Congrats!! You have set up a hydroponic system inside or outside your home, and now you can pick plants you will grow. You have big dreams of providing for your family at every meal from your bountiful set-up. But you would ask yourself what can I grow? What the best plants for hydroponics?
That can happen, but we advise you to take it slow at first! If you go all out right away and run into complications, you may get frustrated and drop the whole project.
You definitely don’t want that to happen, so it’s important to run through a few test crops first.
Once you get a handle on the system, you will be ready to expand and diversify your hydroponic garden.
So what are the best plants for hydroponics?
- Bell Peppers
Let’s go and grow our favorite plants!!
Best Plants For Hydroponics Growing
We can divide best plants for hydroponics growing into three parts:
Best Vegetables For Hydroponics Growing
Lettuce (and most other leafy greens) should be your first plant to try with a hydroponic system.
These plants have a shallow root system that matches their short above-ground height.
That means there’s no need to tie stakes or set guides for the plant. Instead, you just let them grow while regularly changing their nutrient solution.
They grow super fast in a hydroponic system and are fairly easy to take care of.
Lettuces can be grown in any Hydroponics system, including the NFT, Aeroponics, Ebb & Flow,
Eventually, they will look good enough to eat, and you can!
- Favorable temp: cool. pH: 6.0 – 7.0
- Grow time: About 30 days
- Variety options: Romaine, Boston, Iceberg, Buttercrunch, Bibb
Read more: Aeroponics vs Passive Sub-Irrigation
Spinach grows quickly in a hydroponic system, particularly when using the Nutrient Film Technique or other methods that keep the nutrient solution highly oxygenated.
You’ll also use far less water than an in-the-ground garden.
It’s easy to start these plants from seed and a week after sprouting, move them into your system.
The favorite vegetable that can be either eaten raw or cooked in your meal does grow well in the water-based environment.
Spinach is a cool plant, so it does not require too much light. You can harvest it all at once or tear off some leaves.
You can get up to 12 weeks of continuous harvesting under a good condition of climate and a growing environment.
- Grow time: About 40 days
- Favorable temp: cool to warm. pH: 6.0 – 7.0
- Variety options: Savoy, Bloomsdale, Smooth Leafed, Regiment, Catalina, Tyee, Red Cardinal
Many types of tomatoes, including traditional and cherry ones, have been grown widely by Hydroponic hobbyists and commercial growers.
Botanically, the tomato is a fruit, but most people whether sellers or consumers consider it as vegetables.
One thing to keep in mind is that tomatoes require much light.
So be prepared to purchase some grow lights if you want to grow indoors.
Its favorable temp: hot. pH: 5.5 – 6.5
- Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a slightly more advanced hydroponic plant.
Don’t let them grow to their full height, instead, prune and pinch plants at about 8 inches to spur pepper growth.
Deep water culture or ebb and flow systems are best for peppers.
- Grow time: About 90 days
- Best pH: 6.0 to 6.5
- Variety options: Ace, California Wonder, Vidi, Yolo Wonder
Cucumbers are a common vining plant that is grown at home and in commercial greenhouses.
They enjoy rapid growth under sufficient conditions and hence give very high yields.
There are several types and sizes of cucumbers, including the thick-skinned American slicers, long thin-skinned seedless European, and the smooth-skinned Lebanese cucumbers.
All can grow well in Hydroponics. Cucumber is a warm plant so be sure to supply it with enough light and temperature.
Favorable temp: hot. pH: 5.5 – 6.0
One of the most productive and low-maintenance vegetables that can be grown hydroponically.
You can choose the types of beans you can grow, including green beans, pole beans, pinto beans, lima beans.
You will need a trellis or something to support the plants if you plant pole beans.
Seed germination usually takes 3 – 8 days. Harvesting begins after 6 – 8 weeks. After that, you can continue the crop for 3 – 4 months.
Favorable temp: warm. pH: 6.0
Kale is a very nutritious and delicious-flavored plant for home and restaurant dishes.
It is a great vegetable for a healthy person with proven health benefits.
The great news is that people have grown Kale hydroponically for so many years, so definitely you can do it in the water system.
And in fact, it’s easy to grow and thrive well in this system.
Favorable temp: cool to warm. pH: 5.5 – 6.5
Radishes are another vegetable that makes a good flavoring mix with other vegetables.
This plant is one of the easiest vegetables to grow – either in soil or hydroponics.
It’s better to start from seeds, and you can see seedlings within 3 – 7 days.
Radishes thrive in cool temperatures and do not need any lights.
Favorable temp: cool. pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Best Fruits For Hydroponics Growing
The worst thing about strawberries is how seasonal they are. If you don’t get them locally when the crop is ready, you’re relying on trucked-in berries that begin deteriorating as soon as they’re picked.
With hydroponics, you can have a ready-to-eat crop of strawberries all year long. Harvesting is super-convenient as well – no bending over!
Strawberries seem to do best with an ebb and flow system, but deep water culture or nutrient film technique can do for a small crop.
Strawberries are well suited for hydroponic growing. In fact, these fruits are one the most popular plants grown in commercial hydroponic production.
They have been grown in large-scale NFT systems by commercial farms for decades.
However, you can still enjoy delicious fresh strawberries to feed all your family by growing them at home and harvesting the fruits all year long.
- Grow time: About 60 days
- Best pH: 5.5 to 6.2
- Variety options: Brighton, Chandler, Douglass, Red Gauntlet, Tioga
Blueberries, a great fruit high in vitamins for your meal, can be grown well in Hydroponics.
This plant takes longer to bear fruits than strawberries, often until the second year.
They are usually grown in an NFT system. It’s hard to plant blueberries from seeds, so transplants are recommended.
- Favorable temp: warm.
- pH: 4.5 – 6.0
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Read more: 10 Best Hydroponic Gardens and Kits
Best Herbs For Hydroponics Growing
There are a wide variety of herbs that work wonderfully in hydroponic gardening.
Studies have shown that hydroponic herbs are more flavorful and aromatic than those grown in the field.
What herb do you want to grow?
Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and watercress are all great options. Herb production is another great way to test out your new hydroponic system.
It’s easier to grow chives from a plant in a Hydroponic system.
So better to get them from your local garden supplies. Under a standard growing condition, it takes six to eight weeks before it is fully mature.
Then you can harvest it regularly – it needs 3 – 4 weeks later to fully regrow.
Chive requires lots of light, 12 – 14 hours of light each day.
- Favorable temp: warm to hot.
- pH: 6.0
Basil thrives very well in a hydroponic system, and it is indeed among the most grown herbs in Hydroponic.
You can grow basil in NFT or Drip system. Once this plant reaches the mature stage, you harvest and trim it weekly.
Basil needs lots of lights. It will undergo poor growth when you do not provide it with over 11 hours of lightning.
- Favorable temp: warm
- pH: 5.5 – 6.5
Mints, mainly peppermint and spearmint, have been grown extensively whether in soils and hydroponics.
Their aromatic compounds in mints are refreshing, and pungent, which proves their use as a flavor for food and beverages.
Mint roots spread so quickly, making it ideal to grow with Hydroponics.
- Favorable temp: warm
- pH: 5.5 – 6.5
The Benefits of Growing Vegetables Hydroponically at Home
When it comes to the benefits of growing best plants for hydroponics, we all want to provide healthy good quality food for ourselves and our family.
Every day there seems to be a new article either online or on the news about GMO foods or toxins in the water from farms.
By growing it yourself, you know what you’re eating, and you know what has been used to nourish that plant you’re bringing to your table.
If you’re a traditional gardener, you may balk at the thought of growing plants in what some say is an artificial environment. I felt the same until I did some research.
It turns out that hydroponically grown vegetables have an equal amount of vitamins as those grown in the ground.
Of course, this is dependent on the quality of the nutrients you are putting in their growing water.
However, the same can be said for soils. If you grow a plant in poor soil, it will be lacking in flavor—if it grows at all.
The nutrition you receive from it will also be lessened. Here some benefits:
- You know where your food came from.
- You can avoid using any pesticides.
- Hydroponic plants generally grow faster than those grown in soil.
- The yields are often greater than those grown in soil.
- Hydroponic plants generally attract fewer pests and diseases.
- There are no weeds to pull.
- Hydroponic gardening saves water.
The Bottom Line
As we can see we can grow a lot of plants that are suitable for hydroponic system growing. So you can choose your needs from this best plants for hydroponics list.
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