Hydroponics Medium Types

Last Updated on January 31, 2022 by Cristina

Let’s talk hydroponics medium types. Hydroponics medium is one of the types of growing medium that may be used for growing plants. A growing medium basically involves any solid material which may be fibers, sponge, pebbles, shreds, or barks. These materials are used to hold nutrient solutions and then slowly released to plant roots.

So, when using the hydroponic system, the grower does not depend on soil to support plants and supply nutrients. You would rather depend on a selected hydroponic media to provide support for the roots and maintain water content.

While there are different systems of hydroponics you should know about, these systems work on the basis of suitable materials. This means that the growing media you chose for growing your plants will be as important as the system you use them in.

The hydroponics growing medium involves the selection of a wide variety of growing media to be used. This is a guide on how to use the hydroponic growing media and the hydroponics medium types are also discussed. The strength of the different growing media is also discussed.

Before we delve into the major hydroponics medium types, let’s discuss what the medium of hydroponics truly means.

What Is The Medium Of Hydroponics?

The growing medium of hydroponics involves a system where the plant growing medium takes the place of soil. The medium does not act as a nutrient provider like the soil but serves as a support to keep the plant upright. Virtually inert materials are used as a growing medium.

The Hydroponics growing medium basically involves a simple soil-less material that is largely porous. This feature makes it possible for moisture and oxygen to be well circulated to the root system of the plant. Where a non-porous hydroponic material is used, there will be a need for more watering.

The use of hydroponics growing medium and continuous watering of plants with ordinary water will not yield fruits. For you to get any meaningful result, you must water the plant with nutrient-filled nutrients. This is because, unlike the soil, the hydroponics medium lacks nutrients for growth.

Although it cannot be said that one hydroponic growing media is better than another, some are easier to use. There are however a lot of factors that must be considered when picking a growing media. The system with which you will use it, and how it’s designed are big factors to consider.

The goal of a hydroponic system is basically to keep the roots of plants moist- not saturated nor soggy. Where the growing system allows for too much water, the roots will suffocate from lack of oxygen. This would very easily lead to root dying or rot.

Major Hydroponic Growing Media

The following are the major types of hydroponics growing media:

·         Coconut Coir

Also referred to as coco coir; it is made from the outer husk of coconuts. Coco coir is a byproduct made from the rough, brown, fibrous husks of coconuts. It is an entirely organic material that holds water exceptionally well and allows for proper aeration. It is also an eco-friendly material, completely renewable, and can easily be composted when no longer needed. Most users use it alongside other media like perlite for best results.

Coco Bliss Premium Coconut Coir Pith 10 lbs Brick/Block

Hydroponics Medium Types

·         Rockwool – Hydroponics Medium Types

This is a fascinating material for hydroponic growing media for plants. This material is created by melting rock and thereafter spinning it into fibers. The Rockwool fibers are thereafter compressed into cubes of different sizes used for hydroponic plant growing.

This media has good water retention abilities and excellent aeration. The drawbacks of this media are that it is not environmentally friendly and it has high pH content. The dust from the fiber may also cause a serious irritant to the eyes.

·         Expanded Clay Pellets

This is one of the most used hydroponic media used in recent times. It is made by expanding clay so as to form round balls of porous material. The clay pellets have the advantage of having a neutral pH level, being reusable, and releasing almost no nutrients to the soil.

·         Rocks And Gravel

Natural rocks gravel processed from rocks such as perlite and vermiculite are also used as growing media. They have the advantage of being cheap, readily available, and drain very well. The downside however is that they are heavy and hold very little water. This makes them very undesirable in systems where the root relies on some water.

·         Perlite – Hydroponics Medium Types

This is one of the most common growing media. Perlite is usually made from volcanic glass. When the volcanic glass which normally contains tiny pockets of water is subjected to high temperature, the water expands.

This expansion creates thousands of tiny pores from which perlite is gotten. Due to the small size of the perlite, it is used to add drainage, water, and air to a plant growing medium.

Major Hydroponic Growing Media - Perlite

Hydroponic Growing Medium Alternatives

If you are not interested in using hydroponic growing media, you may consider the use of hydroponic alternatives. Below are some growing alternatives:

  • Sawdust: the use of sawdust has recorded some success as a hydroponic growing medium alternative. There are lots of factors that come into play in determining how well this works. The type of wood used and how pure such wood was are a few. Also, there is a high possibility of sawdust being contaminated by diseases or pathogens.
  • Rice Hulls: this is the byproduct of the rice milling process. This process usually involves the use of the coating of unprocessed rice which has peeled off. This alternative is usually used in places where rice processing is largely a practice.
  • Sand: sand is another widely used alternative to the hydroponic growing medium. One major con with the use of sand is that it lacks the ability to retain water and it has very poor aeration abilities. Sand is usually packed together making it difficult for roots to be exposed to air. It however has the advantage of being readily available.
Hydroponic Growing Medium Alternatives

Hydroponics Medium Types Conclusion

Hydroponics Medium is a system as you have seen above that can be used for plant cultivation. It largely involves the absence of soil when growing plants. It offers plants the advantage of media with water retention abilities and excellent aeration.

Some of the major hydroponic media and their alternatives are discussed above. If you are interested in trying out this method of plant cultivation, this should be a good guide for you.

What Is The Medium Of Hydroponics?

The growing medium of hydroponics involves a system where the plant growing medium takes the place of soil. The medium does not act as a nutrient provider like the soil but serves as a support to keep the plant upright. Virtually inert materials are used as a growing medium.
The Hydroponics growing medium basically involves a simple soil-less material that is largely porous. This feature makes it possible for moisture and oxygen to be well circulated to the root system of the plant. Where a non-porous hydroponic material is used, there will be a need for more watering.
The use of hydroponics growing medium and continuous watering of plants with ordinary water will not yield fruits. For you to get any meaningful result, you must water the plant with nutrient-filled nutrients. This is because, unlike the soil, the hydroponics medium lacks nutrients for growth.
Although it cannot be said that one hydroponic growing media is better than another, some are easier to use. There are however a lot of factors that must be considered when picking a growing media. The system with which you will use it, and how it's designed are big factors to consider.
The goal of a hydroponic system is basically to keep the roots of plants moist- not saturated nor soggy. Where the growing system allows for too much water, the roots will suffocate from lack of oxygen. This would very easily lead to root dying or rot.