Grower Questions: Can Any Plant Be Grown with Hydroponics
What Plants Can Be Grown Hydroponically?
Maybe you're new to the hydroponic method and wondering if any plant whatsoever can be grown with hydroponics. Using the right techniques and methodology, the answer is pretty much yes however that doesn't mean every plant should be grown this way.
The purpose of growing with hydroponics is to utilize small spaces to produce as much as possible in the least amount of time, compared to traditional gardening techniques. Therefore you will want to select crops that support this goal of space-efficiency.
So, if you’re just starting your journey into hydroponic gardening, a question you might ask instead is “what are the best plants to grow with hydroponics?”.
In this article, we here at Monster Gardens will explore what you can grow in a hydroponic garden, and discuss good plants for hydroponic systems and environments. We will also explore some of the best plants to grow with hydroponics, as well as more advanced hydro techniques used for specialty crops.
What are the Best Plants for Hydroponics
This is a commonly asked question by new and experienced gardeners that are interested in growing plants with hydroponics. There are many different advantages to growing plants using this method.
When growing plants with hydroponics, typical soil media or organic matter isn't typically used. Instead, the plant’s root zone is usually in direct contact with a pre-mixed nutrient solution, or is planted in an inert soil media such as clay pebbles, coconut coir, or rockwool to allow for capillary action.
The most commonly grown and best hydroponics plants for beginner gardeners tend to be shallow rooting plants such as Lettuce, Kale, Oregano, Mint, etc…
What Other Plants are Good for Hydroponics?
Like we talked about above, the easiest way to start growing plants with hydroponics is by starting with shallow rooting plants, such as most leafy greens and herbs.
Because most plants are balanced in regards to the ratio of root structure versus above-ground growth, there’s little need to structurally support the plant throughout the cultivation process.
If your hydroponic gardening system has been set up correctly, and there are balanced nutrients available to the plants, you’ll be harvesting these kinds of plants with little maintenance and quicker than ever before.
Growing Lettuce with Hydroponics
Lettuce is one of the easiest plants to grow in a hydroponic system. Regularly changing the nutrient solution in your hydroponic system, and providing air to the root-zone of your lettuce plant is the most critical task in effectively growing lettuce hydroponically.
Target pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Growing Culinary Herbs with Hydroponics
Culinary Herbs are a commonly cultivated plant in hydroponic gardens. As with most other edible plants, culinary herbs grown with the hydroponic technique tend to have a fuller flavor profile than their grocery store counterparts.
When testing out new hydroponic gardening equipment, it can be beneficial to start with growing herbs on a small scale to get a feel for the growing process.
Target pH: Varies
Growing Spinach with Hydroponics
Spinach grows at incredible speeds when cultivated using hydroponics. This type of plant in a hydroponic garden responds well to high levels of oxygen and nutrient availability.
Growing spinach using these methods is highly efficient, and an environmentally friendly alternative to planting in raised beds or individual pots.
Target pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Growing Berries with Hydroponics
If you’re anything like us, the seasonal availability of delicious berries can be a sour topic to talk about. There’s a short window of time to procure and enjoy your favorite berries while they’re fresh and in season.
The other option is to be stuck relying on imported berries from big-box grocers. Most berries found at your local grocery store tend to lack distinct qualities, flavor profiles and aromas.
When growing your own berries with hydroponics, you’ll have access to delicious ripe berries all-year round.
Target pH: 5.5 to 6.2
Growing Peppers with Hydroponics
There are certain plants. Like peppers, that when grown with hydroponics, require additional maintenance and structural support throughout the duration of their life cycle due to their larger stature and equally big root-zones, as they’re not as naturally suited to hydroponic environments.
Target pH: 6.0 to 6.5
We hope this article has given you insight into how to start growing your own plants with hydroponics. As you’ve learned, numerous types of plants will not only grow in a hydroponic garden but that the process is fairly simple and will lead to thriving fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, Monster Gardens carries all the hydroponic supplies you need to get started. For more information on how to get started check out: “Grow Room 101: Starting Your Hydroponic Adventure”. Growing plants with hydroponics is a great way toward food self-sufficiency and having delicious fruits and vegetables at the tip of your fingers.