How To Grow Marijuana Plants Using Hydroponics Technique: There are many different ways in which you can grow marijuana plants. However, broadly speaking there are only two ways – soil and non-soil growth. While traditionalists prefer growing it on soil, be it via seeds or via cloning, of late, there has been an active interest in non-soil growth as well – leading to advancements in hydroponics. Let us take a closer look at how to grow marijuana plants using the hydroponics technique, and what are the benefits and disadvantages of the same.
The hydroponics method has been used to grow various plants in the past, but of late marijuana growers have found it to be pretty useful. Hydroponics involves growing of plants in a mixture of water and nutrients. What is special here is that it does not require a medium that soil provides the traditional method of growing marijuana. However, other alternate mediums may or may not be used – these alternate mediums can be grown rock, sand, gravel, etc.
In hydroponic growth, all the nutrients are provided to the plant via water.
How to Grow Marijuana Plants Using Hydroponic Techniques?
Let us take a look at the various steps involved in growing marijuana plants hydroponically
Selecting a Medium
While hydroponic growth does not depend upon soil as a medium, it still requires some sort of a medium. However, some people also prefer to growth without a medium at all. We will address that in a bit.
Some of the most commonly used mediums in the hydroponic growth of marijuana include that of sand and gravel because they can be easily arranged for and are available naturally. For those who like to take things to a different level, there are options of Rockwool cubes, oasis cubes, as well as coco. Expanded Clay, known as ‘Pop Rocks’ and Lava Rocks are also very popular options these days.
If you are using a medium, it is critical that you ensure that the medium remains clean. In case of sand and gravel, it becomes difficult to clean it. Rockwool Cubes, Oasis Cubes and Coco can directly be purchased from the markets, Pop Rocks and Lava Rocks too, are commercially available and can provide the users with a good, clean medium.
What also makes Pop Rocks and Lava Rocks good for growing marijuana using hydroponics method is that they are porous and come with a neutral pH level. Moreover, they can be re-used multiple times.
If you are making use of Lava Rocks for your hydroponic growth, have them submerged in water for 4 to 5 days. Make sure you clean them properly before you use them. Pop Rocks are smaller in size and round. They need to be cleaned well before use.
The technique of hydroponic growth without the use of a medium is called the Nutrient Film Technique – where a plant’s roots are directly placed in water enriched with nutrients. The fabric is used to cover the roots to avoid light from reaching them.
Deciding on a hydroponic setup
After you choose your medium, the next thing that you need to decide on is the kind of setup that you would be using to grow your marijuana. Here’s a look at the different setups that you can choose from. Kits are available for all of them which come with all the equipment that you need to set it up.
This is a setup which involves suspending the roots in the air with no medium. There’s water at the bottom, and thanks to an oxygen-rich environment, the microbes on the roots of the plant will be able to digest these nutrients and transfer it to the marijuana plant.
- Deep Water Culture
Deep Water Culture basically involves buckets of nutrients called bubblers. The roots grow into these nutrients and the plants are suspended above. An aquarium pump is used to fill air into the bubbler. This is a method which speeds up the grow-time.
- Drip Irrigation
The drip irrigation system involves providing nutrients to each plant individually in a dedicated chamber. Nutrients are provided to each plant with the help of a dripper – the solution here can be recycled.
- Ebb and Flow
The Ebb and Flow technique is a very common technique and among the most popular ones. It requires the use of an alternate medium to soil such as Rockwool cubes or lava rocks. This system simulates the cycle of natural rain giving your marijuana plant a more ‘natural’ sort of growth. This helps produce large yields.
- Nutrient Film Technique
This is another popular technique of growing marijuana hydroponically. This involves a nutrient solution flowing on a tray, which forms a shallow, slow-moving film that passes through the roots of the plants. The roots continue to grow on the tray and get a continuous exposure to water, oxygen, and nutrients. This ensures fast growth and large outputs.
This is how the hydroponics systems function. Let us now take a look at some of the pros and cons that such a system brings in:
Pros and Cons of Growing Marijuana Hydroponically
- Since hydroponic growth does not involve soil, it eliminates all soil-related problems such as those of pests and insects, as well as the dirt.
- Hydroponic growth often results in a high volume yield.
- The water that you use remains in the system and can be recycled and reused.
- The time of growth that hydroponic systems take to grow marijuana is lesser compared to other, traditional methods.
- Some users also believe that the product that you grow here is better looking compared to traditional growing methods.
- This method is both, complex as well as expensive – it is strongly advised that first-time growers and novice growers stay away from it.
- The system needs to be monitored regularly.
- One mistake and you might end up losing all your output.
- Requires a lot of maintenance and cleaning.
Grow Marijuana Plants Using Hydroponics Technique
How To Grow Marijuana Using Hydroponics Technique – Pros and Cons of Growing Marijuana Hydroponically