There are seemingly endless possibilities for the kinds of plants you can grow hydroponically. Some plants, like wheat, simply aren’t feasible for the majority of gardeners, and they aren’t as well suited to most hydroponic systems. When some people think of the best plants to grow in a hydroponic system, what they’re really thinking about is the easiest plants to grow in hydroponics.
The fact is, some plants thrive in water culture, and they’re incredibly easy to grow too. In other cases, some plants are great for hydroponics, but they also require more work.
We’ll take a look at the best choices for plants in hydroponic systems, starting with some of the easiest plants to grow hydroponically and moving on to those that are a little trickier.
What makes a plant difficult or easy to grow in hydroponics?
There are several factors to consider, including:
- Best system type for that plant
- Nutrient requirements
- Length of the growth cycle
- Lighting requirements
- Temperature and humidity requirements
- Plant growth habit
- Pruning and maintenance requirements
- Extra supports needed
- Size of root system
- Mature plant size
- Optimal pH levels and EC
These factors also make an impact on which plants you can grow together in hydroponic systems. For instance, the majority of herbs have similar requirements (pH, nutrients, temperature, etc). In most cases, they can easily be grown together. However, while mint does fall into the herb category, it has a much larger root system. Because of that, it should be grown apart from other herbs, even though it has the same basic requirements.
How to Choose the Best Plants to Grow in Hydroponics
Now that you know about the different skill levels some of the best hydroponic plants require, you’re ready to start planting! But how do you choose which one to plant? If you’re starting out, try easier plants first, and work your way up.
If you’re confident in your hydroponic gardening skills, you pretty much have free range. Just make sure that you know the needs of the plants you plan on growing, and make sure your hydroponic system is able to support them- both in the space available, and the ambient environment and nutrient delivery they’ll need to flourish and keep growing.