This article was originally published on WeedWeek, and appears here with permission.
Hydroponic cannabis is a fascinating and effective way to grow marijuana. There are many different ways to grow weed hydroponically, ranging from huge commercial operations to a simple garden in your closet. This article will explore the different to grow weed hydroponically, what some of the advantages are, and what you’ll need to get started on a hydroponic garden of your very own.
What Is Hydroponic Cannabis?
Hydroponic cannabis refers to plants that are grown in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. Hydroponic cannabis can be grown in a variety of different ways, using mediums ranging from clay pellets to only air, or in deep water buckets or even with fish. But you will not find soil as part of any hydroponic grow.
Differences Between Soil & Hydroponic Cannabis
Soil is composed of organic materials found on the Earth’s surface, composed of decaying detritus (fallen leaves, insect and animal corpses, and so on). Plants, including cannabis sativa, naturally grow in soil. However, it is also possible to grow plants in widely differing mediums that involve no soil at all. These are hydroponic methods of growing. Rather than roots embedding themselves into soil as they search for and absorb nutrients, a hydroponic grow provides a nutrient-rich, water-based solution that is applied directly to roots, enabling more efficient uptake.
The Advantages Of Hydroponic Cannabis Growing
Growing cannabis in soil has its advantages, but with hydro, plants can grow taller, grow faster and provide larger yields. In soil, the roots of plants must search for the nutrients they need for growth. With a hydroponic setup, the nutrients are much more easily available and accessible, allowing the plant to divert more energy into stem, leaf and flower growth.
How To Grow Hydroponic Marijuana
Growing hydroponic marijuana requires a bit more of a setup than a simple pot on your balcony. There are many hydroponic systems available that can suit any need – from beginner to more professional. The Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System comes with a table, space for 14 plants and an automated delivery system for water, nutrients and oxygen. More simpler kids, such as the Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bucket is easy to use and includes water level indicators, rockwool starter plugs and an air pump.
But you can also go the do-it-yourself route which, although initially a bit more intensive to set up, can allow you to tailor your setup to your personal needs.
Royal Queen Seeds provides the following list of equipment you’ll need for a do-it-yourself setup.
- Grow tent
- Hydroponic reservoir and tray
- Lighting hangars
- Growing medium (more on this below)
- Hydroponic nutrients
- Pump and airstone
- Net mesh planting pots
- Carbon filter
- Duct tubes and ventilation fan
- Oscillating fan
- pH and PPM meters
Choose A Growing Medium
There are many growing mediums to choose from with regards to hydroponic marijuana grows. Below are a few of the most popular.
Plant roots are meant to be submerged in soil, however, they can also grow in the air. With air grows, roots are misted with water and nutrients, which allows for plenty of oxygen and no drainage issues. The one danger is that the plants …