Do You Need Special Seeds for Hydroponics?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you have decided you are interested in starting your own hydroponics indoor garden, you probably have a ton of different questions as to how to get started, with one big one being, do you need special seeds for hydroponics?

The answer is no. You do not need to purchase special seeds to grow a hydroponics garden. However, you need to choose practical seeds and ones that will grow in the space you have set aside for them.

If you are looking for the best seeds to start your hydroponics garden, you have come to the right place.

Keep reading this article for a great selection of seeds and why hydroponics is a great way to go.

Can You Grow Normal Seeds in Hydroponics?

Yes, you can grow any seed in a hydroponic system.

That’s why this form of gardening is becoming so popular today.

Hydroponics need normal seed
Hydroponics

Because you control the garden’s environment, you can grow just about anything on the market with ease:

  • you can quickly and easily change the temperature
  • you don’t have to worry about soil conditions
  • pests and pollution are no longer a problem, making the farming process much more accommodating and simpler

The Best Seeds for Hydroponics

There are a lot of seeds that seem to thrive very well in a hydroponics garden.

You will find yourself growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and so much more once you get your foot in the door.

While there are no particular seeds for hydroponics, here are five options that are perfect for beginners and take off almost on their own:

  1. Herbs
  2. Lettuce
  3. Bell Peppers
  4. Spinach
  5. Strawberries

Once you have a good hang of things, you can start adding other options into the mix and have a wide variety of produce growing.

These produce items tend to do very well in an all-water growing system and do not seem to miss soil whatsoever. 

There are also plenty of flowers that do very well in this environment and can be easily grown from seedlings or clippings.

Here is a list of flowers many people seem to favor when growing their gardens indoors:

  • Carnations
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlia
  • Gerbera
  • Hoya
  • Amaryllis
  • Begonias
  • Peace Lily
  • Petunia
  • Snapdragon
  • Zinnia
  • Freesia
  • Lavander
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Daisies
  • Hyacinth 
  • Iris
  • Morning Glory/Poppy
  • Orchid

Although this list may seem long, it is only a few of the more popular options out there.

Although there are a handful of items that are not easy to grow through this method, there really aren’t very many that cannot be grown.


Plan Ahead: Some varieties just may take more time and energy than the rest.


Seeds to Steer Clear Of

As mentioned, there are a few plants or crops that you may not want to attempt in a hydroponic garden because of how difficult they may be to garden due to their size or the way they grow.

Watermelons in hydroponics
Growing watermelons

Plants that grow very tall or underground can make things rough for gardeners:

  • Melons: Melons, especially watermelons, actually grow very well in a hydroponic garden; however, it is difficult to manage them due to their size. 
  • Crawling vines: As you can probably assume, these will be very difficult to keep control of inside.
  • Corn: Because of its height, corn is not an easy item to grow in a hydroponic garden.
  • Potatoes: Any crop that grows underground is going to be a challenge in a hydroponic setting.

We would just like to reiterate that just because it may be difficult to grow these crops, it is not impossible.

If they are something you are interested in adding to your hydroponic garden, you can definitely do so.

Growing Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are a sure-fire way to get some durable and hardy seeds when you are beginning your journey in hydroponics.

Heirloom seeds are seeds that have come from generation after generation of a specific plant through open germination.

Lasting and thriving for so long without any outside help makes these plants desirable because they are easy to grow and maintain.

The strong genetic makeup of these seeds is attractive to gardeners because of how adaptable they are.

What Is the Best Medium for Growing Hydroponic Seeds?

Well, there are many options available for growing hydroponic seeds.

Hydroponics growing medium
Choose growing medium

There are a select few that hydroponic gardeners would recommend:

When you choose a medium for growing your hydroponic seeds, you need to factor in the plant you are planning on growing and the size and location you will be growing them in.

For example, if you plan to grow herbs or succulents, you won’t want to purchase grow stones because these will be too large and will not work.

If you choose to use coco peat, you must add a source of nutrients to the mix as this medium does not have any of its own.

Seeds Vs. Cuttings (Clones)

There are two ways to grow your own plants in a hydroponic system:

  • One being with seeds
  • and the other is through cuttings

Cuttings are stems taken from a parent plant and placed into a garden to grow into their own separate adult plant.

These are also known as clones because they will look just like the parent plant.

Cuttings

People like to use cuttings because it gives gardeners peace of mind knowing exactly what type of plant they will get and continuously grow their best-producing crops.


Good to Know: Cuttings also grow faster than seeds, about three months more quickly.


Seeds

On the other hand, seeds are a safer option because they provide gardeners with a fresh start, eliminating the chances of reproducing a diseased plant and therefore, growing healthier crops.

You are also given a much wider variety of options when growing from seeds; unlike cuttings, you don’t have to settle for what is in season; you can grow whatever you are looking for at the time.

Finally, seeds are beneficial simply because they cost a whole lot less to purchase, and you can get them just about anywhere, saving you a ton of money.

How to Germinate Seeds for Hydroponics

Once you are ready to start the growing process, you will need to germinate your seeds.

You can easily do this by purchasing pre-cut Rockwool starter cubes; these cubes are evenly cut for you and prepared with holes for each seed to be placed in.

Seed germination process
Germinate seeds

Before placing your seeds into the Rockwool, you first need to presoak it for about 5-10 minutes and then placing it on top of a warming mat.

Doing this is going to help your seeds begin growing much quicker than if you were to place them in a dry mat and simply water them periodically.

Once your Rockwool is soaked, remove any dripping water, then place your chosen seeds into each hole.


Final Step: When you are finished, place the Rockwool and seeds on the heating mat and cover your tray, then water daily until your seeds start to sprout.


Summing Things Up

Although you will likely see some places selling seeds as “hydroponics”, there really is no such thing.

If the conditions are right, any seed you pick up at a farmer’s market or farm and tractor supply store will grow just fine in your hydroponics garden, and that is one of the biggest allures of this plant-growing system.

Also Read