Figuring Out Which Grow Medium Is Right for You

Figuring Out Which Grow Medium Is Right for You

If you’ve fallen down the beautiful rabbit hole of hydroponics, then you probably have a few questions. That’s where we come in. Though every horticulturist has their own preferences, there’s still a lot of information to learn about. A key aspect of hydrIf you’ve fallen down the beautiful rabbit hole of hydroponics, then you probably have a few questions. That’s where we come in. Though every horticulturist has their own preferences, there’s still a lot of information to learn about. A key aspect of hydroponics is the grow medium, and there are quite a few to choose from. Below, we’ll delve into four popular options to help you decide which grow medium is right for you. We’ll talk about some of the attributes of the mediums and which systems they’re best suited for. Check it out!oponics is the grow medium, and there are quite a few to choose from. Below, we’ll delve into four popular options to help you decide which grow medium is right for you. We’ll talk about some of the attributes of the mediums and which systems they’re best suited for. Check it out!

Rockwool

One of the most popular growing mediums, Rockwool, is made by heating and spinning silica-based rock into a cotton-candy-like material. It’s an ideal medium for providing a great ratio of water to oxygen for your plant’s roots. It also has a relatively neutral pH, which is a big feature to look for when you’re on the search for a growing medium. This medium comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you’ll find it most often in cube form.

Good for flood and drain systems and drip systems.

Perlite

Perlite is a growing medium that’s not to be used on its own but offers a lot of supportive benefits. Production of perlite involves the heating of glass or quartz sand. When it’s added to a potting mix, like peat moss or coco coir, it can improve the quality of the mix. For example, peat moss falls apart easily, but when mixed with perlite, the mix drains and aerates better. Perlite comes in three grades to meet the needs of gardeners—fine, medium, and coarse.

Good for wick systems and drip systems.

Expanded Clay

Small bits of clay pebbles are what you’ll get with this growing medium. These bits of clay, when fired in a kiln, pop and expand like popcorn into small, porous balls. This medium has an incredible ability to bring water to the roots without retaining too much water itself. Better yet, it brings oxygen up to the roots as well. Since expanded clay doesn’t retain water for too long, it’s not best for ebb and flow systems.

Good for deep water culture systems and nutrient film technique systems.

Coco Coir

The last medium we’ll discuss today is coco coir. This is an organic grow medium acquired from ground coconut husks. It has a fairly neutral pH, and it retains water well but not as well as some of the others on this list. When it comes to its use in hydroponic systems, coco coir is mainly useful in passive hydroponic systems. It’s renewable but can clog pumps in more advanced systems such as flood and drain systems.

Good for wick systems.

Turn to FloraFlex for all things hydroponics. We have the tools you need to delve deeper into this growing method. Hopefully, this quick guide on which growing medium is right for you provides that head start you need to come out successful. Shop our Rockwool growing cubes and growing kits now!