Aeroponics is a hydroponic cultivation system that uses small sprayers to finely mist an oxygenated nutrient solution on to the root zone of a plant. The crown of the plant in an aeroponic system is suspended by a hydroponic substrate, usually a rockwool block or a plastic/foam support. The roots are protected in the growing environment by a light-proof plastic enclosure. Trays, troughs and a 5 gallon bucket are all commonly used root enclosures. Aeroponic systems can be either drain to waste or recirculating in nature.
Pros of Aeroponics:
- Explosive growth and quick growing root structures.
- Very efficient water and nutrient usage
Cons of Aeroponics:
- If a pump fails, sprayer clogs or a timer goes out, your plants will suffer or even die within a matter of hours. Without a substrate to protect the roots and hold a nutrient solution, frequent and timely feedings are necessary for aeropoincally grown plants to survive.
- As the root structure of the plant increases, sprayers will have a harder time reaching all of the newly formed roots inside of growing container. Roots that are not properly hydrated will die off and diseases can be soon to follow.
- Aeroponic sprayers are easily clogged by debris in your nutrient solution and filtration systems are a must.
Important Tips for Aeroponics:
- Always use filters to keep particulates in your reservoir from clogging your aeroponic sprayers.
- Placement of your misters is important. Do not put them all in one area. Remember that water emitted from your sprayers will follow the flow of gravity, so don’t have them too low!
- It’s important that the root system never sits in stagnant water. Make sure that all of the excess nutrient solution fully drains out of whatever root enclosure you’re using.