Techniques for Growing Hydroponic Cannabis

Techniques for Growing Hydroponic CannabisHydroponic cannabis are plants grown in something besides soil, with nutrient-rich solutions that provide what the plant needs to grow.

The reason marijuana plants, or any other plants, are grown hydroponically is that growth can be sped up and yields can be increased by directly controlling the volume of nutrients received by the plants.

Small-scale hydroponic operations can be as simple as hand-watering plants which grow in pots containing any inert medium. Much larger operations might have more sophisticated systems, automated to manage irrigation and the flow of nutrition.

Hydroponic marijuana media

Strictly speaking, no medium is really necessary for growing hydroponic cannabis, as long as the plants receive the nutrients they need. Since growing mediums are easily obtained and support root development, most hydroponic operations make use of one or more of the following:

  • Rockwool – probably the most commonly used medium and is made by spinning molten rock into single-filament fibers that hold water well
  • Growstones – a recycled glass product which has tremendous properties for retaining air and water
  • Perlite/vermiculite/pumice – all three of these contain a great deal of air space, and they have the added appeal of being re-usable
  • Coco peat – a by-product of coco husks, which holds 1,000 times more air than natural soil
  • Expanded clay pebbles – super-heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, these tiny clay bits retain their heated size and hold air extremely well

Hydroponic growing methods

Having settled on the right medium for your hydroponic growing operation, you then need to select the actual growing method to be used.

  • Aeroponics – this method does not require any growing medium, but instead works by spraying or misting the roots of plants to provide them with needed nutrients
  • Continuous flow solution – by constantly irrigating plants with nutrients, the continuous flow method ensures that individual plants receive nourishment through some kind of setup where roots are supplied with water containing vital ingredients
  • Run-to-waste – a simple hydroponic system has the grower watering a medium either by hand or automated until waste is created in individual pots or containers, then discarded
  • Deep water culture – roots of the cannabis plants are suspended over nutrient-rich water some are even completely out of the water. The very high levels of oxygen in the area directly above the water triggers rapid growth among the plants
  • Flood and drain – a simple cultivation method where trays are used to provide water to plants from below, with plants, either grown in media or not, and wastewater drains away to a main tank for recycling