Hydroponics is simply growing plants in water without soil. In commercial settings liquid nutrients are utilized for this style of growing plants. This is a step by step guide for creating a very simple and extremely effective hydroponic garden system. You can use this system to create a miniature indoor hydroponic garden or to propagate indoor and outdoor plants.
Cut a small pattern of wire mesh that fits over the container and leaves enough extra to fold over the sides. Once you place the wire mesh over the container hold it in place with one hand and fold over the sides with the other, slowly working your way around the entire circumference.
Take several cuttings from plants you like. The cuttings should be about 3-5 inches in length and have at least 2 leaves. Plants that are fleshy like Jade plant or Hydrangea or common indoor plants like African violet or Spider plant work very well with this type of setup. Make sure the cuttings have enough stem to fit down past the mesh by at least an inch or two. Start placing the cuttings through the wire mesh and the mesh will catch the leaves and hold the cuttings in place.
Fill the container with water to just slightly under the wire mesh. The plant stems will now slowly start to develop new root nodes along the stems. Place the container in a sunny, warm location near a window or under a grow light.
The cuttings will take 2-4 weeks to develop depending on the type of plant. Certain plants can take months but many indoor varieties develop new roots quickly. Once the plants have rooted they can be transferred to smaller mason jars filled with water to create a year round hydroponics display. The initial container arranged ahead of time can also be a long term garden display. This system can also be used to propagate plants that will be placed in soil at a later date.
Take time to experiment. You can do a little research online beforehand or see what plants work the best by trial and error. Some plants can stay in water for a very long time and continue to develop. Other plants need to be potted in soil at some point.