Have you thought about growing flowers hydroponically? Flowers can brighten a room and lift our spirits. I don’t think a tomato has the same effect on us.
Growing hydroponic vegetables is practical and feeds us. It is functional and feeds the body.
But growing flowers hydroponically allows us to create a thing of beauty that satisfies the soul.
Can You Grow Flowers Hydroponically?
You might not have thought about growing flowers in hydroponics, I haven’t until recently.
But did you know most of the cut flowers you buy from a florist are grown indoors with hydroponics?
Many flowers are subject to soil-borne diseases outdoors and so many growers have switched to growing flowers in greenhouses using hydroponics.
Growing Flowers Hydroponically
There are several hydroponic systems that will work for growing flowers hydroponically.
One of the easiest to set up is a flood and drain system also known as an ebb and flow system.
This system uses a flood tray and water is pumped up from a reservoir below the tray and then flows back to the reservoir.
The flood time is controlled with a timer. There are 2 fittings inside the tray.
One is a screen-like fitting that lets the water into the tray breaking up the stream of water.
The other is the drain fitting. By adding different length fittings to it you can control the flood height.
Typically, you would use 6-inch net pots filled with hydroton in this system.
You can use regular pots too but because the flood height is limited they should not be too tall.
Flood And Drain Options
Flood and drain systems are pretty versatile. There are optional setups that you can use. Instead of using the flood fitting, you can install a drip manifold in its place.
Top feed drip systems work very well for growing plants. I have found plants tend to do better when fed from the top than when bottom fed.
Deep Flow Technique DFT And Nutrient Film Technique NFT
Both these systems are very similar and are used for commercial flower production. The Deep Flow Technique will work very well in a flood tray.
It is a hybrid of deep water culture(DWC) and flood and drain.
The main difference is that an air pump and airstone are needed. The water runs 24/7.
This can work very well but a pump running continuously can eventually heat up the water above 72 degrees. So use the smallest pump you can.
This could lead to problems with Pythium root rot. Commercial growers use a chiller to keep the temperature at about 68 degrees.
NFT is very similar but it uses a thin stream of water that flows continually. Usually, commercial growers use slightly sloped channels or PVC pipes.
This allows the nutrient solution to slowly flow from the top where it is fed into the channel and flows down through the plant’s roots and back to the reservoir below.
Growing Flowers With DWC
I will be starting to grow flowers in deep water culture or DWC shortly. My DWC lettuce was just done harvesting.
So now I have a 10-gallon tote ready for a new crop, The snapdragon seeds are in the mail so I will be starting it shortly.
I decided I wanted to grow some hydroponic flowers now and not wait months for my AeroGarden to be ready.
Snapdragons are one of my favorite flowers. They also do better indoors in a hydroponic system. I will keep you updated on their progress.
One future project that really has my interest is growing orchids in hydroponics.
I really want to try this because they are one of the most beautiful and mysterious plants on the planet.
For right now I will do my research on growing them but a few preliminary results indicate they can grow well in a wick system or with the Kratky method.
Best Flowers To Grow Hydroponically
Here is a list of some of the flowers that can be grown hydroponically. I am sure there are more. I was surprised to find out many orchid growers have switched to hydroponics.
- Baby’s breath
- Brachycome species
- Coreopsis species
Growing Flowers Hydroponically In An AeroGarden
Maybe you don’t have enough space for a flood and drain table or you just want a simpler way to grow hydroponic flowers indoors why not try using an AeroGarden.
I have an AeroGarden Harvest and it works very well. Right now I have chili peppers in it. But once they are done I am going to grow hydroponic flowers in it.
This AeroGarden is small enough to sit on my coffee table so I will have a living flower bouquet to brighten up my living room this winter.
For the Aerogarden Harvest, you will want to stick with shorter growing varieties because the maximum grow height is only 12 inches for it.
They offer AeroGarden Cascading Petunia Flower Seed Pod Kit (6-pod) and the AeroGarden Mountain Meadows Flower Seed Pod Kit (9-pod) but that means a lot of great flowers are not available for the AeroGardens.
One thing you can do is purchase their AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit and then you will be able to buy seed packets of your choice and grow them in your AeroGarden
These AeroGardens have 6, 9, and 24 pods respectively but you might not use them all for some crops.
The AeroGarden Farm units offer 36 inches of grow height. You can grow just about anything and more of it in those. They are stackable too.
Growing Edible Flowers Hydroponically
Today people are actually eating flowers. Edible flowers are being used by chefs because they add color and flavor to food. This is a fairly new trend but could make your everyday common salad into something really special.
I have not eaten any flowers yet as I have yet to grow any but apparently, the flavors range from sweet to tart. Here is a list I found when researching edible flowers.
A word of caution here. Stick to the flowers on this list because some flowers are poisonous.
Some of the most popular edible flower species include familiar annuals such as pansy (Viola × wittrockiana), viola (Viola cornuta), snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), wax (Begonia × semperflorens-cultorum) and tuberous (Begonia × tuberhybrida) begonias, African (Tagetes erecta) and French (Tagetes patula) marigolds, and dianthus (Dianthus chinensis). There are also perennial plants with edible flowers, such as hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), peony (Paeonia lactiflora), rose (Rosa spp.), and lilac (Syringa vulgaris). https://www.producegrower.com/article/hydroponic-production-primer-edible-flower-power/
Final Thoughts On Growing Flowers Hydroponically
If you havent thought about growing flowers hydroponically maybe you should give it a try. It will brighten up your day for sure.