For many years, growers have been passionate about growing their own food hydroponically, almost all of the crops grown were either fruits or vegetables. But what about lavender, no one has mentioned neither tried growing lavender before. It made me wonder, can lavender be grown hydroponically?
So, can lavender be grown hydroponically? Yes, lavender can be a great crop to cultivate using hydroponics. Lavender grown using hydroponics has around 30% more growth rate compared to lavender grown in soil.
Just because very few people have tried growing hydroponic lavender, doesn’t mean that it is a difficult crop to grow. As I have mentioned before, hydroponic enthusiasts have given their attention entirely to vegetables and fruits, ignoring wonderful flowers such as lavender.
On the contrary, some species such as culinary lavender is a herb that is used in cooking. Moreover, its aromatic fragrance is so beautiful. It promotes mental wellness and calmness.
I can’t see that lavender, by any means, has less importance than other fruit and vegetable plants. So, I have decided to go in full depth on how to grow lavender hydroponically and how to make it be a beautiful part of your home to show it off on every occasion.
The Most Suitable Hydroponic System For Lavender
So, what is the most suitable hydroponic system for growing lavender? The answer really depends on why do you want to grow lavender in the first place. Growers would want to grow lavender for different purposes and the choices vary widely according to your plans.
But mainly I like to divide all of those enthusiasts who want to grow hydroponic lavender into 3 groups. The first group is the growers who want to grow lavender at a high volume for profiting. The second group is the people who want to grow it for fun and experimenting. The third and last group is the enthusiasts who want to grow lavender as an ornament.
Nutrient Film Technique
The NFT system suits multiple purposes. Some people might want to get profits out of growing lavender, so they will build an entire hydroponic system with its growing lights in their basement to get as many lavender flowers as possible.
Other growers like how lavender looks in their garden so they will want to decorate their backyard with a numerous number of lavender flowers using hydroponics. The NFT hydroponic system is used to grow a high volume of plants, and therefore, will be the most suitable for these growers.
One of the perks of using an NFT hydroponic system is having the ability to easily implement vertical farming on your lavenders. If we assume that your indoor hydroponic lavender farm is a 200 square feet area and you are growing around 10 lavenders every growing cycle.
Now, I want you to imagine if we used a vertical hydroponic system with 5 extra levels stacked above each other. The yield production will be multiplied by 5 which will maximize your profits.
While you are setting up your NFT system, you have to allow for spacing of 2 to 3 feet between every lavender plant. This way we ensure that your lavenders don’t compete for light when they increase in size.
Deep Water Culture
The DWC hydroponic system is the most famous in the world of hydroponics. It is the most suitable for anyone who wants to start growing hydroponic lavender for the fun of trying new things.
People who are having fun trying to grow a new hydroponic crop like lavender will most probably start-up by growing one plant. A DWC bucket is the most suitable in this situation. I know it is not the most attractive system out there to grow hydroponic lavender, but still, it is the most reliable in this situation.
If you are among this group of growers, the only thing that you are going to care about is the results. You will ignore how attractive or fancy your system is as long as your plant is growing really well.
I think that this system is the most suitable one for all the beginners out there. Not only will you see fantastic results giving how much root room the system has which boosts the growth rate of any plant, but also it will be more forgiving if you miss out on your nutrient solution with the wrong pH or something like that.
The effect will only reach one lavender plant, unlike an NFT where it can damage multiple plants at once.
Moreover, most of these plants are grown in a basement or some kind of a spare room anyways, so there is no need to care about looks here.
I am not saying that the DWC system is ugly and you should hide it anywhere, you can still place it in your kitchen or living room without having any problem. However, if you do want a more attractive hydroponic system then I advise you to start thinking about aquaponics.
Believe it or not, aquaponics is also a hydroponic system, and it can be the perfect opportunity for you to use while growing lavenders to get as much decoration as possible.
All my life, I didn’t see anything beautiful more than aquariums decorating homes with their beautiful goldfish swimming freely in a cristal clear water. I can’t imagine how amazing it is going to be when we combine the aquarium with lavenders.
Think about it, it is going to be wonderful seeing your aquarium in the living room, and on top of it, a bush of purple lavenders. I can guarantee that there is nothing more beautiful and magnificent like this.
But I hate to break it to you, for everything there is a price to pay. Although aquaponics is a more attractive hydroponic system than NFT and DWC, it is more complicated and requires past experience.
You have to keep the fish inside the aquarium alive and healthy. This is a difficult part because 90% of fish die as soon as anything gets messed up. As a result, things like pH and ammonia levels of the water are crucial and can lead to a disaster if they are not well monitored.
Using aquaponics can also result in a lower growth rate compared to lavenders grown in a DWC or an NFT system. This happens because you are probably going to use a relatively small aquarium to be able to fit into your house.
A small aquarium means fewer fish and less fish waste for the plants to use as nutrients. But you can overcome this by slightly increasing your feeding rate to compensate for the low nutrient levels of the water.
Growing Conditions For Hydroponic Lavender
Here comes the most important part, the conditions at which your hydroponic lavenders can reach their optimum growth. Maintaining these conditions is super easy when using systems like DWC and NFT, but aquaponics tends to be more complicated.
Hydroponic Lavender Temperature
So, what is the best temperature for growing lavender hydroponically? The optimum temperature of lavender is between 68°F and 86°F. This temperature is somehow moderate. You don’t have to invest in a heater or something like this, the normal room temperature will do the trick.
But during winter when the temperatures drop below 59°F, I think that you should reconsider the idea of having a heater for your lavenders, or at least turn on the central heating system and set it around 70°F.
Lavender Nutrient Solution
The pH should be stable at 5.5 to 7, and the nutrient ppm must be around 700 to 980.
Maintaining the nutrient solution in a DWC or NFT is an easy process to carry out. All that you have to do is to monitor any changes daily, and whenever you feel that any of the parameters have changed, just get it back to normal.
Adding nutrients is also easy and can be done by any hydroponics beginner with no past experience. You just have to follow the instruction written on the label of every bottle.
But as I have said before, for everything there is a price to pay. Aquaponics is one of the most difficult systems to maintain the optimum conditions of any plant. In aquaponics, the aquarium water is considered the nutrient solution, and no other nutrients are added from outside.
So, you have to maintain optimum conditions in your aquarium, not just to help your fish be alive, but also to provide stable growth for your lavenders.
The most important parameter to keep a close eye on is the ppm. I have said that the ppm should be around 700 to 980, But this is the nitrates ppm not the ammonia. If the ammonia gets above 2 ppm in any aquarium, most of your fish will die due to toxicity.
So, how to keep ammonia levels low in my aquaponics system? There is only one answer to this question which is the nitrifying bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria convert toxic ammonia into nitrates.
Unlike ammonia, Fish can tolerate nitrates easily. Moreover, nitrates are the chemical form that is used by the plants anyway, so it is essential to keep nitrifying bacteria in your aquarium.
Lavender Growing lights
Lavenders should get from 6 to 8 hours of light every day. You can choose between getting LED to grow lights or just use the sun as the main light source.
Of course, growing lights has its perks. You can use them to maintain a high growth rate for your lavenders on cloudy days. Moreover, LED lights tend to produce a higher yield than the sun, so, it would be better off using growing lights all year instead of using sunlight.
LED growing lights can consume a lot of electricity with some growers. Most probably this happens because of buying a growing light unit with more power than the plant actually needs.
All of the details on how to buy power-efficient growing lights and how much electricity is going to cost are in this article that I have spent days writing, so check it out.