Have you given up the dream of having a lush garden because you simply don’t have the space? Don’t despair. With a space-saving indoor hydroponic garden system, you can easily grow house plants, vegetables, and herbs.

Hydroponic gardening is sustainable and requires extraordinarily little space. If you live in an apartment or an area with inclement weather, you can easily grow the lush plants you have been dreaming about indoors year-round. However, not all plants are suitable, and this article will explore the 15 of the best plants for indoor hydroponic gardens.

1. Hydroponic Lettuce

If you’re new to hydroponic gardening, you’ll want to start small and simple. One of the best plants is hydroponic lettuce. It’s versatile, and you can use it to make a great salad. 

Most gardeners will agree that lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow hydroponically. It has a noticeably short root system which usually matches its leaf height. You don’t have to worry about it getting too tall and requiring support.

Lettuce grows well in almost all hydroponic systems such as Ebb & Flow, and NFT.

You can choose from various tasty varieties such as Bibb, Romaine, Iceberg, Boston, and Buttercrunch.

Grow time is usually about 30 days depending on the variety. 

For best results, ensure the pH is 6.0 to 7.0. 

Stagger the plantings, so you always have a continuous supply of the leafy greens. 

When growing lettuce hydroponically, remember to change the nutrient solution frequently

Grow hydroponic lettuce

2. Hydroponic Spinach

Another leafy green favorite for the indoor hydroponic garden – is spinach. It grows rapidly, especially if you opt to use the Nutrient Film Technique to increase oxygenation 

Start the spinach plants from seed. It takes about a week to sprout, and then you can move them to your hydroponic system. 

Grow time takes about 40 days. The ideal pH is 6.0 to 7.5. 

When growing spinach, remember that flavor depends on temperature. You’ll have sweet spinach if you maintain the indoor temperature from 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Spinach will grow at a lower temperature but won’t be as tasty. 

Choose from a wide array of spinach varieties such as Smooth Leaved, Red Cardinal, Savoy, Regiment, Tyee, Bloomsdale, or Catalina.

Baby spinach is one of my all-time favorites, and I throw a handful of leaves into nearly every meal I cook.

3. Hydroponic Strawberries

If you have ever planted strawberries outdoors, you are probably aware that they are very fickle and seasonal. Not to mention that you’ll have to contend with them being eaten by birds when grown outdoors. However, an indoor hydroponic garden system lets you grow juicy berries year-round. You can quickly harvest the berries at any time.

Strawberries flourish with an ebb and flow system, but you can also use a nutrient film technique or deep-water culture when growing a small crop. 

Maintain a pH level of 5.5 to 6.2 for the best growth.

Avoid planting strawberries from seeds because it can take years before the plants produce berries. Instead, purchase cold-stored runners so you can enjoy berries quickly. 

Choose from Douglass, Tioga, Brighton, Red Gauntlet, or Chandler for the best results.

organic hydroponic strawberries

4. Hydroponic Radishes

Radishes are remarkably easy to grow in water. They both enjoy cool temperatures and thrive in slightly acidic pH water levels. You can cultivate them alongside lettuce. 

Grow radishes from seeds with ease. You’ll see tiny seedlings start to develop in as little as three to seven days. 

Most people consume the root of the radish, but the leaves are edible too. They are considered a superfood and packed with antioxidants and nutrients. 

Radishes grow best with a pH level of 6/0 to 7.0. They prefer a cool room temperature for optimum growth.

Typically, radishes are ready for harvest in three to four weeks. If you want a ready supply of them, then consider staggering them. 

5. Hydroponic Bell Peppers

You can grow bell peppers hydroponically, but they are often considered an ‘advanced’ plant. However, you can enjoy bell peppers grown in an indoor hydroponic system with dedication. 

The trick is not to let the plants get too tall. You’ll need to pinch and prune the plants during growth so they stand only eight inches tall. Also, pinching encourages pepper growth. Many newbies hesitate to cultivate plants that require any form of pruning or pinching, but with a little practice, it is a relatively effortless process that pays off big with a bountiful harvest.

Bell peppers grow best in deep water culture or using an ebb and flow system.

They will take approximately 90 days to grow hydroponically. Maintain a water pH of 6.0 to 6.5 for best results. 

Bell peppers require at least 18 hours of light per plant each day. You’ll need to use grow lights to meet the lighting requirements. AS the plants grow in height, raise the grow lights, so they are always approximately six inches above the plant’s top foliage.

Grow Vidi, Ace, Yolo Wonder, or California Wonder for best results. 

6. Hydroponic Tomatoes

Tomatoes have long been associated with hydroponic gardens. You can easily grow both regular and cherry variants. Just provide ample light and keep your home warm (tomatoes adore warm temperatures). 

Maintain a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5 for best results. Depending on the variety, they are usually ready to harvest in eight to fourteen weeks. 

When grown hydroponically, tomatoes can become very top-heavy, so you’ll probably want to use a substrate in the water such as pebbles to support the plant’s weight. 

Regularly prune tomato plants to keep them from becoming tall and skinny. You’ll need to control their size when growing hydroponically, or they will quickly take over and start to topple. Typically, they will need extra support so consider using an A-frame around the plant. 

7. Hydroponic Cucumbers

Cucumbers are wonderfully minimal maintenance plants that produce an abundance of vegetables. Choose to grow bush varieties if you don’t want to fashion a trellis or a-frame near the plant for support. You can show from bush or vine types. 

 

When picking a variety of cucumbers to cultivate, remember that some are excellent for slicing and eating on a sandwich and others are strictly for picking purposes. You’ll want to choose the best variety to fit your unique needs. 

Regularly harvest cucumbers to encourage extra growth. Cucumbers grow rapidly, and you’ll produce enough of the vegetable to share with friends and family. 

Cucumbers grow best at a pH of 5.5 to 6.0. Usually, they are ready to harvest six to eight weeks after planting. They love hot weather. 

8. Hydroponic Celery

Crunchy celery is always loaded with flavor when grown hydroponically. Use the Ebb and Flow system for best results. Always make sure the stalks are wet but do not submerge the roots. 

For best results, maintain a pH range of 5.7 to 6.0. Seed germination starts in about two weeks. To bypass the process, use a celery stalk to start the plant. 

Unlike some plants, celery requires only about six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. 

9. Hydroponic Herbs

Imagine having an abundance of fresh herbs for your culinary creations. Hydroponically grown herbs are rich in flavor and aroma. 

But what I love best is the easy access, savings at the grocery store, and minimizing waste (both packaging and food waste).

Before growing my own herbs, I was forever cleaning out the fridge of part packets of herbs that were never fully used.

Pick from the following:

  • Basic
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Watercress
  • Rosemary
  • Chives 

 

Their grow time does vary spending on varieties and the same with pH. You’ll want to research the particular herb that you try to grow.

When growing herbs hydroponically, you should always flush the grow medium at least once a week to remove the excess nutrients so the plants do not absorb too much, which can taint the flavor. 

10.  Cantaloupe

Yes, you can grow cantaloupes using the Ebb and Flow System. The perfect pH for the melons ranges from 6.0 to 6.8.  You’ll need to use nets for support.

The melons prefer warm temperatures and are not without challenges when grown hydroponically because they get so large and heavy. 

11. Grapes

Grapes grow like a vine. They require regular care and maintenance, so it might not be suitable if you are looking for a carefree hydroponic garden type.

Grow grapes in a bucket system, and have a trellis for added support.

When growing grapes hydroponically, always inspect the root system to ensure there are no signs of rot. Maintain a pH level of 5.5 to 6.0 for best results. Always provide plenty of water for best growth – grapes adore water.

12. Kale

Kale has the reputation of being super green that is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. It is one of the easiest plants to grow hydroponically. 

For best results, maintain a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5.  The plant is not particular about temperature and will easily grow in moderate temps.

Hydroponic cultivation of kale is similar to that of lettuce. You can regularly harvest leaves for ongoing use. 

13. Blueberries

Blueberries require a long growing season that can average 140 days. Once established, they will indefinitely produce an abundance of berries so you can enjoy the juicy berries year-round. 

Grow blueberries hydroponically using either the Ebb and Flow or NFT methods. Maintain a pH level of 4.5 to 5.8 with a room temperature of 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blueberry shrubs are fickle when it comes to humidity. The ideal humidity is 65 to 75%.

The plants require from 12 to 16 hours of light daily with a minimum of at least 8 hours. 

14. Chives

Chives are easy to grow and maintain. They usually take about six to eight weeks to completely mature, and they will take an additional three to four weeks to regrow after harvest. Ideally, you should start harvesting daily to maintain production.

Maintain a warm temperature and ensure that the chives receive 12 to 14 hours of sunlight per day. Keep the pH between 6.0 to 6.1 for ideal growth. 

15. Beans

Grow either string or pole beans in your hydroponic garden. Maintain warm temperatures with a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.3 for optimum growth. You need a trellis to provide support. Germination takes only three to four days. You can start harvesting at six to eight weeks. 

Any of the above 15 plants will grow well in an indoor hydroponic garden with minimal care. You can enjoy veggies, herbs, and fruits year-round from your indoor garden system, no matter where you live.