Plant Diseases To Watch Out for in Hydroponic Gardening

Plant Diseases To Watch Out for in Hydroponic Gardening

Even if you’ve done a good job keeping pests out of your hydroponic garden, you still must watch out for sneaky hydroponic diseases that can ruin your entire crop. The naturally humid environment of a hydroponic system can be disastrous for plants if you don’t monitor them properly.


If you’re concerned about which plant diseases to watch out for in hydroponic gardening and what to do if you notice an infection, we’re here to help with some sure signs of plant disease and simple solutions on how to remedy them.


Gray Mold


Mold is one of the most common fungi found in a hydroponic system. The telltale sign of mold is a fuzzy, gray-white blob on the leaves, roots, or fruits of the plant. If you simply blow on the mold, you’ll only spread the spores to your other plants, but if you leave it as is, your plant will die. When you notice mold, it might be too late to save your plant. But if you catch it early enough, you may be able to wipe it away or cut off the growth and prevent the death of your plant.




Another fungal plant disease to watch out for in hydroponic gardening is mildew. Mildew appears as a gray dusting of powdery speckles that cover your plants’ leaves. It may look like a cool paint-splatter design at first, but after the problem worsens, it’ll cover the entirety of the leaf and suffocate it. Because it is also a fungus, you can take similar preventative actions to keep it out of your garden.


Mildew isn’t as lethal as gray mold, so there are ways to eliminate it once you see it, such as using fungicides and rubbing it with a cloth.


To prevent mold and mildew, be sure to:


  • Reduce humidity to 50 percent.
  • Look for signs of dead organic material or debris.
  • Wash up before entering the garden, especially if you were outside.
  • Increase air circulation.
  • Keep equipment sanitized.


Root Rot


It can be difficult to identify root rot, especially if you use a growing medium that doesn’t allow you to see the roots. If you do use a growing medium that lets you see the roots, you can identify rotting roots by their brown coloration. Without visible roots, you’ll first notice root rot by the sulfuric “rotten egg” stench that emanates from your hydroponic system and a significant drop in pH. If you only notice root rot after the plants begin to wilt and yellow, it may be too late.


Sometimes, a fungus known as pythium causes mushy, brown buildup on the root tips. This requires the same care that you’d give a plant with mold or mildew, along with the immediate cutting-back of affected roots.


Prevent non-fungal root rot by:


  • Allowing your grow medium to aerate between watering.
  • Avoiding overwatering.
  • Preventing algae by keeping the base of the plant dark using opaque growing equipment, wrapping, or opaque tubing.
  • Not bringing the outside indoors.
  • Sanitizing all parts of the hydroponic system.
  • Maintaining proper pest prevention.
  • Being wary of transplants.
  • Keeping nutrient solution under 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


FloraFlex’s cubes of rockwool growing medium paired with our opaque, green grow kits provide your roots with the darkness they need to thrive. Give your plants the care they need to survive diseases with the right tools from FloraFlex!