4 Common Hydroponic Plant Problem (With Solutions)

No matter how experienced a hydroponic grower is, there may be occasions when they have plant problems which need to be fixed.  This is even worse for new gardeners because they may have never encountered such issues and Might wonder how they could fix them.

What are the most common hydroponic Plant problems?  some of the most common problems are Plant disease, pests, grower mistakes with the system environment. All of these factors play a very important role.

Now we will look at the major problem areas in plants and how you can solve them.

  1. Hydroponic Plant Diseases

There is sterile environment maintain in a growing room. The same goes for necrotic plant tissue that stays in the system.  the ideal starting place for deadly bacteria and pathogens is the dead tissue root.

Here are the some primary plant diseases

Powdery Mildew – this disease reduces yields considerably and stunts the plant growth. Once it gets into the garden, it may struggle to stop spreading. When you look at it, the leaves will be covered with white spots as if someone has dusted them in powder. Two major factors allow it to infect plants, the first being the strength of the plant and the second being the environment.

The best quick solution to fix this is to remove infected leaves, and ensure there is  plenty of airflow and low humidity levels. Plants that are stronger have thicker cell walls, and this is what prevents powdery mildew from moving down their feeding tubes. You can also wash the spores off the leaves, and drying out the plant afterward.

Downy Mildew-  This type of mildew is more common on agricultural plants rather than the powdery variety, which is most often found on flowering plants. The tops of the leaves will be covered with yellow spots; while the bottom will have a light frosting of grey, purple or blue. To prevent this, You will go through the above methods such as cutting off infected leaves and tissues, and making sure the plants have plenty of room for good airflow.

Steps to prevent plant disease

Prevention is the best treatment for plant disease. Even with these, a grower may have to face many more like gray mold and other varities.

Here is a few things you can do to make sure your plants stay clean and healthy.

Clean Clothes- it can be easy for the disease to spread on your clothes. The spores are microscopic, and can grab onto anything before falling toward their prey when they feel the time is right. Grow rooms should be sterile, and the best way  fresh clothing which is not been exposed to in a outdoor garden area , while entring the farm.

Keep a Clean Grow Room - There are many different molds and mildew, we've only touched on a couple, yet they can all find their way into your grow room. Keeping a clean area is important as is making sure any ventilation is properly filtered, and that there is no dirty or dead plant debris. All equipment need to be wiped down at regular intervals, and there should be no trace of soil anywhere inside your growing area.

2.Algae Plant Problems in Hydroponics

Because algae spores are microscopic, they can enter your grow room in the same way as the spores that cause plant disease. However, in hydroponics, the conditions are perfect for the growth of algae as they are similar to plants.

It is important to watch the rate of growth of algae in the system . This will determine the level of plant problem growers face. The algae should be clean from the system as early as the deducted. If the algae is left to stay in the system :  .

  1. there is a drop in nutrient levels in the system .
  2. the amount of dissolved oxygen decreases

Algae Prevention in Hydroponics

Preventing algae can be an ongoing saga, and it will mean keeping your growing area as clean as possible. Algae don't like dry surfaces, so you only see it around the water line in your system. Commercial algaecides are of little use, and there is no better way to get rid of it than by flushing the system and giving it a good cleaning.

It's best to do this when you're switching up your batch of nutrients, because then you'll know your system is as clean as can be.

To do this, drain the fluid from your system. You can then use hydrogen peroxide at a ratio of 3 milli liters per gallon of water. Before topping up your system with this solution, check for debris and remove it. Keep your system above your regular water line and run this peroxide solution without plants for six hours. Drain and rinse then drain again, and wipe down every surface you can reach.

Two ways to slow the growth of algae are to use opaque materials for your system. Light is something that algae love as it tries to grow in your tank. The second is to cover any exposed water. This is to slow algae from entering your system as well as block light.

Another trick is to use UVC light in your filtration system. These can be expensive, but they will kill microorganisms. A more natural approach is to administer 10 drops of grape seed extract per gallon of water; these helping repelling algae  ,they are effective at repelling algae.

3.Hydroponic Plant Problems From Pests

Plant pests have unfortunately evolved to travel between crops, even when they are indoors. Growers need to be vigilant because pest infestations can quickly ruin crops before they are aware of the problem.

Here are some of the most common indoor garden pests growers may encounter.

Spider Mites - Spider mites are probably the most common of all indoor garden pests. Because the mites are so small, you probably won't notice them until very late. There are two very easy ways to recognize a spider mite. One way is to keep an eye on a webbing material that looks like it came from a spider. Another way is to wipe the back of the leaves with a cloth to see if there are insects in it.

Thrips- Thrips are a difficult pest to identify, but with a good eye, you will see small dark spots on the leaves of your plant. The leaves usually turn brown and dry up.

Aphids- Another name for these pests is plant lice. They will be either green or black. Aphids will seriously weaken your plants by sucking out all the juices. This will cause your leaves to turn yellow and then brown. They are mostly located on the stem.

White flies- They resemble small moths which are all white in color. Their color makes them very easy to find, but they can fly, so they are very difficult to catch.

Fungus gnats - Although the adults of this species are not harmful, the larval form can be very deadly to your plants. These pests can slow the growth of your plants by eating the roots. These appear to be small white worms in the growing media.

Plant Pest Prevention Methods

Although there are many technologies for pest prevention, some are better still the old natural ones. One of the favourites of growers is the compound neem oil. It has been used for centuries, but has only become readily available for application over the years.

Neem is also a long term approach as it is an insect growth regulator. This means it will work better in the long run to break the life cycle of insects. One good thing with neem is that since it is a plant extract, it is nontoxic in small amounts, yet requires care.

Sticky traps are another great way to control these pests. When you hang sticky traps around the room, you can trap insects, and this will make them easier to identify. Blue stick cards are good for catching thrips. Yellow cards attract fungus gnats and whiteflies. It is important that you make sure that some of the cards are at soil level and at the middle level of your plants.

Another natural means of protecting plants from these pests is the introduction of beneficial insects. Outdoor gardeners are well aware of these and they can work for indoor gardens as well.

Ladybugs are a prime example, as are lacewings, hunting companions, while there are also Hypoaspis and Encarsia formosa, which eat greenhouse whiteflies, fungus gnats, and springtails. The problem with using these in some gardens is that they themselves struggle to survive long enough.

4.The problem of nutrient deficient plants in hydroponics

New growers may think that there are many plant problems like the ones above, yet the only thing they are delivering to their plants may be one of the major areas where there are plant issues.

Either giving too many nutrients or not getting enough can lead to nutrient deficiencies. This can frustrate gardeners, as they are not sure what is causing damage to their crops. Symptoms may say one thing while the cause is actually something else.

Nutrient lockout can come from multiple areas in a system. Water may be a culprit, especially if the pH level is outside the ideal range. It is important for growers to know the ranges that are suitable for good plant growth and the things that can affect it. Tap water can have an effect on pH, as this water contains many compounds, depending on the area you live in.

Heat stress can also lead to nutrient deficiencies as can an insufficient amount of light.

Producers need to know how to diagnose deficiencies before they can fix problems. The leaves should be of uniform colour all around and they should be uniform in size. Once leaves begin to show a shape that is not the same as older leaves, or are patchy in colour, these are the first signs that there is a problem.

There are many symptoms of nutrient deficiencies, yet most come from macronutrients because they are what plants use most. These are not as hard to cure and prevent as it seems if they are caught soon enough.

Fixing nutrient deficient plants in hydroponics

There are two main areas that growers need to pay attention to pH levels when fixing these issues. It is important to monitor these levels daily, as it is to measure the EC levels of the solution. This is done with a good digital EC tester and pH testing equipment.

Growers should also understand that just because a plant is showing signs of a nutrient deficiency, it does not mean that their solution lacks this nutrient. Phosphorus levels, which are too high, can prevent plants from taking up other nutrients.

Iron deficiency can be as simple as a nutrient solution being cooled below the recommended temperature. The temperature range for the solution should be around 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Iron deficiency can also be caused by a solution that is rich in manganese. This explains why adding more nutrients may not necessarily be the best approach.

Flushing the system may be the best way to correct any nutrient deficiency. However, nutrient deficiency might not issue in every case, these problem can occur due to other factors as well

To check for a problem in the plant growth, remove a leaf that is showing major signs of discoloration or that is badly damaged. In severe cases, you may need to go back up to the stem. It is important to remove any leaf matter that is dying because if it rots, it allows pathogens to enter the system.

The pot and growing medium should be washed with pH-balanced water to remove any salt. At this stage, it should be run for a period of 24 hours before pH and EC levels can be measured again.

Once both levels are back in line, you can mix a new batch, yet it is recommended to use only three-quarters of the manufacturer's dosage strength as mentioned, a final addition can be some organic liquid tea as a supplement. It's Beneficial for Your Plants Without Increasing Some Nutrients.


Growers have many things to contend with, and in some cases, they may wonder whether it is worth having a hydroponic garden because of these problems. While these can hit at any time, once the right precautions are taken, the actual chance of these problems hitting a garden is dramatically reduced. Growers quickly understand how their systems and gardens work, so they tend to take precautionary and solved any issue at earlier.

A hydroponic garden is worth the little extra effort to control the problem , because the produce be get is much more nutrition and  healthier than a regular produce

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