Strelitzia reginae ready for hydroponicsFinding plants that already grow in hydroponics is not so easy for the small hobbyist.

Most companies that propose plants already growing in hydroponics are those that rent them out for office buildings. And usually, you can’t buy them in retail.

There two alternatives:

  1. sow your own hydroponic plants (see article Sow plants to grow hydroponically)
  2. transfer plants growing in soil to hydroponics

Requirements:

When a plant is transferred to hydroponics, it must develop new roots and this takes a lot of energy. It is a huge shock to the plant and a few precautions are required for a successful transfer.

Health:

The plant you wish to transfer must be healthy. After all, it must develop a whole new root system which is adapted to growing in water and it takes quite some time to do this. This takes energy and during the formation of the new root system, the plant does not get much nutrition.

No pests or infections:

If the plant has pests, fungal or any other infection, it is not strong enough to endure the shock of the transfer to hydroponics.

Spring:

Do this preferably in the spring, when plant growth resumes. Your plant will have time to develop the new root system before autumn, when growth slows down.

Heat:

Be nice to your plant and keep it at room temperature. You may place it near a window where it can enjoy some sunlight and warmth. But not too hot, don’t place it in the scorching midday sun at a south window.

Washing of the roots:

The roots must be washed thoroughly to get rid of all the soil. Any residu of organic matter could rot in the hydroponics nutrient solution.

Do you need to transfer a whole plant?

No, you don’t need to transfer a whole plant: some plants are so easily propagated by cuttings in a glass of water that it will be much easier to use those cuttings in hydroponics instead of transferring the mother plant.

How to transfer the plant?

Remove the plant from its pot.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Shake as much soil as possible from the root ball above a newspaper or bag.

Remove the rest of the soil between the roots by prying gently with yours fingers.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Immerse the root ball in water in a pot and wash as much soil as possible off the roots by gently rocking it back and forth in the water.

Change the water and repeat if necessary.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Rince thoroughly under running water.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Remove the dead roots (the black parts).

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Place the tube that will hold the gauge and add a layer of clay pellets at the bottom of the pot.

Place the plant on that bottom layer and fill the pot with clay pellets. Shake the pot so that the pellets fill the gaps between the roots.

Now it is time to install the gauge in the tube (here a straw, see How to build a water gauge for passive hydroponics).

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Cut the gauge level with the top of the tube.

This represents the minimum level of nutrient solution.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Fill the pot with nutrient solution up to 1/3 of the height of the pot.

Now your plant is ready to find a nice spot.

Optionally, the plant may be covered with a plastic bag to avoid dehydration the first few weeks, until new root have formed.

Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics

Image sources

  • Strelitzia reginae ready for hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work
  • Strelitzia reginae transfer to hydroponics: Own work

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