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Hydroponic Propagators

Hydroponics refers to the ‘art of growing plants in a chemical solution without soil’. Hydroponic propagation is the method of growing plants in the absence of soil, preventing diseases and pests common in soil from spreading.

Types of hydroponic systems

  • Aeroponic system  - This is where the roots hang in the air and are misted with a nutrient solution. The misting happens at regular intervals, usually every couple of minutes. If a cycle is missed, the roots will dry out
  • Flood and drain system - This system works by flooding the grow tray temporarily, allowing the nutrient solution to surround the roots before it drains. Normally, this process is automated using a water pump on a timer
  • Drip system - Drip systems are the more common choice for hydroponic systems. It is controlled by a water pump that pumps water and the nutrient solution through a network of jets. Some drip systems allow the pH to vary, where as other don’t
  • Nutrient film technique (NFT) system - This system uses a constant flow of nutrient solution, which is pumped into the growing tray. The roots the draw up the nutrients from the flowing solution, until it is poured back and recycled
  • Wicks system - The wicks system is perhaps the simplest of the hydroponic systems. The nutrient solution is drawn up through a number of wicks until it reaches the roots

Benefits of growing hydroponically

  • As hydroponically grown plants dip their roots straight into the nutrient solution, they are able to get what they require more easily. This allows the plants to have much smaller root systems and can concentrate more of their energy on growing leaves
  • Hydroponic plants grow faster than conventionally grown plants
  • The absence of soil prevents diseases from spreading to the plants, improving the plant’s chances of survival
  • Growing hydroponic plants means that the plants have to be grown indoors. This is ideal for those who like to grow plants all year round.