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Why Are My Hydroponic Plants Dying? – 5 Reasons

Hydroponic gardening is becoming popular because of its wider range of benefits when compared to soil gardening.

With many people moving to cities, hydroponic gardening is the future of gardening.

Not only does this form of gardening allow gardeners to grow plants in a confined space, but as well as increase yield more than three times in the same amount of space.

Why are My Hydroponic Plants Dying

Also, it is extremely water efficient and allows plants to grow where the weather and soil conditions are unfavorable.

If you’re new to hydroponic gardening, there are several challenges that you might face, such as plants dying “without any reason”.

Of course, there is a reason – many plants die in the hydroponic system because of various reasons, which might include wrong pH level, CF, deficiencies in the system, root diseases, and much more.

Here are the reasons why your hydroponic plants might be dying and what to do about it:

1. Bad Ph Level

Even though there are many causes for your hydroponic plant dying, the main culprit is the PH level.

Having the right PH level for your hydroponic plants is crucial.

It should not be too high or too low.

The pH level is measured from 0 to 14, with 0 to 7 & below being acidic, while 7 to 14 being alkalinity.

The right pH level for your hydroponic system should be between 5.5 and 6.5.

In hydroponics growing, the pH level may change quickly in a few hours or days because of things like extreme evaporation, diseases, temperature, and much more.

What To Do

To salvage your dying plants, you need to check the pH level.

Always go for the best pH test kits to ensure that you get proper pH levels.

Also, you need to make sure that the CF, TDS, and EC are at the recommended levels.

Always check the pH level when you make changes to your hydroponic system, such as after adding water, nutrients, and other changes.

2. Poor Lighting

Another common culprit of dying hydroponic plants is poor lighting.

Many startup indoor growers make the mistake of buying cheap, and unreliable grow lights.

Since most hydroponic grow rooms are indoors, you need to ensure that your plants receive sufficient lighting throughout their growing season.

Without adequate lighting of the right type and level, your growing plants will not flourish as they should.

Some lights may be too much for your plant; thus, burning them to death.

What To Do

The best way to ensure that your hydroponic plants receive the right amount of light is by buying the right lights.

Note that different growing seasons need different types of lighting.

Do some research and acquire the right lights.

They should also be quality lights and not cheap lights that won’t perform exceptionally.

3. Wrong Fertilizer

Not all fertilizers that you find on the market and good for your hydroponic garden.

For instance, you should not use traditional fertilizer from your store in your hydroponic system.

This is because the fertilizer may fail to dissolve completely in your hydroponic system.

Also, using less or excess fertilizer can be dangerous to your plants.

If excess fertilizer is used, the nutrient strength may be too much for the roots to handle.

As a result, this may prohibit the roots from taking up the nutrients well, which might cause havoc the plant above the ground and even kill it.

What To Do

Simply ensure that you use the right fertilizer and the right amounts.

Before you add fertilizer to your system, make sure that it has the right level of nutrients that your plants need.

You don’t want to feed it too much or too little.

Also, buy fertilizer that is only recommended for hydroponics so that it can dissolve easily and quickly.

4. Deficiencies & Root Diseases

Deficiencies and diseases are other causes of plant death.

These can be hard to detect, and that’s why you will be required to monitor your entire hydroponic system closely.

For instance, if the roots of your plants turn to brown, then there is an issue.

Also, if the leaves turn yellow, you should try to find out what the problem is before it’s too late.

Some of the things that cause deficiencies are the wrong PH, nutrient solution concentration, temperature, etc.

What To Do

To prevent deficiencies and root diseases, ensure that the water is not hard, and your nutrient solution is right.

Use both the PH test kit and EC meter to find the right balance for your hydroponic system.

5. Using Hard Water In The Hydroponic System

Using hard water in your hydroponic system can also cause your plants to die.

If the hard water you add to your plants is below 200 ppm, then you won’t have problems.

But if the water is above 200 ppm, then you may face a lot of challenges.

This is because hard water with a lot of dissolved solids in it will cause trouble to your nutrient solution.

Hard water has calcium and magnesium salts as its major elements.

Regrettably, these are large molecules that plants in your hydroponic system will find challenging to absorb.

In return, this could lead to calcium deficiency, which may cause your plants to wilt or die.

What To Do

Before adding tap water (hard water) to your hydroponic system, you should test it first.

If it’s below 200 PPM, you can add it directly to your system.

But if it’s above 200 PPM, then you should dilute it before adding it to your hydroponic system.

Alternatively, you can filter the water before adding it to your hydroponic system to lower the levels of dissolved solids in it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just getting started with hydroponics planting, it is normal to make mistakes that might cost you a huge yield or even kill the plants in your hydroponic system.

Many start-up indoor growers make different mistakes, but it is essential to learn and not repeat them.

To be successful in hydroponic gardening, you need to ensure that your plants have the right light, PH level, CF, TDS, EC, ideal temperature, air circulation, maintain perfect nutrient level, and keep away indoor garden pests.

If all of these conditions are properly maintained, then you won’t have cases of dying plants or low yields.

Note that saving your dying plants with one of the problems that we’ve highlighted in this post is not easy. You will need patience and time to correct the issue and improve your overall yield.