Growing plants in hydro substrate

Hydro grains possibly are the best example of hydro substrates. Other substrates (also know as culture mediums) are soil and coir, but in this article we concentrate on explaining how to grow plants in hydro substrate.


What exactly is a hydro substrate?

When growing plants in hydro grains, you effectively use hydro culture, a growing technique in which plants do not form their roots in soil but in water instead. To this end there is a range of substrates available. Other substrates adaptable to hydro culture are rocky materials like perlite, vermiculite and lava stone. Professional growers generally use stone wool as well. In hydro culture water fills the bottom of pots or special tanks. Plants take as much water on board as needed; specific measuring instruments check and show the water level. The advantages of hydro culture are many: plants are less vulnerable to diseases and moulds, and (provided the water level is held in perfect working order) they always receive enough liquid. Furthermore, due to the airy quality of substrates, roots obtain sufficient oxygen at all times.


Applying hydro culture

Quite likely you have come across plants growing in hydro cultures, either in office buildings or waiting rooms; you may have noticed small palmtrees or other leafy green plants in large planters, containing orangey brown grains. These are hydro grains, a much used and very useful substrate for all kinds of houseplants, which need considerably less care when using this system.

You can also use hydro grains combined with other substrates, such as perlite or vermiculite, to help aerate potting soil, or to improve drainage by putting a layer of this mixture at the bottom of plant pots. Any professional gardener can grow plants on hydro substrate. In horticulture, growers often use stone wool but hydrograins are a perfect alternative. Several growing systems are available which reduce plant care considerably, such as the Wilma growing system.


Atami Hydro Rokz

Atami's answer to hydro culture substrates is Hydro Rokz, made of salt-free baked clay. These porous grains absorb nutrient-rich water, allowing plants full access to it whenever needed.

Improving nutrition

Plants on hydro culture need feed regularly, just like plants in soil or coir substrate. Since you don't water hydro culture plants routinely, you need special nutrients for this growing method, like Atami's B’cuzz Hydro: optimized feeds and boosts for plants growing in hydro culture. Please note! Give hydro culture plants liquid feed only!

Growing plants in hydro culture involves special growing methods and instruments, such as an oxygen pump. This helps to move water around constantly. Add plant food from time and time, for easy plant care.

Choice support

In order to start well-prepared and give your plants the very best care, do use our choice support. Complete it and find out which products suit you best.

Other substrates, based on coir or soil

More on soil.
More on coir.