Hydroponics is a popular way of growing plants indoors without soil. Unlike soil-based systems, hydroponics has fewer plants problems since there is no soil for the bacteria to grow. However, as a grower, you will battle with some plant problems in hydroponics systems.
Common plant problems in hydroponics system
In some cases, hydroponic plants are affected by some pests and diseases. Here are some of the common plant issues in hydroponics:
Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt are common in hydroponic systems and mostly affect peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. First, they appear as small spots on the leaves of your plants. After some time, the leaves curl up and dry out completely.
The most efficient method to prevent wilts is to use the clean growing medium for each planting season. Also, you should consider growing wilt-resistant plant varieties. There are no known chemicals for treating wilts. The best thing is to remove the diseased plants out of your hydroponic system to avoid spreading of the disease.
#2. Black mold
This is a dusty a black fungal growth that affects mostly onions and garlic plants. The infection will spread rapidly and affect the whole plant if not treated early. This makes the plant susceptible to other secondary infections. This infection can occur as a result of damp and high-temperature conditions. Moreover, this infection can enter the hydroponic vegetable through wounds. The use of chemicals is very efficient in treating black mold. However, the disease can be prevented by using the seeds treated with fungicide.
#3. Powdery mildew
This is a fungal infection that is caused by excess moisture on your hydroponic plants. The sign of this disease are the white powdery spots on the leaves of your plants. Plants that are most vulnerable to powdery mildew are pumpkins, cucumbers, squash, and roses. The infection of powdery mildew is accelerated when plants are too close to each other.
How do you deal with this condition without using harsh chemicals? Spray the affected leaves with a mixture of water and milk. Spraying should be done on a regular basis to achieve best results.
#4. Spider mites
These are green, yellow, or red tiny insects that are common in hydroponic plants. Spider mites multiply at an alarming rate and destroy plants quickly. These pests suck out the content of plants cells, which hindering the metabolic process. The most efficient way of eradicating spider mites is to wash the infected leaves with warm soapy water. After this treatment, the plants should be sprayed with an insecticide.
These are tiny insects that leave a sticky residue on the leaves of your plants. Aphids are found in clusters and suck on the leaves of most hydroponic plants. Aphids can be eliminated by spraying with a solution of water, soup and ground hot pepper. For best results, the spray should be applied thrice daily for three days. After this, you should use the treatment twice daily for the next five days.
Hydroponic plants are also affected by pests and diseases. However, it is much easier to control plant problems in hydroponics as compared to soil-based systems.