As a newbie or experienced succulent grower, you probably know that your succulents can survive in just water (for a short period). This process is known as succulent water therapy and is often mistaken for the succulent hydroponic method. The sole purpose of this post is to discuss whether growing succulents hydroponically is possible. Together, we will find out the principle of succulent hydroponic, alongside how to use this method efficiently.
About Succulent Hydroponic
This method allows succulents to grow without soil. They use a medium called substrate, which anchors the roots of succulents in gravel or sand. Unlike traditional planting, in which plants get their nutrients from the soil, plants derive their nutrients from water-based fertilizers in hydroponics. Hydroponic succulents tend to absorb nutrients quicker than soil-grown ones.
In order for this to work, the right growing conditions in hydroponics planting must be acknowledged and followed. Let me take an example: Your succulents will not bloom if you fail to provide the proper pH level requirement. It is that serious.
What is the point of using hydroponic for succulents?
This question is justified to ask. Succulents can live well enough in a good soil mix. Why the hell should we do hydroponics for succulents? Because of this way, your plant will absorb nutrients much faster and more efficiently. It’s like giving your succulents some diluted fertilizer during its growing season. Personally, I think building a hydroponic system is super interesting, which makes your succulent gardening journey more of an adventurous experience 🙂
And hydroponics is not for all succulents. Even for the ones that can adapt, this method can kill your plant if misused. That’s why I will explain further how to use this method correctly so that your succulents will benefit the most from it.
Setting Up Your Succulent Hydroponic System
If you are bringing succulents initially planted in soil into a hydroponics system, it will take a couple of months for the succulents to develop roots suitable for water. Therefore, I recommend using the wick system to save a few months of growing suitable roots.
Here are a few things to prepare:
- Your succulent(s)
- A DIY wick system using plastic bottles: As I know, most of my readers are home gardeners, so let’s keep this simple. However, it’s alright if you can purchase a hydroponic system such as a deep water culture or a professional wich system.
- Perlite + Coconut coir
- pH testing kit (Optional): I know it’s best to have it, but if you mix the nutrient solution just right, you can skip the check.
- Grow lights (Optional): It’s only necessary if you grow indoors.
You are ready to go!
Steps to take:
- Build your DIY wick system with only plastic bottles: I followed this guide and found it super easy to have your own DIY wick system. Get it done before the next step!
- Make Your Own Medium: 2 parts of organic matter like coconut coir and one part of perlite make a good combination.
- Prepare the nutrient solution: It’s a simple mix of N-P-K fertilizers. Mix 1/4 of a normal fertilizer solution with water to dilute its strength. There you go, the right nutrient solution! However, keep an eye on the pH level so your succulent may bloom. The recommended level is about 6.0-7.0.
- Plant your succulents/ cuttings/ offsets: It’s time to put them all into the hydroponic system and plant. The medium in the part with the cap on your plastic bottle and the nutrient solution in the bottle. Make sure the medium holds the wick tight, and the wick must touch the water’s surface.
Feeding your hydroponics succulents with a water-based fertilizer should be done every two weeks. At the expiration of the two weeks, flush out the old nutrients by drenching the substrate with water. When the water medium is dry, you can feed the succulents with a fresh batch of water-based fertilizer.
When growing succulents hydroponically, pay close attention and do regular upkeep. Make sure to mimic their natural habitat and give them the right nutrients. Hydroponic succulents can be a cool addition to your plant collection and a fun way to try different growing methods. I once went to a friend with his table full of hydroponic succulents, it was cool, to be honest.
Happy hydroponic planting my friends and let me know if you have any questions on this!
Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!