Most gardeners know that certain plants will root in water but it isn't generally known that some plants can grow in water year-round. Scientists in USDA's Agricultural Research Service say any waterproof container can be used - an old canning jar, aquarium, beverage bottle or vase.

Plants that adapt well to water gardening include geranium, peperomia, impatiens, ivy, wax begonia, hibiscus, coleus, aucuba, aglaonema and grape ivy.

These plants are well suited because many of them already have embryonic root systems at each point where a leaf originates. These pre-formed roots develop rapidly when placed in water.

Cut branches should be arranged loosely in the container, with leaves that would be below water removed. Rotate branches daily in the light so that a uniform foliage will be maintained.

Wash the container with warm soapy water. Rinse with clean water and dry before filling it with fresh water. Also wash the plant material thoroughly in soapy water with a vegetable brush.

Cut the stem just below a node (point where a leaf originates); the cut should be sharp without damaging the stem.

Put the plant in water immediately. All damaged or dying foliage should be removed. The water should be changed at monthly intervals to control the growth of algae and to keep the container clean and clear.

Occasionally a pinch of soluble house plant fertilizer, dissolved in water, can be provided.

Peppermint and spearmint are particularly good for growing in water. In addition to begin green and attractive, they give off a faint odor that is quite pleasant.

Actually, it is a good idea to try almost any of the annual growing in the garden. Some will last longer than others, but many will endure long enough to provide a lot of pleasure.

Plants that naturally grow in water, such as water lilies, actually require more oxygen than they can get from that dissolved in water. They are equipped with specially constructed channels through which air is conducted from the surface of the leaves to the under-water parts.

Plants growing in water or soil lacking in air show symptoms of malnutrition and also drought because without oxygen the roots cannot absorb nutrients or moisture.

All of the actions and reactions that go on within a plant require energy. The energy comes from respiration, the oxidation of food produced by photosynthesis.

Respiration cannot proceed without oxygen. Air is a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other gases that surround the earth, form its atmosphere and make life possible.