The definition of hydroponics is simple: a method of growing plants without the use of soil. To the less-experienced, this may seem like a contradiction. Plants that grow without soil? That’s correct. Not only is this a regular practice, but it also has a rich and storied history that could possibly stretch back as far as Ancient Babylon.
When specifically applied to cannabis, hydroponic growing has several unique benefits when compared to a traditional, soil-based grow. Below you’ll find some of the more popular reasons that growers are choosing the hydroponic method. There are plenty of reasons to grow cannabis this way, but here are the important ones.
- Maximum Control
- The grower has complete control over the nutrients that a plant will receive when growing hydroponically. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the three essential nutrients that are necessary for plant growth. Different solutions can be used for different stages of growth. Nitrogen-rich solutions are common in the vegetative stage, while more phosphorus-heavy nutrient solutions are required in the flowering phase.
- Increased Yield
- Nutrient manipulation accurately provides just the right amount of nutrients. This allows for the total control and maximum growth of each plant. The yield and growth rate of plants that employ the hydroponic method is substantially better than that of soil.
- Stunning Potency
- When marijuana rose to popularity in the ’70s, it was not as strong as the stuff we smoke today. It’s common to see strains north of 20% THC. This was pretty much unheard of back in the day. As hydroponic growers have adjusted their methods over the last few years, they have been able to produce strains with insane potency.
- Spacial Efficiency
- As they are normally indoors, hydroponic grows can be limited in terms of space. That is no issue as the grower has so much control over plant growth. This is an additional advantage for growers that don’t have too much room to work with.
- Using different techniques like bubbleponics or deep water culture allow for increased automation within the growing process. This requires less supervision of plant growth. It can also help speed up the grow time of the plants. A grower that has more automated processes has more time to devote to other parts of their cannabis operation.
As previously mentioned, there are plenty of additional benefits to hydroponic growing beyond these five. The more experienced a grower is, the more benefits can be reaped from this method. However, every grower has to start somewhere. Once you start growing hydroponically, it can be hard to justify any other method.