Ditch The Dirt With This Easy-To-Care-For Purple Hydroponic Houseplant

Want thriving greens without the mess? Go soil-free. Many indoor plants can grow in water indefinitely, so you can reap the benefits of lush flora in your space and avoid the dirt altogether. Also known as hydroponic plants, these botanicals grow just as beautifully as potted plants and require half the effort. No plant is a better example of this than the boat lily or the Tradescantia spathacea.

This herbaceous plant is native to tropical areas and also goes by many other names, such as oyster plant, rhoeo discolor, and Moses-in-the-cradle,' due to its cradle-shaped bracts. The plant has long, deep green and vivid purple leaves with small white flowers in the center, adding exotic allure to any space. It is a lazy plant parent's dream, especially when propagated in water. In the right conditions, boat lilies will flourish quickly with minimal maintenance. The plant may also have medicinal benefits.

How to grow boat lilies indoors without any soil

A simple way to propagate this beautiful plant is in water. Start by plucking a healthy stem from a mature boat lily plant — you may notice that the stem already has roots forming, which indicates how quickly and easily it grows. Remove the dirt and excess leaves from the stem and place it in a glass of water with optional pebbles, exposing it to plenty of sunlight. Boat lilies need frequent sunshine to grow in water and are perfect for an east-facing window. However, if you notice the leaves becoming brittle or faded in color, the environment may be too warm. Conversely, the leaves will appear wilted or dull without adequate sun exposure.

As long as your boat lily is given ample sunlight, the ongoing care requirements are minimal. The water should be replaced once weekly to keep this aquatic plant healthy. The long leaves of this plant may become damaged if submerged in water for too long, so be sure to monitor them regularly. The ideal container for this aquatic plant is a glass tube or vase with optional stones at the bottom. A happy and healthy boat lily will add a burst of tropical beauty to your home.

Boat lilies could have natural healing benefits

Boat lilies are beautiful houseplants that are also useful, especially in the realm of natural medicine. In addition to its gorgeous cradle-shaped bulbs and purple hues, this herbaceous plant has a hidden superpower. Research has found that boat lilies have antioxidant properties, which is why the plant has been used in traditional medicine. The plant also has anti-carcinogenic potential, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. A 2020 study in the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences also found that this plant has natural anti-diabetic properties. Traditionally, boat lilies have been used as a herbal medicine for coughs and fevers.

By preparing the dried leaves in an infusion beverage such as tea, you could experience some of this incredible plant's healing benefits. Given how easy it is to care for and how readily this plant grows its gorgeous medicinal leaves in water, there is no reason not to introduce a boat lily to your indoor plant family.