Before a plant can grow, it undergoes photosynthesis, which requires sunlight and chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide into food. Since this reaction does not need soil, you can grow plants through various mediums.
Hydroponics does not need soil to grow plants. Instead, it uses a solution that contains a large number of minerals. It uses clay, perlite, peat moss, vermiculite, or rock wool to grow the plant.
Thanks to the absence of soil, the roots can reach the nutrients. Besides, the plant will enjoy a steady supply of oxygen for enhanced growth.
However, if you want to enjoy this planting system, you need to get the best hydroponic models suitable for your cultivation. In this article, we have listed out the best ones on the market to make thing easy for you.
- Short History of Hydroponic
- Best Hydroponic System
- If you’re in a hurry, here is a summary of our selected Best Hydroponics models
- Best Deep Water Culture Hydroponics
- Best EBB & Flow System
- Best Wick System
- Best Aeroponics
- Best NFT Hydroponics System
- Best Drip Systems
- Wrap Up
Short History of Hydroponic
Hydroponics comprises of two Greek words “hydro,” meaning water and “Ponics,” which means labor. Over the years, many generations have practiced the system that is now an effective way of planting. A prominent example is The Floating Gardens of China.
Around 1950, there was research on the feasibility of this process for global plant production. Scientists discovered that plants do better in this system than in the soil.
Best Hydroponic System
If you’re in a hurry, here is a summary of our selected Best Hydroponics models
- Top Pick for the Best Hydroponics: General Hydroponics HGC706980 WaterFarm
- Best Hydroponics for Tomatoes: Hydrofarm RS5GALSYS Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System
- Best Hydroponics for Vegetables: AeroGarden 903100-1200 Black Ultra LED
- Best Hydroponic for Cloning: CLONE KING 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine
- Best Hydroponic For Transplanting: Hydroponics Grower Kit
- Best Hydroponics for Herbs: Kitchen Herb Kit – Three Self-watering Indoor Planters
- Best Hydroponics to Grow Plants Cuttings: Future Harvest Developer SBL1600200 Grow Light Garden
- Best Hydroponics for Lettuce: GOWE Hydroponics system NFT with 36pcs of the net cup
- Best Hydroponics for Large Size Planting: General Hydroponics GH4120 WaterFarm Complete
- Best Hydroponics for Weed: Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System
- Best Hydroponics for Large Indoor Gardening: Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & Grow
Best Deep Water Culture Hydroponics
1. Hydroponics Grower Kit
High-grade Hydroponics Grower Kit allows user to grow their plants effectively until harvesting with the smoothest planting cultivating system. It aids you to transplant your vegetable cuttings with eco-friendly materials. With a Hydroponic grower kit, you can comfortably grow plants like fresh herbs, vegetables, salads, greens, fruit, and flowers.
The Hydroponics Grower Kit enhances the speed of plant growth, enabling crops to mature five times faster before those planted on soil. The nutrient solution is very potent and productive, thus giving plants the needed boost for rapid growth and maturity.
It provides plants with enough oxygen with the aid of waterproof chug pumps. This feature enables constant development even in the deep-rooted plants.
It prevents the possibility of failure in the air release with the use of a flappable blue stop valve, which restores the airflow when flipped. Furthermore, it features a buoy that displays the remaining level of water and nutrients so that the user will know when to refill or supply nutrient solution.
The model comes with a cloner kit basin made with a non-transparent material to prevent the passage of sun rays to the nutrient solution. The reason is that natural light rays react negatively with the nutrient to give rise to the growth of green algae, which adversely affects the plants.
The hydroponics system has a powerful Pathonor waterproof grow light. This feature provides sufficient light needed for plant growth. With that said, plant in this system doesn’t need sunlight to grow, which means you can grow them anywhere indoors.
The exciting part is that the kits in this system packaging are perfect for indoor or outdoor soilless gardening.
However, the one demerit of this effective hydroponic system is that it’s always having pump issues. Also, users will need to arrange the pump properly before use because it usually faced backward on arrival.
2. Hydrofarm RS5GALSYS Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System
Hydrofarm RS5GALSYS Root Spa System has a straight forward method of plant cultivation. With this system, large plants will grow effectively without any hindrances. This deepwater culture system design is cost-efficient, and it is easy to maintain. Considering the earlier mentioned benefits, this is one of the best deepwater culture systems on the market.
This model has an 8-bucket Hydroponics system with an air pump that supplies oxygen to ensure the roots are not water clogged. The adequate oxygen released into the solution enhances the development of the root cells and encourage growth.
Pumping of air into the nutrient solution helps to sustain the growth and development of the root system. It also offers cost-effective plant cultivation with the challenging air stone
The system can be expansible from 4-bucket to make a 5-bucket system. The exciting part is that the deepwater culture bucket system comes at a low price, which makes it budget-friendly.
Furthermore, it has a grommet and elbow fitting that ensures a sealed connection to block off any chance of leaks. It features air tubing, which allows light to pass through and to enable you to view the level of the nutrient solution in the outer reservoir.
Out of the buckets system of this model, one of the buckets comes with a small single outlet wait pump while the other four-bucket has a larger air pump.
For users that want to enjoy a whole lot of benefits with this system, it is advisable to use clay pebbles. This material provides the adequate stability and growth of the plant.
One of the downsides of this excellent model is that the plug isn’t quite efficient. Also, the cap sometimes runs freely at the end of the tube, thus preventing it from sealing effectively.
Best EBB & Flow System
1. Viagrow Complete Ebb & Flow Hydroponics System
Do you want to start an indoor growing station? If yes, this incredible product will make your gardening dreams come true. Measuring at 48 x 26 x 43.5 inches, you can use this gardening system to grow up to 10 separate plants at the same time.
When it comes to toughness, this model meets the mark. First, it has top quality parts made from welded steel. Thanks to these materials, this product will last longer than any DIY ebb and flow system.
When you purchase this model, it comes with ten pots for each herb or flower. The unit also offers some grow rock, which saves cash and time for finding a suitable growth surface.
Setting up this system takes little time and effort. Even if you have poor plumbing skills, the unit comes with a kit that helps you connect the pipes within a few minutes.
An analog timer controls the pump and helps you to time the flood and drain cycles. Like the digital models, it’s easier to program and operate this system.
Most ebb and flow systems come with hefty price tags, which can make people shy away from this style of farming. But since this Viagrow product costs less than $300, it serves as a budget-friendly option.
Sadly, the timer does not offer more than a 15-minute flood and drain cycles. Another downsides is that the unit has legs that feel too tall for indoor use while the plastic parts break up quickly. Finally, the company sells the lights as separate items which result in extra costs.
2. Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & Grow
If you want a solution that allows you to set up a hydroponic system with ease, the Active Aqua system ticks all the boxes. Besides, the unit offers a space to handle up to 12 pots.
For people looking for extra room, you can expand the space to carry up to 48 containers. It also allows you to harvest more crops within a short period.
Apart from offering space for the plants, the pots have lightweight features. This quality enables you to move the plants to your desired favorite spots without any issues.
Do you have a busy schedule that keeps you from tending to your plants? Well, this model boasts of a simple controller that automates its functions. If you want to use this tool, just choose any of the flood and drain cycles setting, and watch the model control the unit.
The product also has three bottles that contain different nutrient solutions for the plants. By using these liquids, you will have a bountiful harvest of a healthy crop.
When it comes to safety, the Grow Flow model stands as one of the few products with overflow protection. Let’s say the float valve has a fault; a shut-off valve stops the unit from working. In the end, the plants will not have to deal with spills or any form of damage.
However, the unit does not come with any lights. So you will you will need to find a way to expose it to sunlight. If you neglect this, the greenery will become malnourished.
Best Wick System
1. Kitchen Herb Kit – Three Self-watering Indoor Planters
If you want a system that meets the needs of first-time gardeners, you should consider this model. These jars, which measures about 11.2 x 3.8 x 9.9 inches, will fit in nicely on your kitchen counter or office table. Besides, they weigh about 1 lb, which makes it easy to change their position quickly.
However, the portable design does not stop them from growing fresh herbs at any point in time. Thanks to its in-house seed kits, you can cultivate various plants like basil, parsley, mint, oregano, zinnia, and cilantro. If you like, you can choose packages that feature more than one type of plant.
Growing herbs with this tool take little time. For instance, basil takes at least a week to sprout and becomes ready for harvest after two months. Mint germinates at the same time, but you can pick up in three months’ time. If you want to grow parsley, sprouting starts in one or two weeks and becomes ready for use in 3 months.
This indoor planter promises a bountiful harvest. But for a higher yield, the brand suggests that you harvest any of the plants frequently.
Operating a wick system will not frustrate any indoor gardener. To use its jars, throw in some soil or coco pith, plant the seeds, and add some fertilizer. Since the kit has a manual, you can use it to carry out the instructions correctly.
Do you want an environmentally safe way to try hydroponics? Well, this consists of three glass jars that you can re-use for an extended period. It also uses a steel pot that can endure repeated sprouting and harvests.
With all the features mentioned above, it’s certain that this is a fantastic product for indoor gardening. However, it does not come with a growth medium, while some of the seedlings it comes with sprout slowly.
2. Future Harvest Developer SBL1600200 Grow Light Garden
This device has a dimension of 23.2 x 3.1 x 2 inches, which allows you grow many plants. Don’t let the large capacity scare you as the Harvest Developer does not weigh much. Also, the size makes it perfect for any space in your home.
To reduce the space it will occupy, you can swap the hydroponic grow tray for stand-alone pots. Depending on the size of the container installed, you can grow up to 24 plants at the same time.
Apart from the size, other qualities make this product ideal for indoor use. For example, a set of energy-saving bulbs offer lighting to the plants. Fortunately, the light extends to the outer part of the tray, which means other planters can enjoy the brightness.
If you want to get a healthy crop, the plant will need an adequate supply. For this reason, this model has a timer that turns the bulbs on automatically when necessary.
Since everyone needs to protect the earth, the system has a build of 100% recycled plastic. Also, this material can handle the rigors of indoor gardening.
Like most wick systems, this product has easy-to-use features. To get started, you will only need earth, seeds, and some water. Besides, you can install it without worrying about an expert since it comes with a detailed instruction manual.
With this model, you don’t have to worry about watering the plants frequently. The reason is that it has a self-watering capillary mat that keeps your herbs hydrated and healthy. For people who prefer adding water themselves, they can take out the tray and perform this activity on their own. With that said, you should expect an impressive yield.
But this model has a few issues that might make you consider other options. For one, the hood does not stay up due to a set of poorly designed washers. Next, white fungus, which can harm the plant, tends to gather around the capillary mat. Finally, the company does not provide seeds with this product.
1. AeroGarden 903100-1200 Black Ultra LED
AeroGarden 903100-1200 Black Ultra LED uses advanced indoor gardening features that can grow fresh herbs and veggies faster. With this system, there will be enough veggie greens and salads available throughout the year.
Do you want to get fresh flowers at every given season of the year? Then this is your best bet. It supports the growth of large plants that can grow as tall as 12 inches, thereby ensuring a quick harvest. The system features a grow light that turns on and off automatically when necessary.
This indoor gardening device is an advanced home Aeroponics kit that helps to grow plants without a soil medium. It uses water and premium quality nutrients to produce ever-fresh plants any time in the year. The machine runs automatically, and it alerts you on when to carry out certain activities for optimum plant growth.
The control panel display shows when to add or resupply the necessary things needed for the plants. It indicates when to refill the reservoir. It also reminds you when to add the required plant food that makes the crops to thrive in such a soilless medium.
The system comes with a gourmet herb seed pod kit that is natural and devoid of any GMO materials. This kit eliminates the use of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.
The AeroGarden 903100 ensures that plants will grow five times faster than soil plants. This impressive plant production is due to the ideal lighting and a balanced level of water and nutrient solution.
The biggest demerit for this AeroGarden device is that most of the seeds didn’t germinate.
2. CLONE KING 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine
CLONE KING 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine eliminates the need for Rockwool cubes. It uses an Aeroponic method to create a successful clone in a fast and straightforward way.
The plant is allowed to suspend in the air while the aeroponic mist nutrients to its root for optimum growth. The highly-oxygenated Aeroponic mist helps the process of cloning.
This system offers a straight forward way of producing all your favorite plant varieties without a sweat. The device will make the user a professional cloner right from the first attempt of cultivating. The reason is that it provides every necessary thing you need to achieve that perfect cloning exercise.
The Clone King 36 provides sufficient nutrients to the plant roots plants to enable vigorous production and harvest. It aids the phases of plant growth without the troubles of the outdoor garden, such as pest and unfavorable weather conditions. Also, the cloning machine expels the worries of wilting as the plants mature as fast as the regular planting system.
It guarantees a 99% success rate in the reproduction of plants. It also supplies vital things needed to produce healthy plants that can survive in other hydroponic environments. With that said, it is a sure way to maximize Aeroponic nutrients for better plants.
It makes Aeroponic farming as easy as you can ever imagine. Within 14 days of using this system for grooming, you will get produce that is ready for transplant. During this time, the roots also form and continue to increase quickly.
The best part is that plants cultivated with this system will have a comfortable, smooth, seamless transitioning to the harvesting stage.
The CLONE KING 36 Site Aeroponic Cloning Machine has no rival in simplicity, success rate, and quality. However, the downside is the fact that the fittings have poor finishes.
Best NFT Hydroponics System
1. GOWE Hydroponics system NFT with 36pcs of the net cup
Few hydroponics products have the slender look of this fantastic tool. This Gowe NFT system has a dimension of 39.37 × 47.22 inches that can rest entirely at any space in your home. Dur=e to its lightweight frame, you can move it around the area without any extra hand.
Like the traditional NFT system, this product does not work with a growth medium. Instead, the roots rest in a lengthy slant channel that contains the nutrient solution. With such feature, the system can water itself and keep your flooring free from the mess that comes with using soil or other support materials.
To regulate the feed cycle, the timer offers two modes – continuous and intermittent. If you grow plants for sale, the first option ensures adequate food supply for such activities. But if you want steady supply of nutrient, the intermittent function should meet the daily needs of the plant.
Since the unit provides 36 cups for your young plants, expect a high yield of a healthy crop. The best part is that the organized layout promises a beautiful view.
This indoor grower system comes as one of the best items for growing lettuce. But if you prefer other things, you can propagate vegetables with this model. Remember to choose crops that have short stems.
Even if it has cool functions, first-timers can install and operate this model with ease. Also, the timer handles the cycles, so you will not spend the whole day caring for the plants.
Sadly, the light frame can tip over, especially when you plant long-stalled plants on this NFT system. You will have to purchase the reservoir separately as Gowe does not include the accessory to this unit.
Best Drip Systems
1. General Hydroponics GH4120 WaterFarm Complete
General Hydroponics GH4120 has a high-grade plastic body that guarantees absolute longevity. As you should know, Rusting alters the pH of the nutrient solution and subsequently causes the resolution to lose potency. So, the plastic body it has is an upgrade on the usual metal drop system, which is prone to rust.
Its unique four-sided design enables gardeners to arrange the modules for larger density installations. This unique system of propagation enhances the plant growth of various sizes and varieties. Not only that, but it also ensures that all plants get enough moisture and nutrient to enable them to grow effectively. It supports the growth of a large number of plants within a small area.
This four-sided design feature makes it extremely cost-effective as it grants enough space for more plants at a smaller cost. It doesn’t need any soil attachments.
The hydro-farm works as a sole unit while it has a plug that powers it. The single plug and bucket system are the unique mechanism utilized by GH4120.
This model makes use of a pump to sustain the drip system. This drip irrigation pump carries out the function of the phloem in a plant system. It transfers the fluid containing nutrients from the reservoir and upward to the plants, from the root to its stem and leaves.
These systems connect to a drip line, which serves as a connecting duct between the drip system and the growing chamber. The component is the primary area where the propagation of plants takes place.
The drip lines carry the nutrient-rich liquid from the reservoir through the drip system to the growing plants. The GH4120 carries out this process with the utmost precision to provide a sufficient supply of nutrients. The constant distribution of the nutrient solution by the drip watering system keeps the growing chamber evergreen.
The pump in this system does not have a timer setting, so it runs continuously from the drip water system. This feature gives room for reusing excess nutrient solution that drips back to the reservoir.
However, the absence of timers contributes to its major letdown. The reason is that the pH of the nutrient solution will keep changing, thus making the user perform regular maintenance on the system. Not only that, but it also increases the cost of running the entire system.
Nonetheless, this model can grow hydroponic suggested plants of all sizes due to its large water capacity and low moisture requirements.
2. General Hydroponics HGC706980 WaterFarm
The HGC706980 WaterFarm has a dual system reservoir gauge featuring an eight-gallon controller unit and a 13-gallon reservoir. It comes with 8 Waterfarm modules, in which all of them connect to a Hydroponics controller.
The controller helps to regulate the supply of nutrients required for productive plant growth. But the nutrient passes around the system with the aid of a dual-diaphragm air pump. This feature uses a mechanism that draws water and the nutrient solution from the reservoir to the drip system.
The HGC706980 Waterfarm comprises of essential hardware components that supply adequate nutrients to the plants. These components include the nutrient supplies and the General Hydroponics Flora Series nutrients. Users can arrange this item in a way that supports active plant growth.
The HGC706980 WaterFarm 8-module system is a suitable choice for the large planters and big plants. It supports the cultivation of a larger number of plants with an expandable 12 grows farm sites for one controller.
With this system, you can start after every growth cycle with a secure method of bloom change. It also offers a wide range of configurations, including adding an extra hose.
However, some of the fittings are either made of inferior material or missing on arrival. Overall, the tools of this model are easy to maintain, thus making the operation less stressful and quite comfortable.
The hydroponic system is one of the best ways to cultivate your plant since you won’t get exposed to harsh outdoor conditions. Also, you don’t need good soil or a perfect spot to grow your veggies or herbs. Anywhere in your home will be suitable.
But keep in mind, you will need to get the best hydroponics system so that you can have a good harvest. Before you purchase any, consider the kind of plant you want to grow. The reason is that some models can be good to cultivate herbs but not for tomatoes or fruit. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as our listed hydroponics and summary of the best models will help you choose.