Hydroponic growing may still seem like an offbeat concept, but it's been around for decades. It's been a convenient method for people who aren't around soil and still want to grow vegetables or any type of flower. One of the most common flowers grown hydroponically is the rose. The results are usually excellent and done more commonly using the process of nutrient film technique.
Things You'll Need
- Greenhouse (optional)
- Sturdy table
- Rose seedlings
- Nutrient film technique kit
- Rubber mats
- Grow lights
- Net pots
- Grow medium
- pH analyzer
Find an indoor location where you can grow your roses hydroponically. Preferably, it would be in a well-sealed greenhouse, though you can do any hydroponic growing in a basement or even outside on a porch. Make sure the area gets direct sunlight and is protected from drafts.
Decide on the type of roses you want to grow. You can't grow multiple types, but the most popular are climbing roses or the standard long-stemmed rose. Buy a trellis to help train a climbing rose plant as it grows.
Purchase your nutrient film technique system from any local or online gardening store. These systems generally consist of little trays with plastic humidity covers in which you grow your roses and feed them with a timed water nutrient pump.
Buy some rubber mats and place them on the surface where you place your nutrient film technique system. Because water comes from the nutrient pump, any dampness that gets on the table could make the trays slip off and break.
Go to a local hardware store and buy grow lights to hang over the trays. If growing your hydroponic roses in a basement, expect to use the grow lights for a maximum of 12 hours per day. In areas still exposed to sunlight, the grow lights will just be a supplemental light source during cloudy days. Six to eight hours of sunlight for roses is standard.
Starting the Hydroponic Process
Set up your nutrient film technique system by following the directions that come with the kit. Plug its water nutrient pump into a power strip since it'll be operating at different times every day over a period of months.
Be sure to buy healthy rose seedlings that don't have disease since hydroponic systems are hypersensitive to diseased plants.
Look for net pots in a gardening store. Use some distilled water to soak the roots of your rose seedlings. Place the seedlings into the net pots using grow medium. You can buy grow medium specifically for roses in most gardening stores.
Buy a pH analyzer in a gardening store if one wasn't included in your hydroponic kit. These meters keep proper measurement on the acidity and alkalinity of the grow medium and watered nutrients you're putting into the net pots. Roses require about 6.5 to 7.5 pH in order to grow properly.
Keep watch on the water nutrient pump to make sure it keeps working properly if it is on a timer system. Fill the pump with water if it starts getting too low. Prune dead or damaged branches as the rose plants grow.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't listen to myths that using hydroponic systems will give you supersized rose plants. All results will be the same as if growing in normal soil outside, though arguably of a better quality due to lack of exposure to pesticides and other outside elements.
- Photo Credit red roses image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com