Hydroponics marijuana growing is one of two main cannabis growing techniques. The other is growing marijuana in soil.
Hydroponics growing means you’re not relying on fertile soil in the root zone to provide the essential nutrients elements your plants require. Instead, all the essential elements your plants need that they absorb through their roots (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, etc.) must be provided by you the grower.
The hydroponics root zone most often contains an inert material that contains little if any nutritional value for the plant. These materials include rockwool, peat-based soilless mix, coco coir, perlite, clay pellets, and vermiculite. Note that coco coir contains a minor nutrients load that can affect plant health, growth rate and bud production if the grower isn’t skilled at using coco coir.
The purest form of hydroponics marijuana growing is water culture. This method most often involves the cannabis roots hanging in open space in an enclosure where they’re sprayed with nutrients-rich water (aeroponics) hanging in an open space but also dangling in water itself (deep water culture), or hanging in open space so that the roots contact a film of nutrients-rich water in a trough (nutrients film technique).
Some growers use perlite, vermiculite or clay pellets in the root zone. In almost all cases of true hydroponics marijuana growing, nutrients water must be drip irrigated, flood and drained, or ebb and flowed into and out of the root zone from a hydroponics nutrients reservoir equipped with a pump system.
Hydroponics marijuana growing has several distinct advantages that soil marijuana growing can’t provide. These include:
- Absolutely total control over the ratios, amounts and types of nutritional elements plant receive through their roots.
- Zero pests or diseases that can attack roots.
- The ability to totally control nutrients water temperature, which can enhance roots’ ability to optimally absorb nutrition.
- Customized feeding programs to maximize growth, resin production, and harvest weight.
- Eliminates nutritional guesswork inherent to soil growing.
- Provides highly-oxygenated root zone which is better for root health and plant performance.
- Ability to totally control water and oxygen content so roots have good aeration and aren’t suffocated by waterlogged conditions as can easily happen in soil.
In general, a properly-run hydroponics marijuana grow op using premium hydroponics nutrients, reverse osmosis water and hydroponics supplements will outperform a soil marijuana grow op.
Now that you know that many benefits of hydroponics cannabis growing, let’s take a look at the disadvantages:
- You must supply water and nutrition, because other than that there’s nothing in the root zone to sustain plant life.
- Most hydroponics systems, but especially aeroponics, deep water culture and NFT are totally dependent on a reliable, constant electricity supply. Hand-watering a hydroponics marijuana garden is possible, but not common. If grid electricity fails, and the grower has no backup generator, the plants can die within hours.
- Hydroponics marijuana growing tends to cost more for materials, hydroponics systems, hydroponics nutrients and other supplies than soil marijuana growing.
- The pH (balance between alkalinity and acidity) of the nutrients water and root zone are absolutely crucial for proper nutrients absorption. Many brands of hydroponics nutrients, as well as non-reverse osmosis water and bad root zone materials, can cause pH problems that harm or even kill plants.
- You need to invest in a reverse osmosis water filtration system.
- Hydroponics marijuana growing systems can be automated, but they generally require more daily personal attention compared to soil cannabis growing.
- Soil growing is in some ways easier than hydroponics growing, so it’s a little more ideal for newbie growers.
The bottom line is that hydroponics growing indoors is safer, more controllable, and more productive than soil growing. Hydroponics growing outdoors isn’t practical. We’ll talk more about specific hydroponics marijuana growing systems, root zone materials, and hydroponics nutrients in other articles, so keep coming back to growingmarijuanaperfectly.com, and share it with your cannabis grower friends so they too will grow marijuana perfectly.