plants are strictly on (indoor) house arrest. You don’t want to transfer them outside as they can be rather aggressive and take over bodies of water.