12 Best Hydroponic Systems for ALL Plants

Are you interested in purchasing a Hydroponic System to grow plants, but don’t know which type is right for you?

Are you interested in learning more about the best hydroponic systems, how they work, and what you should look for when purchasing one?

After hours of research, hundreds of hours of hydroponic system use, and talking with local hydroponic farmers, I have created the 12 Best Hydroponic Systems for ALL Plants.

The list below is broken down by the best hydroponic systems for your herbs, vegetables, fruit, and cannabis.

Why Use Hydroponic Systems for Growing Plants?

95% of all gardening is done outdoors or in a greenhouse.

So then why be one of the 5% of gardeners who use hydroponic systems?

Hydroponic gardening gives your plants what they need when they need it.

More specifically, studies have shown that hydroponic systems:

  • Produce 30% more yield than traditional gardening
  • Provides 25% faster plant growth
  • Uses 20% fewer resources
  • Is easy to use and clean
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Allows plants to grow all year
  • Involves no pesticides or fungicides
  • Is a better use of space and resources

Types of Hydroponic Systems

When purchasing a hydroponic system there are numerous factors to consider.

The most important factor to consider is the type of hydroponic system.

Hydroponic Systems are classified as wick, drip, ebb & flow, deep water culture, nutrient film technique, and aeroponics.

Wick Hydroponic System

Wick Hydroponic Systems are the simplest and best for beginners. It is also the most inexpensive.

This hydroponic system is considered the only passive hydroponic system meaning there is very little you will have to do after setup.

The Wick Hydroponic System uses rope that draws nutrient solution from a reservoir into the media (clay, rocks, etc.) where roots are constantly hydrated.

Best Plants for Wick Hydroponic System

  • Basil, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley, oregano, microgreens, lettuce, and peppers

Worst Plants for Wick Hydroponic System

  • Deep root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, turnips)
  • Large plants (squash, melons, pumpkin)
  • Cannabis

DRIP Hydroponic System

DRIP Hydroponic Systems are the most widely-used hydroponic system on the market.

It is incredibly easy to set up and has a control system that is great for beginners and plants needing constant water. It should be noted that this system will require more monitoring of pH levels than other systems.

The DRIP Hydroponic System slowly drips nutrient solution onto the medium and roots continuously supplying the right amount of nutrients without flooding the plant.

Best Plants for DRIP Hydroponic System

  • Bell Peppers, Strawberries, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Mint, Basil
  • Cannabis

Worst Plants for DRIP Hydroponic System

  • Root plants
  • Large plants

Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System

Ebb & Flow Hydroponic Systems are easy to set up and maintain and provides a setting that mimics a plant’s natural environment.

Not only this, but the system provides some of the best results for more yields and faster growth.

It should be noted that this system is also appropriate for the least amount of plants.

Ebb & Flow Hydroponic Systems uses periodic flooding from a submerged pump and timer to flood the media with nutrient solutions and then quickly drains.

It repeats this process several times a day to mimic a wet and dry environment.

Best Plants for Ebb & Flow Hydroponic Systems

  • Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Mint, Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley
  • Cannabis

Worst Plants for Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System

  • Root Plants
  • Large Plants

Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System

The Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System is the easiest active system on this list.

It is popular because it doesn’t require many components to build and little maintenance once assembled.

Not only this, but it is an all-time favorite among organic plant growers.

The Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System provides nutrients to the plant by keeping the roots constantly submerged in the solution. This allows plants to grow at a much faster rate than you would otherwise have.

Best Plants for Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Systems

  • Okra, Lettuce, Basil, Bell Peppers, Collard Greens, Chard, Bok Choy
  • Cannabis

Worst Plants for Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Systems

  • Large Plants
  • Deep Rooted Plants

Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponic Systems

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponic Systems are typically what most commercial or large scale hobbyist gardeners use.

Unlike almost all of the hydroponic systems on this list, the NFT is perfect for large plants.

However, they are not good for flowering or fruiting plants.

The Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponic System uses tilted water tight channels to flow nutrient solution over the bare roots of plants. And because of this process, the plants are exposed to a high level of oxygen.

Best Plants for Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponic Systems

  • Spinach, broccoli, herbs, larger plants
  • Cannabis

Worst Plants for Nutrient Film Technique Hydroponic Systems

  • Rooted Plants

Aeroponics

Aeroponics is the most challenging, yet most rewarding type of hydroponic systems and is usually used by advanced gardeners.

During aeroponics, plants are suspended in air and nutrient solutions are sprayed every few minutes to keep the roots moist.

Because there is no medium this is the best type of system to provide a constant stream of oxygen to your plants. This means faster growth and better yield.

Not only this, but there is less clean up. However, this is a much more time-intensive process.

Best Plants for Aeroponics

  • Lettuce, Strawberries, Blueberries, tomatoes, mint, and basil
  • Cannabis

Worst Plants for Aeroponics

  • Large Plants
  • Rooted Plants

Hydroponic Systems Considerations

Besides the type of Hydroponic System, there are several factors to consider before making a purchase.

Depending on the type of plant you grow, how many plants you grow, and the purpose of growing your plants each factor may be more or less important.

Customization

Based on a recent survey, the number 1 most important factor in purchasing a hydroponic system is the ability to customize and expand.

Depending on your short and long-term needs, you will want to verify whether or not your hydroponic system has the ability to expand.

Space

Hydroponic Systems can be anywhere from 16 square feet up to almost 100 square feet.

If you plan on doing herbs, a few small plants, or using hydroponic systems as a hobby you won’t need to worry about the size.

If you plan on using hydroponic systems to make money then you will want to plan out where this tool will be in your house before making a purchase.

Automation

Depending on the type of hydroponic system you purchase the technique you use can be complex and time-intensive.

Because of this, one factor you should consider is whether or not your system has automated lights, humidity, water levels, etc.

Setup Costs

Every gardener wants a hydroponic system that meets their specific needs. But you should pay extra close attention to attention.

Not only will you have to pay for your hydroponic system, but some may require you for additional accessories and setup costs.

Weight

Weight may not be a factor you think of when purchasing a hydroponic system.

But it should be if you plan on moving or expanding your system.

The heavier the weight the more you will want to plan where you will set it up and the time it will take to disassemble and move if need be.

Noise

Although this is usually not a major issue for every hydroponic system, you should consider noise as a factor in your purchase.

If you plan on housing your system in an area where you will consistently hear it then opt for one of the lower noise products.

Energy Efficiency

Most hydroponic systems will not consume such large amounts of energy that you will have a dramatic increase in your electric bill.

With that being said, there are plenty of energy-efficient options for anyone who wants to help the environment.

12 Best Hydroponic Systems

The below 12 Best Hydroponic Systems are listed by best type for herbs, vegetables, fruit, and cannabis.

This organization will allow you to quickly identify what hydroponic system meets your gardening need.

Best Herb Hydroponic Systems (#1-3)

1. Orimerc DIY Wick Hydroponic System ($10)

Orimerc DIY Wick Hydroponic System
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If you are interested in beginning hydroponic gardening but don’t want to want to spend an extraordinary amount of money then this is for you!

This DIY Wick system ranges from 50 feet to 500 feet and is an effective, efficient, and automated hydroponic system.

All you have to do is place one end into water and let it slowly drip into the other end where your plant is. It works as fast as 15 minutes!

Best of all is that this system is unbreakable, does not clog, and can fit into any container size!

And it comes with a 90-day warranty! What more can you ask for a beginning hydroponic system?

Benefits

  • Inexpensive
  • No clogging, unbreakable, easy to clean
  • Perfect for any container

Disadvantages

  • Can quickly outgrow this system
  • Requires DIY

2. Claber Oasis Drip Watering System ($105)

Claber Oasis Drip Watering System
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Out of all the hydroponic systems that are great for herbs, the Claber Oasis Drip Watering System is my favorite.

The reason that this is my favorite is that it is large enough and powerful enough to be used when you are on vacation, at work, or during busy holidays!

This hydroponic system has an automatic timer opens twice daily to deliver water and has 4 settings that can water up to 20 plants! And more than one pipe can water large plants for up to 40 days!

Best of all is that it comes with a 2-year warranty and is completely independent. All you need is one alkaline battery to get started! It is that easy!

Benefits

  • 2-year warranty
  • Made in Italy
  • Automatic timer
  • Easy to clean and store
  • Great for large plants or many plants

Disadvantages

  • Slightly expensive
  • Requires more care and cleaning than other systems

3. Dreamjoy Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System ($80)

Dreamjoy Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System
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If you are looking to start a large number of herbs with a hydroponic system then Dreamjoy Ebb & Flow is perfect for you.

This product has enough holes for up to 36 plants. And this was made specifically for herbs!

What makes this product stand out is that it can be used both inside and outside for maximum convenience. It was specifically made for beginners that had little time or knowledge of hydroponic gardening.

What I love about this hydroponic system is that I have harvested crops anywhere from 30-45 days! I can’t grow and harvest the same plants in a garden that fast!

Benefits

  • Built for large quantity crops
  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • Indoor and outdoor usage
  • Fast Plant Growth

Disadvantage

  • May be too big for some gardeners
  • Takes up a larger space

Best Vegetable Hydroponic Systems (#4-6)

4. Moistenland Micro Drip System ($45)

moistenland micro drip system
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When you purchase a drip hydroponic system it typically does not come with a lot of functions or features.

That is not true of Moistenland products.

This Drip Hydroponic System comes with a combined pump and automatic timer irrigation system!

This is the perfect hydroponic system for beginners. All you have to do is set up your watering schedule and the system takes care of the rest.

Several other benefits include a digital timer display, programmed memory, and the ability to run on battery or USB power!

If you are a busy hobbyist that needs a versatile system then this is exactly what I would recommend.

Benefits:

  • Inexpensive
  • Battery and USB power
  • Timer included
  • Expandable

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of ability to water a large number of plants at once.

5. Viagrow Ebb & Flow System ($480)

Viagrow Ebb & Flow System
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When it comes to hydroponic systems the Viagrow Ebb & Flow System is the most comprehensive system on the market. It has everything you need, even accessories.

When purchasing this system you can expect a flood and draining kit, 50- liter bag of grow stones, a pump, numerous 1-gallon pots, and a 20-gallon reservoir among other accessories.

If you are a serious gardener or looking to expand your hydroponic gardening then this is for you.

Unlike other Ebb & Flow products on the market, you can expect just the right amount of nutrients, water, and oxygen to reach your plants at any given moment.

Benefits:

  • A complete hydroponic system with all accessories you’ll ever need
  • Scientific and precise hydroponic system irrigation

Disadvantages

  • Very costly

6. Aerogarden Farm Plus ($540)

Aerogarden Farm Plus
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Aeroponic gardening can be complex, timely, and expensive.

Aerogarden though makes its systems easy to use and quick. And they give you more accessories than any of its competitors!

Not only this, but the Aerogarden is the smartest product on the market. It comes with wi-fi technology that allows you to control your garden from your smart device anywhere in the world.

Also, this system comes with a full-spectrum LED lights and the ability to grow plants tall and wide!

Best of all is that Aerogarden a 24 pack seed kit and miracle-gro plant food.

Benefits:

  • Wi-Fi Technology
  • Seed Pack included
  • Grow Lights included
  • Ability to grow a wide range of plants

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

Best Fruit Hydroponic Systems (#7-9)

7. Hydrofarm Ebb & Flow System ($130)

hydrofarm ebb & flow system
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If you don’t want to break the bank, but want to grow plants through the Ebb & Flow technique then the Hydrofarm Ebb & Flow System is perfect for you.

This product comes with a removable tray, 5-inch pots, and fire-clay and pebble media.

Not only this but Hydrofarm guarantees your plants will grow 5 times faster than a traditional garden.

Best of all is how easy this system is to use. All you have to do is hook it up and the system will pump nutrient solution from a reservoir to the plants.

Benefits:

  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • Easy-to-Use

Disadvantages:

  • Does not come with as many accessories as competitors

8. Bluemat Drip System ($140)

Bluemat Drip Watering System
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Any time you purchase a gardening product you should consider durability and quality as part of your buying consideration.

With Bluemat, you will never have to worry about quality.

The Bluemat Drip System is made in Austria with the highest grade of ceramic materials.

This system is large enough to fit 12 plants, requires no pumps, and will cause no flooding, messes, or errors.

Best of all is that Bluemat offers one of the best customer service departments on the market. You can contact them at any time and they will do almost anything to keep you a happy customer.

Benefits:

  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • High-Quality Material
  • Excellent Customer Service

Disadvantages:

  • Not as large as other systems

9. Dreamjoy NFT System ($120)

Dreamjoy NFT Hydroponic System
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When it comes to growing fruit most gardeners don’t want just one or two plants. And most hydroponic systems don’t support large quantities of fruit plants.

Luckily, there is Dreamjoy’s NFT Hydroponic System. This product can hold up to 72 fruit plants! And you can use this product both indoors and outdoors.

Using high-quality materials, the NFT hydroponic system, and easy to follow instructions you can grow your fruit faster with less water, space, and pest-free!

Benefits:

  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • Supports large quantities
  • High-Quality Material

Disadvantages:

  • Takes longer than most for assembly

Best Cannabis Hydroponic Systems (#10-12)

10. Giraffe-X Hydroponic Ebb & Flow System ($130)

Giraffe-x Ebb & Flow system
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When growing Cannabis you need to make sure you have the correct hydroponic system and brand.

Luckily for you, the Giraffe-X Hydroponic Ebb & Flow System was made with Cannabis Growers in mind.

This product can house up to an astounding 108 plants!

And while there is nothing about this product that will blow you away, it comes with an overall solid package. You can expect high-quality material, several essential accessories, and easy-to-assemble pieces.

Benefits:

  • Can grow more plants than any competitor
  • Relatively Inexpensive

Disadvantages:

  • Offers less accessories than some competitors

11. WePlant Hydroponics NFT System ($125)

WePlant NFT Hydroponics System
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Most NFT Hydroponic Systems are effective, but complex.

The WePlant NFT Hydroponic System is both effective and easy to use.

Once set up this product uses a timeable circulatory system to deliver nutrient solution for 5 minutes every 30 minutes without you having to do a thing!

Also, this product was created with beginner hydroponic gardeners in mind. It is incredibly easy to set up, easy to clean, and comes with a set it and forget it mode.

Benefits:

  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • Easy to Use

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks accessories competitors offer

12. TurboKlone Aeroponics ($166)

TurboKlone Aeroponics System
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Cannabis is an incredibly tricky plant to grow.

But the TurboKlone Aeroponics System makes Cannabis growing easy and effective.

This system uses a humidity dome to prevent leaf transpiration and initial plant shock.

Also, this system uses a pump to spray a consistent mist of water and oxygen to your plant helping make growth and yield better than traditional gardens.

Best of all is that TurboKlone provides up to 60% more planting spots than competitors!

Benefits:

  • Large cloning space
  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • High rating by customers

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of Expandability
  • Not good for large plants

Best Hydroponic Accessories

While purchasing one of the best hydroponic systems is an exciting and effective way of gardening, there are great accessories that can make your system even more effective and better.

Grow Lights

Grow Lights are an essential accessory for using hydroponic systems.

Besides water, light is the only other component needed for plants to grow. And grow lights are the recommended source to be used for hydroponic gardening.

If your hydroponic system does not come with a grow light then I recommend purchasing one!

Buy Grow Lights Here!

Hydroponic Grow Tents

Most plants can grow in a hydroponic system without any problems. Depending on the environment you provide your plant’s growth and production may suffer.

If you want the best plant growth and production then I recommend purchasing a Hydroponic Grow Tents.

Hydroponic Grow Tents provide the best possible environment for all plants to grow in. And if you are spending the money on a hydroponic system then this is a MUST-HAVE accessory.

Buy Grow Tents Here!

Plant Nutrients

EVERY hydroponic system requires plant nutrients or solutions to grow your plants.

While there are numerous home and garden stores you can purchase them from, I recommend the most inexpensive and quickest way to re-supply and that is through Amazon

Buy Plant Nutrients Here

Plant Additives

While plant nutrients are essential for ALL plants to grow in hydroponic systems, plant additives are something you may want to add to certain plants in certain systems.

Specifically, you may want to add plant additives to larger plants or ones that are not growing as fast as you would like.

Buy Plant Additives Here

Hydroponic System Timer

If you purchase one of the more complex or advanced hydroponic systems then you will need to purchase a timer.

Timers are the perfect way to make sure your plants get enough, but not too much water.

Buy a Timer Here!

pH Level Tester

If you are using one of the active hydroponic system techniques then you will need to monitor the pH level of your medium.

Most hydroponic systems will not come with a pH level tester. Because of this, I recommend purchasing a pH level tester on its own.

The great benefit of purchasing a pH level tester is that you can use it for indoor and outdoor gardening!

Buy on Amazon

Hydroponic Gardening Care Tips

Buying the best hydroponic system is a great way to start your hydroponic gardening.

But if you want the best results during hydroponic gardening then you will want to follow the below gardening care tips:

  • Maintain water between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Follow the manufacturer instructions for best results
  • Check pH level weekly
  • Change the nutrient solution every 2 weeks
  • Check and clean pipes/tubes yearly
  • Check ventilation monthly

And if you want even more hydroponic gardening tips then I recommend watching the below video:

Conclusion

As reviewed above it is important to have a full understanding of hydroponic systems, accessories, and what factors you pay close attention to when making a purchase.

When purchasing a hydroponic system make sure you consider the following factors in your purchase:

  • Customization. Do you have the ability to customize your hydroponic system? Can you expand it?
  • Space. How large is the hydroponic system? Do you have space in your house or greenhouse for the plants you want to grow with this gardening technique?
  • Automation. If you are paying for a complex hydroponic system you will want to make sure it has some automated features.
  • Setup Costs. Will you have to purchase accessories? Will there be other supplies you need to purchase for the initial setup?
  • Weight. Depending on how often you will be moving your system, weight should be a factor.
  • Noise. If your system will be in an area where you can hear it the less noisy the better.
  • Energy Efficiency. If you want to save money and help the environment then look to purchase an energy-efficient system.

What’s Next?

I would love to hear any feedback, questions, and favorite hydroponic systems you use.

And if you enjoyed this article then I recommend reading:

11 Best Grow Lights for ALL Plants

10 Best Snowblowers for ALL Needs (2019)

FAQ

What are the different types of hydroponic systems?

There are 6 different types: Wick, Drip, Ebb & Flow, Deep Water Culture, Nutrient Film Technique, Aeroponics.

What is hydroponic gardening?

Hydroponic gardening is growing plants without soil. Nutrient Solution is infused directly into mediums where plants grow.

What is the easiest hydroponic system to use?

The Wick hydroponic system is the easiest to use. It is easy to set up and requires minimal work is needed by the gardener.

What are the best plants to grow in a hydroponic system?
Herbs, Lettuce, Spinach, Bell Peppers, and Strawberries

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