How to Start Hydroponic Plants


With proper preparation, you can create an indoor hydroponic garden of fruits or vegetables that can flourish year-round. Starting the seeds in a hydroponic medium reduces the chance of introducing soil-based disease to the plants. Once you meet the learning curve for hydroponic gardening, you will have a low-maintenance garden filled with plants that produce at a greater rate than those grown in soil.

Seed Starting for Hydroponics

Step 1

Prepare the seedlings 2 weeks before planting in the hydroponics system. Place root cubes 1 to 2 inches apart in a holding container of water for 24 hours. Set 2 to 3 seeds in each cube after the cubes have become saturated with water.

Step 2

Place the root cubes in a location that does not exceed 72 degrees F during the day and 65 degrees F at night. Water the seeds once daily with a water mister filled with 1/4-strength nutrient water. Clean out the holding container every 2 to 3 days to prevent algae growth and to keep the proper pH level.

Step 3

After the seeds have sprouted, pull the weakest ones from each root cube. Leave the strongest sprout in each cube to continue growing.

Step 4

Move the seedlings to a location that has high light intensity. The best option is in a location under indoor hydroponics lighting. Continue to water the sprouted seeds with 1/2-strength nutrient water until they are transplanted. Clean out the holding container every 2 to 3 days to prevent algae growth and keep the proper pH level.

Step 5

Choose the appropriate-sized hydroponics planting container based on the type of plants being grown. Wider pots, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, are good for long-growing plants and for those that flower or fruit.

Step 6

Transplant the seedlings to a hydroponics systems after the roots have reached a length of approximately 1/2 inch showing on the outside of the rooting cube. Gradually increase the nutrient water concentration every 2 to 3 days until the full strength is met.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydroponics rooting cubes
  • Holding container
  • Seeds
  • Water mister
  • Hydroponics nutrients
  • Hydroponics grow lights
  • Hydroponics growing system


  • How to Start Seedlings for Hydroponics
  • Start Hydroponic Garden
Keywords: seedlings for hydroponics, beginning hydroponics, hydroponics seed starting

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.