After understanding different kinds of hydroponics method available, it is time to get our hands dirty and grow the greens. What I need to do? I need to check my capability based on the location, the cost, the climate, the space, and the environment.
It’s good to get yourself motivated by trying some easy plants. I myself would prefer to plant spices, fruits or vegetables. Most of these species are not just decorative but also very beneficial to our household.
Let’s get started.
How to Choose the Best Hydroponics Plants
Depends on all the variables such as climate, pH Value, humidity and seasons, I would suggest choosing the versatile plant which can survive at a wide range of conditions. The main reason is that we want the plant to be always here, it always feels good to have a nice plant and look at the achievement.
A typical room temperature ranges from 77֯ F (25֯ C) to 86.9֯ F (35֯ C), depends on the season or day and night, you might wish to plant something that can sustain long enough. Of course, please don’t plant in an air-con room, the magic of the machine will cost humidity of the atmosphere.
Exposure to Sunlight
Photosynthesis, that’s how a plant “eat”. If you have limitation of sunlight exposure, choose the plants which can sustain at minimum sun exposure. Generally, a 6-hours exposure to sunlight for most of the plants is sufficient.
Some plants are giants, and some are great crawler, for myself, I choose to plant the miniature ones and non-vein plants. It is not because they are not nice to have, but it will consume too much space, and I can’t make a salad with just one plant. Some of them will bear the fruits which are very space craving, such as watermelon, honey dew, pumpkins (We all love to be Cinderella but it’s better we do something we feel happy first)
The roots of the plant are also one of the factors you need to consider, if you choose to plant the deep root corps such as ginger, potatoes, turnips, carrots, it is quite challenging for starters.
Top 10 Best Plants for Hydroponics
These are the plants which I highly recommend to starters it will fulfill the joy of achievement starting from germination to mature.
1. Genovese basil (commonly known as basil or sweet basil)
Pasta and pizza, basil, one of the keys to great taste of food around the world. Basil is extremely easy to grow. You can choose to grow them from seeds or cuttings. Personally, I recommend you proceed with cuttings, it is very effective. Normally, the rooting will start after 3 to 5 days, and the leaves will grow very fast, big and fragrant.
If you are not planning to extract seeds from the plant, cut of the flowers whenever you see them. This is because the flowers will consume most of the nutrients from the plant, making the leaves to look dull and smaller. To make it bushier, you make cut the leave from the side, it will just grow a new branch from there.
Basil is also a very good pest repellent.
Green leaves or purple leaves, it’s your choice, a bowl of lovely salad must have lettuce as it’s core. Lettuce is probably the most common vegetables that are grown in hydroponics. They grow fast and quite easy to take care of.
The plant generally emerges in 7 to 10 days. After 2 months, you will be ready for the first bowl of your own planted salad.
Chives are generally an herb in most places, but they still use for culinary purposes as flavoring, majorly sandwiches, soups or fish. However, in our case, I use them as one of the key plants to protect our ‘plant comrade’ from aphids.
Well, garlic could be another choice, but deep root plant is not what we want to do for the time being, so ‘Hi, Chives, please to have you here with us.’ You will need seed to plant Chives.
Chives grow in cool temperatures, where heat will make them dormant until cool weather arrives. Please do note that they can take a few weeks to germinate, for the best germination growth, plant them between 60֯ F (15֯ C) to 70֯ F (21֯ C).
Generally, spearmint or peppermint, mint can be plant using cuttings or seeds. I prefer cuttings as seeds germination will take quite a long time.
Mint require lots of sunlight (about 6 hours) and water to grow well. You can see that mint are actually very strong in terms of survival. There was a time where my mother cut off all the leaves from the mint to make some dish, they managed to grow new leaves within a few days.
They are very good mosquito repellent.
Are you a cat lover? Do you have a cat? Look no further, catnip, the ‘drug’ for cats which is completely harmless. I haven’t had the chance to try to grow catnip using cutting, but they are available by seeds.
Catnip seeds will take up to 2 weeks to germinate, so patience is the key. Catnip don’t need frequent watering, but they need lots of sunlight (at least 6 hours a day).
6. Thai Basil
Thai food? Vietnamese Food? You will need Thai Basil; it is the same family with Genovese Basil but brings you very different exotic experience. Grow best using cutting, treat them the same with Genovese Basil, whereby, if you not planning to extract the seeds, just cut the flowers.
They are extremely easy to grow, and the exotic fragrance will make you addicted to Thai Food and Vietnamese Food.
What’s your favorite pizza? Oregano brings your pizza taste to a new height. They can be planted using cuttings or seeds. Be aware, marjoram is as easy to grow as Oregano and they do look the same (at least to me) but they are different in taste.
Oregano grow like mint; they will expand and easy to grow new leaves after harvest.
Plant or fruit? You decide. Tomatoes are easy to grow, whether they are traditional ones or cherry ones. You can choose to purchase tomato seeds to grow, or just grab a tomato from the grocery and use the seeds inside the fruit (remember to wash away the flesh). They need a lot of sunlight.
The tricky part of tomatoes is that you need to give them support, so you need a stick to let them grow taller and bear a fruit.
Be aware that tomatoes have the tendency to overripe, so check frequently but don’t press too hard, when you see the color is red enough and the fruit is not too hard and not soft, just harvest them.
We don’t you don’t like coriander, so go to its lovely partner, Parsley. Parsley grows only by seeds and will take about 2 weeks to germinate. Don’t sow the seed too deep and make sure the pot is only half full as you will need to add on more soil on to it once it is tall enough.
Parsley germination is tricky as their seedlings is very weak and when it grows larger, they can’t support themselves, so you might need to add more soil to allow them to stand with pride.
The fragrant taste of Rosemary is all that you need for a good mint sauce. Consider plant rosemary from cuttings, it’s much easier than sowing seeds. It will grow tall and you can smell it by just touching it.
Will these plant space consuming?
No, it won’t, these plants grow well in small sizes, and they are not vein-type of plant.
Will I get to over-water these plants?
You might, some of the plants don’t need much water, but if the humidity of the environment is low, your plant has lower risk to rot.
Do I need to get pesticides for my plants?
Generally, other than neem oil I don’t suggest using pesticides, we can create a friendly neighborhood for the plants to make them free from pest. Like how chives can repel aphid.
Can these plants be decorative as well?
These plants are beautiful as they are, other than provide visual excitement, they also provide you fragrant sensation.
Will I need to get these seeds from specific supplier?
From the list, only the seeds of chives, lettuce and catnip, you will have to get them from a supplier or plant nursery. The rest you may get the seeds by buying the fruits from local grocery store or just buy the plant (pick the fresh ones) and plant using cuttings.
Welcome aboard to the hydroponic plants experience. From the top 10 plants for starters, you may choose the plant you like the most, or try several of them and get the hang of it.
When it germinates and mature, be sure you enjoy the excitement of seeing them grow.