Do I Qualify?

Make an Appointment

Content Hub


Find a Dispensary Read Articles


Applying for your medical marijuana card is easier than ever. Just book an appointment. Talk to a doctor. And get your card. Bing. Bam. Boom.

Marijuana Doctors

Get your medical marijuana card

Cannabis Consultation

One on one with a cannabis coach

Patient Login

Sign in to your Veriheal patient account


How To Start Growing Plants Hydroponically

Levi Roberts

by Levi Roberts

May 15, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Fact checked by Emily Mullins
How To Start Growing Plants Hydroponically

Do you want to grow plants hydroponically but don’t know where to start? Hydroponics is a great way to grow plants, and although it has a learning curve from traditional gardening, it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it.

There are lots of different hydroponics systems and a plethora of knowledge online. That being said, the bombardment of advice and information can be quite overwhelming. To help, we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to starting your hydroponics journey.

This isn’t all-encompassing by any means, but it’s a good place to begin.

Without further adieu, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up a beginner-friendly hydroponics system!

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the act of growing plants in water rather than in soil. It’s a relatively new technology that has become incredibly popular. You can find hydroponically grown lettuce and microgreens in most stores, as it’s cost-effective and good for the environment.

Hydroponics is also popular for another plant–cannabis. Due to the ability to grow your crops indoors rather than in your yard, hydroponics is the perfect solution if you’re looking to grow something discreetly.

Advantages of Hydroponics

There are many advantages of growing plants hydroponically. Perhaps the most exciting is that hydroponics is incredibly environmentally friendly! It can use up to 99% less water than traditional growing systems.

Hydroponics is also a way to grow plants indoors discreetly–perhaps plants that you don’t want your neighbors to see! Furthermore, if you don’t have ideal soil or light in your backyard or live in an apartment, hydroponics is a great option for you.

Lastly, hydroponics is a way to grow plants all year long regardless of the season or temperature outside.

The Best Hydroponic System for Beginners

There are plenty of different hydroponic systems, but the best for beginners is known as Deep Water Culture (DWC).

DWC hydroponic systems are a way of growing plants where the roots of the plants are suspended in water mixed with special hydroponic fertilizer. The plants are held in net pots made of substrate such as coconut fibers.

How to Start a DWC Hydroponics System

There are a few steps to starting your own DWC hydroponics system. Let’s dig in (although there’s no soil to dig into!).

Find a Container

First, you’ll want to find a deep container for DWC. Smaller containers lead to water fluctuation, which can cause problems with your pH balance and nutrient levels.

Drill Holes Into the Lid

Next, use a large drill bit to drill holes into the top of the lid of your container. You need net pots to fit in your lid, also known as the substrate that your plants will grow in.

It’s important to remember that your net pots will be slightly larger than the holes that you drill, so be sure to measure!

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary

Space out your holes based on how large your plants will be. The larger the plants, the more spaced out you need your holes to be.

If you’re using a bucket, then one hole will probably be good. But if you’re using something like a storage container, you may be able to fit more than one hole. Remember, it’s better to leave extra room than to crowd your plants!

Add the Moving Parts

Now insert the air stone, air pump, and check valve into your system. These are all vital in keeping the water moving to avoid algae buildup, and to oxygenate the roots of your plants.

Fill Up the Reservoir

You want to fill your DWC reservoir nearly to the top, leaving only a few centimeters of space between the top of the water and the top of the container.

Next, add your hydroponic nutrients. You don’t want to use just any nutrient solution found in a gardening center–it has to be specific to hydroponics!

It’s important to pay attention to the NPK value of the nutrient solution you’re selecting. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Different plants require different NPK values, so do your research, or your crop won’t do as well.

Lastly, use a pH UP or pH DOWN solution to bring your pH to the right level. Again, this will depend on your crop.

Plant Your Crop

Different crops all thrive in different environments when first planted. Some need to be started from seed on a warming mat before being transferred to the hydroponics system, while others can be seeded straight into your DWC system and flourish from there.

Do your research to see what your specific crop needs to get started. 

Grow lights will also be necessary throughout the growing process, and some plants need higher-intensity grow lights than others. This is another place to do research and find the best fit for your crop.

Final Thoughts

Hydroponic growing is well worth the learning curve. It’s environmentally friendly, can be used all year round, and perhaps most importantly: it’s discreet!

If you have a certain plant that you may not want the neighbors to see, hydroponics is the perfect growing system for you.

This guide is meant to be a jumping-off point for DWC hydroponic growing, and from here you can do further research for what will best suit your specific plant of choice.

Happy growing!

Post Your Comments

Get your medical marijuana card today
Sign up in under 5 minutes