Hydroponics is something very special. Some time ago, you would never have thought that plants can do without soil. Today, hydroponics are known worldwide and are also very popular. Have you ever thought about planting a hydroponic plant yourself?
Then this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get rid of the crumbly soil and bring your plant into the world of hydroponics. However, if you’ve had hydroponics for many years and it’s getting too small for the pot, then you should repot it slowly. We show you what you need to pay special attention to when repotting hydroponic plants.
When do you need to repot hydroponic plants?
Hydroponic plants need to be repotted much less often than plants in conventional soil. Nevertheless, even hydroponic plants need a larger pot from time to time, so that their roots have enough space again.
The best time to repot hydroponic plants is between spring and summer. The plants have the most energy at this time and tolerate repotting much better.
What you need for repotting hydroponic plants
Since you are not using conventional soil for your hydroponics, you will of course need some special things. With these things, repotting hydroponic plants is guaranteed to work.
Waterproof planter with special inner pot
There are special pots for hydroponic plants so that your plant does not stand in direct water and die later due to waterlogging. The inner pot consists of the actual pot, into which the substrate will later be placed, as well as the water level indicator. Are you still a little unsure and wondering where to get one of these? Here we have a great all-around package, with substrate, fertilizer, planter and inner pot. Of course you can get the matching plants in our botanicly store, feel free to have a look.
Water level indicator
Watering is very easy with a water level indicator. Most of the time, with this indicator, the water will last the whole vacation without anyone having to come over to water.
An inorganic material is used as “soil” for the hydroponic plant. The best choice for this is expanded clay or volcanic rock. Expanded clay balls are made from clay and can store an incredible amount of water due to the way they are made. Volcanic rocks like perlite and basalt can store nutrients and water for a longer period of time. Gravel or sand is not very good for hydroponics. Both are difficult to keep clean and weigh an enormous amount.
This is the best way to repot your plant
Step 1: Take the plant out of the old pot. This is usually not so easy, because some plants have already formed strong roots. If the roots have already grown through the pot, you must proceed very carefully. Loosen the roots as carefully as possible so as not to injure them. It is best to cut open the entire inner pot to remove the plant.
Step 2: Clean the roots carefully with water and check immediately if all roots are healthy. Dead roots no longer have any function and can quickly begin to rot. Therefore, cut them off with a clean, sharp knife.
Step 3: You do not need to buy new expanded clay, but can simply use your old one. To remove dust, dirt or fertilizer residues from the old expanded clay, it should be thoroughly cleaned again. This will keep the plant healthy and its roots will get enough oxygen.
Step 4: Now fill the inner pot with a layer of expanded clay. This will prevent the roots from hanging directly in the water. Check if the water level indicator works by filling it with a little water.
Step 5: Put the plant inside and fill the rest of the inner pot with the expanded clay. Now you can put the inner pot back into the planter and fill it up with water.
This is what you should pay special attention to
Repotting hydroponic plants is absolutely not difficult. Nevertheless, there are some points to which you should pay special attention.
After repotting hydroponic plants, there are 3 water levels that you should keep an eye on with the water level indicator. Check the indicator once or twice a week. If the water level is below the minimum, you should add water up to the optimum, which is the normal watering level. Only fill the water to the maximum in exceptional situations, e.g. when you are going on vacation. As a rule, the water will then last about 3 weeks.
Depending on the location, plant and pot size, watering can vary greatly. If the water level indicator shows a minimum, it is not necessary to water immediately up to the optimum. For a large plant in a fairly small pot and in a sunny location, watering every 4 days is sufficient. A small plant in a large pot, which is in the shade, can manage with the same amount of water for about a month.
It is important that the expanded clay is free from dirt, dust and residues of fertilizer. Every 2-3 years, remove the top layer of substrate and clean it or replace it with new. Otherwise, it is also enough if you clean the substrate when repotting hydroponic plants.
So you can convert plants to hydroponics
The best time to repot hydroponic plants is spring. Always use healthy plants. Repotting a plant that is languishing will not help in any case.
First of all, prepare everything you need for repotting. Take the plant with the soil out of the old pot and carefully shake off the old soil. You can also carefully try to remove the soil with your fingers. Then completely immerse the roots in lukewarm water to remove the remaining soil. Any organic material on the roots must be removed to prevent rotting later.
Rinse the expanded clay properly with water and let it dry a bit, it should no longer be visibly wet. Then pour a layer into the inner pot with the water level indicator so that the bottom is covered. Now hold the plant in the pot and pour the expanded clay so far that the roots are no longer visible and the plant stands firmly.
After repotting hydroponics plants, you should not water directly from above the expanded clay. The water must be poured into the planter and then the plant with the inner pot is placed inside.
As you can see, handling hydroponic plants is quite simple. Do not be afraid, because hydroponics has many advantages. If you want to learn more about the care of hydroponics, then take a look at the article hydroponics plants.