Hydroponic systems have a history that may go back as far as 600 B.C. to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and has been rediscovered several times since. The word ‘hydro’ means water and ‘ponic’ means work from the Greek language. It is a method of soilless growing using an inert substance as the growing medium with nutrient salts being added to the water at regular intervals.

In the modern-day growing marijuana in a hydroponic system indoors started in the 1970s allegedly by Hawaiian pot farmers using porous lava rock as a medium. Today it is the most popular method of growing weed indoors for many reasons.

Hydroponics vs. soil

Soil serves two main purposes for most all land plants: to support the roots and stem structure and as a supply for the necessary minerals and nutrients.


With soil, all you need is a pot, some dirt and fertilizer. While hydroponics can be fairly inexpensive, full-out systems can set you back quite a bit.

Pests & disease

While hydroponics has its own set of problems with bacteria and viruses, it virtually eliminates all soil-borne pests that plague many soil growers as many insects lay their eggs and larvae in soil. Even if soil is sterilized, flying insects may be attracted to your weed and lay their eggs in the soil. More on pests and diseases.