Over the past several years, the way we grow marijuana has evolved. From growing outdoors in the wild it became something that was properly cultivated and from there it has moved indoors or in greenhouses where it is grown under ‘perfect’ conditions which ensure that the plant grows in a better manner. However, with time there came another technique – of growing marijuana hydroponically. In this article, we shall be focusing on the five best hydroponic towers for cannabis.
We shall also be taking a look at what is hydroponics and how it is different from the other and more traditional forms of growing weed. We shall then be looking at the five best hydroponic towers that you can buy off the web and at the factors that you need to consider before you buy such a tower for yourself, as well as at some of the pros and cons of using hydroponics for growing cannabis. By the time you reach the end of this article, you will be able to make a well-informed purchase! Let us begin with the basics:
What is Hydroponics?
Water is an important part of growing any plant and hydroponics is basically a technique where you eliminate the role of soil and use water to grow plants. Soil as a medium is totally removed here and instead water is directly provided to the roots along with the nutrients in a way that it can be reused and also reaches the plants faster. Hydroponics as a technique is not new as it has been around for thousands of years – the hanging gardens of Babylon were perhaps one of the first ‘grand’ examples of this craft but it has been around for even longer.
Over the past few years, growers have been using hydroponics to grow marijuana in a better manner so that they can get better, greener buds and maximum yield from their plants. There are many different ways in which hydroponic growth can happen, but in this article we are specifically looking at hydroponic towers – which is all about vertical hydroponics. In such a system, you grow your plants stacked on top of each other in layers in the form of a tower. This is great when it comes to saving space and conserving water.
What is a Hydroponic Tower?
Now that you have a basic idea about what hydroponics and vertical hydroponics are, let us take a quick look at a hydroponic tower – which is our central theme of this article. A hydroponic tower is basically a set of tubes along with a pump. There’s basically a reservoir on the bottom base, from which a vertical structure emerges which carries the tubes. The water from the tube comes out at various points to provide water to the roots that are inserted in it and then gravity drives the water downwards, which means it goes back to the reservoir from where the pump pushes it up again, thereby reusing the water as well as saving space.
5 Best Hydroponic Towers for Cannabis
Here, we take a closer look at the five best options that we have when it comes to growing cannabis hydroponically.
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Measuring in at 13x13x26”, this is a product from Mr Stacky, which is a prominent brand when it comes to the world of vertical gardening. It has been designed in such a way that it ensures that there is no algae growth near the roots – which tends to be a major problem in water-intensive systems such as these. There’s a hole in the center which can be used for fitting in tubes and water lines that help make sure that the water reaches all the levels properly. In addition to that, It is quite compact and fits in practically anywhere. The product has been designed in a manner keeping watering needs in mind and has a mechanism which makes sure the plants stay safe from overwatering, root rot and other similar waterborne issues by ensuring a good drainage setup. This allows you to put in 20 plants in it with the help of a five-tier setup, each tier having the space for four plants. Priced in at just about $30, this is a great option for growers who are just starting off with vertical gardening.
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This is a slightly larger setup and has space for about forty gallons of potting mix. The whole thing measures 19 x 19 x 55” and has five floors, where each floor has six pockets for planting – giving you a total space for thirty plants. This has been made out of polypropylene plastic which is safe to use and good for the plant’s health as well. The reservoir in this system is well marked which lets the growers know exactly how much water they need to put into the system. You can use this to grow pretty much any type of vegetable or fruit as well as for weed. This is one of the best hydroponic towers for cannabis and allows you to grow your plants really well. In addition to that, the manufacturer has claimed you can keep it outside and there’s no fear of it cracking under heat which happens to many other similar products. There’s also a five year warranty on this greenstalk vertical garden.
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As we mentioned earlier, Mr Stacky is quite a popular name in this list, and here’s another product from the company – another five tier stackable planter, with each floor supporting four plants – giving a space for 20 plants in total. Mr Stacky has years of experience in developing these planters and has their own patented ‘flow through’ design which helps power up the system – ensuring that water reaches the plants properly and that the excess water gets properly drained back to the reservoir. This is also a very tiny product, measuring in at about 12 x 12 x 8 inches, which is less than a foot in height. This is great for indoor growing, especially for those who’d like to set them up for a tabletop use. It is easy to assemble and easy to use and indeed one of the best hydroponic towers for cannabis.
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Now this is something different – something that looks like it has come straight out of a Stanley Kubrick set. This very modern-looking planter has sixteen holes in it, and has a four-feet height. The manufacturer claims that growing your plants in this would allow up to four times the regular yields. You also get sixteen net pots along with the product which are easy to remove and clean. It also comes with chains so that you can hang and set them up in different growing setups where you can use a single reservoir to power multiple plant holders. It measures in at 48.3 x 5.4 x 4.2 inches and is quite lightweight as it is made out of PVC. A great addition for your garden indeed.
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Now here’s something different than what you’ve seen so far. This one is a four-sided planter which comes with wheels! However, setting up this is a little more complex than the previous four units in this list, but when done right – it is quite the delight. The wheels are a great addition to the tower allowing you to easily move it from place to place. This is four feet in height and allows you upto 46ft of gardening space in a 2x2sq.ft. area.
Factors to Consider Before You Buy a Hydroponic Tower for Cannabis
Now that you know which are the five best options you have when it comes to buying a hydroponic tower for growing cannabis, you must also keep the following factors in mind:
Size of the tower is one thing that you must consider. You must always know how big your tower is and how many plants it can hold. Based on that you can then make a buying decision if the tower is of the right size. Also check the dimensions of the tower. Furthermore, in addition to the size, you must also check the material that it is made out of. It needs to be BPA-free, as well as made out of a UV stabilized material which is very important. Moreover, considering that vertical farming is a little tough for most new growers, you must make sure that you’re getting something that is beginner friendly too. Lastly, the price and warranty details should also be considered as a major factor before confirming the purchase!
Pros and Cons of Vertical Hydroponic Towers
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of growing cannabis on a hydroponic tower.
- One of the biggest advantages of using hydroponic towers for cannabis is that it helps you save a lot of space. Traditionally your plants would be placed side by side, but here they grow on top of each other – giving you more space and you can grow more plants in lesser space.
- Another huge benefit of using hydroponic towers to grow cannabis is that you can actually save a lot of water as well, as the same water keeps flowing up and down the system and is recycled multiple times. This is particularly great for growers who are growing their weed in an area where there is a shortage of water.
- Growing weed using this method totally eliminates the need of soil which saves on your cost, as well as saves you the effort to clean up things because stains left by soil are much harder to clean than just water. Soil also brings with it a lot of diseases and insects which are not present when you remove the medium.
- Plants that grow hydroponically also tend to grow faster, as growing them vertically provides them direct access to nutrients instead of having to take them up via the soil and hence gives them quite a kickstart.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of using a hydroponic tower for cannabis is that of placing the lights. In an ordinary setup, you can simply place the lights on the top and they will cover your plants properly. Here, you need lighting from different angles so that all your plants get proper lighting. You would need more lighting as well.
- The pumps on the reservoir need to be high-power pumps so that the water reaches all the plants, especially the ones on the top. This means setting up a lot of pumps and when they operate they consume quite a bit of electricity.
- While there’s not risk of soil borne diseases to the plant, there are a number of water borne diseases which tend to travel faster in comparison and can pose quite a threat. This is something that the growers need to watch out for. Growing hydroponically requires quite a bit of experience as well and is not something that first-timers should be trying out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Hydroponic Towers
1. Is it legal to grow weed hydroponically?
While it is totally legal to buy hydroponic towers and grow stuff using them, it might not be legal to grow weed using them in certain regions. You must check with your local law enforcement agencies to see if that is allowed. Even in places where growing weed is legal, there’s a chance that there will be a certain limit to the number of plants that you are allowed to grow.
2. How often do I need to replace water?
Once every 10-12 days should be good enough for most growers. There are some growers who even replace once every two to three weeks and that’s the extent you could go to too but replacing every 12 days would be beneficial.
3. Are there any risks to my plants if I grow them using hydroponic towers?
As such there’s no risk but you need to take care of the fact that your lighting setup is good enough to ensure that the plants are getting proper light for their growth. In addition to that you will also need to ensure that there are no waterborne diseases affecting/damaging your plants.
4. How much does a hydroponic tower usually cost?
The range is usually from about $30 to $150 and you can find most products at around the $60-70 mark or lesser.
5. What to consider before you start growing hydroponically
You must make sure that there’s a proper supply of air. If the airflow isn’t good you’ll need to create it artificially. Make sure that the pH level of the water flowing through the plants is correct. In addition to these two factors, there’s a third thing that you need to consider – getting the right kind of nutrients for your plants, especially those which are properly soluble in liquid. Try getting liquid nutrients and not powder nutrients as the former dissolve much better than the latter. Lastly, make sure that the supply of the light is adequate so that all your plants are getting access to lighting. You might need to adjust the position of your lights a little to get the right combination.
We hope that this article on hydroponic towers helped you gain a better insight on how to grow your weed hydroponically and what all factors you need to keep in mind while buying a tower. By this point in the article we hope you are certain on which is the best hydroponic tower for you. We have also tried to provide all-round information about hydroponics to make things easier. Do let us know in the comments section or drop us an email if there’s anything more that you would like to know about the same! Till then…