There’s nothing quite so hair-tearingly frustrating as investing heavily in terms of time, effort and indeed in a financial sense only to get the idea that your hydroponic garden is dying before your eyes.
Now, it’s probably fair to say that this really only applies to those who are relatively new to hydroponic growing as those with plenty of experience will know just how common, and in most cases easily remedied, various plant problems can be. Nevertheless, those who find themselves on the receiving end of such warning signs usually enter into a state of blind panic and summarily make all the wrong moves.
So in this instance we’re not paying any real attention to the rare and more exotic diseases and problems the average indoor plant might pick up. Instead, we’re focusing on just a small handful of the most common problems faced by hydroponic gardeners at some point or another, along with what it is that may be causing them and thus how to remedy them.
Discoloration of Plants
For example, if it has become apparent that one or more of your plants seems to be presenting a case of leaf discoloration, this is more often than not attributed to a problem with the PH level. Discoloration of leaves tends to be one of the most accurate warnings of a PH level that is either too high or too low, which if left unaddressed will often prove fatal.
The good news however is that testing PH levels is of course as easy as it gets – you just need to invest in a few supremely affordable testing strips, or a slightly more advanced testing kit. As a rule of thumb, PH levels should be kept somewhere around 5.5 to 6.5, though this will of course vary considerably depending on the specific plants you are growing. As such, it’s a case of researching exactly the kind of PH each of your plants needs, carrying out the necessary PH tests and using the appropriate products to remedy the problem as necessary.
Second on the list, though arguably just as common as the above example, is that of wilting leaves. The interesting thing in this instance is that by appearance alone, you might actually get the impression that the leaves are drooping and looking worse for wear because they haven’t been given enough water. Nevertheless, in almost every instance where leaves are wilting despite generally great conditions being provided, it comes down to overwatering.
It’s important to tackle such a problem as quickly as possible because it really won’t take long before the leaves and plants in general begin to both rot and die off. Try to remember that too much water effectively drowns/suffocates your plants by restricting oxygen absorption at the roots.
Dying or Dead Leaves
A plant’s leaves will always be your best friend when it comes to telling you when there is something wrong and in most cases what it is that is wrong. In the example of leaves which are already clearly dead or well on their way to being so, it could be a case of temperature shock. It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of maintaining a temperature of between 60° F and 75° F without ever allowing it to climb beyond the often fatal threshold of 80° F. And what’s more, sudden changes in temperature can be even more lethal than temperature extremes.
Misshapen or Deformed Fruit/Veg
Last but not least, if you are trying your hand at growing your own fruits and vegetables indoors, it’s not uncommon to find yourself faced with a rather unfortunate, if admittedly quite entertaining, crop of misshapen or deformed fruit. When and where this is the case, the good news is there’s technically nothing wrong with them and they’ll probably still be quite delicious. But in terms of where you went wrong, misshapen fruits and vegetables are more often than not indicative of temperatures that were too low, an insufficient difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, insufficient lighting strength and/or excessive humidity.