3 Tips for Switching from Soil to Hydroponic Growing

Have you been thinking of growing soil-less? There are lots of benefits that are attracting both new and seasoned growers to opt for this method. Keep reading to find out why, and how to join in on the fun.

For one, growing hydroponically is less messy; sweeping up dirt in your home isn’t fun. Growing hydroponically also means less potential pests, yay! The growth rate using hydroponics has been reported 30-50% faster than soil in the same conditions - and even boasts greater yields. And, if that was not already enough, hydroponic systems are available in a range of configurations to match any space (read about what system might be right for you here: ‘An Introduction to Indoor Growing and Hydroponics Systems’.

Now that you are on the bandwagon with us, here are the important things to remember on your journey to becoming a thriving hydroponic grower!


Plant roots with a bit of soil on them


Transplanting from soil to your hydroponic media is a simple but delicate process. The roots are the most critical part of the plant, so be gentle, you don’t want to damage them. Begin by carefully extracting the plant and root mass from its container and gently removing any excess soil. Handle the plant with care, and rinse off the roots as thoroughly as possible with room temperature water. Lastly place the plant in its new pot, which may or may not contain a hydroponic medium such as clay pebbles, coconut coir, rock wool, or other.


Hands holding pH balance strips with bottles, leaves, and a flower around


Moving from soil to an inert media is stressful for any plant, so even gardeners with the greenest of thumbs will witness transplant shock. This is perfectly normal and you can expect a plant to recover within 2 weeks.

For best results, here are a few tips to help minimize transplant shock:

  • Rinse the roots in water with a pH of 5.8 – 6.2.
  • If using clay pebbles as the growing medium, rinse the pebbles thoroughly.
  • If using rock wool as the growing medium, soak rock wool in water with a pH of 5.8 – 6.2.
  • If using coconut coir as the growing medium, buffer media with calcium magnesium (if not pre-buffered).
  • If using perlite or vermiculite as the growing medium, soak the media in water with a pH of 5.8 – 6.2.

You can find a simple to use pH Test Indicator in our stores, along with easy to use solutions to lower or raise your water’s pH levels. And remember, your plant is a living creature, a little TLC goes a long way.


Roots of lettuce growing from a hydroponics solution


Unlike soil, there are no naturally occurring nutrients in hydroponic media. Plants are fed through the water they intake, in which the grower dissolves the nutrients needed for the plant to thrive. Each plant has its own nutrient requirements, and each hydroponic system has its own irrigation system and schedule. The one consistency across all hydroponic growing is that the pH of the nutrient solution must be between 5.8 – 6.2 or there will be nutrient deficiencies or excesses.

Regardless of where you are on your journey to transitioning to hydroponics, we are always happy to answer any questions in-store or comment on this post.

Do you have any pro-tips; we want to hear about your home growing experience! Tag us on social media @hydrotechhydroponics and join our growing community.

Happy growing plant lovers!