Types of Hydroponics Systems and How They Work

What are the types of different hydroponics systems?

The 6 main types of different hydroponics systems include: Ebb and Flow (also called a Flood and Drain system), Drip, Wick, DWC (Deep Water Culture), NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), and Aeroponics. We’ll take a look at the different types of hydroponic system, and see how these hydroponic systems work.


Aeroponics Aeroponics systems provide nutrients to roots in a fine mist. Plants are suspended, often by clips or secured with foam in a chamber, fully exposing roots to the air. Special nozzles or sprinkler heads

Aeroponics – Enhanced Yields

Check out this video of astronauts growing with aeroponics!   Different Types of Aeroponic Systems Within aeroponics, there are two main divisions: LPA (Low Pressure Aeroponics) and HPA (High Pressure Aeroponics).  Low Pressure Aeroponics LPA

Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture System Deep Water Culture systems are one of the most popular hydroponic systems, and one of the easiest hydroponic systems. DWC systems get their name from how plants' roots grow submerged beneath

Drip Systems – How They Work

Drip Systems Drip hydroponic systems use a perforated tube to deliver nutrient solution to plants. This tube connects to a submersible pump, which pushes water through the tube. As the water flows through the tube,

Easy DIY Ebb and Flow System

Easy DIY Ebb and Flow System Looking for an easy DIY ebb and flow system? Then you’re in the right place. Ebb and flow systems are also known as flood and drain systems. No matter

Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System

Ebb and Flow System An Ebb and Flow hydroponic system is also often called a Flood and Drain system. Much as the name implies, these systems fill with nutrient solution at regular intervals. The nutrient

Nutrient Film Technique

Nutrient Film Technique Nutrient Film Technique systems, or NFT systems, have plants held on a slightly sloped tray. Nutrient solution pumps up to the highest end of the slanted tray. NFT trays often have channels,

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the easiest hydroponic system for beginners?

Of all the different hydroponics systems, a few stand out as easier than others. When you look at different hydroponics systems, you’ll notice various components. The less moving parts, the easier it is to manage. Deep Water Culture and wick setups are by far some of the easiest.

Does the type of system determine what I can grow?

Here’s the thing: most plants grow really well in hydroponics. However, not every water culture system works the same way. For instance, a DWC system is great for strawberries, spinach, or even bell peppers. But if you try to grow carrots in a DWC system, you’ll end up with a mess of rotten root veggies. However, if you use a media based system, like a drip or ebb and flow system, carrots grow quite well.

In short, the system doesn’t always limit what you can grow, but for certain plants it does.

What hydroponic systems are best for vine plants?

Plants that vine or ‘climb’  (like strawberries or tomatoes) require a little more work. Most of the time it really comes down to having the proper support for the vines and growing fruit. Stacked or vertical systems are always a good pick, but you can use other systems and add extra support. Ebb and flow systems are a good choice, although NFT systems are another top choice.

Learn more about growing strawberries and tomatoes with our grow guides!