10 Best Plants to Grow Hydroponically Indoors.
Are you wondering what plants you can grow hydroponically indoors if you don’t have much space? Hydroponics, or the method of growing plants in nutrient-rich water rather than soil, can be used to grow a wide range of vegetables, herbs and other plants, but some plants are better suited for this soil-free growing method than others. Below, we take a look at 10 nutritious vegetables, herbs and fruit plants that are among the easiest plants to grow hydroponically at home. These plants will also adapt to aquaponics, an advanced hydroponic growing method that combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish) with conventional hydroponics. While the small aquaponic herb growing kits available for consumers won’t allow you to raise fish for food, they do have the advantage of fertilizing your plants with the natural waste the fish produce in the tank below the grow tray.
The health benefits of spinach make this leafy green vegetable a great addition to almost any healthy diet, but the unassuming spinach is also right there on top of the list of the best plants you can grow hydroponically at home. Not only does spinach grow well in most water-based gardens. You can harvest your hydroponically-grown spinach all at once, or snip off a bit at a time. The young leaves of the spinach plant make a particularly versatile ingredient as they can be eaten both raw and cooked.
Lettuce may well be the most popular choice among budding hydroponic gardeners. It is easy to grow, and you can keep harvesting the outer leaves as the plant grows and thereby benefit from a continuous supply of fresh lettuce. Don’t know which variety to pick? Try the extra healthy Romaine, or any other common leafy type, such as the Bibb.
As the name implies, watercress is a water-loving plant that makes an ideal candidate for your hydroponic or aquaponic garden. It is also a great vegetable to grow at home as it doesn’t store well when cut, which means the watercress you find in the grocery stores is often already wilted. This semi-aquatic plant thrives best in water that is slightly alkaline and that keeps moving.
- Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are one of the easiest non-leafy vegetables to grow indoors at home, and they also do well in hydroponic systems. Keep in mind, though, that tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes, require a lot of light to grow, so you might want to get a standalone grow light, or one of the cherry tomato growing kits with LED grow lights.
The cucumber plant is another example of a food-producing plant that grows well in a hydroponic or aquaponic setting, provided that it gets enough sunlight or artificial light designed to boost plant grown. When planting cucumber vines, keep in mind that as the plants grow, the vines will likely need to be supported with a large trellis or wire cage. No room for vines and a large trellis? Popular among container gardeners, the bush types are much smaller than the more common vine types, and you can buy bush cucumber seeds conveniently through Amazon here.
Like tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers are relatively easy to grow indoors at home, provided that they get a lot of natural sunlight or that their growth is supported by grow lamps. They are also well-suited to hydroponic cultivation. If you’re planning on setting up your hydroponic garden in your home, rather than in a large green house, you might want to consider opting for chili peppers and other smaller pepper varieties that are better suited for small spaces than bell peppers.
In recent years, kale’s health benefits have received a lot of media attention, and cookbooks focused on kale recipes abound. However, fresh kale is still not as readily available as many other vegetables, and non-organically grown kale is often laden with pesticides. By growing your own kale using hydroponics or aquaponics, or simply using soil as the growing medium, you’ll have fresh kale readily available. Plus, if you’re growing your kale in a controlled hydroponic system indoors, you will likely need no pesticides as plant-destroying bugs living in soil or flying around outside will have trouble accessing the growing plants.
Imagine if you could have fresh, locally-grown strawberries indoors all year round! With a well-designed hydroponic system, year-round cultivation of strawberries becomes easy as pie. To get started, purchase a couple of strawberry starter runners from a garden supply store, and place them in a refrigerator for a few of months before planting them in your hydroponic indoor garden. Such cold stimulation helps jump-start the growing process, and your strawberry plants should start producing flowers right after planting.
Although it is usually grown on land, orange mint (also known as water mint) is actually a semi-aquatic plant that in nature grows best in shallow water on the sides of ponds and streams. Also peppermint, which is a hybrid cross between spearmint and orange mint, loves water. Therefore, it is not surprising that both orange mint and peppermint are among the best herbs to grow hydroponically or aquaponically, even if you have no prior experience in hydroponic gardening. AeroGarden sells hydroponic herb garden kits that are ideal for indoor use and that are perfect for growing herbs like mint, basil, parsley and cilantro at home.
Basil is another example of a herb that is easy to grow in a hydroponic system. The easiest way to get started with growing basil in a hydroponic system is to buy basil seedlings at a garden center and transplant the seedlings into the hydroponic container after carefully rinsing the soil off the roots.