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9 Fastest Growing Hydroponic Plants

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One major reason why people grow plants using hydroponics is that hydroponic plants grow faster than others. If you want your plants to grow very quickly, make use of a hydroponic system.

Just imagine harvesting or enjoying fast-growing plants in your own hydroponic system. Awesome, right?

Read this article to discover some of the fastest-growing hydroponic plants that you can grow and how to make them grow faster.

9 Fast-Growing Plants for Hydroponics

1. Microgreens

Led lamps shine on green leaves of microgreens in hydroponic pots system

If a very quick harvest is what you are looking for, grow microgreens. These are plants that you do not need to wait until they are mature before you collect their leaves. Microgreens have extra tasty leaves.

If you want to grow microgreens, use hydroponic systems that can allow you to grow many plants at once.

For example, wick and ‘ebb and flow’ hydroponic systems have space for a lot of plants.

Deep water culture and nutrient film technique systems are not suitable for microgreens.

You also want to get the growing conditions right. Keep the system flowing for a week or two and ensure that the pH and other factors are stable before you introduce your plants.

2. Herbs

Fresh green leaves of basil herb  growing in hydroponic vegetable farm

Herbs are as fast-growing as you want them to be.

Even if some gardeners prefer to wait for their herbs to reach maturity before they start harvesting, you can collect some leaves from the plants whenever you need herbs.

Herbs are some of the best plants that you can grow with hydroponics.

As long as they continue to get a steady flow of nutrients and water, you do not need to go to the store for herbs anymore.

They are also hardy and super easy to grow.

Grow your mints, basils, and rosemary plants using hydroponics and you’ll be glad that you did. You can grow herbs in every type of hydroponic system.

3. Spinach

Fresh spinach neatly arranged with hydroponic method
  • Growing time: As little as six weeks.
  • Temperature: 50°F to 60°F
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • pH: 6.4 to 7.0

If you love growing spinach in your garden, you can take them inside and grow them with hydroponics.

Spinach will give you sweet green leaves in less than two months so long as you continue to feed them with nutrients.

While spinach plants can grow in every type of hydroponic system, they are best suited for nutrient film technique and deep water culture systems.

If you are growing spinach in hydroponic systems with a lot of space present, consider growing other types of plants between the rows of spinach.

4. Lettuce

Hydroponically grown loose-leaf lettuce in greenhouse

Lettuces are among the fast-growing vegetables that you can grow using hydroponics. Lettuce is just like spinach regarding the suitable hydroponic systems to use while growing them.

  • Growing time: Two months
  • Temperature: 60°F to 65°F
  • Light: Full sun
  • pH: 5.5 to 6.5

Lettuces are heavy feeders, so remember to regularly enrich their nutrient-rich solution.

They also need a lot of light to grow and maintain their green leaves, so install grow lights close to the hydroponic system just in case there’s no sunlight.

5. Swiss Chard

Hydroponic grown Swiss chard in a kitchen window
  • Growing time: Two to three months
  • Temperature: 50°F to 60°F
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • pH: 6.0 to 6.8

Swiss chards are some of the largest and most colorful vegetables that you can grow using hydroponics. Aside from being large and colorful, Swiss chards are also fast-growing.

Grow your Swiss chards using any type of hydroponic system. If possible, buy and use a Swiss chard-specific hydroponic fertilizer for your plants.

However, you can use any type of hydroponic fertilizer suitable for vegetables.

6. Kale

Kale leaves vegetable cultivation in greenhouses by hydroponic system
  • Growing time: Less than two months
  • Temperature: 45°F to 85°F
  • Light: Full sun
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5

Kale is a fast-growing hydroponic plant and it is similar to other plants such as lettuce and spinach.

You can grow kales as microgreens and harvest them in less than a month after planting them.

Kales do not need as many nutrients as lettuces, but make sure that the system stays nutrient-rich. Also, keep the roots of your kales oxygenated by sending them only oxygen-rich nutrient solution.

7. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens on Hydroponic wick system
  • Growing time: Around 6 weeks
  • Temperature: 50°F to 60°F
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • pH: 5.5 to 6.5

Are you a fan of the delicious leaves and stalks of mustard greens? You can surely grow them as hydroponic plants.

Mustard greens are hardy plants and you will find it very easy to grow them.

To ensure that your plants grow without problems, nurse them until they have at least two pairs of true leaves before transplanting them into the hydroponic system.

Also, prevent pests from hiding between or destroying the leaves of your greens.

8. Beans

Aquaponics and hydroponics support vegetation, beans vegetable in hydroponic system
  • Growing time: Two months
  • Temperature: 60°F to 70°F
  • Light: Full sun
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0

Beans are fast-growing and hardy plants that you can grow with hydroponics.

You will face very little to no challenges when growing beans using hydroponics.

Try starting with beans if you are a first-time hydroponic gardener.

When growing beans, you can make use of any type of hydroponic system.

However, the deep water culture system is not very suitable for beans, as it inhibits the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the root of beans.

Note that so long as the nutrient-rich solution of your hydroponic system has a lot of nitrogen and other nutrients, you can grow beans with or without the beneficial bacteria in their roots.

Also, install a trellis for your beans if you are growing climbing varieties.

9. Arugula

Hand holding baby arugula seedlings in greenhouse with hydroponic system
  • Growing time: 4-7 weeks
  • Temperature: 45°F to 55°F
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0

Arugulas, or rockets, are not just fast-growing; they also give you spicy and sweet leaves to enhance the taste of your cuisine.

You do not need to wait until they are mature or large before you collect their leaves.

If you want to grow your rockets as microgreens, use the types of hydroponic systems suitable for microgreens as recommended earlier.

However, if you want the rockets to grow large before you harvest them, grow them using the ebb and flow hydroponic system.

How Can You Help Your Hydroponic Plants to Grow Faster?

If you want your fast-growing hydroponic plants to grow even faster, make use of these awesome tips:

1. Optimize the System’s Flow of Nutrients

Just as in the case of traditional gardening, plants will grow faster when they have just the right amount of nutrients at the right time.

For hydroponic plants, optimize the system’s flow of nutrients so that the plants never go hungry or thirsty.

If the nutrient-rich water flows to your plants’ roots too often, the roots might not get enough oxygen. If the solution does not reach the roots in time, the plants will starve.

Know the best rate of sending nutrients to your plants.

Calculating the rate of sending nutrients to your plants is only for systems other than deep water culture (DWC) system.

In a DWC hydroponic system, the roots of your plants are always submerged in the nutrient solution and are properly aerated.

Hydroponic vegetable concept, fresh lettuce in wooden basket and plants growing in hydroponic system

2. Consider Every Requirement of Your Plants

When you grow plants with hydroponics, you do not need to worry about the water, nutrients, and soil needs of your plants. However, there are still more important factors that are worth considering.

Factors such as temperature, humidity, exposure to light, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, etc. can determine the growth rate of hydroponic plants.

For example, if the TDS is too low, your plants will grow slowly. If the TDS is too high, your plants will burn.

This means that for every plant you choose to grow in your hydroponic system, know its growth requirements. When doing your research or growing, keeping detailed records will help you determine optimum levels now and in the future.

3. Give Your Plants the Right Start

Hydroponic vegetable farm equipment

One secret of experienced gardeners is starting plants in the best (or perfect) environment.

If you germinate your seedlings in nutrient-rich soil and the ideal atmospheric conditions, they will grow very quickly even after transplanting them.

The productivity of seedlings affects the productivity of mature plants.

If you want your hydroponic plants to grow quickly, start them in the ideal environment.

Some hydroponic gardeners start their seedlings in water, paper, and other soilless media. This is not necessary. If you want very healthy seedlings, make use of nutrient-rich soil to germinate them.

4. Thin Out Slow-Growing Seedlings

Another cool tip for you is not to transplant slow-growing seedlings into your hydroponic system.

Germinate or start many plants (i.e., more plants than you need) and select the best ones to grow in the system.

The best plants for your hydroponic system are those that grow quickly, have the right color of leaves and stems, and are free from pests and diseases.

Growing these plants in your hydroponic system will give you a very quick harvest.

If you are unsure whether the plants will grow well in your hydroponics system or not, transplant more plants than you need into the hydroponic system then remove the less productive ones after 10-14 days.

Picking lettuce vegetable at hydroponic vegetable greenhouse

5. Grow Your Plants Free From Pests

The enemies of fast-growing plants are pests. Pests will make your plants grow very slowly because instead of growing, your plants will be repairing the damage of pests.

If you want your hydroponic plants to grow very quickly, do not allow pests to reach the plants. You’d be surprised how quickly your plants will grow

Final Thoughts

Growing hydroponic plants is truly fun and you should give it a try to see the magic of gardening.

Hydroponic plants grow quickly, but you can make them grow even faster when you grow them in the right environment.

Remember to always consider the specific requirements of your hydroponic plants.


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