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3 Fast-Growing Hydroponic Plants

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I’ve experimented with a wide variety of hydroponic plants and I hope my experience can help you in your own hydroponic journey.

A recirculating hydroponic system makes for a great ecosystem.

A recirculating hydroponic system makes for a great ecosystem.

Fast-Growing Hydroponic Plants

If you've ever set up a hydroponic system, or if you're running a system currently, you will know how frustrating it can be waiting for plants to be ready for harvest so you can share them with friends and family. It really helps when you get a hydroponic plant that grows quickly to keep you motivated during your hydroponic journey.

I’ve experimented with quite a variety of hydroponic plants and made a shortlist of fast-growing options. Of course, most of them are vegetables since fruit plants usually take a long time from planting until harvest. My Aquaponic setup at home has also shown great growth from plants that rely heavily on nitrates to grow. This means spinach and other dark green vegetables are the fastest growing vegetables and do great.

3 Plants That Grow Quickly:

  1. Spinach
  2. Swiss Chard
  3. Mint
Spinach is so nutritional and easy to grow!

Spinach is so nutritional and easy to grow!

1. Spinach

Spinach of any variety does great in a hydroponic system. It really loves a nice moist environment and will be ready to harvest from a seedling after around 14–20 days. This may sound like a long time, but if you plant many spinach plants close together, you can get quite a large harvest, and if you harvest the leaves every week, you should be able to maintain a steady supply of spinach to feed your friends and family.

Like all plants, young spinach seeds and seedlings are sensitive to frost and usually show no growth below 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit). For optimum growth, temperatures in your greenhouse (if you have one) should be kept at around 24–30 degrees Celsius (75–85 Fahrenheit)

The best thing about spinach is that it grows incredibly quickly, and you can begin harvesting once the leaves are an edible size, just like baby spinach. When harvesting, it's best to start from the outside of the plant and leave the inner parts to grow larger. Spinach contains one of the highest levels of zinc from a plant source.

Swiss chard grows quickly and is delicious.

Swiss chard grows quickly and is delicious.

2. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a very popular hydroponic plant and is one of the fastest hydroponic plants I’ve seen. Swiss chard will survive in soils or nutrients with a pH of around 6.2–7.

You can harvest Swiss chard at around 35 days. Even after harvesting, it will continue to grow and prosper and provide heavy harvest. The plant is very versatile and can tolerate most temperatures but thrives in cooler weather. Soil temperatures of 10–30 degrees Celsius are recommended, and it's best to plant late in summer. It’s very hardy and can handle some light freezes and frost.

Seeds for Swiss chard should be 1/2–1 inch deep and around 3–6 inches apart. Much like beets and other chards, it will produce more than one plant from the seeds, requiring a little maintenance to ensure the plant can grow freely.

Swiss chard loves full sun, and seeds can be saved for up to five years, so it's easy to collect the seeds and save them for future planting. Swiss chard also has high levels of vitamin K not seen in any other plants.

Mint grows quickly and can give any dish a great flavor.

Mint grows quickly and can give any dish a great flavor.

3. Mint and Spearmint

Mint is probably my favourite as I love to chew on a mint leaf or make my own minty tea, and it's definitely the fastest growing hydroponic plant I’ve come across so far. It can take a long time to grow from a seed because germination can be tough and requires quite a lot of patience, but once it has reached the young plant stage, it will go crazy and really take over your Aquaponic system.

The best thing is to buy a mature mint plant from your local nursery and transplant it into your hydroponic system. Mint takes very little care and only requires a good water supply for optimal growth. It's great for Vietnamese cooking and in fresh salads.

That’s it for now, but I may add some more in the future as I have great harvests from my radish and turnip plants.


Maisie Holmes from USA on September 24, 2018:

The salad takes far less care and nutrients. So with fine-tuning some parameters, salads are the fastest growing plants for hydroponics.

hamna on March 28, 2018:

@henry hydroponics are plants grown in nutrient rich solution

henry on February 03, 2016:

what is hydroponic

Henry Walker on October 09, 2012:

What hydroponic system do you use for growing the mint

stacy on October 25, 2010:

really need harvest in hydroponic plant.

show to me pleEzz

Chris studies Hydroponics on June 09, 2010:

Hi! Can you post closer pictures of your hyroponic set-up? What's your experience with the water source? Do you find that you have to replace it with clean water every couple of days?

Middle schooler on April 21, 2010:

I am gonna do hydroponics for my science fair. I have a short time limit. Thank you for giving me the ideas on what plants I should do.

expectus (author) from Land Downunder on November 29, 2009:

glad it helped roflkopter :P

Roflkopter on November 29, 2009:

Doing a school project. This helped a lot. Thanks =)

expectus (author) from Land Downunder on July 25, 2009:

The greenhouse idea sounds great solokoyote they really look and feel amazing when you've got heaps of plants growing in one :) goodluck

Thanks for the comment Mobile Phones :) I continue to learn as well from hubpage veterans :)

Mobile Phones from India on July 25, 2009:

I honestly like and respect your writing style, topic and research. I am learning from you.

Greg Spinks from northwestern Pennsylvania on July 25, 2009:

Swiss Chard is great, one of my favs. Working on putting together a small greenhouse at home this summer and Swiss Chard will be there. Mints are good too, like them in ice tea.

expectus (author) from Land Downunder on July 25, 2009:

thanks dohn121 for the comment:) , i am a huge fan of Pho as well aah I am also super hungry too, Tried making pho at home once was hard work getting the broth right.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on July 25, 2009:

Ha ha ha! Funny that you mentioned that mint is great in Vietnamese dishes. I just thinking Pho before you said that. Now I'm starved! Great job. It's my dream to build a greenhouse such as the one depicted. I'm tired of getting to the market late and finding that all of the good quality stuff is wiped out! It was fun reading this.