Choosing Between Soil Or Hydroponic Growing For Medical Marijuana

Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 17451 views
By Lee G. Leissett


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hydroponic marijuana

Hydro can grow faster, but soil is more forgiving for novice growers.
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" Soil is "old faithful," but hydroponics get amazing results. "

When starting to grow medical marijuana, one of the first, and most important, decisions you must make is whether to grow in soil or a hydroponic system. It seems like a pretty straight forward decision but there are many variables to be considered before making a final choice. Both soil and hydroponic systems have advantages and disadvantages and only a grower’s unique circumstances and desires can determine the most appropriate choice.

Soil growing is what I like to refer to as “old faithful.” Medical marijuana plants have been grown in soil since the earliest record of cultivation. Soil is extremely forgiving compared to most hydroponic systems, making it an excellent choice for novice growers.

Temperature, pH and even nutrient concentration can be “buffered” by soil, allowing a larger acceptable margin of error within the garden environment and for the grower themselves. If you know your room’s temperature fluctuates regularly, soil is probably a better choice for you.

Soil also tends to be the choice medium for the organic medical marijuana grower. Pure organic nutrients rely on a multitude of beneficial organisms to break down organic compounds into absorbable elements. These beneficial organisms live and breed in soil and within a plant’s rhizosphere. Most growers find it easier to maintain the high level of microorganisms needed for organic gardening in a soil medium.

Some disadvantages of soil gardening are a greater likelihood for soil-born insects, dirty equipment and the disposal of the used soil. 

There are many different hydroponic systems used for growing medical marijuana. Although they differ in many ways they all share common advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, hydroponic gardens grow at a faster rate than soil gardens. This is achieved by the use of soluble, synthetic fertilizers which bypass the majority of the microorganisms that are vital in organic gardening. Since there is no waiting for microbes to break organic compounds down (this has already been done in a laboratory) the plants can uptake the nutrients instantaneously. This is one reason why hydroponic gardens grow so rapidly.

Other advantages of hydroponic medical marijuana are more control over what your plants consume, less insect problems (many insects rely on soil for a portion of their lifecycle) and cleanliness. Major disadvantages associated with hydroponic gardening are overall maintenance, vulnerability to environmental factors, sensitivity to pH and extreme difficulty for organic cultivation.


Every grower must make the hydroponic or soil decision themselves. Just make sure you look at all the pros and cons for each. I rarely recommend new growers start with a hydroponic system and I even more rarely recommend growers looking for organic medicine to grow hydroponically.

There are some people that are naturally very technical. If you are one of these people, then hydroponics is probably a great fit for you, whether you’re new to growing or not. If you are not that technical or producing organic medicine is of high priority reach no further than that bag of potting soil.

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