The list of easiest plants to grow hydroponically
There are many types of plants that grow well in this soil-less farming. They include herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. These are the name list of each plant for those categories.
Herbs: basil, thyme, chive, mint, watercress, cilantro, peppermint, oregano, rosemary, sage, lemon balm
Vegetables: lettuce, tomato, spinach, bok choy, kale, scallion, cucumber, bell pepper, bean, radish
Fruits: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry, grapes, small watermelon, cantaloupe
Flowers: lavender, iris, peace lily, baby’s breath, daisy, petunia, marigold, rose, aster, orchid, hoya, carnation, daffodil
Houseplants: spider plant, devil’s ivy, Chinese evergreen, Chinese money plant, dumb cane
Most plants could grow in a hydroponic system. However, considering the growth time and effort it takes, the plants mentioned above are the most effective and effortless ones to maximize the result in the limited space.
Some require an outdoor hydroponic system, and others need an indoor one. In more detail, the systems are explained below.
Average harvest time of easiest plants to grow hydroponically
The usual growth phases of hydroponic crops include germination, seedling, transplant, and harvest/bloom. Though some plants go through different phases, their duration to reach harvest time is similar.
The duration varies from short to long term. Here are several harvest/bloom times of the easiest plants to grow hydroponically in weeks, from the shortest to the longest time.
Seven weeks or less since germination: mints, beans, cucumber, arugula, bok choy, spinach, watercress, lettuce, kale, mustard green, scallion, oregano, chives, basil, cilantro, chrysanthemum, carnation
12 weeks or less since germination: fennel, mint, parsley, rosemary, tomato, pepper, small watermelon, orchid
2-3 years since germination: sage, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, grapes, iris, daffodil
To shorten the duration, gardeners usually start growing the plants in hydroponics while in the seedling or transplant phase. Several plants can also be harvested not only once but three times in a row.
Yet, certain treatments need to be done between each harvest.
Easiest systems for setting up the easiest plants to grow hydroponically
The friendliest systems for beginners are explained below.
- The easiest system to set up is a wick, as it only needs a nylon or cotton cord, a growing medium, a growing tray, a basin, or a bucket containing a water reservoir with fertilizer. Nutrients and water from fertilizer in the basin will be transferred using the cord.
- Also, lettuce raft water culture involves Styrofoam as the raft floating on the basin for fertilized water reservoir. The Styrofoam is perforated to put the net pots where seedlings grow and spread their roots. This system also needs the air stone to aerate the water.
- A little bit more complex system, ebb and flow need two tubes, a submersible pump, and an electronic timer beside the tools needed in the two systems above. It enables the fertilized water to flow to the plant tray and back to the reservoir. The timer allows gardeners to choose the frequency and length of watering automatically.
Steps in growing plants hydroponically
As mentioned before, there are many variations of hydroponic systems. This might be the difference in the following steps. Yet the general ones consist of:
- Decide which of the easiest plants to grow hydroponically and prepare the seeds or seedlings.
- Find a suitable hydroponic system. Apart from the three systems above, there are still Nutrient Film Technique, drip hydroponic, the Kratky method, and aeroponics
- Select the light source using sunlight or grow light, the color spectrum, light duration, and the distance to the light source.
- Choose the grow media and hydroponic nutrients. Then measure the ideal pH and temperature.
- Set up the hydroponic system and plants.
Tips for maintaining the easiest plants to grow hydroponically
- Be aware of the water quality. Some systems require changing the water once in four days, a week, or two weeks. That includes pH also. Avoid pH below 5.5 or over 6.5.
- Run a test using other plants in a smaller quantity and practice mixing the nutrients soluble. It aims to check fertilizer quality and the system, and possible minimalizing problems appear.
- Take a note and make a schedule for ‘the plant inspection.’ Gardeners could see the progress and inhibitor.
- Check and clean the tools in the system routinely. It could prevent fungus, pests, or any disease infecting the plants
- Be patient and persistent.
Harder plants to grow in hydroponics
Contrary to the easiest plants to grow hydroponically, several plants grow best in soil. Those plants will take more effort and space but harvest/bloom of lesser quality.
They typically have large roots and long stems that grow vertically or do not have a damp environment. Try not to grow these plants in hydroponics.
- Sweet potatoes
Aside from the listed plants, trees and plants with large fruits like squash, melon, and winter melon suit soil gardening. Their roots, trunks, or even fruits might damage the hydroponic system.