Caring for or growing hydroponic plants
Hydroponics plants are grown under specific conditions. Many plants and houseplants are now grown with hydroponics. You can also grow hydroponic plants yourself. This technique is applied to indoor plants, outdoor plants, but also vegetables and fruit. How does hydroponics work? And do these types of plants require separate care? And how can you grow hydroponic plants yourself?
Hydroponics literally means water culture. With plants, this means that you do not give them soil, but a kind of clay-like grains. These granules absorb water and nutrients, which get where they need to be through the roots of the plant. Hydroponics can be used in greenhouses, but also in your own living room. The plants receive the nutrients they need and water. They are no longer in the soil. This method of cultivation is popular because the plants remain good for a long time and bacteria, fungi or pests are much less likely to reach them. You therefore need healthier plants and no (or much less) pesticides. Another advantage of hydroponics is the fact that as a grower you can dose the nutrients very precisely. Once placed in the living room, the plants also require little care, which is also considered a great advantage. Hydroponics is ideal for offices and other large buildings, but also at home if you don’t want to worry about the care of plants.
The care of these plants is minimal. Only once a year they get a scoop of nutrition, on top of the hydro granules, and the nutrition is flushed with water to the roots. The water level must be checked, as long as this is good, the plant does not need any further care. That is why these plants are very suitable for places where people would like to keep many large (or small) plants, with minimal time investment to care for them.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of growing and cultivating plants. The plants grow on water, not in soil. There are several methods / techniques with which plants can be soaked in hydroponics, but the most common technique is the use of a type of clay granules that allow moisture to pass through, because they are porous, in a culture pot or culture container. The container or pot is filled with the granules.
Roots of plants in hydroponics
Because the plants are grown in different conditions (namely in water) than their natural conditions (in soil), the roots develop differently. After all, soil contains much more oxygen than water and the plant compensates for this by forming other roots. The roots form longer hair roots with few branches. The roots of plants in hydroponics can be thicker than regular roots. Root hairs also no longer form. Because the plant can use water and food continuously, the roots get shorter and do not grow as fast. They are therefore also called water roots.
If the plant is a small cutting, it is immediately placed in a culture pot. The plant does not grow up in soil. The cutting is in porous clay granules and grows on it. The pot is placed in a layer of water. Growers place the culture pots in large numbers in a layer of water. The water is about 3 cm deep. A few days a month, the roots should be completely dry to prevent rot. The roots are then kept dry for about 5 days.
Hydroponics in Europe
In Europe there is still little use of hydroponics. In 2014 there are only four companies that grow this type of plants
Nutrition is provided through the hydro pellets, approximately once every 6 months. The water level is monitored with a special water meter. The roots should not rot.
Hydroponics home plants
There are many hydroponic indoor plants available. These are supplied in a special planter or pot with water levels. The flower pot or flower box consists of two parts. At the bottom of the space for water, above that the brown clay granules. The care of these plants takes little time and work. Examples of hydroponic indoor plants:
- Aglaonema Christina (from East Asia).
- Aglaonema Silver Bay.
- Areca Dypsis Lutescens Palm.
- Asparagus Falcatus (bamboo).
- Bonsai Ficus Microcarpa Compacta.
- Yucca Elephantipes (Palm Lily) and other Yuccas.
- Philodendron Monstera.
- Ficus elastica.
- Palms (various types of palm).
- Cacti (different types).
- Sansevieria (different types).
What is Semi Hydroponics?
Semi-hydroponics uses a combined soil and hydroponics. 33% hydro grains are used, and the rest is ordinary earth. The plants do very well in this combined form. The plant does not have to form other roots and still grows very well.
Bulbous plants hydroponics
There are also bulbous plants that can grow in hydroponics.
Other plant species
In fact, all plant species are suitable for cultivation as hydroponic plants, but not all plants are yet available as hydroponic plants. Initially, the focus was on public buildings, offices, schools, and so on. In places where plants cannot receive much care, and still do very well. For example, at large amusement parks you can also see fake jungles around swimming pools, which are made up of hydroponic vegetation. But hydroponic indoor plants are also increasingly being used in the ordinary living room. The plants are slightly more expensive than regular houseplants, but they require so little care that they remain beautiful while you hardly have to worry about them. Many people find that a great advantage. These plants also live longer on average than plants in soil.