Passive hydroponics, also known as hydroculture, is one of the techniques of hydroponics. Hydroponics refers to the method of growing plants without soil. Instead of soil, hydroponics depends on a special substrate, known as a hydroponic growing medium.
Passive hydroponics does away with the need for water or air pumps, by depending on the capillary action of the plant's own roots to transport water and nutrients to it. It essentially involves growing the plant in a porous container with a reservoir containing water and hydroponic nutrients. This system allows the plant to take in only the specific amount of nutrition it needs. The most basic passive hydroponics system consists of a pot placed in a nutrient solution or a capillary mat saturated with nutrient solution.
Passive hydroponics, and other hydroponic techniques, offer many advantages over traditional methods of horticulture. Firstly, since a sterile medium is used instead of soil, the plant is protected against soil-borne diseases. Secondly, plants grown using hydroponics take up much less space than those grown in soil, which makes hydroponics the perfect choice for hobby horticulturists.
Hydroponic Growing Mediums
These are some common hydroponic growing mediums:
Perlite: Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass. It is a popular growing medium.
Vermiculite: Vermiculite is a natural mineral that resembles mica rock in appearance. It retains moisture well. Vermiculite is often used along with perlite as the two materials complement each other.
Diatomite: Diatomite is a naturally occurring, soft sedimentary rock. It contains elemental minerals, required for the growth of plants, which makes it an excellent hydroponic growing medium.
Charcoal: Charcoal is a residue of impure carbon. It is often used in combination with other growing mediums.
Rockwool: Rockwool is a manmade mineral fiber. Because it is chemically and biologically inert, it makes an ideal hydroponic growing medium.
Information on passive hydroponics is readily available. Besides the technique requires little expense or care. Because of this, even enthusiasts who are beginners with passive hydroponics beginners often enjoy successful results with relatively little effort.
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