How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs Complete Guide



How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs Complete Guide

How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs. I’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about growing hydroponically because it’s the ideal subject for beginners.

Herbs and leafy greens (hydroponic lettuce in particular) are the two main plant types to think about if you want to experiment with growing plants using only water and nutrients.

Before starting this guide on hydroponically grown herbs, I was surprised to learn from Tom Gordon’s book Hydroponics: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Own Hydroponic Garden that hydroponically grown herbs have 20 to 40% more aromatic oil.

I didn’t realize that herbs could produce more aromatic oil, even though we all know that plants grown in a hydroponic system grow faster and can yield more. It might be a desirable feature for commercial growers.

I’m in it for the flavor and the quick growth. However, I have nothing against growing herbs in pots. or by cultivating them in a garden. These traditional approaches can be equally wonderful. Check out my post on how to grow basil from seed as an illustration.

Complete Guide for Beginners How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs

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The best hydroponic systems for beginners for growing herbs

1. Economical: 12 Pods of iDoo Hydroponics Growing System

This incredible indoor hydroponic garden is ideal for growing a wide variety of herbs and leafy greens. You might also try growing strawberries if you’re feeling particularly daring.

A nice, diverse herb garden can be grown on the kitchen counter using the 12 pods. It includes a 4.5L reservoir, grow lights, water pump, 50 growth sponges and baskets, and nutrient solution. Only the seeds need to be purchased.

2. AeroGarden Harvest Elite is a fantastic brand.

Is it possible to discuss hydroponically growing herbs and the best setups for beginners without bringing up AeroGarden? The most renowned manufacturer is it.

We also receive water and nutrient solution alarms, six pods, grow sponges, grow lights, and nutrient solution.

It is ideal for growing herbs and other small plants because the plants can reach a height of up to 12 inches. You’ll have to pay more for the AeroGarden Bounty if you want to grow taller plants (tomatoes, peppers).

3. A very pricey indoor growing system, Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponics

Not exactly a beginner’s system, this one. It’s a system, in my opinion, for those who have grown accustomed to hydroponic setups like the iDoo and AeroGarden and want to test out a more sophisticated setup.

They also have the necessary funds. There are 27 pods included with the complicated Aerospring for growing plants. Everything can be grown in this vertical tower, including herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.

General Guidelines for Hydroponically Growing Herbs

1. pH:

The traditional pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 works well.

2. EC:

An average EC of 2 is generally a good choice; herbs have a lower EC than leafy greens do.

3. Grow lights:

In general, full-spectrum LED grow lights or fluorescent (T5 bulbs) grow lights are excellent options for herbs.

The majority of hydroponic herbs will need at least 10 to 12 hours of artificial lighting (some may require 14 hours), which is comparable to 6 to 8 hours of daylight.

4. Temperature:

At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees C) is required, but the average temperature for herbs is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees C), and some people prefer 80 degrees.

5. Hydroponic nutrients:

Read my article on the top hydroponic nutrients if you want to learn everything there is to know about hydroponic nutrient solutions.

Nine Simple Herbs for Hydroponic Growing

I’ve already written some excellent guides on how to grow hydroponic basil, parsley, and cilantro, but I also want to compile a comprehensive list of all the hydroponic herbs. I’ll make an effort to list as many as I can.

After you’ve figured everything out and gone through the trials of hydroponically growing lettuce and herbs, you can advance to more difficult tasks like growing hydroponically tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, cabbage, beans, peas, cauliflower, or even root vegetables like onions, potatoes, and carrots. The universe is enormous.

Let’s just concentrate on the topic of hydroponically grown herbs and the conditions they require for this lengthy article.

1. One of the Most Popular Hydroponically Grown Herbs is Basil

  1. It’s one of the most popular herbs to grow in hydroponics and thrives in any hydroponic system, even in a plastic bottle hydroponic wicks system (that goes for a large majority of herbs).
  2. It just requires plenty of sunlight/grow lights, water, nutrients, and warmth.
  3. 5.5 to 6.5 pH
  4. EC of 2 or as high as 2.5 for temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or between 1.6 and 2.2 for a wider range.
  5. 10 to 12 hours of artificial light or 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight
  6. either grow from cuttings or from seeds (cutting propagation shortens the growing period).
  7. If you’ve ever grown plants in a pot indoors or outdoors, you already know that they need to be pruned. For the first time, read about when and how to prune basil; it applies to basil grown hydroponically. Prune basil when it reaches 6 inches tall (has 3/4/5 sets of true leaves). You can harvest the plant every week once it reaches maturity if you want to increase its yield and delay flowering. This will allow you to make an abundance of pesto and various Italian and Thai dishes whenever you have the time.

2. Oregano: A Higher pH Is Required

  • 1.5-2.0 EC
  • a higher pH will be needed than you may be accustomed to. Grow it in temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 21 degrees C) because it prefers colder weather and needs a lot of hours spent under grow lights: 14 hours of light
  • three main varieties of oregano: Italian, Mexican, and Greek
  • Mexican oregano is quite distinctive from other varieties and is primarily used in Mexican cuisine.
  • Basil is equally delicious dried as it is fresh, so you can grow a bunch once and dry it for use throughout the year. It can be ready for first harvest in 15 to 18 weeks and a second harvest in the following month. Cut back the flowers to continue the growing cycle. If it turns woody, you need to replant. Greek and Italian cuisines are excellent for Mediterranean dishes. Amazing for pizza along with basil.

3. Parsley, a Natural Light Addict

Parsley grown hydroponically using the Kratky technique

  1. 6.0 to 7.0 pH
  2. 0.8-1.8 EC
  3. It prefers cooler temperatures, between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 25 degrees Celsius).
  4. Despite spending 10 hours in artificial light, the herb actually prefers natural light.
  5. If you have a basic setup like the Kratky method with mason jars or wicks plastic bottles – just place them on the window sill in the light if you want to speed up germination and ensure success – it can be very easy to grow even in an apartment. The parsley seeds can be germinated in paper towels for a few days or soaked up in tepid water for one to three days.
  6. The suggested range for germination is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. can harvest after 20–30 days or when the plant is at least 6 inches tall.
  8. After the first harvesting, a second harvest is possible in about 3 weeks by trimming the stems to a distance of 2 to 3 inches from the growing medium.

4. Cilantro: Colder temperatures are required

  • pH of 6.5 to 6.7, but the usual general ranges 5.5-6.5 pH
  • 1.6-1.8 EC
  • Under grow lights for 12 hours daily, colder temperatures are required.
  • In general, cilantro is an easy herb to grow in hydroponics, any system works, as long as you maintain colder temperatures. The ideal temperature range for cilantro is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees C), although low temperatures of 40 degrees F can work very well in hot weather. However, cilantro is quick to bolt, which is the main challenge for this particular herb, how to prevent it from bolting quickly.
  • For cilantro and all the other herbs, you can try growing microgreens without soil when it’s too hot and you’re worried about bolting.
  • Temperature of 65-70 degrees F (18-21 degrees C) for 7 to 10 days to germinate seeds for harvest in 40 to 50 days.

5. The easiest herb to grow in hydroponics is mint.

  • Because mint is an aquatic or semi-aquatic herb, even in a pot, hydroponics is the ideal growing method for it because it requires little maintenance and requires watering only occasionally, or twice daily if the weather is particularly hot.
  • When we say “mint,” we actually mean using the spearmint variety, especially for cooking and making desserts and beverages. Peppermint and spearmint are two of the most popular varieties to be grown in all kinds of systems.
  • Due to its high menthol content and potent flavor, peppermint is a favorite for flavoring and for its potent aroma.
  • 6.5 to 7.0 pH
  • 2.2 to 2.6 EC
  • 65 to 70 degrees F.
  • Mint can be grown from cuttings, rootstock, or seeds and germinate in 10 to 15 days at room temperature or slightly warmer. It can be harvested twice during the growing season, or you can simply pick leaves as you need them.

6. Chives are a great substitute for green onions.

  • If you don’t want to grow green onions, you can choose to grow the ideal substitute hydroponically: chives.
  • By the way, by simply submerging bulb onions in water, you can choose to grow green onions; I wrote about it here.
  • Chives are among the hydroponically grown herbs that are relatively simple to grow and thrive.
  • pH EC: 6.0 to 6.5 A flexible temperature range that can be attained in various locations is 1.8-2.4 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees C).
  • The main benefit is that this plant is perennial, which requires 14–16 hours of lighting per day. With each harvest, it can supply us with an ongoing supply of fresh leaves to garnish our meals. The leaves get thicker, the first harvest can occur quickly—within 2-3 weeks—and germination takes place in just two weeks at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Dill: No Special Conditions

  • Dill is a must-have for pickles and is equally loved by those who enjoy seafood. Because growing it hydroponically is so simple, you shouldn’t skip it.
  • range of 5.5 to 6.4 pH and 1.0 to 1.6 EC
  • Every time you harvest it, it produces new growth. You should thin it out regularly to reduce the strain on the system in terms of water and nutrient consumption. This is especially advised if you’re growing a variety of herbs in the same system. It will germinate in 7 to 15 days after sowing. 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 27 degrees C) temperatures and 14 hours under artificial lights every day.

8. Fennel: The Very Tall Herb to Grow in Hydroponics is a herb that resembles dill and whose bulb can be eaten once it has grown to the size of a tennis ball.

  • Because they are some of the most delicious seeds, the plant should definitely be harvested when the seeds are ripe.
  • The seeds can be saved as well in order to grow new plants.
  • The difference between growing fennel in hydroponics and most other herbs is that, if grown correctly, it can reach heights of 3–4 feet, allowing you to create your own fennel tower.
  • EC 1.0-1.4
  • 6.4-6.8 pH ranges between 60 and 70 °F.
  • One of the least labor-intensive herbs in this regard requires only 10 hours under grow lights.

9. Sage: Senior amazing herb for meats over time

  • 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees C) EC 1.0-1.6 5.5-6.0 pH – It is a herb that enjoys being warm.
  • Harvest the plant before it blooms and dry the leaves so that it won’t lose flavor even after flowering, using 14 to 16 hours of artificial light per day.
  • It will take about 2 years for it to reach maturity, so I wouldn’t advise starting it from seed.
  • It is best to begin with cuttings.

popular types include: Golden Sage, Garden Sage, Purple Sage, and Tri-color Sage

Chamomile, anise, catnip, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon are additional herbs that can be grown hydroponically.

You can grow basil, mint, and chives all at once in the same system if you establish a pH of around 6.0 and a warm to hot temperature.

The Best Hydroponic Herb Growing Systems for Novices

There are many simple hydroponics systems available for beginners to use in order to hydroponically grow herbs.

We have the following simple configurations as starter hydroponic systems:

  1. Hydroponic indoor gardens (pre-made systems like those provided by AeroGarden and iDoo) – Read my article on the best hydroponic kits for beginners to learn everything you need to know.
  2. Mason jars used for hydroponics (the Kratky method) A guide on Mason jars, hydroponics
  3. Plastic bottles was also written by me. As a very affordable substitute for the best hydroponic systems, I included and extensively described the hydroponic wicks system.

If you want to continue with the DIY route and you feel like you’re ready for more complex, bigger hydroponic systems, you have the following options:

DWC (deep water culture) system with a tote container

  • absolutely great and cheap to build for apartments, garages
  • a nice system for herbs to grow in hydroponics
  • you can also grow leafy greens
  • even strawberries and blueberries can be grown in this setup and some cherry tomatoes
  • not good for big heavy plants but amazing for the rest

DWC system with floating polystyrene raft

Perfect for greenhouses because you can grow many type of plants in the polystyrene raft and you can use as big a container as the space allows you to.

5 gallon buckets DWC system

  • quite inexpensive but offering immense versatility at the same time
  • the 5 gallon bucket system can grow large vegetables and even citrus trees
  • if you want to produce big crops, you will need many linked buckets, which will require a pretty big space

The only distinction between these 3 DWC systems is the container. You can find a ton of tutorials on YouTube if you want to see what these setups should look like.

The basic idea is the same: nutrients and water are absorbed by the plant roots. While floating in the water, they take as much as they want.

To use net pots, you must drill holes in the lid of the bucket, the polystyrene raft, or the tote container.

These DWC systems prefer Hydroton (expanded clay aggregate), which is ideal for hydroponically growing herbs.

Rockwool cubes are used to germinate the seeds before they are planted in net pots along with the cubes.

To keep the water oxygenated, only an air pump and an air stone are required. They are all in need of grow lights.

DIY Advanced Hydroponic Systems for Various Plants

NFT, ebb and flow, and drips are more advanced home-built systems.

These three are the most complicated and demand a larger budget. They also call for the purchase of a hydroponic water pump. The last two need a timer, so they will demand even more technical expertise.

The ebb and flow system is frequently cited as the best hydroponic system for growing herbs. However, since this system is technically complex and difficult to construct, I won’t make the same claim.

The drip hydroponic system is the same. It’s fantastic for hydroponically growing herbs, but unless you’re an experienced grower, it’s not the simplest to construct.

These are the elements you’ll need to understand the ebb and flow (flood and drain) briefly:

  • reservoir
  • growing medium – a combination between expanded clay aggregate/growstones/lava rocks/pea gravel spread out throughout the grow bed, rockwool or coconut fiber for the roots
  • grow trays
  • water pump
  • digital timer – it will tell the pump when to pump up the water in the grow bed and it will shut down the pump so that the excess liquids can return into the reservoir to be reused (the solution can be pumped for 15 mins every hour or two)
  • plastic tubing – two tubes
  • grow lights

Power outages, pump failure, and timer failure are the three main causes of failure.

From these 3 intricate models, the NFT with PVC pipes is actually the simplest to construct.

The other two options for growing herbs in hydroponics are aquaponics (ideal for those who don’t mind learning how to grow fish and plants at the same time) and aeroponics (not many regular growers build them).

QnA How To Grow Hydroponic Herbs

Do herbs grow well in hydroponics?

A few other herbs that do well hydroponically include: anise, catnip, chamomile, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley, rosemary, and tarragon.

What herbs are suitable for hydroponics?

Herbs in Hydroponics Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and watercress are all great options. Herb production is another great way to test out your new hydroponic system, and nearly every system style is suitable for a round of herbs as you learn the ropes!

How do I make an indoor hydroponic herb garden?

How long do herbs take to grow in hydroponics? Herb seedlings usually take between two to three weeks before they are ready to be transplanted into a growing system.

Is hydroponic herb garden worth it?

Since the nutrients are in the water, they are absorbed directly through the herb’s roots. A hydroponic herb garden is very efficient since the roots of the herbs get both water & nutrients simultaneously in a controlled environment which results in a fast-growing, very healthy herb plant.
What is the fastest growing plant in hydroponics?

Growing kale in a water system isn’t any different from any other plant, and that’s why it’s among the fastest-growing plants hydroponically.

What is the most profitable hydroponic crop to grow?

lettuce Leafy greens like lettuce are the most profitable crops to grow in hydroponic systems because they have some of the lowest operation costs. One square foot of lettuce costs about $20 to maintain. All hydroponic flower growers reported having profitable farms.

How long does it take to grow basil hydroponically?

approximately 28 days Basil is a popular crop for container and hydroponic production because of its high value, ease of production, and quick crop time (approximately 28 days under optimal conditions, in hydroponic systems).

What is the best way to grow herbs indoors?

Outside in the garden, herbs grow best in full sun. To grow herbs indoors, place them by the sunniest window you can. A south- or southwest-facing window that lets in direct sunlight is best. Supplement natural light with an LED grow light ($10, Walmart) as needed to give your herbs a total of 12-14 hours of light.

Can rosemary be grown hydroponically?

Rosemary does well in hydroponic systems. Use Rockwool starter cubes for germination. Sufficient root growth for transplanting takes 1-2 weeks after germination. Once you have roots penetrating the cube, transplant them to slabs or into the NFT trough.

Can you plant hydroponic herbs in soil?

Yes, you can safely transplant hydroponic plants over to soil. Doing so requires care both during and after the transition to ensure the plant survives. Many gardeners prefer a hydroponic system to start seeds so they can get a jump on their spring garden.