Growing plants without water is definitely possible, and such plants are ideal for people living in drought conditions. Growing plants without water are called for the need because of drought conditions. It is different from hydroponic gardening where you need water but no soil.

Growing Plants Without Water

“Drought tolerance” or hydroponic plants are known to survive and even thrive in low water availability. Hence, today we will explore tips and techniques for growing plants without water, and we will also discuss plants that can survive without water indoors and outdoors.

Can You Grow Plants Without Water?

💥 Quick Answer

Yes, you can grow plants without water. Many drought-resistant plants need minimal or no water at all. Which means that, in harsh conditions, you can grow these plants in your garden without much watering, because this is their key characteristic as they thrive.


While all plants need some water to survive, drought-tolerant plants have developed unique adaptations. It enables them to even thrive in conditions of prolonged drought. Also, they can tolerate high-heat conditions.

– Plant Survival

There are a big number of drought-tolerant plants that you can consider growing without water, and this list of plants would mainly include cacti and succulents that store water in their leaves or stems, also, some grasses and edges are ideal for growing without water that has long and deep root systems. Their deeper root helps them quickly access underground water reserves, and this is the key to their survival without any irrigation.

Moreover, the plants that don’t need water or sun, develop special techniques for survival, as many drought-tolerant plants have hairy or waxy leaves that help reflect light and reduce evaporation. Then, other plants have small leaves to minimize the surface area exposed to the sun and wind. 

It helps them reduce evaporation and thrive in no or low-water conditions. On the same note, no doubt that most drought-tolerant plants are native to arid or semi-arid regions. Thankfully, they are also widely cultivated varieties specifically bred to tolerate dry conditions. 

What Are the Outdoor Plants To Consider for Growing Without Water?

The outdoor plants to consider for growing without water are cacti, succulents, and ornamental grass. The reason why they survive is that their leaves have a sufficient amount of water that they wouldn’t need much, their characteristic is that they tolerate dry circumstances. 

Drought conditions are becoming more and more common across the United States. In fact, more than 35 percent of the USA and Puerto Rico currently have medium to high drought. As a result, many gardeners are looking for ways to reduce their water usage. One way to acknowledge this grow is to choose drought-tolerant plants for your garden, thus, you can help plants grow without water successfully. 

There are many outdoor and indoor drought-tolerant plants you may consider, and this factor will depend on your climate and gardening goals. If you live in an arid climate, cacti and succulents are obvious choices. These plants store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. It allows them to survive prolonged periods without any rain or irrigation being given to them.

Other good options for high drought-tolerant gardening include native plants, they do require water, but if it can be given between a prolonged period of time. These plants have evolved to withstand the local conditions. Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and grasses such as buffalo grass and blue grama are great choices.

– Cacti

Cacti are one of the best plants to grow in minimal or without water. They are low-maintenance and can survive on very little amount of water, and remember that many cacti will rot and die if they are overwatered them, because they are fine when they are watered in a minimal way.


There are a wide variety of cacti to choose from for gardeners, and this would mean that, you can easily find one that fits your gardening style. Of course, you would want a plant that blooms in no-water condition, and in this case, there are several species of cacti that are prone to produce beautiful flowers as well.

You may select from a variety of them, which would include the Spiny Pincushion, Spider cactus, Lincoln Gems, or Claret Cups, for growing without water and enjoying fantastic blooming.

On the other hand, when you want something different, there are cacti with unique shapes and colors. You may select living rocks that have a beautiful pink flower on their foliage. The foliage looks rocky from where it gets its name. You may also find the disco cactus horstii attractive.

– Succulents

Succulents are also perfect plants to grow in a garden with low-water availability, and this is because they will store water in their leaves and stems. It is helpful to survive for long periods without water, also, there are a wide variety of succulents available. As a result of the latter, you can choose the ones that best fit your garden.


Some of the most popular succulents include aloe vera, cactus, and sedum, and they would thrive as their leaves have the right amount of water, which means you can water little to nothing, if you consider doing so once a month. These plants are easy to care for and can thrive in dry climates. If you live in an area with little rainfall, succulents are a great option for your garden, then you may even grow them in indoor conditions.

– Ornamental Grasses

There are wide varieties of ornamental grasses. Hence, you’re sure to find one perfect for your garden to grow with little to no water. Some of the most popular varieties include the Big bluestem, the blue oat grass, fountain grass, Pampas grass, and even the Mexican feather grass.

Moreover, when choosing an ornamental grass for your garden, select a variety that suits your climate and soil type. As you provide these grass with proper and minimal care, that is the time when these grass will provide beauty and interest to your landscape for years to come.

What Are the Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Water?

The indoor plants that don’t need water are the air plants, the snake plants, and the philodendrons. You can grow them with just a very small amount of water and see them thrive for a long period of time, as they are prone to these conditions. 

First, these plants provide your home with natural beauty and fresh air. They also require no water or soil to survive! These simple plants can instantly add life to your home decor with minimal effort.

– Air Plants

Air plants are unique in that they don’t require soil to grow. Instead, they get their nutrients from the air and water, and they are native to tropical and subtropical regions. 

Moreover, they are found in rainforests, deserts, and mountains, and this is because they are adapted to survive in these harsh environments, moreover the method of receiving  moisture and nutrients is a process that would take place from the air through leaves, hence the name.

As a result, the air plants are easy to care for indoors, and they don’t need much water or light, making them well-suited for homes and offices, in addition, these plants don’t even need soil for survival. To water an air plant, mist it once a while, be sure to let the plant dry out before misting it again. Too much water can cause the plant to rot.

A few of the top indoor air plants for growing without water are the Tillandsia gardneri, as this is famous for its silvery fizzy. The trichome looks impressive, too, and it needs four to five hours of sunlight.

There’s also the Tillandsia palacea, it has ample trichomes to accumulate its nutrients from the water. Its extended clump looks unique and highly attractive. So, it adds excellent aesthetics to your indoor space.

And lastly, the T. tectorum Ecuador variation, this plant is known to have such a fuzzy snowball appearance. Indeed, its trichomes look like a snowball with a silver-whitish appearance. Hence, you will love growing it indoors with less water and soil.

– Snake Plants

Nothing beats the snake plants when you look for a low-maintenance indoor plant that only needs a little water. These are native to Africa and can tolerate arid conditions, and known to be also amongst the few plants that can thrive in low and bright light conditions. 

Snake Plants

Basically, these plants are easy to care for and make a great addition to any home or office. You may choose it from different shapes and sizes. So it fits your indoor ambiance perfectly. They have a tendency to receive water through the humidity in the room, and they will do so well.

– Philodendrons

Philodendrons are a type of indoor plant that doesn’t need water, and they are perfect for people who need to remember to water their plants. It also suits those who only have a little time for plant maintenance. 


These beautiful plants with their various shapes and sizes of foliage are among the most popular houseplants. It happens because of its adaptation ability in little watering and various lighting conditions, and when they grow, you will see their green foliage is eye-soothing too. Plus, it supplements other indoor plants brilliantly.

What Are Some Tips for Growing Plants Without Water?

Some tips for growing plants without water are when you choose the right plants, and aim to improve on the soil quality of the plant, and mulching it properly. On the other hand, you may also aim for drip irrigation, and water when necessary in the morning. 

It becomes incredibly challenging when you plan to grow plants without or without water. But don’t worry since we have prepared the best tips for growing plants in drought conditions. As you follow these tips, you should be able to grow plants in minimum water conditions for sure.

– Choose the Right Plants

You must start with the right plants. When choosing plants for low or no-water situations, it’s essential to select drought-resistant plant varieties. Some examples of drought-tolerant plants we have shown include cacti, succulents, and certain types of grasses. Many plants without water for a week are suitable for droughts, and whichever is most suitable for your lifestyle is what you need to invest in. 

Choose the Right Plants

You may select both plants for indoor and outdoor conditions in minimal water. As a result, you can arrange your landscape and interior space with unique drought-resistant plants, flowers, etc. You need to check their soil type and maintenance guidelines too.

– Improve the Soil Quality

When you start growing plants without water, you must Improve the soil. This can be done by adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, to help retain moisture.

Improve the Soil Quality

Plus, you must maintain the soil through proper fertilization regularly, and if the soil is deprived of nutrients and water, plants will be more likely to die sooner than you expect.

– Mulching Technique

A layer of mulch around your plants will help to keep the soil moist. Plus, it helps to prevent evaporation, and the soil will remain moist which means that your plant will be alright, and this is why and how mulching helps grow plants without or with less water.

Mulching Technique 

Organic materials such as straw or bark chips make excellent mulches, and you may get them from gardening stores. On the other hand, while using the mulches, ensure it is free from pests, if not, mulches can quickly invite white ants or other pests to develop an infestation, which means, it can be a headache.

– Drip Irrigation System Is Necessary

Although plants can grow without water, you shouldn’t leave them withiout water forever. Instead, choose a system that irrigates them gradually. Regarding this, drip irrigation is genuinely beneficial to water plants timely. Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the roots of your plants.

It reduces evaporation and waste. These systems can be easily installed DIY-style or purchased pre-made at most garden centers. It will help the plants thrive and stop water wastage too.

– Watering in the Morning Helps

If you water these plants, do it in the morning. Watering in the morning allows the sun to evaporate any excess water on the leaves.

Watering in the Morning Helps

Therefore, it helps reduce disease and overwatering risk. It’s also the best time of day to avoid wind damage. It happens from watering too forcefully.


1. What Happens to Plants Without Water?

Plants without water will suffer from wilting, because it weakens the stems and leave, and eventually, the plant will die. Nonetheless, you may choose our suggested plants that thrive even without water.

2. How To Grow Plants Without Soil?

You may choose plants to grow without soil and water both. The available techniques for growing plants without soil include gravel culture and sand culture. Nonetheless, the absorbed-nutrient technique works best for these soil-less conditions. It allows the plant to absorb nutrients from water or air in a nutrient-rich environment.


Undoubtedly, you can still have a beautiful garden during water scarcity.

All you need is to follow our suggestions for growing plants without water.

  • When you grow plants in less or no water conditions, focus on the soil. It should have rich nutrients to help the plants to thrive.
  • Our suggested hardy plants will not only survive but thrive in arid climates. It gives your garden an aesthetic pop and helps to conserve precious water resources.
  • Hydroponic and nutrient-absorption techniques work best for growing plants without soil or water. You can choose air plants for such purposes.

Are you looking for the perfect way to add beauty and life to your yard without using much water? Then drought-tolerant gardening is worth exploring with our plants’ suggestions to grow without water!


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