Hydroponics: Plants That Grow In Water Only

What is Hydroponics? What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroponic Plants?
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Our Earth has been home to numerous plants and animal species since the world came into existence. Not only animals but plants also underwent several evolutions through time. Every habitat has a different variety of plants, such as there are some plants that grow in water only. Over time, humans have understood how to grow plants in water without soil and how to grow a plant without soil in greenhouses.

1. Hydroponics: The Art of Growing Plants in Water

The process to grow a house plant with water at home is known as hydroculture. In this method, crops are planted in water with only their roots underwater. When new sprouts are visible, the crops are transferred into pots with soil.

Hydroponics is a branch of hydroculture that involves the growth of plants without using any soil. In this process, an aqueous solvent with a mineral-nutrient solution is used for growing crops. Nutrients supplied through this solution are duck manure, chemical fertilizers, artificial nutrient solutions, and fish excrement. Roots of plants are exposed to this solution, and they extract the required nutrition needed for their growth. Terrestrial plants can be cultivated through this process. (See Types of Ivy Plants and Facts)

2. Techniques Involved in Hydroponics

The process of hydroponics involves six basic methods depending upon the crop being grown. It includes the following:

  • Water culture method involves a Styrofoam tray floating on the surface of the water. Crops are planted over it with their roots submerged in water. This process is best for small crops but is not for long-living plants or large plants.
  • In the ebb and flow method, the plants that grow in water only, have their crops planted over a surface. The water is flooded and drained by the pump fixed to it. The pump works on a timer and this regular flowing and draining of water to the roots helps them in retaining moisture. This method ensures the proper supply of oxygen to the plant roots.
  • The Nutrient film technique is less complicated and requires minimum pipes to be fixed. The plants are hung in a bucket, and nutrient solutions are supplied to their roots. Then, from the bottom, the solution is drained out. With this system, roots retain moisture. But any problem or defect in the pipeline may leave the root dry.
  • Aeroponics method is known to give the best results despite being expensive and time-consuming. It involves many parts to be fixed, cleaned, and maintained from time to time. In this method, the roots are left bare, and the solution is misted over them at regular intervals.
  • Wick is a good option for small plants as no equipment is involved. The plant is grown over the nutrient solution. So, the roots absorb the required amount of nutrients whenever they need them.
  • The drip system requires each plant to be fixed to a solid base, and then the solution is provided to the roots of each plant through drip lines. This system is also time-consuming because it involves many pipes, drips, and hoses. Plants that grow in water only with this equipment need cleaning and maintenance from time to time. (See How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots)

3. Plants that Grow in Water Only & in Greenhouses

Plants that grow in water only are small in size and may have a short lifespan. Short-sized plants are grown in greenhouses using hydroponic methods to be produced on a large scale. Some such plants are tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, basil, cucumbers, hot peppers, and green beans. Hydroponic systems may seem exciting, but very few plants are grown in water using them such as:

  • Some herbs from this category are sage, mint, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, stevia, chives, and lemon balm.
  • If you need some color in the kitchen or living room, then grow these colorful water plants, which is an easy option. You can grow plants like Purple Heart plant, Coleus plant, Wandering Jew, and Lucky Bamboo plant.
  • Not just flowers, but we can re-grow some vegetables too, like cabbage, celery, spring onions, carrot tops, lettuce, leeks, lemongrass, and chives.
  • Air-purifier plants also are capable of growing in water without soil. Plants like English Ivy, Philodendron Plant, Peace Lily, Chinese Evergreen, Spider Plant, and Pothos Plant can grow in water without soil. (See Why is Agriculture Important?)

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4. Steps to Grow Plants in Water Only

We have explained the step-by-step process of growing plants that grow in water only. First, we will discuss the requirements. You will need a single-stemmed plant or a vegetable pants stem, cotton waddling, plant fertilizers labeled as Water-soluble, a glass bottle or a jar, and a cork with a big hole.

  • If the plant is uprooted, then roots should be gently brushed to remove all the soil.
  • Fill the jar with tap water or lukewarm water.
  • Take the plant and thread the stem through the hole in the cork.
  • If there are any spaces between the cork and the stem in the hole, then we need to put the required amount of cotton waddling. We should fill it to the extent that it does not move freely, but we should not fill it too much because it will squeeze the stem.
  • Now, we need to gently place the plant in the container in such a way that its roots are dipped in the solution.
  • Place the container in a place where adequate sunlight is available.

Plants that grow in water only require water with the solution to be cleaned and changed at least once a month to avoid stagnation in water. (See What do Cherry Blossoms Symbolize?)

5. Advantages of Hydroponics

  • Since the amount of oxygen to the plant is controlled and maintained effectively, it enables the plant to grow fast and produce a good yield.
  • Growing in nutrient-rich water excludes the barriers of seasons because all the requirements are handled manually.
  • They do not need ample space for growing, and therefore, they can be incorporated into houses also.
  • Each plant receives a certain amount of nutrient-rich water that gives each plant a better chance of survival.
  • The plants are grown in water require less water whereas, in the soil, a large amount of water is needed that can go deep into the soil to reach the roots.
  • It is easy to provide manure to plants and the problem of pests is reduced. (See 10 Rose Apple Benefits)

6. Disadvantages of Hydroponics

  • Few methods require pumps and timers. So, an electricity outage can become an issue.
  • To set up such a hydroponic system, you will need a large amount of investment.
  • Water used in this process can become the source of water-borne diseases and might harm the plants.
  • Hence, this system requires regular monitoring and maintenance. (See How Do You Get Chiggers Out of Your Yard?)

So, plants that grow in water only offer both advantages and disadvantages. There are several methods as to how to grow a plant without soil at home as well. Following the right protocol will make it easier to grow and maintain hydroponics. (Also Read Are Sea Anemones Plants or Animals?)

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