This is a small, tiny plant that can grow easily in a variety of conditions, indoors, in your balcony as well.
It even prefers light shade, so if there is no direct sunlight, it is still goodThe plant works as a nice decorative touch of nature in your living room, near your windows, and can grow in small pots and cups too.
How to Grow Watercress without Soil?
Growing plants without soil are called aquaponics, where the nutrients are directly absorbed through the water. Watercress needs nutrients and sunlight, where the soil is not a necessary component. In this video on YouTube, you can learn more about the same. Aquaponics is also called hydroponics.
- The first thing you will need for indoor growing of watercress herb is a pack of its seeds. For this, you can go online and look for several variants, and get the one that you like. They are affordable herbs and need no specific effort.
- For preparing the container, take an empty water bottle, such as a ‘Pet’, and cut it from the top to prepare an open base. You can do this by cutting the bottle into half from the top. If you have an old cup or a box, that is good as well. It should have some depth, enough to hold water.
- Then, you can get a sponge or cotton, and damp it with plain water. This will form the base on which you will place the seeds. This is essential because you cannot drop the seeds directly and submerge in the water. It should be damp and moist but not submerged.
- Then, get some good quality hydroponics nutrients. This is the nutrient pack plants require, and if there is no soil or earth, you can give it to them artificially by dissolving it in the water. In most stores, you can find them as ‘Liquid Plant Food’, and they are also affordable. Make sure to read the instructions before using it, because it is just like a medicine, an overdose can kill a plant.
Preparing the Bed
- You can start by preparing the bed, made of rock wool or sponge soaked in plain water, and pours the watercress seeds in them. In each pocket, you can put 2 to 3 seeds, and this is good enough with 4 to five pockets.
- Finally, pour the liquid nutrient, place it in the water bottle without submerging it in the water completely. You have to check the water level and add more water when the water evaporates. Further, you can use a ziplock bag to keep the moisture in. Place it under some light, for it to sprout properly.
How to Grow Watercress in a Stream?
Sometimes, if there is a stream of running water, watercress can also grow submerged. It needs damp soil, water, and moisture all the time, and keeping it dry will kill the herb. Watercress must be permanently wet all the time, and this is the single mandatory requirement. Watercress seeds will also sprout even without light, but keeping it under sunlight or diffused light is a good idea. Do not keep it in complete darkness.
- In order to thrive, watercress can grow in a stream, where seeds will sprout. The simplest way to achieve this is by using a deep saucer and filling it with water. If you have a running stream in your property, cultivating watercress is a great idea. It adds a lot of greenery to the surrounding. Placing the seeds in the soil inside a furrow will let the seeds sprout.
- You can also create your own stream using some soil, pebbles, and piping indoors. You can do the same outdoors with some organic matter, and make a more natural composition. With compost soil and peat moss, it looks more natural. Then, fill about 2 inches of soil, and place the watercress seeds in furrows in them.
- In a matter of days, they will sprout and you can notice small leaves. Planting watercress in a steady flowing stream, in the shallow portion is the best idea. It must have freshwater, such as from a creek, and that is healthy with nutrients. You do not have to use artificial aquaponics medicine. But, if you create your own bog or pool of water, it may be better to have a bottle of liquid plant food.
How to Grow Watercress in Fish Tanks?
There are several varieties of aquatic plants, and they can grow while submerged in water completely. Many people like to decorate their ponds, and aquariums with such plants to give a good feel and prepare a nice habitat for the aquatic animals. Fishes like it with pebbles, plants and all. And, watercress is a nice addition to your fish tank, but it will need light to flourish, and if you leave your fish tank light on all the time, see that it allows for dark for at least 10 hours a day.
- You have to get some containers if you are planning to place it inside the fishbowl. Since watercress nasturtium is a marsh plant, it will not last in the aquarium for long. Steady water flow is a good place.
- You can use styrofoam sheets to place the watercress seeds in them and place them int the water. As the plants grow, they will curl up and stay submerged, with only partially flowing outside. Using liquid aquaponics food for the aqua tank you can give them the necessary nutrients.
- If the fishes don’t eat them all up, they can thrive properly. But, you can also transfer the watercress from elsewhere and then place them, and grow them in your aquarium or fish tank.
- If you are wondering whether watercress is safe in a fish tank, or growing watercress in a fish tank is safe, the answer is yes. Growing microgreens using styrofoam sheets is a great idea. Even, several aquaponics fish tanks are available for sale with aquatic plants like watercress which have their roots inside the water level but leaves above in the air.
How Long does it Take to Grow Watercress from Seed?
It takes just a matter of a couple of days for the seeds to sprout. When it comes to harvesting watercress, you don’t have to think twice. Just place the seeds, and it will germinate. It can take up to 15 to 20 days, for the herb to fully develop the shoots, roots, and leaves. But, the seed will have noticeable small leaves in just a couple of days. Keep it under a light source, to help with the germination.
Can You Grow Watercress from Cuttings?
You can use stem cuttings to propagate the plant. Yes, the herb can grow from cuttings, and you can also transfer them from one place to another. For example, you can grow them in your fish tank, after germinating them in a cup. It does not need too much sunlight, and therefore can grow without any issues. It can also grow without soil, so using hydroponics nutrients mixture, you can grow them indoors. If you cut them, it can still grow from the roots, shoots, and nodes and branches.
Can You Grow Watercress Indoors?
Most definitely, the herb can grow inside and without any issues. If you have the required nutrients, little light, that is all.
- Watercress is a marsh plant, an herb, and needs to be moist all the time.
- It needs a little light to help with the growth, but also needs some dark time.
- You can grow them indoors without sunlight, in a stream, in a fish tank, and even submerged in water, given it is shallow.