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7 Best Indoor Hydroponic Plants

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Growing plants hydroponically indoors is a fantastic idea, as you can make space in a room inside and grow your favorite crops.

However, there are many things to consider before growing your hydroponic plants indoors.

For example, the plant to grow is worth considering, as not every plant is suitable for indoor hydroponics.

Which plants can you grow using hydroponics indoors? Read this article to learn the best plants to grow hydroponically indoors.

Red and green tomatoes growing in indoor farm using hydroponic system

7 Best Hydroponic Plants That You Can Grow Indoors

1. Tomatoes

  • pH: 5 to 6.5
  • Temperature: 65 to 85° Fahrenheit
  • Growing time: 60 to 100 days

Tomatoes are not just among the best plants that you can grow using hydroponics indoors, they are also among the most popular plants grown.

These much-loved plants are not the easiest to grow, but you can grow them even if you are a first-time gardener.

When growing hydroponic tomatoes, make use of tomato-specific hydroponic fertilizers. This can save you a lot of stress and prevent many problems.

Tomatoes love growing indoors, as the environmental conditions are more constant. They are also more likely to be free from pests. However, ensure that the tomatoes get enough light to have optimal growth.

2. Beans and Peas

Pea microgreen sprouts, growing pea sprouts on black container on white background
  • pH: 6 to 7
  • Temperature: 65 to 85° Fahrenheit
  • Growing time: Less than 80 days

If you want to recommend a very easy crop to a first-time gardener, recommend beans or peas. These crops are not just super easy to grow, they will also give you sweet harvests.

Beans and peas are very hardy, and they adapt quickly to hydroponics so that you can grow them in your system. They can help you test-run the system before you plant other desirable crops.

So long as your beans and peas are growing in the right conditions and have enough access to sunlight or grow lights, they will grow without problems.

You can use different types of hydroponic fertilizer for your beans and peas.

3. Lettuces

Lettuce cultivated in hydroponic system at indoor
  • pH: 5.5 to 6
  • Temperature: 60 to 65° Fahrenheit
  • Growing time: 30 days

If you are a fan of leafy greens, you’ll surely love to grow lettuce. Growing lettuce plants indoors can give you a steady supply of lettuce for salads and sandwiches.

Lettuce is very easy to grow indoors using hydroponics. Just get their growing conditions right and make sure that they get a steady supply of nutrients from the nutrient reservoir.

Lettuce is among the few plants that can grow in every type of hydroponic system. They can also grow with other types of plants easily, so you can add lettuce plants to your indoor hydroponic system right away.

4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers grown in a modern hydroponic indoor
  • pH: 6 to 6.5
  • Temperature: 75 to 85° Fahrenheit
  • Growing time: 35 to 55 days

Cucumbers are among the most popular fruiting plants that you can grow easily with hydroponics. You will certainly feel proud when you see your cucumbers producing their yellow flowers.

Cucumbers are very easy to grow using hydroponics, especially in their vegetative phase. When the plants start fruiting or flowering, make sure that you use a suitable fertilizer (for fruiting plants).

The hydroponic fertilizer for your fruiting cucumbers should be rich in calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients. The one for your young cucumbers should be rich in nitrogen.

5. Spinaches

Growing Spinach vegetables with water drops in hydroponic system
  • pH: 6 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 50 to 60° Fahrenheit
  • Growing time: 40 days

Do you love spinach? Why not grow them in your hydroponic system indoors?

Spinach makes a very good indoor hydroponic plant so long as you can get the lighting right. Give your spinach plants at least six hours of sunlight or its equivalent in grow light hours.

Also, give them nitrogen-rich fertilizer so that they can grow green and healthy leaves.

These vegetables can give you a steady supply of leafy greens. They will not give you any problems whatsoever so long as you get their growing conditions right.

6. Herbs

Hydroponics diy gardening indoor, fresh herbs harvest at kitchen countertop using hydroponic method jars

Some of the best plants that you can grow indoors with hydroponics are herbs such as chives, rosemary, and mints.

These plants will just continue growing in the hydroponic system so long as you continue supplying them with nutrients and water.

Transplant the herb seedlings into the hydroponic system and you can get a steady dose of herbs for cooking and other uses. You can say goodbye to going to the store for herbs when you grow yours using hydroponics indoors.

Herbs have different temperature, pH, and lighting needs, so make sure that you know the growth requirements of a specific herb before you start growing it.

Also, make sure that two different types of herbs are compatible before you grow them together in your hydroponic systems.

7. Microgreens

Microgreen foliage background, pea leaf sprout vegetables

Microgreens are plants that you harvest leaves from when they are still seedlings. These leaves are very fresh and sweet to eat, so microgreens such as pea shoots, kale, and Swiss chards are very popular in the garden.

If you do not have a garden outside, why not make yours inside? Constructing a hydroponic system indoors and growing your microgreens inside is just what you need to enjoy your sweet vegetables.

Before growing the plants, make sure that you have used the hydroponic system for at least two weeks. This will help the pH and other factors to stop fluctuating before you introduce the little plants.

Grow your microgreens only in a stable environment, so that they can produce the healthiest leaves.

3 Worst Indoor Hydroponic Plants

After learning the best plants that you can grow indoors in your hydroponic systems, it’s also cool to learn the worst plants to grow. Some of the worst indoor hydroponic plants are:

Hand of a farmer holding potato plants and crop on blurry nature background

1. Tubers and Other Root Vegetables

Yams, potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables are plants that are very difficult to grow with hydroponics. You can surely grow them in your hydroponic system, you just need a lot of expertise.

These root crops are not suitable for hydroponics because you are more interested in harvesting their roots. The roots are exposed to a constant or regular flow of water, so they may not grow as healthily as others growing in plain soil.

Root crops such as yams and onions need slightly dry soil so that their roots are not wet or exposed to too much moisture for a long time.

Another reason why root vegetables are not suitable for indoor hydroponics is that they prefer direct sunlight.

Most tuber-growing plants need as much sunlight as they can get, so growing them with grow lights may not give you enough yield.

Birch tree illuminated by the rays of the sun in the forest

2. Woody or Heavy Plants

You may spend a lot of money in constructing and maintaining your hydroponic systems if you grow trees and other heavy plants. The roots of these plants can destroy your hydroponic systems and may be difficult to remove.

If you want to grow woody or heavy plants indoors, grow them in pots. If you see the need of feeding the heavy plants with nutrient-rich water from hydroponics or aquaponics, install a drip irrigation system.

With a drip irrigation system, you can occasionally enrich the woody plants with nutrients from the hydroponics.

Just make sure that you do not grow very large or heavy plants in your hydroponic systems.

Aloe sprouts with roots on a white plate on paper background

3. Drought-Loving Plants

Plants such as cacti, aloe plants, hostas, etc. may grow poorly in your hydroponic systems because the grow media is mostly wet. Xerophytes or drought-loving plants do not like growing on a substrate that is consistently moist.

If you’d love to grow such plants in your system, make sure that you grow them using hydroponics and not aquaponics.

In aquaponics, fish rely on plants to absorb a lot of nutrients from the water. Since xerophytes do not like wet substrates, they may not be effective in collecting a lot of nutrients from the water, as just a little water will be sent to them.

In hydroponics, you can make a nutrient-rich solution and send water to the plants occasionally, maybe once a day or every two days.

One advantage of hydroponics (not aquaponics) is that you can regulate the water flow to match the exact needs of your plants.

Final Thoughts

There are good and bad plants for your hydroponic systems, so try to do a little research about a plant before you add it to your hydroponic systems.

If you are starting your hydroponics journey for the first time, do consider growing the recommended plants in this article.


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