Today, growing indoor plants is getting popular as people like to watch green growing in their homes. Previously, indoor plants were grown using the traditional method i.e. soil. Nowadays everyone is moving towards hydroponics systems for indoor plants growth. This is because hydroponics grow system allows plants to grow faster and larger than using soil. Also, hydroponics eliminates dirt around indoor plants that might be caused by soil.
There are a variety of grow systems for indoor plants. However, mainly there are six types of hydroponics grow system usually preferred for indoor plants.
Wick grow system is one of the easiest and least expensive methods of hydroponics that easily grows indoor plants. It is described as a passive system. This means there are no moving parts. From the reservoir that is placed beneath, the nutrient solution is drawn up to the growing indoor plants through a number of wicks into the growing medium. This system can use a variety of mediums, such as, Perlite, Vermiculite, Pro-Mix and Coconut Fiber. The main drawback of this system is that large plants or plants that use large amounts of water will use up the nutrient solution faster than the wick(s) could supply.
Deep water culture system
Deep water culture grow system is the simplest for all active hydroponics system i.e. with moving parts. In this the indoor plants roots are completely immersed directly in the nutrient solutions. An air pump supplies air to the air stone that bubbles the nutrient solution and further supply oxygen to the plant roots. The downside of this grow system is that it is not suitable for large plants or with long term plants.
Ebb and Flow aka Flood and Drain system
Ebb and Flow hydroponic grow system works by temporarily flooding the grow tray. The nutrient solution from a reservoir is supplied up to surround the roots before draining back. This work is automatically done by a submersible water pump that is connected to a timer. The main drawback of this grow system is that nutrient solution do not reach to indoor plant roots in case of power failures.
Drip is the most popular hydroponic grow system that is widely used for indoor plants. It is an easy to operate and simple method wherein a timer controls submersible water pump. The timer turns the pump on and nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. Drip system is of two types, Recovery and Non-recovery drip system. In a Recovery Drip System the excess nutrient solution is collected back in the reservoir for re-use and in Non-Recovery System it is not collected. The disadvantage of recovery drip is that the pH and nutrient strength levels changes which requires periodic examination and adjusting.
Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T System)
In N.F.T. the constant flow of nutrient solution is supplied to your indoor plants. Hence, no timer is required for the submersible pump. The nutrient solution is pumped into the growing tray i.e. usually a tube. The nutrient solution continuously flows over the plant roots, and then drains back into the reservoir. No growing medium other than air is used in this system. The N.F.T. grow system is at high risk to plants in case of power outages or pump failures.
Aeroponic systems are the most modern hydroponic grow system. The growing medium used in aeroponics is air. The plant roots hang in the air and are misted with nutrient solution. The plant roots are misted usually every few minutes. Similar to other grow systems, aeroponics utilizes a timer that controls the nutrient pump. However, here the timer is set at very short intervals. This means, timer runs the pump for a few seconds every couple of minutes. Ensure misting is a constant process – any interruption would rapidly dry out the growing indoor plant roots.