The method of growing plants in hydroponics is to avoid the use of soil mixture. Instead, an artificial substrate and a nutrient solution are used, from which the roots receive all the substances necessary for the culture. To master hydroponic technology for home colors will not be difficult, and if this technique seems effective to you, you can gradually transfer to it the majority of your “green pets”.
The content of plants without a soil substrate is becoming increasingly popular. There are many reasons for this. Care does not cause almost any problems, especially for people who can not regularly take care of their plants, and even the most inexperienced florist is unlikely to make mistakes.
And for indoor plants, hydroponics has its advantages: in the expanded clay, the ventilation of the roots is ensured, since this material is not compacted, like the ground for flowers. But some rules you should follow when growing flowers in hydroponics, especially with regard to watering and fertilizing. It is somewhat more difficult to translate plants from the earth to hydroponics, but this technology can also be fully mastered.
Growing home flowers in hydroponics: equipment and materials
Hydroponic plants are aquatic cultures. For such crops to live, only water enriched with nutrients is required.
To grow plants in hydroponics you need the following equipment and materials.
Tanks. Unlike the content of plants in the ground, there are always two containers here.
- Internal plastic pot with holes or slots, where the plant-containing expanded clay is located. This pot also has a fixture for fixing the water level gauge.
- The outer pot is selected in such a size that it fits inside the pot. It can be made of waterproof ceramics or plastic - it is a matter of taste and financial possibilities. The outer vessel contains a nutrient solution (water with dissolved fertilizer). There are also larger containers in which several internal pots with plants are placed.
Water level gauge. This is a very important equipment for home hydroponics, it is a plastic tube with a float that signals you when to add water. The pointer has a three-level scale: minimum, optimum and maximum. At the upper end of the float there is a label by which you determine when to add the nutrient solution.
Supports. If a plant in the ground rests on a lattice of twigs, then a plant of the same species in hydroponics needs the same lattice. The only difference is that only plastic supports should be used in hydroponics. For climbing and climbing plants, there are special supports that are fixed at the bottom of the inner pot, and also extended with the help of nozzles. This equipment for home hydroponics is made of plastic with a rough surface or covered with cork. Supports made of natural material such as bamboo or rattan should not be used in hydroponics.
Expanded clay. Famous brown balls are needed to keep the plant in a pot. Expanded clay should be used from specialized gardening shops, since expanded clay used in construction often contains salts that can harm plants. Expanded clay for hydroponics comes in three different fractions, the smallest of which is suitable mainly for cuttings. The longer the supply of water is to be maintained, the larger the fraction of expanded clay should be used.
Hydroponic care for indoor plants
Many agro activities for the care of flowers when grown hydroponically do not differ from the care of plants in soil culture.
Location. If a plant in the ground loves the sun, then in hydroponics it needs a sunny place.
Pruning. Shortening the shoots, removing the wilted parts of the plant, cleaning the leaves - all this when growing plants in hydroponics is done equally with species growing in the ground.
Protection. Pest control remains almost unchanged, even if some people claim that hydroponic flowers never get sick. What plants do not have in hydroponics is certain pests, such as nematodes, that can only exist in the ground. Aphids, spider mites, whitefly are both on those and other species. And the measures to combat them are almost the same.
Transfer. Plants in hydroponics at home should also be transplanted when so many roots have formed in the inner pot that there is no space left for claydite. The very time replant a plantwhen its roots have already crushed the pot. Unlike vessels with the earth, take rather big capacity. In this case, there will be more time until the next transplant, and the roots will remain at rest longer.
Watering. If you are the first time watering a new plant when growing in hydroponics at home, pour enough water so that the level gauge only rises to the average mark, by no means more. When watering plants in hydroponics should consider some of the features:
- Add water or nutrient solution should only be when the red pointer reaches the "minimum".
- If the water level is constantly maintained at the maximum level, then soon all the voids will be filled with air and the plant will choke, just as it happens with plants in the ground, if there is too much water.
- To add water when growing plants with homemade hydroponics with their own hands, only a lot of drinking plants set in a sunny place or when leaving for vacation should be up to the maximum mark.
- When the level indicator has reached the minimum mark, it is better to wait with irrigation for another two or three days.
- Sometimes it happens that the water level gauge and after 2 weeks still remains at the maximum mark. In this case, you should carefully remove the inner pot from the outer one and check whether claydite balls or too long roots interfere with the level gauge. Important As in the case of cultivation in soil culture, warm water should be used for hydroponically plants. The temperature of the nutrient solution below 15 ° C is harmful to plants.
Next, you will learn what kind of fertilizer is needed for hydroponic plants.
What fertilizers are needed to grow plants in hydroponics?
It is not enough one water for food of a plant. To get a good nutrient solution, you need to add fertilizer to the water. Ordinary flower fertilizers are suitable for this purpose only conditionally. You need to use a special fertilizer that contains nutrients in a form that is easily absorbed by plants.
Hydroponic fertilizers are sold mainly in the form of liquid concentrated or so-called ion-exchange fertilizers. Liquid fertilizers They simultaneously regulate the pH of the water. This means that they can be used for tap water of any quality, even with a high content of lime. Liquid fertilizers are added to water for irrigation in accordance with the dosage instructions on the package.
Ion-exchange fertilizers. When using an ion exchanger, you need to apply fertilizer only once per 4-5 months. Follow the recommendations for use and determine the period of the next fertilizer application. Such fertilizers exist:
- In granular form, the corresponding portion of which is poured on the expanded clay and washed off with water;
- In the form of a nutritional battery, which is attached to the bottom of the inner pot.
DIY diary nutrient solution change
From time to time you should completely change the nutrient solution for hydroponics and wash the pots. When using liquid fertilizers, this should be done in about 8 weeks, and when using ion exchangers, only when a new batch of fertilizers is applied in 4-5 months.
If you use a nutrient solution for hydroponics for too long, constantly adding fertilizer to it, then some salts that are not consumed by plants accumulate in it in such a concentration that they damage the roots. When changing the solution and washing the pots, the clay and the roots of the plants are simultaneously washed.
It is very simple to change the nutrient solution for hydroponics with your own hands. Do this as follows:
- Remove the inner pot from the outside.
- Take out the water level gauge.
- Put the pot in the bath and rinse the clay for 10 minutes with water from the shower (not below 15 ° C).
- The outer pot should also be thoroughly rinsed to remove residual old nutrient solution.
- Place the inner pot with the water level indicator in the outer pot again.
- Pour nutrient solution.
Conversion of home plants to hydroponics (with video)
Having acquired the first experience of keeping plants hydroponically at home with your own hands, you may want to transfer all plants to this system. For many crops, this does not pose any difficulty, but sometimes plants do not tolerate this procedure. The greatest chances of success are young, still not very large, healthy plants. Old copies should be left in their usual environment.
Translation plants hydroponics as follows. When transferring plants from soil culture to hydroponics, one should act very carefully to increase the chances of a positive result:
- Remove the plant from the pot and free the roots from the ground with your hands as far as possible.
- Wash off the rest of the earth on the roots with warm water, preferably under the shower.
- If necessary, soak the clods in a bucket of water overnight.
- Rotten or very long roots should be pruned. The roots should occupy no more than two-thirds of the height of the pot.
- Fill one-third of the pot with expanded clay soaked in water for several hours and distribute the roots over it. Add expanded clay to the brim of the pot. Fill warm water without nutrients to an average level. To prevent evaporation, put a plastic bag on top of the pot.
- Through the 2-3 week, remove the package. From the first addition of water at a minimum level, regularly fertilize it.
It is difficult to translate all plants with a very large and intertwined root system, such as ferns, begonias and anthurium (Anthurium), from soil culture to hydroponics.
Sachala in hydroponics recommended keeping foliage plants. Now it is known that a number of flowering plants also feels great without earth.
The following types of hydroponics grow especially well in hydroponics:
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfetdiana)
Stephanotis (Stephanotis ftoribunda)
Uzambarsky violet (Saintpaulia lonantha)
Wax Ivy (Hoya)
Euphorbia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
There are indoor plant lovers who cultivate hydroponics with great success in cacti and orchids and rejoice in the ease of caring for their pets.
You can see how to grow home plants hydroponically in this video: