The technique of growing plants through hydroculture is catching on in leaps and bounds. These plants are grown without compost or soil, instead replacing these components with a nutrient solution. Due to this method's growing popularity, hydroculture has come a long way in foolproof houseplant development and growth.

With a little practice and starting off small, you will be up and running in no time at all and will discover what a fantastic method of growing plants this truly is!

Hydroculture is more expensive than your ordinary soil and compost, therefore it might not be in your plans to grow all your plants this way. Picking plants that are special to you will pay off in the long run, because you will experience healthier plants that will grow with minimum care. You will also be thrilled with your accomplishments!

Hydroculture is also ideal for an office environment where plants get little to no attention and suffer enormously. Watering is only required infrequently and feeding takes place twice a year. We've all passed by windows, corners in hallways or on a desktop somewhere and stared at these poor plants that are one root in the grave. Hydroculture is the perfect remedy and takes little to know maintenance.

Is There a Specific Unit Right for Me?

Although there are several variations, all units are based on the same principle. These units have an outer container that holds the nutrient solution, an inner pot that holds your plant, an aggregate or clay granules that hold the plant while providing capillary action and air space and formulated fertilizer.


The Clay Granules:

These aggregates play an important role in the development of your plants. The normal type of aggregates are a very light grade of expanding clay granules. These granules are very similar to those used in concrete mixes for construction sites. They are approximately 4 inches (12 mm) in diameter, with a dense outer layer, while the inner core is a honeycomb structure. These granules service as an excellent anchor and provide the ability to absorb water which helps to create a capillary action which keeps these pebbles moist.

Fertilizer Technology:

This technology has contributed enormously in making hydroculture a "home suitable" method of growing plants. Soil serves as a cushion against poor feeding, where there is little margin for error when plants are in a nutritional solution alone. This is due to an enormous breakthrough by introducing an ion-exchange fertilizer that releases just the right amount of food over an extended period of time.

Ion-exchange fertilizer has a complex chemical base as it bonds to tiny plastic beads and to major plant foods. Trace elements are then exchanged for impurities in the water such as calcium, calcium, chlorine and fluoride. This exchange goes at a rate that is far more suitable for the growth of the plants then you can possibly imagine.

The fertilizer comes in a batches or loose granules. A batch is placed into the base of a compatible post while the granules are spread over the pebbles and washed into the post. If applied at recommended rates, this should be more than acceptable for at lease six months.

Caring For Your Plants:

Growing and caring for hydroculture plants is relatively simple and trouble free. Periodically checking the water level indicator is the only routine maintenance required and that takes little to no time!

Like conventionally grown plants, these plants require proper lighting, humidity and heat. When provided with these basic requirements, they should be fine. Keep in mind they can also suffer from pests and diseases just like soil grown plants. Fear Not -- they can be treated with insecticides equivalent to soil plants, including systemic types.



We all know that over watering is one of the biggest failures in growing healthy plants. Watering hydroculture plants has got to be the easiest step. Your water indicator will show you maximum and minimum levels. Before adding more water, you should wait two or three days, allowing air to penetrate between the aggregates. Your plants' roots must be able to aerate and that will not happen if you continually add water.

Always use tap water at room temperature. Rainwater or soft water will not contain the chemicals necessary to trigger the ion-exchange process. If you only have soft water, add a few drops of liquid plant food to start the process and that should do the trick. Again, I cannot emphasis this step enough, always use tap water at room temperature!

There's a darn good reason for keeping water at room temperature. Roots can become chilled with this method of growth, especially if the water is too cold. Should the roots become chilled, this is one of the biggest reasons for failure in hydroculture system. You will know if your water is too cold because the leaves will turn yellow and the plant will start dying. Understand, air temperature is not as critical as root temperature.


Potting should only happen when a plant becomes to large for the container it's in. You can either transfer to pots or buy a larger container. If you wish to buy a larger container, be sure and buy appropriate amounts of aggregates and recharge the fertilizer. Wash the pebbles before placing them in the containers. Place the filler tube at one corner and insert the water indicator and then place pebbles around the tubing.

Converting Plants:

Although this is not recommended for beginners, if you wish to try there could be a great deal of satisfaction once you succeed. Start in late spring or early summer so your plants have several months of warm weather ahead of them. Wash the roots, removing all traces of soil, but show caution not to damage the roots.

Once the roots are clean, place your plants in pots with open slatted sides, these can be purchased from your hydroponics supplier. Be careful not to cause much damage to roots when placing the pebbles around them.

Now the pots can be placed in the outer containers. Two critical issues are warmth and humidity. Keep your plants as warm as possible yet shaded from direct sunlight to reduce moisture loss.

Spray with a light mist at least twice a day or cover them with a polythene tent for approximately one month. During this period, try to maintain a minimum temperature of 70 degrees (21 F). After approximately two months, the transition from soil to water roots should be completed.

What Plants Are Suitable:

Some plants are very successful in a hydroculture environment while others are not. Experimentation may be the only way to find out which works and which doesn't. Ivy does not do well, but almost all Ar-aceae plants within that family work well. Philodendrons, sscindapsus and aglaonemas are excellent choices.

Buying your plants from your hydroculture's store will give you the option to grab plants that very suitable for this method of grown..

Talk with your plant shop that specializes in hydroculture growing and you will not go wrong. Start off with plants that are relatively easy to grow if you are new to this method. You can always move up as you become more experienced.

If you have any questions or you are confused somewhere in these instructions, go talk to the experts who are advanced in hydrocultural growing. They will be happy to take the confusion out of growing plants in a hydrocultural method!