Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. [wikipedia]

My question is if is it possible to grow any kind of plant soilless (hydroponics)?

  • $\begingroup$ Carrots and other root vegetables do not do well in hydroponics with LE(CSG)A ( light expanded [clay, shale, glass] aggregates). Its not an issue of them developing but being drowned out. The solution in industry has been to use dual-zone beds ( half peatmoss/potting soil and the other half LECA with a canvas sheet divider and careful attention to water levels ). $\endgroup$ – David Dec 17 '14 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking about "all kinds of plants" or "some kinds of plants"? $\endgroup$ – Volker Siegel Feb 22 '15 at 2:48

Yes, There are a few i know of, a quick "air plant" google search will get you quiet a lot. wiki 1 wiki 2

Edit: I just glanced through the hydroponics article, and now I wonder if my answer actual answers your question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for quick reply, I didn't know about the title Epiphytes. I still think, there are maybe for some reason "impossible to grow without soil plants" but I don't know. I want to wait and search a little more. $\endgroup$ – pikk Apr 20 '12 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ from what i have read so far, plants do not need soil to grow. You can grow potatoes in a pot just filled with water, they don't need the soil as long as they get the nutrients and oxygen from their surroundings. $\endgroup$ – stackErr Apr 20 '12 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ ....so I dont understand what you are trying to ask. @pikk $\endgroup$ – stackErr Apr 20 '12 at 11:13

Yes it is possible, and as far as I can see, there should not be any plant which would be impossible to grow in a such an environment, just more or less difficult, although this is just my speculation.

I have myself grown tomatoes from only a liquid solution of minerals and nutrients, but you have to change the solution from time to time to prevent bacteria and fungi growing starting to grow in it. The reason why this is not a method used in industrious growing is because it is a lot more expensive than using soil and fertilisers, and more work.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for the fact that it is a lot more expensive and requires more work ? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – ChrisR May 31 '13 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ No, I was just thinking in general terms. Small scale use I'd say definitely (based upon my own experience) more work as you'd have to refresh the water constantly and probably more expensive depending on your sources of the required minerals. But I would assume that there are a lot different relationships if you scale things up enough. $\endgroup$ – Zewz Oct 24 '14 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ Aquaponics ( aquaculture w/hydroponics ) dramatically simplifies water treatment/maintenance at the cost of not being able to grow high acidity or high potassium plants. Otherwise 1000 gallon systems take only 15-30 minutes a day to keep maintained. $\endgroup$ – David Dec 17 '14 at 15:53

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