Pioneering Hydroponics

Since 1976

Passive Hydroponics 101

Passive hydroponics means that a nutrient-rich solution is made available beneath the roots of a plant. It relies on natural capillary attraction as the solution flows over a plant’s roots, rather than on any kind of pump-based assistance or recirculation technique. This means that the nutrient solution is there only until it’s used, but during this time it provides a major step up in yield when compared to hand watering pots and/or trays.

The most uncomplicated types of passive hydroponics simply mean sitting a plant pot within a solution of water and fertiliser, or placing one on a nutrient-soaked capillary mat. Even just standing a pot (containing some sort of growing media) in a saucer technically counts! 

Passive Hydroponic Media

The use of a medium is fundamental to passive hydroponics, and is considered important when making sure that as much oxygen as possible reaches the roots.

Practitioners of passive hydroponics use many types of hydroponic growing media, including clay pebbles and rock wool. Combinations of different media can also be used quite freely.

Hydroponic media usually contains more air space than traditional methods of potting plants, and this is particularly vital when working with plants such as orchids or bromeliads. The roots of plants like these tend to be exposed to air within their natural habits, so replicating this environment avoids problems that might harm your yield, such as root rot.

Added to this, passive hydroponics waters from beneath, meaning that the top area of a root usually remains more oxygenated. More oxygen, water, and nutrients equal a bigger yield!

Why Choose Passive Hydroponics?

So, why would you decide to go for a passive hydroponics setup? Specifically, why would you choose a passive setup over an active one, especially when the latter can demonstrably be relied upon to maximise growth and yield?

Lots of reasons! The 3 most important ones are:

  1. You’re new to hydroponics - for a relative newcomer, the risk of over or under watering, or of getting caught up in a more advanced pump, timing, and feeding schedules, is real. Passive hydroponics keeps it simple, yet still brings results.

  2. You don’t have much time - not keen on the idea of constant adjustments or regular maintenance work? Passive hydroponics might be thought of as a happy balance. You won’t outperform an active setup, but you’ll improve your yield with less input.

  3. You might want to upscale - because of the simple nature of passive hydroponics, you can upscale what you’re growing without adding much to the time you’re investing. Once you’re set up, it’s not much different watering 50 or 500 plants!

When it comes down to it, the choice between passive and active hydroponics is dictated by how much of your own time you want to invest. If you’re looking to improve your plant yield without sinking a lot of time into doing so, then passive hydroponics is a very valuable tool.

Whether you’re thinking of working with a passive or an active hydroponic setup, Nutriculture has you covered. Give us a call on 01695 554 080 or 01226 320 850 if you need a bit of advice, or find a shop that stocks our products in your local area.