Indoor plants & Hydroculture: A soil to pebble love story
Indoor plants are super addictive to collect and heaps of fun to grow and propagate. Imagine if there was a way we could maintain their environment all year round and have growth like never before?
Well there is a way and it’s called hydroculture.
Let’s use Monstera as an example, mainly because most keen gardeners have them. Monstera plants really love hydrophilic mediums or moist coco/sphagnum moss combinations. With that in mind let’s talk about how we would transfer this plant from it's existing substrate to a clay one.
Before any transplanting is performed the very first step is to apply a foliar fungicide. These treatments are absorbed via the leaves of the plant and travel down the stem into the root zone of the plant, this will ensure no soil borne pathogens or nasty bacteria will have opportunity to thrive. Root zone drenches will also work I would recommend a product called Microbial if the foliar option is not viable.
Once the fungicide or microbial treatment has been done, transplant the root-ball to a hydroponic substrate like clay pebbles. The moss and remaining coco coir can be included in this transplant without any negative effects.
An important fact here is ensuring that when our environments light system shuts down, we must maintain a safe environmental temperature range, if this can be achieved you will be able to propagate new cuttings all the time as growth rates surge. If the rootzone environment drops below 15 degrees centigrade then the plants metabolism slows or shuts down. This means minimal nutrient absorption which can lead to chlorosis and multiple nutrient deficiencies.
Lights On: 16 hours – ideal temperature & humidity: 27c – 30c / 65% - 70%
Lights Off: 8 hours – ideal temperature & humidity: 18c - 23c / 60% - 65%
Having access to either a grow tent or a space that has been converted to grow plants in will obviously be the ideal place to start. Below is a list of hardware needed to create the perfect indoor grow space:
- Growing Room
- Tailored Lighting System
- Hydroponic system
- Hydroponic nutrients
- Temperature & Humidity
Once you have the hardware to set-up your growing environment, transplanting and just adding to the room is quite easy. The hydroponic system I am using in the photo is the Gro-tank NFT system by Nutriculture, they are very easy to set up and clean each week great for those that like the set and forget, for a week.