13 Best Plants For Hydroponics

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If you’re in search of the best plants for hydroponics, then you’re in the right place!

In this article, I’ll be discussing the easiest hydroponic vegetables anyone can grow. This can be helpful if you don’t have access to healthy soil or you just want to level up your gardening game.

RELATED: Hydroponic Gardening: How to Get Started

The Best Plants for Hydroponics Even a Novice Can Grow

Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponic gardening is one of the most clever and efficient ways of growing anything from vegetables, herbs, and even fruit-bearing plants. It’s a smart choice for green thumbs with limited space to grow plants at home.

This method of growing plants works without soil but instead, it relies on a water-based nutrient solution to sufficiently supply to the roots of the plants.

It’s an excellent alternative if you don’t have access to a gardening space and healthy gardening soil. In addition, there is a wide range of crops that can be grown hydroponically.

However, it’s still best to know the right crops and varieties of plants that can be grown healthily and successfully in hydroponic gardening. Some of the best plants are as follows:

1. Lettuce

Most of the hydroponics growers I know started with lettuce plants. Why? It simply is one of the easiest greens to grow using this method.

Moreover, lettuce grows well even in low light and temperatures, and it doesn’t require full sun. So if you’re new to this growing method, I recommend you go for a lettuce plant as your starter crop.

Almost any lettuce variety grows quickly in a hydroponic system. Some of them include bib, butter crunch, and Romaine, which can be ready in 3 to 4 weeks.

Lettuce plants can be grown in any hydroponic system which includes the aeroponics, ebb-and-flow, NFT, etc.

2. Spinach

We can’t complete the list of best plants for hydroponics without including spinach in our list. This nutritious green leafy vegetable thrives in a water-based environment.

When growing spinach, you can opt for NFT (nutrient film technique) and DWC (deep water culture system) as these are the top suggestions from experts.

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Both of these hydroponics are great in raising spinach commercially and for home farmers though Kratky is also a popular choice among growers.

3. Basil

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Just like lettuce and spinach, it is easy to grow basil hydroponically. Almost all varieties of basil can thrive in a hydroponic garden. Bush and sweet basil are some of the best varieties you must try.

For hydroponic basil, I suggest you use a setup that gives you access to your crops, so you can easily prune and harvest them regularly. Another pro tip is to prune your basil plant. This will increase its overall yield.

4. Kale

If you want a steady supply of this nutrient-rich leafy vegetable, a Kratky hydroponic method is a good choice. This can be an easy and profitable option since kale grew in popularity for the past years, and many health enthusiasts are buying them in bulk.

You can take this as an opportunity to make profit out of this superfood. Kale grows vastly in a six-week turn from transplant to harvest stage.

5. Tomato

Yes, you can absolutely grow a tomato plant without soil! Tomatoes are easy to grow using a hydroponic method. The same nutrient used in growing them in the soil is also applicable for hydroponic tomatoes.

However, when growing tomatoes hydroponically, an ample amount of grow lights are needed to ensure your plants will bear a lot of healthy fruits.

6. Chive

You can grow chives in all types of hydroponic systems. For this hardy herb, you need to use good nutrient solutions, artificial lighting, and warm conditions to ensure they will produce all year round without the dormancy period.

For chives, the vertical tower is the most common method. To start with, you can grow chives seedlings in soil, then transfer them in your tower to pursue your hydroponic chives garden.

RELATED: Hydroponic Gardening FAQs: What Is It And How Does It Work?

7. Cucumber

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Cucumbers prosper well in a hydroponic setup. And just like tomatoes, they need a lot of light. If you’re growing hydroponic cucumbers, be sure to put a large trellis for cucumber vines.

However, not all growers enjoy hydroponic cucumbers because they need a bigger space to grow. But this shouldn’t be a problem anymore, because you can opt to grow them in patches like that of traditional gardening.

8. Pepper

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Deep-water or ebb-and-flow methods are best for growing peppers at any time of the year. You don’t have to worry about diseases and pepper pests when growing green peppers in hydroponic system.

With hydroponics, you can definitely grow your favorite green peppers, sweet bell peppers, Dutch-habanero, and many more!

9. Coriander

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a great herb to grow using a hydroponic setting. There’s no special requirement for this plant, except that it needs plenty of light to prosper and give you a bountiful harvest.

10.  Radish

Radishes are fast-growing spring vegetables that do well in a hydroponic system. Any radish variety can be grown hydroponically. They are very easy to grow from seedlings in just 3 to 7 days.

Remember, when growing hydroponic radishes, it’s ideal to place them in a cool place, away from the light.

11. Strawberry

Who doesn’t love to grow their own strawberry plant? It’s good to know you can actually grow this fruit-bearing plant at home with no fuss. Strawberries grown hydroponically can be as sweet as soil-grown ones.

Strawberries do well in water with a pH level of 5.8 to 6.2. You can increase the pH level by adding potassium hydroxide. Do this only when the pH level drops below 5.8.

12. Mint

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Mint is also a good candidate for hydroponic gardening. But to give you a heads-up, its roots can spread out in a short period of time – and it may eventually fill the growing tray.

NFT and ebb-and-flow systems will work well for hydroponic mint. Remember, during the rooting phase, humidity should be approximately 85 – 90%, until the roots are sustained.

13. Blueberry

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Did you know that blueberry plants can also adapt well in a hydroponic setting? And just like a strawberry plant, its fruit can be as delicious and sweet as the ones grown using the traditional setup.

The NFT system works great for this perennial plant.

Watch this video by Family Plot on building an inexpensive hydroponic system:

Now you know the best plants for hydroponics! You’ll be glad to know most of these plants are essential in our everyday lives. Plus, they are all nutritious and can be used in any home-cooked meals.

Growing plants hydroponically is a great way to optimize your supply of nutritious crops in the comforts of your home. And let’s not forget how it eliminates common soil gardening problems like pests and weeds.

Which plant in this list have you tried growing in a hydroponic garden? Let us know in the comments section below.

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