Common Mistakes Made in Hydroponic Farming: Things to Avoid for Beginners

We all believe that by making mistakes, we learn and make progress in our lives. However, it is okay to make mistakes, but repeating them over and over again is a blunder. The same thing happens with hydroponics farming. If you are just starting with your hydroponic garden, you want to get things done slowly and easily. Let’s check out a few common mistakes made in Hydroponic farming.

Common Mistakes Made in Hydroponic Farming
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One mistake can destroy all your progress as you progress. Instead, take the time to understand what your plants expect of you and the conditions they need. However, there are many issues with hydroponics that you may encounter, and it is important to learn to avoid or deal with them successfully. Hopefully, this information will prevent you from making some mistakes in hydroponics. Also, we discuss below topics;

  • Problems with hydroponic farming 
  • Why are my hydroponic plants dying?
  • Why aren’t hydroponic plants growing? 

Starting a hydroponics garden is exciting. This is an interesting project where you can enjoy the growth of your plants over time. However, developing the perfect plant requires some skill and attention to detail, which takes time to develop. Even if you have too much guidance in setting up your growing space, you can make mistakes in the early stages of development. 

Common mistakes made in Hydroponic farming

Growing without knowledge 

It is not easy for new growers to grow hydroponically, so it is recommended to get proper information about it before installing a hydroponic system. Incorrect or insufficient information can lead to system failure or shutdown. So, get proper information about Hydroponic Nutrients, Instrument Installation, Growing Medium, Grow Lights, and more. It is good to read how to grow hydroponically to gain a subtle knowledge of these systems. 

Ignoring the pH level 

The most valuable measure for your hydroponic system is its pH level. For the most part, your plants are present almost entirely thanks to nutritional solutions. If the solution is too alkaline or too acidic, your plants will experience nutrient deficiencies or simply die. Get yourself an advanced pH meter and monitor the levels at least once a day.

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Hydroponic Farming
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If it slips in one direction or the other, take immediate steps to bring it back to the desired balance of your plant. One of the most common causes of plant death in hydroponic systems is off-kilter pH levels. Monitoring pH levels is incredibly important because all your plants live in the same nutrient solution – if your pH is bad for one plant then all your plants can be damaged.

Hydroponics system leaks 

System leak systems can occur for a variety of reasons. Leaks can occur on any joints or valves in your system. Leakage can also occur if you create a system that has a reservoir that cannot hold all the nutrients in the system. In this case, the power cut or pump failure can lead to backup and overflow of your reservoir. 

Check your system before installing anything. Tighten any valves and make sure to check all connections are tight and secure. Check your system regularly for problems such as root overgrowth or clogged drains or outlets. Make sure you choose a repository that can comfortably store all the nutrient solutions in the system, not just the amount that is used by the system. 

If you are using an indoor system, consider placing it on a waterproof surface or, if possible, on a drip tray if you are using a smaller system. This is a good idea to catch a leak, but it will also reduce the clutter when you focus on your system. 

Buying cheap, incorrect, or not enough light 

Investing in the right light can make or break your hydroponic garden. If you buy too little, your plants will be damaged. If you buy the wrong type of bulb for your plants, they will not grow. If you choose to buy the cheapest bulbs, they may not work. Lighting is one of the most important investments you can make as a hydroponic grower, so find the best one for your crop!

This means that you should research the type of light that your plants will need because different bulbs emit different types of energy. Also, don’t expect your plants to thrive if they are attached to a window. That light is often not strong enough to fuel the rapid growth you expect from a hydroponic plant.

Using the wrong fertilizer 

When plants grow in the soil, many of the micronutrients needed are already present in the soil in sufficient quantities. For this reason, fertilizers designed to grow plants in the soil do not need to contain many traces of micro-nutrients that are essential for the healthy growth of plants.

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Make sure you buy ready-to-use nutrients with hydroponics. You can make your hydroponics fertilizer from scratch, but it is very easy to buy a two- or three-part solution. By mixing it, a nutritional solution can be prepared which can be adjusted in most of the plants and developmental stages. 

Do not monitor the health of your plants 

If you do not monitor your plants frequently, you will lose the early signs of problems. Whether it’s underdevelopment or symptoms of deficiency or disease, the sooner you realize there’s a problem, the more likely you are to fix it and not ruin your plants. Monitor the plant growth and condition frequently. When you see a problem, take the time to find out what the problem is and try to fix it. If you see disease or pests, treat them early and you may be able to prevent excessive damage to your plants. 

Not enough oxygen

Many beginners to hydroponic do not provide enough oxygen to their plant root system. Plants need oxygen to reach their roots to breathe, and there is a risk of root rot, such as root rot and disease, with poor root health. They must have access to plenty of oxygen, the more pleasant.  Some hydroponic systems allow oxygen to flow to the roots as they work. For example, the ebb and flow systems remove the nutrient solution from the growing bed, exposing the air to the root system.

Ebb and flow systems have been set up to provide the plants with an abundant supply of oxygen. Other systems, such as deep-water culture systems, require that you use air pumps and air stones to oxygenate the nutrient solution. With systems such as deep-water culture, it will only help to add more than one aerial stone. 

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Growing Plants in Hydroponics
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Not maintaining temperature 

Maintaining a good temperature for both the nutrient solution and the air is often overlooked by beginners of hydroponics. The amount of oxygen dissolved in a nutrient solution decrease with increasing temperature. Low oxygen affects root health and high temperature is the preferred environment for pathogens, as it causes root rot. Then, try to keep the nutrient solution between 18-23°C.

Temperature can affect a plant in different ways, depending on its stage of development. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, the seeds may not germinate, flower or fruit may not form, or grow slowly. Different types of plants also have different temperature requirements. For example, if Broccoli or Lettuce get too hot, they will bolt. For the best harvest, do some research on the maximum growth conditions for the type of plant you want to grow. 

Not focusing on sanitation

Your sanitation habits can have a big impact on the health of your plants and your entire hydroponic system. Some basic cleaning requirements that you should pay attention to;

  • Keep the floor clean and dry 
  • Sterilizing and cleaning system equipment
  • Sterilizing and cleaning tools
  • Sterilizing and cleaning containers
  • Disposing of plant waste

Spread plant diseases without proper sanitation with hiding places and sustenance.  

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Hydroponics Farm
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Nutrient deficiency and toxicity 

Many factors can cause nutrient deficiency or toxicity in your plants. It is not always easy to tell which nutrition problem is causing the deficiency or the toxic problem. There are lots of signs to detect various nutrient deficiencies and toxicity, and with time and experience, you will be better able to identify problems. A whole host of pH, temperature, plant growth rate, the concentration of the nutrient solution, user error, and a host of other factors can cause nutritional problems.

Don’t forget that an excess of one nutrient can cause problems with another’s absorption. Make sure you prepare your nutrition solution carefully and correctly. Make sure the water you are using to make your nutrient solution is not too hard. If so, consider diluting it with distilled water, or using water that has passed through a reverse osmosis filter or activated carbon filter to reduce the level of dissolved solids. Monitor the concentration of a nutrient solution by using a PPM / EC meter. Monitor and adjust the pH of your nutrition solution. 

If your plants are showing signs of nutrient deficiencies or toxicity, the main advice is to flush your system, discard the nutrient solution and make a fresh batch. More experienced growers may have the skill to adjust things when approaching, but most beginners and intermediaries would prefer a safer approach.

Underestimating system build costs

For home farmers, a hydroponic system can be built as much as you want to spend more or less on it. Underestimating these costs, regardless of the size of the system, can push farmers out of budget, and with the system, they are unable to use it. Different types of systems have different amounts of investment. Some systems can be built without the need to purchase certain products and use products from local hardware stores. Grow towers and NFT systems are good examples. It is best to thoroughly design your system and calculate the cost before installing it. 

Ignoring sanitation and disinfection 

Hydroponic gardens are closed, and there is no entry or exit for insects and pathogens. As a result, proper disinfection and cleaning are necessary to prevent dust and debris from accumulating. Your sanitization practices and habits will affect the growth of your plants. You need to make sure the floors are clean and dry.

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Hydroponic Plants
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Above all, proper sterilization of cleaning containers, cleaning tools, and other cleaning equipment is essential. Last but not least, you should dispose of plant waste every alternate day. Without proper sanitization and disinfection, you are inviting pests, pathogens, and bacteria to kill your crops. 

Not focusing on hydroponic plant problems

  • Wilted leaves – Over or under watering; too dry or too hot (try watering with clean water). Wilt disease: curly, dry and dead leaves 
  • Curled leaves – Check for thrips and aphids (learn more about getting rid of aphids) 
  • Droopy leaves – This means the temperature can be too high (cool it), or not enough fluid (check that the system is providing sufficient solution). Another reason may be that the nutrient solution is too strong (just flush the plants with clean water for a week, then restart with a new batch of the nutrient solution) 
  • Spots – White or silver spots could be thrips again, or powdery mildew. Small yellow spots can be spider mites. 
  • Yellow leaves – Nutritional imbalance (check that the pH is not too alkaline), or you may be given too much water. Also, check out the whiteflies. Note: Yellow leaves are common when the crop reaches the end of life. Time to uproot and start over.
  • Leaf drop – Sudden change in temperature/shock (such as when planting new plants); cold wind / dry air giving more water may be another reason. Or, a mealybug or whitefly. 
  • Tip burn – If the tips of the leaves are brown, the nutrient concentration is too high (flush with clean water and add a new batch). Hot dry air can also burn. 
  • Burn patches on leaves – Very close to light (light burns). 
  • Leaves can be distorted or crinkly – viruses or aphids.


  1. Two months before I enrolled the course on Hydroponic Farming. Plan for install the system in balcony. Your information is really help me and i may face lots of difficulties to grow the healthy veggies. Your information really helpful for me. Thank you


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