The Best Cannabis Strains for Deep Water Culture Hydroponics

The Best Cannabis Strains for Deep Water Culture Hydroponics

One of the best hydroponic methods to begin your venture into soilless gardening is the basic deep water culture system, or DWC. Regardless of your experience with hydroponics, this simple system elevates your harvest in both quantity and the time it takes to grow.

When you use this system to grow your favorite strains of cannabis, you may never go back to soil-based gardening again. DWC acts as the typical gateway into hydroponic gardening—while you may stick with deep water culture hydroponics for a while, you might also decide to delve deeper into the more complex hydroponic systems that exist. Some of the best cannabis strains for deep water culture hydroponics are also some of the most popular, so DWC is an easy way to expand your supply or stock your own stash.

What Is Deep Water Culture Hydroponics?

Deep water culture hydroponic gardens begin with a large tub of water and plant nutrients. Containers full of the grow medium of your choice hold your crops in place atop the nutrient basin, allowing the roots to dangle freely into the water below.

The most important piece of a DWC system is the oxygen-producing air stone—without it, the roots will drown due to the lack of oxygen in the nutrients. This makes it essential for the garden to have constant access to a reliable power source: otherwise, the plants could die quickly.

Deep water culture systems don’t require any kinds of tubing, drippers, or hoses. All you need are the basin, the containers, a grow medium, and something to hold the containers in place.

Why It’s Better for Cannabis

Part of the reason cannabis grows better in any hydroponic system is that the nutrients and water can affect the roots directly—they don’t contain any soil-based pests or diseases, and all liquid cycles through the system rather than seeping down into the soil. In deep water culture systems, specifically, the roots couldn’t possibly get any closer to the nutrient solution. Inside the water, they’re consistently able to take in nutrients whenever they need to.

Consider the following factors as you explore what makes DWC so good for cannabis gardening:

Low Maintenance

Deep water culture systems can be as simple as you’d like—they practically run themselves. That makes them appealing when you’re cultivating several plants, as you won’t need to do too much to maintain all your different systems. All you need to do is change out or top off the water, add nutrients, and check the pH levels. It may seem like a trick to get bigger harvests with less work, but it’s not an illusion!


Automating your DWC garden can take most of the work out of maintaining the hydroponic system. If you set it up to automatically add weekly fertilizer and water, you can focus on bigger issues, such as monitoring the fluctuating pH level and ensuring the crop is disease-free. The automation makes it even more of a low-maintenance garden than before.

Permanent Root Submersion

Plants have such large blooms in a DWC system because of the constant submersion of the roots. Nothing takes nutrients away from your crops—when the system is indoors, no soil drainage, pests, or weeds exist to soak up nutrients or spread diseases. The only way that pests can enter is through poor ventilation or contact with tools from outside. With properly aerated and totally submerged roots, they don’t need to rely on you or a system of tubes to get food when they want it.

The Best Strains

Since pH fluctuations are more common with DWC systems (because of the lack of soil), you want to choose cannabis strains that can handle that variability. Here are our favorites:

Amnesia Haze

Famous for its earthy, citrusy flavors and its ability to energize you in a pinch, Amnesia Haze is the sativa strain you want when it’s time to focus on the task at hand. It produces large amounts of THC, giving you a high that helps you socialize and keep your mood up. It’s also won several Cannabis Cup championships. It works well in deep water culture systems due to its medium size and easy cultivation.

Royal Moby

If you’re searching for a strain to grow in a short amount of time, Royal Moby might be your go-to. An evolution of the Moby Dick strain, it’s a hybrid between the Haze and White Widow strains. It’s primarily sativa and grows high—sometimes reaching three meters. The initial taste is vanilla, but it contains nodes of citrus beyond the vanilla. Moby Dick averages about 18 percent THC, while Royal Moby can reach a powerful 21 percent.

Purple Queen

The Purple Queen plant is incredibly beautiful, with vibrant purple leaves, and it leaves you feeling completely relaxed. She doesn’t grow taller than one meter and completes a growing cycle within eight weeks. This resilient Queen can withstand pH fluctuations like a champion, whether she’s indoors or outdoors.

Skunk XL

One of the most classic strains of cannabis is Skunk #1—and Skunk XL piggybacks off its success with an evolution. Skunk XL is easy to maintain and take care of but may grow over one meter high. This strain is popular among commercial growers due to the high yield per plant. It has a fruity taste that anyone can enjoy.

Gorilla Glue

Another strain that’s famous for its relaxing high is Gorilla Glue, or GG4. Its name comes from the feeling of being stuck to the couch that you experience after ingesting it. With its potent high and calming effects, this strain is excellent to grow if you’re searching for something with an earthy, sour flavor.

These are only some of the best cannabis strains for deep water culture hydroponics—there are many more strains and hybrids just as resilient in DWC systems. Whether you’re looking for a community to share your spoils with or high-quality hydroponic growing supplies for your excursion into hydroponics, FloraFlex can set you up for gardening success. Check out our social media and selection of kits, fertilizer, and accessories if you want beginner-friendly gear and a social circle to help you learn all about hydroponics.

The Best Cannabis Strains for Deep Water Culture Hydroponics