Did you know there are different growing media available for traditional and hydroponic growing? Read this guide to learn more! – Gro Indoor
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How to Grow Plants Traditionally and in a Hydroponic Grow Media?

by 09 Apr 2023

How to Grow Plants Traditionally and in a Hydroponic Grow Media?

As a grower, whether you traditionally grow plants or hydroponically, learning about grow media is necessary. With several growing mediums available, you need to make sure the one you use matches your requirements. You have to pick the one that'd work for you because with different growing mediums offering different features, not every media would work for you.

Understanding Growing Media

With a growing medium, you get to fix your plant's roots in place. The pot holds the plant, and with a growing medium providing nourishment to the roots, the growing media helps nourish the plants too. Specifically, a soil medium provides nourishment to the roots, while mediums like Rockwool are mostly inert.

The Common Types of Growing Media

There exist different growing mediums that you can use. The truth is that growers, over time, have used different tactics when growing plants. From using gravel to newspaper, they have used all the different types of growing mediums to grow plants.

However, instead of going untraditional, it's always better to use the type that provides you with a high-quality yield. For example, you can use soil, coco coir, soilless mixes, clay pebbles, and grow stones like Rockwool and Perlite. You can also check different accessories to enhance your soil condition.

Types of Growing Media for Root Cuttings

There are ways to use traditional soil for cultivating seedlings, but using specific growing mediums for cutting and seedlings is advisable. For example, you can use Rockwool starting cubes and root plugs to get better results.

One of themediums' benefits is that you can easily plant them into a new growing medium after the seedlings grow into buds. For this, you wouldn't even need any transplant as the buds degrade on their own quite promptly and efficiently.

Soilless Mixes and Coco Coir

Growers have only just begun to notice Coco Husk as one of the growing mediums available. This media has now become a popular choice for growers as the benefits are endless. It keeps the moisture intact and helps roots breathe while holding them in place. Coco coir, coconut fiber, and coco peat are some of the most common names of Coco Husk.

In contrast, soilless mixes have more of a balanced appeal to them when it comes to a growing medium. These mostly combine coco coir, Perlite, and different organic compounds. However, coco is the most in quantity in soilless mixes, i.e., fifty percent in most cases. Soilless mix is, in short, one of the best methods to cultivate plants because, with this, you provide your plants with natural compounds to improve their overall health.

At GroIndoor.com, we have the best cocoa mixes available to help you with your traditional gardening and the best coco chips to use in hydroponic systems. These are quite similar; however, they can appear in different sizes. Also, we believe that the better the quality, the better the pH balance these have, which helps remove the salts. So, we are not at all compromising on the quality!When it comes to using coco as a growing media, be sure to keep it pH neutral. This will help with moisture retention and aeration in the best ways possible.

Potting and Garden Soil

Soil as grow medium already has almost all the nutrients and elements you need to grow a plant. From peat, vermiculite, sand, and Perlite, soils combine different elements for a plant's proper growth. In soils, you also get mycorrhizae you can use to enhance the roots of your plants. Nutrients like such strengthen your plant's roots and help them grow better. However, soil growing is normally heavier than others. But the fact that soil grows provides you with a chance to grow your plants organically; the soil is mostly the medium most growers prefer. You can also use oils to enhance and improve the growth process.

How Soil Helps Beginners

The soil is the buffer that protects plants from getting an over and under dosage of nutrients. It provides you with a chance to grow plants organically and with different soil amendments for your plants to grow even better.

Clay pebbles and Growstones

Clay pebbles and Growstones are commonly used for hydroponic systems. These are used to support the plants, providing enough root access to nutrients, air, and water.

Known as the Hydroton and LECA, most hydroponic growers use these as traditional grow media. One of the benefits of using growstones and clay pebbles is that they are pH neutral and provide a proper drainage system. If the growstones are not pH neutral, you can consider soaking them in a pH-balanced solution before using them to make their pH neutral.

Growstones are normally made using recycled glass because they are quite porous. These growstones, when sterilized and cleaned, can be easily used again between different growth cycles. Growstones penetrate easily, and as a result, these go deep into the roots in different directions making dense root mass.

Read on: The Difference Between Clay Pebbles and Growstones.

In contrast, you need to water clays and growstones without skipping a day. Consider using these for a growing system that spills nutrients and access to oxygen right into the plant's roots.


One of the best parts about Perlite is that it is quite light in weight and easily penetrable. You can use these by combining them with one of the growing mediums as well as alone. These can be renewed and serve quite a long- life. Perlite retains the water, provides drainage, and helps in the aeration of the growing area. It easily falls into a neutral growing medium with a natural pH, i.e., 7.0. In conclusion, these are quite the best temperature insulator for the roots in plants, as well.


For hydroponic users, Rockwool is the best grow media you can ever use. These retain the moisture in the plants and provide root aeration. Rockwool and root pellets and plugs are quite alike and can be used in propagation. One benefit of using Rockwool is that it offers a lot of flexibility to make the size exactly as per your needs.

In contrast, these can be easily maintained during the growing cycle. In hydroponic systems, the grow media usually clogs the drainage and can harm equipment and water pumps. With Rockwool, you get to use these for germination to harvest your grow easily.

Rockwool provides a constant supply of nutrients and water into the plant's roots to grow plants better. It locks the moisture into the roots without damping and moistening them, exactly like a rung-out sponge.

Correcting the Garden Soil

Garden soil amendment increases stability, nutrients, and overall drainage benefits. If you want to make your grow media more appealing, adding nutrients and additives could be a great idea.

But if you are an organic grower, don't forget to check the OMRI-certified label on the products to grow organically. By starting from germination to harvesting, each step should have an organic touch to it. These are some of the amendments you can consider.

Bone Meal: These work best for the slow release of protein and phosphorus.

Blood Meal: Known best for being an incredible source of nitrogen and a composting activator.

Kelp: Helps in a plant's growth and in promoting cell division.

Bat Guano: Contains phosphate, potassium, and nitrogen in sufficient quantity.

Seabird Guano: Contains phosphate, potassium, and nitrogen in sufficient quantity than bat guano.

Perlite: Contains silicon dioxide in sufficient quantity and helps in infiltration and aeration. You can use Perlite instead of diatomaceous to prevent insects and pests invasion.

Mycorrhizae: These create a synergy with the plant's roots, help in water/ sugar and mineral exchange, and promote growth.

Worm Castings: Helps improve soil aeration and provides it with many micro-organisms while attracting the earthworms underneath. It further helps with water retention.

Humic Acid/ Hummus: Helps in filtering toxins and updating nutrients.


Buying in bulk helps you take discounts and unique shipping offers. We have the supplying power to provide you with just enough growing media you can need. Be sure to check our bulk discounts by calling us at 866-GRO-INDR to get custom quote on any large or bulk purchase. We wrap our bulk media mostly in black for security purposes.

At GroIndoor.com, the bulk media you get mostly comes in pallets. You can call us for a custom quote whenever you consider buying grow media in bulk. Here, not only do you get to save money with our bulk offers, but you also get the best in town in terms of quality.

Sep 11th 2022
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