If you want an easy-to-grow hydroponic crop, then consider lettuce. The leafy green grows well in a hydroponic system. You can even implement an indoor lettuce tower which lets you vertically grow the crop in your hydroponic system to use the space effectively.

Lettuce grows fast with extraordinarily little care. You can enjoy fresh crispy greens any time you want a salad or sandwich by clipping a few leaves.

Many growers are also scaling their hydroponic lettuce grow systems to enjoy monetization by selling at local farmer’s markets and other locations. 

What Types of Lettuce Grow Best Hydroponically?

Several types of lettuce grow well hydroponically. They produce robust flavor, strong disease resistance, rapid growth, and exceptional color. 

  • Butterhead: Butterhead produces a brilliant green hue with velvety, ruffled leaves. You’ll find several types of butterhead, such as red, Bibb, dark green, or Boston. The lettuce has a butter-like flavor that is exceptionally sweet. 
  • Little Gem: The Little Gem has a moist center stock without being overly crunchy, 
  • Romaine: One of the most common types of lettuce, Romaine features long leaves that have a crisp texture with a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Lolo: A baby leaf variety, Lolo has exceptionally frilly leaves. The soft, tender leaves are rich in flavor.

You can easily grow the varieties in an indoor lettuce tower or alongside other leafy crops such as mint, spinach, kale, escarole, watercress, Swiss chard, and more.

Hydroponic Nutrients for Lettuce

When hydroponically growing lettuce, you could pick a formula specifically mixed for the crop. Lettuce hydroponic nutrients promote maximum production during the vegetative phase without pushing the plant into the flowering stage. You want to avoid the flowering stage, or the lettuce takes on a bitter flavor. 

Lettuce grown hydroponically can suffer tip burn on the leaves. Lettuce hydroponic nutrients contain a sufficient amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and high calcium but extraordinarily little potassium to ensure optimum growth and prevent tip burn. 

You’ll want to check your hydroponic nutrient solution regularly. The nutrient solution and water evaporate, so you’ll want to monitor levels. You’ll need to replace the entire nutrient solution every two or three weeks. You can also water houseplants and garden plants using the spent nutrient solution. 

Hydroponic Lettuce Tower

Light Requirements

To effectively grow lettuce hydroponically, you’ll need to ensure that the plant receives the correct amount of light. Lettuce needs from 10 to 14 hours of moderate to low light. Too much light will cause the lettuce to taste bitter. Also, light quality impacts color in some varieties, especially if you are trying to grow red leaf varieties. If you care about the red hue, you’ll probably need to consider using supplemental lighting to promote the coloration. 

Grow Medium

When growing lettuce hydroponically, the plant is cultivated directly in the water. You’ll use a growing medium to provide physical support to the plant as it grows. Stone wool or phenolic foam are two of the best grow mediums you can use to germinate lettuce seeds. 

The Best Hydroponic System to Grow Lettuce

Commercial and large-scale hydroponic growers rely on Deep Water Culture or Nutrient Film Techniques. For at-home cultivation, you might want to try an Ebb and Flow System or even a simple Kratky Method, which needs no electricity. 

hydroponic lettuce systems

Using an Indoor Lettuce Tower

A tower is ideal for indoor cultivation. It is an upright aeroponics grow machine and helps produce better plants in less time.

Growing Hydroponic Lettuce FAQs

Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions about growing lettuce hydroponically:  

 How long does it take to grow lettuce hydroponically?

Lettuce is considered one of the easiest crops to grow hydroponically. It takes about six to eight weeks to grow lettuce. Most experts will tell you to start your gardening endeavors with lettuce if you are new to hydroponic cultivation. 

Does lettuce grow well hydroponically?

 

Yes, lettuce grows wonderfully well hydroponically. The root system of the lettuce plant is perfect for the hydroponic grow system, especially if you opt to use an indoor lettuce tower.

What is the best way to hydroponically grow lettuce?

 

If you are new to hydroponic gardening, you might want to invest in a hydroponic grow kit. The kit gives you everything you need to succeed.

Can you regrow lettuce hydroponically?

 

If you harvest all of the leaves on the head of the lettuce, you can simply leave it in the hydroponic grow system, and it will continue to flourish by sprouting new leaves. However, it does take time for the plant to regrow and grow fresh leaves.

If you want to harvest your leaves regularly, do not remove them all. Instead, only take a few leaves at a time. Remove only the plant’s large, outermost leaves and start to re-plump.

How do I store lettuce leaves after harvest?

 

If you harvest individual leaves, you’ll want to eat them immediately. However, if you harvest the entire head of lettuce, it will last much longer when stored in the fridge. You can also wrap the head in a damp paper towel or place the head in a shallow bowl of water to extend life.

Conclusion, Lettuce is Easy to Grow Hydroponically

The process of hydroponically grown lettuce is straightforward and fulfilling. When you grow hydroponic lettuce, you’ll always have fresh, crisp leaves for your salad or hamburger.

If you opt to use a vertical indoor lettuce tower, you’ll save a great deal of space.

Why not start your hydroponic lettuce garden today?