We have talked about the basics of aeroponics and of using this growing method for cannabis.
We have also briefly talked about why some growers swear by aeroponics when cultivating cannabis and why some still prefer the traditional method.
Here’s a list of the pros and cons of using aeroponics in growing cannabis.
Pros of using aeroponic system
Efficient in terms of water usage. Aeroponic system is highly efficient when it comes to the use of water. This is because any nutrient solution not absorbed by the roots of the cannabis plant can be recycled.
Plenty of oxygen to go around. Typically, the above-ground portion of plants breathes in carbon dioxide while the roots below the ground breathe in oxygen. In aeroponics systems, where the main growing medium is air instead of soil, there’s plenty of oxygen to go around for roots to breathe in. What’s more, growers can directly apply a customized level of nutrients to the exposed roots, thus allowing the cannabis plants to mature to their fullest potential.
Safe from soil-based pests. The lack of soil in an aeroponic system means that the cannabis plant is not vulnerable to pests that are typically found in the soil.
Roots are not constrained. Because the root system of the plant is exposed in an open-air medium, it is not constrained by the size of the pot or by the amount of soil available. This means that you can grow more clones closer together and you can grow as many plants as the size of your setup will allow at one time.
Easy harvest. It is easier to harvest cannabis plants. The lack of soil as grow medium means you can just pull out the plant — roots and all — from the system.
Cons of using aeroponic system
Vulnerable system. With the simplicity of an aeroponic setup, a poorly monitored grown can also go wrong very quickly. And because the roots are suspended in the air without soil or any growing medium, your cannabis plants will require consistent feeding and humidity in order to prevent nutrient deficiency and damage. This also means that even a minor problem in your setup, like power outages, poorly mixed nutrient solution, or clogged pipes, could result in compromised crops.
Not for beginners. An aeroponics system is not really an advisable method to use for beginners or for those without any prior experience growing cannabis. When it comes to nutrients, you need to know exactly what it is you are doing. Getting into aeroponics without the necessary information and knowledge can lead to extra costs. For instance, the roots of the plant actually start dying within an hour of an aeroponic system going out of power or shutting down. That is why having a backup power source or a backup hydroponics system is very important in case something malfunctions.
At risk of Molds. Pests may not be common in an aeroponic system, but molds can still be an issue. This is because the roots still need darkness and moisture in the planting container. Moisture and darkness are conditions that are ideal for molds to thrive.
Aeroponics vs traditional
Expert growers explained why they prefer using the aeroponic method or why they would rather stick to the traditional soil-based way.
Aeroponics experts say that the aeroponic method can yield healthy and large plants that can reach their strain’s full potential in terms of cannabinoid content. They also say that this method yields the highest level of trichomes — the part of the cannabis plant that produces the highest concentrations of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, as well as terpenes and flavinoids that contribute to the potency, uniqueness, and effectiveness of the cannabis strain.
Additionally, Avid Growing Systems, which specializes in the aeroponic method, claims that it can significantly lessen the amount of time it takes for the cannabis plant to reach maturity. Aeroponics, it says, brings down the growth cycle of cannabis from the usual 90 days to just 60.
On the other hand, growers who prefer cultivating cannabis the traditional way say that plants grown in soil yields a richer flavor profile compared to plants grown the aeroponic way.