How to Set Up a Hydroponic Drip System


A hydroponic drip system uses a nutrient solution to grow plants instead of soil, making growing in small spaces possible. A drip system uses a growth tray, where the plants sit, laying on top of a reservoir that holds the nutrient solution and water. Inside the reservoir is a pump that moves the nutrient solution to an overhead manifold that drips the nutrient solution into the growth tray, where a growth medium such as vermiculite absorbs the solution and distributes it to the roots. Drip systems are one of the easiest hydroponic setups to install with little experience, requiring easy-to-find items.

Step 1

Place your reservoir at the bottom of your chosen area and place your growth tray over the reservoir with the drain hole of the growth tray directly over the reservoir.

Step 2

Fill your reservoir with the nutrient solution required for your plant. Nutrient requirements will vary between plants.

Step 3

Place your air pump within the reservoir with one tube leading out to the air stone, which is also placed in the reservoir to move around the solution and another tube leading out to the drip manifold.

Step 4

Set up your drip manifold so that it is directly over the drip tray and each spout of the manifold is over your plants. A drip manifold is available from specialist garden centers or a hydroponic supplier.

Step 5

Place your plants into the growth tray, into the medium chosen to absorb the nutrient solution.

Step 6

Turn on the air pump and make sure the nutrient solution travels to the drip manifold, and drains properly from the growth tray.

Things You'll Need

  • Growth tray
  • Nutrient solution
  • Drip manifold
  • Fish tank
  • Air tube
  • Air stone
  • Air pump


  • Easy Hydroponics: How to Build a Drip Hydroponics System
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Home Hydroponics
  • University of Arizona: Six Systems
Keywords: hydroponics drips system, DIY hydroponics, building drip system

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.