What are the Best Plants and Crops for Hydroponics?

Introduction

While the advent of hydroponic technology has made growing crops much easier, the act of growing hydroponic plants may not be suitable for some of us living in certain conditions. One of them is the lack of space to hold and cultivate the hydroponic plants. Another factor is that a water-based environment is simply not sufficient for them to reach their best potential. 

Here are some hydroponic plants that do not fall into such categories and are great choices for those seeking an easier time cultivating them.

1. Lettuce

Lettuces are the preferred choice for many hydroponic cultivators due to the ease of growing and low maintenance required for them. Additionally, this crop is used in the preparation of many dishes, making them a popular crop to be cultivated in a hydroponic system. The lettuce is also highly compatible with various hydroponic setups, which makes it one of the top recommended crop for hydroponic beginners to start out. Lettuces thrive in cool temperatures and the recommended pH for them is around six to seven.

2. Tomatoes

Many varieties of tomatoes that we enjoy today are actually cultivated through hydroponic systems. Tomatoes are slightly more challenging to cultivate but it is still manageable for most beginners if proper care and attention are given. Having said that, it is highly recommended that beginners try their hand at cultivating other crops in this list first. By doing so, they would have a better comprehension of the overall hydroponic cultivation process. Those interested in cultivating hydroponic tomatoes should take note to prepare the necessary arrangements for the tomato crops as they require a lot of light for optimal growth. Should natural light be scarce in your region, consider using grow-lights for cultivation indoors. Tomato plants prefer warm temperatures and a pH of 5.5 and 6.5 for the best results.

3. Radishes

Radishes are another easy crop to cultivate hydroponically because they require little to no light. We recommend cultivating them from seeds for optimal growth of the radish crop. A radish seedling will usually sprout in around three to seven days. Radish plants should be cultivated in cool temperatures and a pH of six to seven is best for their overall growth. 

4. Kale

Kale is a health food frequently ingested by those who value their health for its benefits and nutrients. Like the other crops on this list, Kale can be easily cultivated in a hydroponic system. Many hydroponic enthusiasts often comment that Kale is the least troublesome and taxing crop to grow. Kale thrives in a wide range of temperatures but a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal for optimal growth.

Hydroponic Lettuce 3.

5. Cucumbers

This popular vining plant is also another easy starting point for beginners due to its short growth period and high level of yields. Its multiple variants are all compatible with various hydroponic setups. Cucumbers are best grown under warm temperatures and a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 is optimal for its growth. Do remember to give it enough light as well.

6. Spinach

The spinach is another health superfood that thrives well in a hydroponic setting. The spinach can be grown in both cool and warm temperatures. It also does not require much light to grow to its full potential. Hydroponic growers are able to enjoy a maximum of 12 weeks of spinach harvesting with the optimal growing conditions. A pH of 6 to 7 is recommended for its growth.

7. Beans

Beans are generally easy crops to cultivate in a hydroponic setup. However, it is important to provide it with the necessary arrangements for it to reach its full potential. Beans come in many variants. Certain variants such as the pole bean will require a trellis or other vertical support for them to be able to grow healthily. This crop favors warm temperatures and a pH of 6 is recommended. 

8. Chives

Most farmers and gardeners have an easier time cultivating chives in a hydroponic system than conventional means. Chives take about six to eight weeks to grow into its mature stage. This particular crop needs 12 to 14 hours of light daily for optimal growth, so do take note to make necessary lighting arrangements for the plants. The chives thrive in the warm temperatures and a pH of six is best suited for their growth.

9. Basil

The basil is a fragrant herb that has multiple uses in many beloved dishes. For those who live by this plant, the good news is that basils can be easily cultivated in hydroponic settings. It is imperative that the plant receives enough light for about 11 hours daily for it to be able to mature healthily. This plant thrives in warmer temperatures and a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is optimal.

10.  Mint

Another herb, mint, is also capable of being cultivated in hydroponic systems. The roots of mint plants grow rapidly which makes it highly compatible with hydroponic setups. Similar to basil, the mint plant achieves optimal growth in warm temperatures and a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

11. Strawberries

This iconic fruit is one of the most commonly grown hydroponic plants commercially. This plant thrives in warm temperatures and a pH of six. Strawberries are easily cultivated hydroponically and doing so allows one to have access to these delicious treats all year round.

12. Blueberries

Blueberries are generally easy to grow hydroponically but are slightly unique. They take up to a year to bear their first harvest. Furthermore, growers might find it hard to cultivate blueberries from seeds, and transplants are the preferred choice. If these requirements do not faze you, then blueberries should be of no issue to you. Blueberries favor warm temperatures and a pH of 4.5 to 6 helps them best to grow.

13. Peppers 

Similar to tomatoes, peppers require warmer temperatures and a long duration of light to grow. Both hot and sweet peppers thrive well in the right hydroponic setup and take around three months to reach maturity. 

Red Tomato Beside Pile of Orange Carrots Close-Up

In conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list of plants that one can grow hydroponically. In fact, there are many plants that are suitable to be grown in a hydroponic setup such as carrots, melons, and many more. However, do take note of the specific growing conditions for plants outside this list as they may require additional space and attention to thrive. Before you try cultivating other plants, it is recommended that you try out several of these plants listed to build your skills and confidence. 

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