House Plant Hydroculture

House Plant Hydroculture

Hydroculture is the latest and the most scientific way of growing house plants. Quite simply it means growing plants in water. Horticulturists have been experimenting with this method of cultivation for some years. The main problem was to find an inert substance that would support a plant’s root system without crushing it and at the same time allow it to grow and expand. Secondly a fertilizer, that could be left in the container permanently without overfeeding or starving the plant, had to be developed. In recent years both these problems have been overcome.

Suitable plants for hydroculture

  • philodendron
  • scindapsus
  • yucca
  • syngonium
  • ficus (small-leaved)
  • chlorophytum
  • sansevieria

How plants are grown

Plants are grown in a substance called hydroleca, which consists of fire expanded clay particles, and are normally sold complete in ceramic or plastic containers with a water level indicator. The feeding problem has been solved by developing a fertilizer in the form of granules which are placed in the container. Chemical additives in tap water react with the granules and release food to the plant as and when it wants it. The plant cannot be overfed or indeed over-watered. One phial of feed would last a small to medium-sized plant six months.

Problems

Not every plant will adapt to this method of growing. Short-lived flowering plants especially dislike it, but the range of suitable green plants is vast. Be extremely careful in winter, as water drops in temperature more quickly than soil, and roots can soon be damaged, especially if plants are in unheated offices over frosty weekends. Another drawback concerns the rearrangement of your plants. As plants grown by this method should not be taken out of their pots, mixed plant bowls are uncommon. This is, however, compensated for by the fact that large individual plants can be grown in small containers, as a large amount of room for roots is not required.

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