Hydroponic marijuana is grown in a highly-controlled, indoor grow system that does not use soil. These systems use water (hydro), nutrients, and a soil-less growing medium to get the job done. A nutrient solution comprised of water and dissolved, inorganic fertilizers is directly supplied to the plant roots.
The most common soil-less mediums used for hydroponics grows are coco coir, rockwool, hydroton, perlite, or vermiculite. Growers may use one or a combination of these media to provide support for the roots.
Hydroponics grows are high maintenance, so we don’t recommend them for the novice grower. However, the control they offer with the decreased need for pesticides makes them a compelling option for cannabis growers with some experience under their belts.
Hydroponics is Nothing New
In a 1982 Journal of Plant Nutrition review, Professor J. Benton Jones, Jr. reports that the use of hydroponics systems can be dated back to the mid-18th century, though he concedes that the use of nutrient rich water to grow plants is likely as ancient a practice as human civilization itself.
In 1860, German scientists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop prepared standardized inorganic salt solutions in order to determine the nutrients plants needed to survive. The term hydroponics was coined by Nebraska-born plant physiologist William Frederick Gericke in 1936.