The 5 Best Plants For Hydroponics Systems

When you first start picking plants for your hydroponics system, it can be intimidating. Hydroponics is a growing industry, and with the increase in demand for hydroponic systems, has come to an increased need to know what plants grow best in them. There are so many plants out there to choose from, and all of them have different needs. In addition, not all will suit all the types of hydroponic systems

What to do?

To bring you out of the dilemma, we will explore five of the most popular plants that can be grown in a hydroponic system. These plants not only grow well in a hydroponics system but also yield a high amount of produce. We’ve ensured to include plants for every type of system.

Let’s get started.

best plants for hydroponics systems

1. Tomatoes

One of the first plants for hydroponics that we have picked is tomatoes. This beautiful red-colored vegetable is among the easiest plants to grow in the water-based system. They are known for yielding a high amount of their initial weight of produce at harvest. With proper care, they can even continue to bear fruit for years after being initially planted. 

Tomato plants require plenty of light, so make sure you purchase some grow lights if growing indoors where it’s much harder for sun exposure. You can expect your starter plants to grow in height and produce fruits within just eight or ten weeks. However, you’ll need to support their growth as they climb up vines. The substrate you use to support your plant’s weight should be one of many things, such as clay pebbles.

Finally, with the ability to watch and control what nutrients a plant receives, growers can enjoy an all-year harvest without compromising taste or nutrition.

  • Best hydroponics system to grow tomatoes: Nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep flow technique (DFT)
  • Best species to grow: Indeterminate Beefsteak Varieties, Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Types, Cocktail, Cherry and Miniature Types, 
  • Ideal pH level: 5.5 to 6.5
  • Ideal Temperature: hot
  • Harvest time: 8-15 weeks

Why are tomatoes suitable for hydroponics systems?
Hydroponic tomatoes are a much better option than soil-grown varieties. Not only do hydroponically grown plants require fewer nutrients and water, but their yields can be up to 10 times higher too. Hydroponics also has no seasonality because its controlled environment means that you don’t have the risk of frost or other weather events disrupting your crop cycle at any time. Just make sure not to expose them beyond 12 hours every day to avoid damage from high temperatures.

hydroponics tomatoes

2. Spinach

One of the most popular plants for the hydroponics system, spinach is relatively easy to cultivate. Spinach can either be harvested when it’s still young and tender or larger and mature leaves. But the best quality comes from being grown under excellent conditions that do not receive too much sunlight. Good nutrients like nitrates available make spinach an excellent choice even when planted alongside nonproductive crops.

Spinach needs 12 hours on, then twelve off. Direct sunlight is ideal, but fluorescent or high-pressure sodium lamps will also work fine when growing indoors. Cooler temperatures are the key to developing a successful crop. For example, spinach will have an unpleasant taste if it’s grown in too much heat. 

  • Best hydroponics system to grow tomatoes: nutrient film technique (NFT), aeroponics, and ebb and flow.
  • Best varieties: Savoy, Bloomsdale, Smooth Leafed, Regiment, Catalina, Tyee, Red Cardinal. 
  • pH level: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 64-68°. Above 79° Fahrenheit is fatal.
  • Grow time: 40 days
  • Harvest time: 52 days

Why is spinach suitable for hydroponics?
Lettuce and greens are the perfect plants for hydroponics systems. They grow quickly, produce well, and don’t take up much room in your garden. Plus, you can still enjoy fresh veggies even if it’s a little on the chilly side outside.

hydroponics plants

3. Lettuce

Another green that makes for excellent plants for hydroponics systems is lettuce. There are dozens of varieties of lettuce plants to choose from, each with its unique flavor and texture. They grow extremely fast and need very little attention throughout the day, making them plants that many people starting with hydroponics choose to begin their journey with. These plants will yield around 4 ounces of lettuce for every square foot they occupy. 

Lettuce plants are plants that can be incredibly rewarding when growing in hydroponics. These plants grow very quickly and require very little attention. The plants can be harvested several times throughout a growing season, and the plants will continue to yield produce. 

  • Best hydroponics system to grow tomatoes: Deep Water Culture and Nutrient Film Techniques are the most common methods. A Dutch bucket system
  • Best varieties: Salad Bowl, Grand Rapids, Parris Island Cos, Buttercrunch, Rouge d’Hiver Lettuce, Hanson Improved Crisphead Lettuce, Little Gem Lettuce, Muir Lettuce
  • pH level: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: cool
  • Grow time: 60 days
  • Harvest time: 6-9 weeks

Why is lettuce suitable for hydroponics systems?
Lettuces can grow quickly in hydroponic systems and are even more productive in this water-based system. Lettuce leaves mature incredibly fast and develop their flavour very nicely because of this rapid growth rate. The shorter growing season helps produce better-tasting crops with more excellent nutritional value than conventional farming methods allow for. Additional magnesium and calcium is a bonus.

hydroponics plant

4. Beans

If you’re looking to grow some beans, the hydroponics option is your best bet. These plants for hydroponics are low on maintenance and productivity and offer an appealing variety of crops. You can choose green bean varieties like lima or pinto, pole-bean types that include lentils (also called Lens) and kidney, paste colorado.

Pole beans need to be supported while they grow, but you can get by with just a trellis or an A-frame. They produce fruit continuously without needing any kind of harvesting schedule. However, the best time to pick your beans is when they’re still young and tender before the seed begins a process of swelling known as bulging. This will ensure that you get delicious pods with no tough spots or grit stuck between their seams. The plants require moderate amounts of fertilizers and grow best if the pH is between 5.8 and 6.8. 

  • Best hydroponics system to grow tomatoes: ebb and flow systems Wicking, drip, and even aeroponic systems.
  • Best varieties: Snap, Lima, Soy, and Fava
  • pH level: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Temperature: cool
  • Grow time: 60 days
  • Harvest time: 6-9 weeks

Why are beans suitable for the hydroponic system?
Beans are the ultimate crop for those who want to grow their gardens with as little input as possible. Thus making them a perfect choice for hydroponics system. They are also an easy plant that needs only small amounts of nutrients but will benefit from trace minerals such as chlorine and molybdenum.

5. Strawberries

One of the most famous plants for hydroponics production, strawberries are a great choice for growing their own food without soil. There are two types of strawberries to choose from when growing hydroponically: short-day and day-neutral. Day Neutral is the best for your hydroponic garden because you can manipulate it so that fruiting occurs naturally, which would not happen without freezing them first.

These plants for hydroponics are relatively short, which allows them to be grown in a wide variety of different types of water-based systems. In addition, strawberries plants yield crates full of fresh produce, making them plants that growers can invest their time into for a good return on their efforts. Strawberries plants require moderate amounts of water and fertilizer to grow at their best, along with plenty of natural light. They need to be harvested before they flower because the flowers are inedible.

  • Best hydroponics system to grow strawberries: Ebb and Flow System
  • Best varieties: Albion, Seascape, Quinault, Tribute, Mara de Bois
  • pH level: 6.0 
  • Temperature: warm
  • Grow time: 40 days
  • Harvest time: 4-6 weeks after blossoming

Why are strawberries suitable for the hydroponic system?
Hydroponic strawberries are a great way to get the most out of your garden. These plants can grow quicker and be harvested earlier, which will help you optimize yield. With vertical stacking capabilities in hydroponics systems come even higher harvests without increasing space needed with traditional growing techniques.

Hydroponic strawberry growing is the most efficient and cleanest way to cultivate fruit. While conventional soil-based cultivation can lead to pest outbreaks, hydroponics will keep your crops free from infestation because it’s a controlled environment. It doesn’t allow for any plant life except those roots that receive rich nutrient solutions through misting; this process also helps increase yields by about 30%.

Hydroponics Fruits

Summing Up

Like every plant, there are specific needs for each type. You can’t just put any old thing in soil and expect it to thrive; the same goes with hydroponics systems. You need to know what plants will best fit your system’s limitations. For instance, the strawberry plant can be grown indoors or outdoors but does well in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse because it is sensitive to temperature changes. We have provided you with our list of the 5 best plants for hydroponics systems to get you started. Let us know your pick of them all.