noun plural but singular in construction \ˌhī-drə-ˈpä-niks\

: a method of growing plants in water rather than in soil

Full Definition of HYDROPONICS

:  the growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (as soil) to provide mechanical support
hy·dro·pon·ic \-nik\ adjective
hy·dro·pon·i·cal·ly \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


hydr- + -ponics (as in geoponics agriculture)
First Known Use: 1937


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cultivation of plants in nutrient-enriched water, with or without the mechanical support of an inert medium such as sand or gravel. Fertilizer solution is pumped through the system periodically. As the plants grow, concentration of the solution and frequency of pumping are increased. A wide variety of vegetables and florist crops can be grown satisfactorily in gravel. Automatic watering and fertilizing saves on labor, but installation costs are high and fertilizer solution must be tested frequently. Yields are about the same as for soil-grown crops.


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