Passive Hydroponic Definition is a technique that Cannabis growers would do so the nutrients is constantly available for the plants. It relies on the assistance of a growing medium that surrounds the plant’s roots.
It is called passive, as its parts don’t need to be moved to function.
Unlike the active hydro technique, there is no pump involved in its process. It doesn’t make sure of organic medium like soil, leaves, compost, or bark.
The simplest example of passive hydroponic is letting a plant in the pot grow while it sits on top of some sort of reservoir or saucer filled with the fertilizer solution. Growers may also use their hands to distribute the nutrient solution periodically.
Plants should be watered underneath the roots when you use this technique. So the top part roots stay highly oxygenated.
There’s also capillary action that lifts the moisture from your water reserve to pass it to the growing medium. There are various types of medium you can choose from.
You’ll be able to increase the yield when you have more water, oxygen, and nutrients. In an obvious sense, it won’t be possible when you hand-water your pots.
Passive Hydroponic Vs. Hand Watering Pots
Here are some reasons why you need to choose passive hydroponics over hand watering pots.
1. It’s quite simple, and it is convenient for inexperienced cultivators. There’s no risk of over and underwatering.
Pumps are not needed. There’s no feeding schedule or timers that you need to readily observe.
2. Less work. It doesn’t mean that you have to work so much since it can guarantee you an abundant harvest.
3. High Yield. Since passive hydroponic can provide constant access to nutrients and water, it will result in bigger plants and more buds.
4. Expandable. This technique makes it easy to water 100 plants like what you imagine about watering 10 plants. The distribution of nutrients can be expanded without adding some more to your workload.
Go for Passive Hydroponic for Maximum Yield: Pot Culture and Wick System
Aside from constant access to the nutrients, the roots remain moist too. But they’re still exposed to the air to avoid excess moisture. They may rot and die due to waterlogging.
Growers should also control the humidity level. A high level is needed, so plant’s leaves are being given moisture consistently.
The simplest and easiest way to have this technique is pot culture. Pot or container, medium, and saucer for your nutrient solution are needed.
Wick system is commonly used by marijuana growers too. It allows the roots to permeate some materials or cloth, and the nutrient solution is drawn from a tank or another source. Of course, no need for pumps in this setup.
It is indeed a passive system and would be easy for beginners. Seasonal Cannabis growers use it too as the remarkable result can’t be denied.
It won’t cost much, and it won’t give difficulty, but it’s a well-versed growing system. It can encourage the growth of all sorts of marijuana breeds and growing situation.
There are a few things you need to get to complete this system. You have to get pots with the appropriate medium. Another thing is the reservoir for your nutrient solution, and you can make use of a saucer.
The nutrient solution will reach the roots through the capillary action of the medium. This medium stays damp, so it lets a lot of air to stay within the space near the roots.
High levels of air are necessary for free-flowing nutrients and permanent moisture. These things will lead to a self-optimized marijuana plant growth.
Pot or Container
Pots or saucers made of plastic are always the right choices for this system. Large plants need a pot of around 4 gallons or equivalent to 15 liters. Small ones are fine with half of the mentioned size.
When using artificial light, a white-colored pot is the best option as it can reflect the light to your plants.
Hydro pots are available, and it’s ideal for large plants. They’re around 3.5 liters and in color white. They come with a saucer.
Growers can also inquire about pots for medium-sized plants and never forget about the saucer.
Kinds of growing medium for Pot Culture
A good growing medium can the roots in place, holds the air around them, and stays moist as needed.
This medium is extremely light and cheap but awesome and incredibly effective. It is from volcanic rock that went through the exfoliation process in a furnace.
It is highly recommended for Cannabis cultivation as its capillarity is exceptional.
It occasionally accumulates algae, but there’s no need to worry. If they look unpleasant, you may cover it with dried perlites.
2. Expanded clay or Clay pebbles
They’re lightweight, sterile, and reusable. They’re specifically created for planting and gardening. They’re great for something that’s grown in small containers like marijuana plants.
3. Green Mix
It is a mix of various kinds of rockwool that is developed in Denmark. The aim is to provide the best coordination of air to moisture in the pots. This is the fact that sets it apart from other media.
It may cost a lot more than other options, but it can guarantee you of its astounding capability of holding more water without taking air for granted.
Maintenance in Pot Culture
The maintenance is easy as well. The idea of needing only two tools may convince you. A watering can, and a drum filled with nutrients are the necessities.
The saucer needs to remain dry, but not totally. Cannabis plants need to be watered every two or three days.
Emptying your saucer will allow air to gather around the plants.
It’s also essential that you check your nutrient solution every week. If you’ve discovered an increase in your conductivity level, you can use plain water to lower it.
You can use Conductivity Truncheon. Several gallons of water may be required to get rid of salt build-up.
Can I recycle a Growing Medium?
The answer to that question is yes. Perlites can be used again between each set of crops. But you have to remove the roots.
A diluted bleach solution can sterilize the perlites. It needs another flushing using water to avoid tainting the upcoming crops.
Clay pebbles may also need bleaching between crops, and it should be free of bleach that clings to it.
The green mix is not good for recycling. You can instead have it as an additive to your garden beds and pots.
Wick system is a great way to start when hydroponic seems too technical for marijuana growers, especially for beginners. It’s easier and cheaper than other systems.
There’s a slight possibility that something can go wrong with it as it is a passive system.
The concept is very easy to comprehend, as it is so basic. It’s cheap and requires low maintenance.
How does it work?
It operates using the principle of capillary action. The difference from pot culture is that it uses a wick that can convey liquid.
Imagine how the oil lamp works. The oil dampens the wick to start the flame. It’s the same maneuver as the wick system.
How to build a wick system?
Getting a wick system off the shelf is a way of being effortless. But you’re missing the whole point of having this easy and simple system. You can do it on your own with no doubt.
Here are the steps that you can follow with no sweat.
Gather all the materials that you need, such as:
Bandages, cloth, felt strips, mop fibers, and anything that can absorb water.
Hydroponic growing media: small expanded clay pellets, coir, vermiculite
Reservoir for nutrient solution
Stand or frame the pots above the nutrient solution
Plant nutrients (soluble)
1. Insert the wick material into the holes that can be found at the bottom of the pot. Then fill the pot with your chosen medium so it will be in place.
2. Place your plant pot, so the bottom ends of the wicks sink into the nutrient solution that is already in the reservoir.
3. You can put the clone or seedling in the pot to connect the plants to the wick. Fill the pot with more medium to provide support for the plant’s structure.
It’s best to use the medium in small pieces. It’s possible to do this in a single pot, or you can maximize it by large tray so you can accommodate several plants.
There are possibilities that oxygen may be low, and nutrients stay static. A very porous medium can help in these instances.
It may not also suitable for high maintenance plants. These are the things that you must know first before setting this up for your marijuana plants.
Several strains don’t require high maintenance, and that’s good news.
Other Helpful Tips
The right time to transfer the plants to the system.
White roots should be visible outside the pot or medium. The plants should be securely bound to the medium or pot.
Using the same medium for starting and the main growing processes is advisable to avoid transplant shock.
You can space the plants the way you want it. It will mainly depend on the amount of space.
The growing medium is enough support for your marijuana plant. If you’re having Sea of green growing method and your plant is in a big stature, you can use simple tie and bamboo cane for additional support.
This support should be set up before shifting to 12/12. You don’t want to break off some stems and branches and crawling through the foliage.
OTHER GROWING MEDIUM
1. Peat Moss
It’s an organic medium that is inert. It holds a lot of moisture while it permits oxygen to remain at the root zone.
It is only suitable for passive hydroponics and not for any other type. It’s due to the tendency that it can fall apart easily.
2. Coco Coir
It is from the ground or frayed coconut husk, so it’s organic and inert at the same time. It can retain water to pave the way for oxygen to settle around the roots.
It is both available as cubes and loose potting material, which is suitable for cuttings and seeds. Larger cubes are used when the plant will be transferred to huge containers.
It is a renewable source of growing medium, and it is sometimes underrated. It is close to pH neutral. It’s commonly used for passive hydroponics and container gardening.
This is from the formation of skeletal remains of minute algae. It is light and porous, which makes it efficient in keeping the moisture while establishing a nitrogen environment for the roots.
It’s a versatile medium as it can go with any type of growing system. It can also prevent root insects from producing more.
It was made by expanding mica by heat. It is like perlite, and they are sometimes combined for its wicking abilities in passive hydroponics.
It comes in three varieties, which are fine, medium and coarse. It improves the water retention of potting mixes.