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What is Hydroponics?

Are you interested in hydroponics, but are unsure about what it really is, or how to get started? If so, you’ve come to the right place! At ZenHydro, we’re dedicated to spreading our passion for hydroponics and providing helpful information to get you on your way with this fascinating and rewarding pastime.

So, what is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is essentially the process of growing plants in water, without the use of soil. Typically, plants are immersed in a nutrient mineral solution which gives them the food they need to grow, rather than getting it from soil or the sun. 

Hydroponic systems also include a growing medium, such as Rockwool, perlite, coconut fiber, gravel, or a variety of other materials. The growing medium does not supply any nutrients to the plant, and is only used as a material for the roots of the plant to grow out of. Together, your plant, the nutrient solution, and the growing medium make up the essential elements of a hydroponics system.

There are a wide variety of methods used for growing plants hydroponically, depending on the needs of your plant and the space you have to set up your system. The 6 main hydroponic system types are:

  • Drip Systems: The nutrient solution is dripped directly onto the roots of the plant.

  • Ebb & Flow / Flood & Drain Systems: The plants are periodically flooded by the nutrient solution.

  • N.F.T. (Nutrient Film Technique Systems): The nutrient solution flows down tubing onto the roots of the plant.

  • Water Culture Systems: The plant is suspended above the nutrient solution with its roots hanging down into the solution.

  • Aeroponics Systems: The plant is suspended in the air where the roots are sprayed with the nutrient solution.

  • Wick Systems: The plant absorbs the nutrient solution from a reservoir through an absorbent wick material.

What are the benefits of hydroponics?

Not only is it fascinating to see your plants grow in this unique way, but hydroponics also gives you the benefit of being able to grow anywhere you want. With hydroponics, you’re not reliant on the earth and the sun to bring your plants to life. With the wide variety of hydroponics systems available to you, you can grow beautiful and healthy plants anywhere, regardless of how much space you have. Similarly, hydroponics allows you to grow exotic plants that you normally wouldn’t be able to grow outside of their native climate. By growing them using a hydroponics system, you can create a controlled environment mimicking their natural climate to bring them to life anywhere you desire.

Deciding to grow your plants through hydroponics also makes it easier to keep your plants healthy and safe from predators. Growing through hydroponics alleviates the issue of bugs and pests getting to your plants, and by keeping your hydroponics system inside, you’ll be able to protect them as they grow from being eaten by animals outside. Similarly, the way that hydroponics systems keep your plants’ roots constantly immersed in a nutrient-rich solution ensures that they are always getting the essential nutrients and vitamins they need, which helps them grow faster and stronger than is possible than when exposed to the elements outside.

If you’re looking to get started with hydroponics, no matter what kind of hydroponics system is right for you, you’ll be able to find everything you need here at ZenHydro!