Vertical hydroponics: grow more in less space (+DIY) (2023)

Vertical hydroponics: grow more in less space (+DIY) (1)

Less is more.

Most of us have heard this popular phrase, but does it apply to gardening?

The answer is a resounding yes!"

hidroponia verticalis the practice of growing plants hydroponically in vertically stacked layers, meaning you don't need a lot of ground space to do this.

You can grow plants in your small apartment, restaurant, office, and pretty much anywhere in the world where you have small areas.

How does vertical hydroponics work?

Vertical hydroponics works like all the othershydroponic systems:exposing the bare roots of the plants to a nutrient-rich aqueous solution.

Except in vertical hydroponics, your plants are stacked vertically in layers.

The nutrient solution provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs. You don't need any growing medium like soil.

(Video) Next Gen Farming Without Soil and 90% Less Water | GRATEFUL

Vertical hydroponics: grow more in less space (+DIY) (2)

The system

The vertical hydroponics system consists of the following basic components:

  • a water tank
  • a bomb
  • Vertical culture tubes
  • Overhead distribution tubes
  • Drain pipes (optional)

The process

  • The system is similar to the nutrient film technique (NFT), but here the culture channels or towers are arranged vertically.
  • The holes in the channels contain netting pots to support the seedlings.
  • whole nutrient solutiondissolved nutrients needed for plant growthis pumped from a reservoir at the bottom into overhead manifolds and delivered to the top layer.
  • From there, the nutrient solution drains with the help of gravity through the bare roots of the plants in the lower layers.
  • The solution is collected in the tank through drain tubes at the bottom and is recycled.

Advantages of vertical hydroponics

Vertical hydroponics is advantageous to other plant growing systems primarily because of its ability to produce a large yield while consuming very little land area.

Since this can easily be done indoors, your plants don't have to depend on good weather. Furthermore, using less space means that vertical hydroponic systems do less damage to the surrounding flora and fauna, resulting in the conservation of local biodiversity.

Following are the advantages of vertical hydroponics.

  • The main advantage of vertical hydroponics is the minimal use of space.
  • Hydroponic towers use 90% less water than traditional farming.
  • Vertical hydroponic systems are a form of NFT. This technique ensures an adequate supply of oxygen, water and nutrients, leading to high quality yields.
  • It can allow 10 times the crop yield compared to traditional methods.
  • Highly increased energy efficiency.
  • They can be grown indoors, which protects them from the elements.
  • Crop production throughout the year, as the method is independent of the external climate.
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Disadvantages of vertical hydroponics

The only major disadvantages of a vertical hydroponic system are its relative complexity compared to other systems such as deep water culture (DWC) and its overall complexity in setup.

NFT systems are highly technology dependent, which means that a 24/7 power supply is required. A power outage can mean a loss of production (or your entire crop).

These systems are also more difficult to build because of the care needed to establish the proper gradient. If your systems tilt too much, your plants aren't getting enough water and nutrients. If you don't slope enough, you'll end up with pools of standing water that pose a risk of disease and poor circulation of nutrients.

Making your own DIY vertical hydroponic system

Most people choose to make their own vertical hydroponic systems, with PVC pipe being the most common material for building towers. Making a system can be easier than you think.

(Video) Cheap & Easy Vertical Tower Garden with No Power, Diy Hydroponics

We'll provide some tips below, but here's a great video on how to build a DIY vertical hydroponic system. (And check this out for othershydroponics do it yourselfsettings.)

Building the growth tower

  • Use PVC pipes to make grow towers.
  • Cut PVC pipes to make holes for growing spaces. Then, using a heat gun, push the piece over the slots so the holes face up to hold the net pots.
  • Make sure the growing spaces (holes) are properly spaced from each other to allow enough room for the plants to grow.
  • If your system is not wall mounted, you may want your grow spaces to face different directions in a spiral. This way you can grow more plants in a single tower.
  • Your farm tower can be self-sufficient if there is only one tower in your system.
  • But if your tower is tall and/or you are going to integrate more towers into your system, you need a support system to support the towers. You can mount the system on a wall or hang the towers from an elevated structure.
  • When your plants grow, they must have enough space for light and air, so the grow towers must be separated by a sufficient distance from each other.

Building your nutrient reserve

  • You will be pumping nutrient solution to the top of your reservoir towers. You can place the sump directly under the towers so that unused solution (run-off) collects directly in the sump to be pumped back.
  • Or you can collect water from the towers using drain pipes, and then direct it to the reservoir located somewhere nearby.
  • Your reservoir may need a drain tube to drain water from the reservoir when it's time to replace the nutrient solution.

The bomb

  • You need a pump to transport the nutrient solution from the reservoir to the top of the towers. From there, the solution should be evenly distributed to all grow towers via hoses or tubes.
  • It must ensure equitable distribution of water to all plants in the system. If you have spiral holes, water must flow all the way through the tube so that all the plants are properly watered.

Don't forget the grow lights.

  • If your system is outdoors or in a greenhouse, you may not want a grow light. But as with any hydroponic system,grow lightsthey are important if you are growing your plants indoors.

seedling transplant

  • After setting up your system, place the net pots in the grow spaces. The net pots should go deep enough into the PVC pipe so that the roots of the seedlings are exposed to the dripping water.
  • Again, make sure water drains from all growing spaces without missing any.
  • You are now ready to transplant your seedlings. Place the seedlings inside the mesh pots and wait for your plants to grow.

3 pre-built vertical hydroponic systems

You can also buy vertical systems online.

Vertical towers on Amazon have a relatively small number of blueprints and are not designed for mass production unless you buy a lot of them. But still, a single tower can contain anywhere from 10 to 75 plants.

1. Smart Farm Mr. Stacky

Mr. Smart Farm StackyIt is a self-watering vertical hydroponic tower that can house 20 plants. It can be used to grow plants hydroponically or using soil.

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key stats

  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • reservoir: 16 gallons
  • dimensions: 16" x 16" x 87"
  • holes: 20 x 1.25″ diameter
  • More information:click here →

Comes with 5 pots (each with 4 pots) that can be stacked on top of each other. Also includes a base reservoir, lid, pump, timer, dispenser, plant food, tubing, tubes, adapters and growth guide.

Basically, it's all you need.

If you choose to grow your plants hydroponically, Mr. Stacky recommends that you use a growing medium that is 75-80% coco peat and 20-25% perlite, gravel or Growstone.

The coconut peat and other growing medium components don't come with the tower, so you'll need to buy them separately. (But again, they're not necessary.)

(Video) DIY Hydroponics Garden Tower Build | Less than $150

If you are growing your plants indoors, you should buy your own LED lights as the Mr. Stacky Smart Farm doesn't come with any.

Pros de Mr Stacky Smart Farm

  • You can grow just about "anything that makes sense," from cucumbers and peppers to strawberries and watermelons, and even root crops like beets.
  • It comes in three attractive colors: stone, black and terracotta.

Contras de Mr Stacky Smart Farm

  • LED grow lights not included.

2. DreamJoy 4 Tier Vertical Hydroponic System

A zig-zag vertical hydroponic system, theDreamJoy 4 layers 36 plant locationsIt can house up to 36 plants and is easy to set up and use.

Vertical hydroponics: grow more in less space (+DIY) (5)

key stats

  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • reservoir: 16 gallons
  • dimensions: 19" x 19" x 52"
  • bomba: 250 gph (subergível)
  • More information:click here →

It is made of food-grade PVC-U pipes, which are vertically stacked in 4 layers, each of which can house 9 plants.

Your kit includes the following:

  • A stand and a main tube.
  • 36 planting locations and planting sponges
  • 1 110v water pump
  • 1 hose
  • installation instructions

Does not come with its own water tank or grow lights.

You have to put the seeds in the sponge and wait for them to sprout before transplanting them with the sponge into the planting holes.

(Video) Can We Make an Affordable Easy DIY Hydroponic Grow Tower?

Advantages of the DreamJoy vertical system

  • Very easy to assemble (only takes about 20 minutes).
  • Ideal for small and leafy plants.

DreamJoy Vertical System Cons

  • It does not come with a water tank or LED lighting system.
  • Specially made for leafy vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, celery, cabbage, etc.

3. Growing lettuce with 36 plants

If you're looking for a vertical tower that doesn't require a growing medium, consider theLettuce growing station for 36 plants. This system has a capacity of 36 floors, but you can also choose to buy towers of 12, 18, 24 or 30 floors.

Vertical hydroponics: grow more in less space (+DIY) (6)

key stats

  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • reservoir: 20.5 gallons
  • dimensions: 13" x 13" x 73"
  • holes: 6 layers x 6 plants per layer
  • More information:click here →

It comes with a capacity of 20.5 liters of water, is very compact and looks like a vase with a sleek and modern finish.

Although the name might lead you to think that this tower is just for growing lettuce, it can be used to grow a wide variety of plants. (Lettuce Grow has over 200 varieties of seedlings. They don't come in a box.)

Advantages of growing lettuce with 36 plants

  • Completely self-watering and self-fertilizing.
  • It comes with enough food for over 130 plants.
  • Expansion kits with additional layers are sold separately so you can increase your capacity at any time without purchasing a new kit.

Plantation Cons of Lettuce Grow 36 Plants

  • One of the most expensive pre-built hydroponic systems.
  • Heavy and fragile.

Vertical Hydroponics: Final Considerations

Vertical hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil in vertically stacked layers without requiring a lot of horizontal space.

(Video) Raised Garden Beds Are So Yesterday!

The main advantage is the increase in crop yield that comes from a very small footprint.

But there are so many other benefits and advantages that go beyond the scope of just an increase in productivity, such as greater water and nutrient efficiency and very low disease rates.

Building a vertical hydroponic system is easy. If you don't want to build a system yourself, there are many pre-assembled systems available online at the super simple websiteMr. Smart Farm Stackyto the elegantlettuce growing support.


1. 8 Vertical Farming Towers Reviewed
(Simple Tek)
2. How To Make inexpensive Hydroponic System and start Hydroponics Garden At home 2021.
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4. DIY Hydroponic Garden Tower - The ULTIMATE hydroponic system growing over 100 plants in 10 sq feet
5. Home Hydroponic Farm: Hundreds of Pounds of Produce in 10 Sq Ft!
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6. Cheap & Easy DIY Hydroponics | Ditch the expensive stuff for a $1 Pool Noodle
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