Hydroponics is simply growing plants in water without soil. In commercial settings liquid nutrients are utilized for this style of growing plants.
This is a step by step guide for creating a very simple and extremely effective hydroponic garden system. You can use this system to create a miniature indoor hydroponic garden or to propagate indoor and outdoor plants.
Things you will need to start your Hydroponic Garden:
Watertight plastic container that is wide and shallow, pair of wire cutters or clippers, flexible wire mesh, cuttings, and water.
Step 1: Cutting Wire Mesh to Fit
Cut a small pattern of wire mesh that fits over your container and leaves enough extra to fold over the sides. Once you place the wire mesh over the container hold it in place with one hand and fold over the sides with the other, slowly working your way around the entire circumference.
Step 2: Place Cuttings in Position
Take several cuttings from plants you like. The cuttings should be about 3-5 inches in length and have at least 2 leaves.
Plants that are fleshy like Jade plant or Hydrangea or common indoor plants like African violet or Spider plant work very well with this type of setup. In this picture Jade plant, Aloe vera, and Thanksgiving Cactus have been used. Take cuttings that will have enough stem to fit down past the mesh by at least an inch or two.
Start placing your cuttings through the wire mesh and the mesh will catch the leaves and hold the cuttings in place.
Step 3: Fill with Water
Fill the container with water so that it reaches to just slightly under the wire mesh. The plant stems will now slowly start to develop new root nodes along the stems. Place container in a sunny warm location near a window or under a grow light.
Step 4: Allow Roots to Develop
Once plants have rooted you can transfer them to smaller mason jars filled with water and have a year round Hydroponics display. The initial container arranged ahead of time can also be a long term garden display.
You can also use this system to propagate plants that will be later potted in soil.
Step 5: Experiment
Take time to experiment. You can do a little research online before hand or see what plants work the best by trial and error. Some plants can stay in water for a very long time and continue to develop. Other plants need to be potted in soil at some point.
About the Author:
Jonathan Aflatooni is the co-owner of Blacklotus Landscaping LLC, a residential and commercial maintenance and installation company. Jon has many years of practical experience in the field, from propagating his own collection of plant life to creating and designing new landscapes. He looks forward to sharing with a wider audience some of the insights and knowledge he has gleaned along the way.