Hydroponic Culture Explained: How to Use Water and Nutrients to Grow Rich Plants

  • Basic principles of hydroponic cultivation
  • Elements of a hydroponic cultivation system
  • Plant Selection and Management
  • Advantages and applications of hydroponic cultivation


Hydroponics is an increasingly popular cultivation method in modern agriculture and gardening. Traditional soil cultivation requires a large amount of land and water, but hydroponic cultivation can use water and nutrients in a more efficient way to cultivate a rich variety of plants. This modern cultivation technology brings many advantages, not only saving resources but also improving yield and quality. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the principles of hydroponics, the facilities required, nutrient management, and the types of plants that are suitable for cultivation. Let’s unravel the secrets of hydroponic cultivation and learn how to use water and nutrients to grow abundant plants, creating a modern and sustainable cultivation method.


Basic principles of hydroponic cultivation:


Hydroponics is a cultivation method that grows plants in a soilless environment. Compared with traditional soil cultivation, hydroponic cultivation uses water and nutrient solutions to directly supply plant roots, allowing plants to grow in water and absorb the nutrients they need. The following are the basic principles of hydroponic cultivation:


Soilless culture: Hydroponic culture does not use traditional soil media, but uses special culture media, such as paraffin, rock wool, air cushions, etc., to support plants. root system. These culture media have good water retention and aeration, and can provide the support and nutrients needed by plant roots.


Nutrient solution supply: The key to hydroponic cultivation is the supply of nutrient solution. A nutrient solution is a solution containing nutrients that plants need and is delivered to the roots of plants through an irrigation system. These nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. Plant roots can directly absorb these nutrients for growth and development.


Water and air supply: Hydroponic cultivation systems require an adequate supply of water to maintain humidity in the culture medium. Through an irrigation system, water is poured into the culture medium regularly and maintained at a moderate level. Additionally, the system needs to provide an adequate air supply to ensure that plant roots receive oxygen.


pH and EC control: In hydroponic cultivation, maintaining appropriate pH and electrical conductivity (EC) is very important. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, while EC reflects the salt content in the solution. Proper pH and EC range ensure efficient nutrient absorption by plant roots and healthy plant growth.


The basic principles of hydroponics allow for a high degree of control and efficiency in providing the nutrients and water that plants need. This cultivation method not only saves water and land resources, but also increases the growth rate and yield of plants. Next, we will explore the facilities and related elements required for hydroponic cultivation to gain a deeper understanding of this modern method of cultivation.


Elements of a hydroponic cultivation system:


Hydroponic systems require specific facilities and elements to ensure that plants receive the water, nutrients and support they need in a soilless environment. The following are the main elements of a hydroponic growing system:




Tank: A container used to hold water and nutrient solutions. The size and number are determined by the cultivation area and number of plants.

Water pump: used to circulate water and nutrient solution back to the water tank to ensure that the roots receive sufficient water and nutrients.

Irrigation system: You can use drip irrigation systems, spray systems, or gas irrigation systems to evenly supply nutrient solution to the roots of plants.



Paraffin: A lightweight man-made material with good water retention and breathability. Paraffin wax acts as a support for plant roots while maintaining stability of the nutrient solution.

Rockwool: A fibrous growing medium used for seeding and transplanting plants. It maintains good water retention and aeration, which helps the healthy growth of plant roots.

Nutritional solution:


A nutrient solution is a solution of nutrients needed for plant growth. It contains the right proportions of major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) and trace elements (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). Depending on the needs of the plants, the formula and concentration of the nutrient solution can be adjusted.

pH and EC control:


PH: Maintaining proper pH is an important factor in hydroponic cultivation. Most plants grow well in a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5. Use a pH meter to monitor and adjust the pH of the nutrient solution to ensure that plant roots can effectively absorb nutrients.

EC value: EC (Electric Conductivity) is used to measure the salt content in the nutrient solution. A high EC value indicates too much salt in the nutrient solution, which may cause damage to the plant. By regularly measuring the EC value, you can ensure the proper concentration of the nutrient solution.

The elements of a hydroponic system are interconnected and work together to ensure that plants receive the water, nutrients and oxygen they need. Understanding the importance and functions of these elements can help establish an efficient and successful hydroponic growing system.


Plant selection and management:


In hydroponics, choosing the right plant species and managing them effectively are the keys to success. Here are some key points about plant selection and management:


Plant species suitable for hydroponic cultivation:


Vegetables: leafy vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach), roots (such as carrots, beetroots), beans (such as peas, beans) and other vegetables are suitable for hydroponic systems Planted in.

Herbs: Vanillas (such as mint, rosemary), medicinal plants (such as turmeric, peppermint) and some flowers (such as daffodils, oncidium) can also be used Grow in a hydroponic system.

Leaf plants: Leaf plants like pineapple aloe, aquatic orchids are also suitable for growing in hydroponic systems.

Growing environment control:


Lighting: Different plants have different needs for light. Provide appropriate lighting according to the needs of the plants, which can be natural light or artificial lighting.

Temperature: Maintaining a suitable growing temperature is crucial for plant growth. Most plants grow best in a temperature range of 20°C to 30°C.

Humidity: Maintaining appropriate relative humidity helps plants grow and prevents disease. The suitable humidity range depends on the plant species, but is generally between 50% and 70%.

Monitor and adjust:


Monitor the growth status of plants: Observe the growth status of plants regularly and pay attention to whether there are problems such as nutritional deficiencies or pests and diseases. If any abnormalities are found, make adjustments promptly.

Nutritional supply: Adjust the nutrient concentration and formula in the nutrient solution according to the growth stage and needs of the plant. Maintain balance and stability of nutrient supply.

Pest and disease management:


Monitoring of pests and diseases: Regularly check whether plants are affected by pests and diseases, pay attention to leaf discoloration, bite marks, traces of insect damage, etc.

Control methods: Use organic pesticides or biological control methods to control pests and diseases, and pay attention to hygiene measures to keep the cultivation environment clean.

Selecting suitable plant species and ensuring a proper growing environment and good management can maximize the success rate of hydroponic cultivation and obtain abundant plant yields and quality . Remember to regularly monitor and adjust based on your plant’s needs to ensure your plants get the best growing conditions in your hydroponic system.


Advantages and applications of hydroponic cultivation:


Hydroponics, as a modern cultivation method, has many advantages and is widely used. The following are the main advantages of hydroponic cultivation and an introduction to some application areas:


Save water resources: Compared with traditional soil planting methods, hydroponic cultivation uses significantly less water. By recycling water and nutrient solutions, water is used more efficiently and a large amount of water resources are saved.


Increase yield and growth rate: In hydroponic cultivation, the roots of plants are directly exposed to the nutrient solution, which can absorb the required nutrients more effectively. This not only promotes plant growth but also increases yield. Hydroponically grown plants are generally healthier and grow faster than conventionally grown plants.


Soilless cultivation: Hydroponic cultivation does not require soil and can be grown in urban or space-limited environments. This makes hydroponic cultivation an ideal choice for urban farming and vertical farming, allowing cultivation on rooftops, balconies, indoors and other places to maximize the use of limited land resources.


Reduced risk of pests and diseases: Since hydroponic cultivation does not use soil, the risk of soil infectious diseases is reduced. In addition, the hydroponic cultivation environment is easier to control and can reduce the occurrence and spread of pests and diseases.


Environmentally friendly and sustainable: The water and nutrient solution used in hydroponic cultivation are recycled and will not cause soil pollution and nutrient loss. At the same time, hydroponics is considered an environmentally friendly cultivation method due to water conservation and reduced use of chemical pesticides.


Hydroponics has a wide range of applications, including:


Urban farming: Vegetables and herbs are grown on rooftops, balconies, indoors and other places in the city to provide fresh and organic produce.