Indoor hydroponic plants are incredibly rewarding and they can brighten up any space! Hydroponic growing is environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to grow the stereotypical leafy greens or tomatoes. Less popular plants deserve some love too.

Keep reading to learn about how to grow some surprising hydroponic plants!

What plants grow well hydroponically?

Many plants grow well hydroponically, so long as you know what you’re doing!

For example, you need to know the NPK value of the indoor hydroponic plant you’re trying to grow, as this varies by plant. The NPK value allows you to select the best hydroponic fertilizer for your plants.

You also need to keep your pH in an appropriate range. You can use a pH UP or pH DOWN solution to adjust the pH if needed. The correct pH allows the optimal intake of nutrients.

You should know your hydroponic system like the back of your hand! The more you know about the hydroponic method, the better your plants will grow. For example, an ebb & flow system requires an entirely different skill set than a nutrient film technique hydroponic system.

Lastly, you need a can-do attitude! Hydroponic gardening may have a steep learning curve for some, especially if you’re used to traditional gardening. Read everything you can about the plants you’re growing and their specific needs to grow the healthiest, happiest, hydroponic plants possible.

Speaking of hydroponic plants, let’s talk about some of the best indoor hydroponic plants, their characteristics, and how to grow them!



Orchids are an incredibly diverse group of flowering plants that tend to be fragrant and colorful. They’re the second largest family of flowering plants!

They’re easy to identify because of the symmetry within their flowers, their labellum, and their fused carpels and stamens (reproductive system).

Orchids grow well in water because they’re epiphytic, meaning they don’t grow in much soil.

The best way to grow orchids hydroponically is to use a passive system such as the wick system because it mimics their natural environment. Many hydroponic growers recommend using Leca as your growing medium for orchids.

Orchids also thrive in aeroponic systems, because in the wild, they absorb most of their moisture through the air!



Petunias originate from South America and tend to be a hybrid perennial species.

They enjoy a moist environment and can endure harsh weather (besides frost!).

Some different cultivated petunias include:

  • Surfina
  • Cascadia
  • Supertunia
  • Multiflora
  • Grandiflora

It was believed by many Indigenous cultures that petunias could ward off unwanted spirits. New Age folklore states that petunias will only thrive where there is positive energy.

Petunias are grown like most hydroponic flowers- germinate the seeds, provide a half-strength solution, transplant the seedlings, and fertilize your flowers!

They can be grown in any hydroponic setup and make incredibly attractive houseplants.

Begonia Rex

Begonia rex

Begonia rex is also known as the king begonia. It’s a parent to over 500 different kinds of houseplants!

Begonias are perennial flowering plants. They’re native to moist tropical and subtropical climates.

Begonias come in many shapes and colors- it’s hard to define them!

The best way to grow begonias hydroponically is in Leca. You won’t have to water your plant as often as if you were growing it in soil, which makes your begonias even more low-maintenance than they already are!

You need an outer pot with no holes and an inner pot with holes at the bottom. 

Clean off your Leca because they come with a lot of dust. Fill up your inner pot with Leca until there are about two inches of room left on top. 

Now you need to clean your Leca even more! Pour the measured Leca into a bucket with plenty of water. You’ll need to replace the water about five times until the Leca is clean enough.

Finally, it’s time to plant. Put a base layer of Leca at the bottom of your pot. Now add your begonia and slowly pour Leca around it. 

Water your begonia using the outer pot. Be sure to use a hydroponic fertilizer mix with your water and follow the instructions on the bag.



The term “geranium” actually refers to a genus consisting of over 400 species of perennial, biennial, and annual plants. There are many types of geraniums!

Geraniums usually have five petals and can come in almost any color- although red, orange, and purple are popular.

While there isn’t much information about growing geraniums hydroponically- probably because the term refers to such an extensive range of flowers- you can use your baseline knowledge of hydroponics to grow geraniums.

The most common way geranium growers use hydroponics is to create clones for propagation. Suspending the cuttings in water will create roots so you can plant the clones.



Dahlias are bushy perennials native to Central America and Mexico. They’re relatives of sunflowers, daisies, zinnias, and much more- the Asteraceae family is enormous!

Since there are over 40 species of dahlias, the flowers differ pretty drastically in size. Some dahlias are around 5cm in diameter, while others are six times that size!

Dahlias aren’t commonly grown hydroponically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. They’re going to need ample light and frequent water changes. Dahlias do best when temperatures are between 60 degrees F and 72 degrees F.



Philodendrons are popular house plants both indoors and outdoors. They can be terrestrial, hemiepiphytic, or epiphytic. 

Their leaves tend to be large and can vary in shape. They are usually lobed. Their juvenile and adult leaves can differ significantly in appearance and shape, which is exciting when you’re growing them! There’s nothing better than noticing that your philodendron is producing a new leaf.

Just like many of the hydroponic house plants discussed so far, philodendron thrive in Leca.

Clean your Leca and prepare your two pots as previously explained. Some pros of Leca include:

  • Less pests
  • Helps avoid overwatering
  • Great aeration

Just like before, place a base layer of Leca in the bottom of your pot. Then hold your philodendron upright as your surround it with Leca.

Lastly, water your philodendron by pouring nutrient-rich water into the outer pot. You will know to add more nutrient solution when the bottom layer of Leca is no longer touching the water beneath it.

Spider Plants

Spider Plants

Spider plants are also called hen and chickens, ribbon plants, and spider ivy. You can imagine where the name comes from- its long leaves look like spider legs!

Spider plants are a perennial evergreen native to tropical Africa, but have naturalized all over the world. Including in people’s homes! It’s a very easy plant to grow, hence its popularity. People love the variegated varieties especially.

Spider plants do very well in deep water culture hydroponic systems. Your best bet for starting a spider plant is to get a spiderette from a friend and transfer it into your hydroponic system!

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley is likely one of the most beautiful flowers you’ll ever see! It smells sweet and has bell-shaped white flowers. Just be careful- it’s poisonous to humans and pets.

 We suggest using a drip system to grow this indoor hydroponic plant.

Drip systems drip the hydroponic fertilizer directly onto your growing medium and are incredibly water-efficient. 

Typically, drip systems are used by commercial growers. But the nature of this hydroponic system mimics lily of the valley’s natural woodland environment and will help your hydroponic plants thrive!



Marigolds are native to the Americas, although many species have naturalized around the world.

Marigolds have distinctive golden blooms. Their annual varieties are a go-to for most gardeners, but their perennial species are gaining speed.

You’re likely able to identify marigolds! They’re incredibly common.

You should grow your marigolds by seed, either directly in your system or in plugs to be transplanted. The seeds will germinate in about a week.

Marigolds do best at 100-200 PPM, with a pH between 5.8 and 6.2. You have to be careful of phosphorous and nitrogen deficiencies when growing marigolds.

If you pinch off the tops of marigold plants, they will become more bushy. Remove dying blossoms to allow room for more blooms!



Violas are found all over the world, ranging from the temperate Northern Hemisphere all the way to the Andes and Hawaii!

Violas can be perennials, annuals, or even shrubs. They’re also known as pansies when they’re multi-colored and have large flowers.

Violas are easy to grow since they’re so hardy. They don’t require much fuss and will thrive with any standard hydroponic setup.

What are hydroponic plants?

Hydroponic plants are plants grown in water rather than soil. There are many different hydroponic systems that can be used such as DWC, NFT, wick systems, and more.

Hydroponic plants use resources more efficiently than traditionally-grown plants. They can use up to 99% less water! 

They also take up less space and can be grown anywhere, all year round.

Can you grow hydroponic any plant?

You can grow any plant hydroponically. You may have to use a different kind of hydroponic system depending on what you’re growing- for example, you can’t really grow root vegetables using an NFT system- but anything is possible!

Are hydroponic plants healthy?

Indoor hydroponic plants are very healthy. Because you have complete control over the nutrient solution, you’re able to ensure that your plants get the nutrients they need in order to thrive. This translates to more vitamins and minerals when you eat them- or more beautiful colors for ornamental varieties.


Clearly, indoor hydroponic plants can be varied and beautiful! Who wouldn’t want an orchid in their hydroponic garden? With a little know-how, you can grow any plant hydroponically. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into the crops you think you’re supposed to grow. Think outside the box and you won’t be disappointed!

For more ideas on what to grow, check out the rest of our blog!