TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hydroponic systems substitute soil with a soilless and inert growing medium and nutrient-rich solution as an alternative to soil-based growing methods. It’s never been more affordable or easier to set up a hydroponic system at home.
Are you interested in learning how to grow hydroponic weed? Our hydroponic cannabis guide covers the supplies and equipment needed, set-up instructions, and other tips to start your hydroponic garden.
What Is Hydroponic?
Hydroponic growing methods are used for growing various plants and vegetables indoors, including strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cannabis.
Hydroponic systems use an inert growing medium to support the plant’s root structure. A nutrient-water solution provides nutrients and water.
Benefits of growing hydroponic cannabis:
- Efficient use of water
- Space-saving technique
- Reduced need for pesticides
- Can grow year-round
- Strong and healthy plants
Supplies and Equipment for a Hydroponic Grow
Hydroponic systems range from basic set-ups where you hand-water the plants with the nutrient-water solution to complex systems featuring a growing tray, growing medium, air pump, reservoir, and a timer to provide roots with the nutrient solution.
Choose from various hydroponic grow kits featuring everything you need to start growing hydroponic cannabis or build a DIY hydroponics system in your grow room. Here are a few supplies and equipment you will need for a complete hydroponic garden set-up:
- Grow lights (LED or HPS)
- Grow tent or clean and sanitized grow room
- Nutrient-water reservoir
- Growing tray
- Inert growing medium
- Air stone and pump
- Net pots
- Cannabis seeds
- Hydroponic nutrients
- PPM and pH meters
- Oscillating fan
- Carbon filter
Hydroponic Weed Systems
Hydroponic systems for growing marijuana plants vary in price, equipment and supplies, and ease of use. Each hydroponic system type has its pros and cons, but all can grow healthy cannabis plants.
Here are the most popular hydroponic system types.
Deep Water Culture
Deep water culture (DWC) systems are one of the most straightforward systems to set up and maintain. In a DWC set-up, the plants are in a self-contained bucket in a mesh basket filled with hydroton pellets. The roots of cannabis plants are submerged in the nutrient solution.
Since the roots are under the water, you don’t have to water your plants, but you still must provide them with nutrients and oxygen. DWC systems use an air stone to pump the nutrient solution with oxygen. Generally, the more air is pumped into the roots, the healthier the cannabis plant will be.
Ebb and Flow System
Ebb and flow systems are some of the most straightforward techniques to use. In this setup, the plant’s roots absorb a nutrient-water solution over a certain amount of time. Then, the nutrient solution is drained. The process is repeated several times per day.
Ebb and flow systems work well with inert mediums like Rockwool, coco coir, sand, or pea gravel. The soilless medium supports the cannabis plant’s roots and absorbs the nutrient solution. Hydroton pellets can provide more support than weaker coco coir or perlite mediums.
Nutrient Film Technique
A nutrient film technique (NFT) system is similar to the ebb and flow system. In this system, dissolved nutrients are distributed in a shallow stream of water. The water recirculates through the bottom of the roots along a channel. The plants are in net pots and a growing medium. The top of the roots are well aerated while the bottom feeds on a film of nutrient solution.
Grow Medium for Hydroponic Grows
In a hydroponic garden, you can choose from various growing mediums to anchor the plant and provide water, nutrients, and oxygen. Here are some of the most popular types of grow mediums for a hydroponic system.
Rockwool is made from melted rock which is spun and turned into fibers. Rockwool keeps roots properly aerated and has excellent water retention properties.
Hydroton clay pebbles are budget-friendly and reusable. Clay pebbles are able to retain water for long periods and keep the roots well hydrated. The space between the pellets provides the roots with the proper aeration.
Perlite is an affordable grow medium with excellent water retention and aeration characteristics. While it is not renewable, it can be reused.
Coco coir is made from ground coconut husks and can provide water and nutrients efficiently to plants. Coco coir is known for its antifungal properties.
Nutrients for Hydroponic Cannabis Grows
Nutrients used for growing hydroponic cannabis are different from nutrients used for soil-based plants. Always use nutrients designed for hydroponic growing.
Your plants will need their primary macro and micronutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Micronutrients include calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Nutrient solutions can be found in stores or online in pre-made or powdered formulas for the plant’s vegetative and flowering stage. Nitrogen nutrient levels need to be higher in the vegetative stage, and phosphorus nutrient levels are required during the flowering stage.
Setting Up a Hydroponic Weed Garden
When you have assembled the necessary supplies and equipment for your hydroponic garden, it is time to set everything up in your dedicated grow space. Here are a few general set-up instructions to consider:
- Assemble the system based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Set up the nutrient reservoir. The size will depend on the number of plants you plan to grow. A reservoir holds the nutrient solution. Turn on the pump once the nutrient and water are properly mixed. Optimal pH levels range between 5.5 and 6.5.
- Plant the cannabis seed in the inert growing medium and care for it throughout its seedling phase during the first few weeks.
- Monitor the plants as they go through the vegetative and flowering stages and provide the proper nutrient levels during each step.
- Harvest, dry, and cure.
Learn How to Grow Hydroponic Weed at CTU
Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college to learn everything you need to know about hydroponic marijuana.
Even if you don’t have any previous growing experience, Cannabis Training University can provide you with the knowledge you need to start growing cannabis from seed or clone. We guide you with step-by-step instructions that take you from planting to harvesting and beyond.
Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.