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Want To Up Your Cannabis Game? Try Aeroponics!

Added 10 January 2022

Cannabis cultivators often try to find new ways to grow their favorite plants. 

Contrary to popular belief as demotivated stoners that fail to accomplish pretty much anything, cannabis enthusiasts perhaps have the smartest and creative minds. 

Although Aeroponics was first invented in 1957, it took almost three decades to be implemented. Richard Stoner (perhaps it’s all destiny, given the name?!) was the first individual to sell aeroponically-grown food in his grocery chain. 

Later, NASA supported his project, and aeroponics gained all the popularity you see today. 

Interestingly, cannabis growers tend to use the technique more than traditional farmers. And rightly so, because it helps you grow some of the best buds with outstanding yields that are often better than soil-grown plants.  

So, what is aeroponics, and how can you use it to grow the best cannabis buds? 

In this article, we answer all your questions about growing aeroponic cannabis. And, of course, we will show you to make a DIY aeroponics system as well!

What is Aeroponics for Growing Cannabis?

Plants in Aeroponics

Aeroponics is an advanced technique for cultivating cannabis plants without soil. It is similar to hydroponics; however, the roots are suspended in the air in a light-tight chamber instead of water. 

And, the nutrient solution is provided to the plant via high-tech misters that spray the solution at precise times.

Aeroponics for growing cannabis offers a two-fold advantage over other methods. Firstly, the roots are suspended in air and always in contact with oxygen. Secondly, the nutrient solution is sprayed directly over the roots at precise intervals, giving your plant proper nutrition at the right time, ensuring remarkable growth.

How Does Cannabis Aeroponics Work?

Aeroponics cloner

The workings of an aeroponics system are pretty simple to understand.

The system's most crucial component is the cloner — the light-tight chamber consisting of multiple misters spraying the nutrient solution.

Above the cloner, a planter bed holds the net pot holding the cannabis plant and the growing medium. A collar is also placed around the base of the stalk to prevent the mist from evaporating and keep the roots free of mold or infection. 

A pump connecting the reservoir and the cloner pumps the misters with the nutrient solution, and the excess moisture gets collected and drained back into the reservoir to be recycled.

That's it. That's how a cannabis aeroponics system works. However, note that this system is used for small seedlings or clones. For bigger plants, you’ll have to invest in bigger systems. 

What Lights Should You Choose to Set Up The Aeroponics System?

The type of lights depends entirely on the system you're setting up. For instance, if you have a small 5-gallon bucket, you will need simple lights that are not excessively powerful. 

On the other hand, if you set up an extensive system with a reservoir that can hold at least 100 liters of nutrients, you will need powerful lights.

Note that you will have to be very careful while setting up the lights. For example, powerful lights can increase the temperature of the water above 30°C, and the plants will begin struggling due to the heat. 

In such cases, you can either install an additional cooling unit or use cooler lights like LEDs that don't overheat the system. You can also go for CFLs if you use small buckets.

What Type of Reservoir Should You Choose to Set Up an Aeroponics System?

Whether you choose a small or a big bucket meant to be the reservoir, make sure you use something that doesn't allow light to pass through. Therefore, you cannot use buckets that are white or cream. Needless to say, transparent buckets are a no-go.

Why? Transparent or light-colored reservoirs will allow light to pass through. Although the light won't hurt the roots technically, it encourages algae to grow, invariably sucking all the nutrients meant for the plants. Too much algae can handicap the system and bring it to a total halt — a situation we don't want.

In addition, the size of the reservoir also matters. Rather than using a small system and scaling it up later, it's best to buy a larger reservoir with a capacity to hold at least 100 liters. 

You can also purchase all the equipment at once. A bigger system will undoubtedly intimidate you, but it's better than spending on all the equipment again. 

The goal is to set up a working system for the lowest possible cost, so a small system doesn't make sense.

What about the Water?

Like every other system, you will need to measure the water’s pH in an aeroponics system frequently. This part is very similar to a hydroponics system where you maintain the pH range between 5.5 to 6.5. 

In addition, you should set up the system so that the water temperature remains optimal at all times — anywhere between 18°C-24°C or 64°F-75°F should work. Cannabis plants will survive even in temperatures that exceed 30°C in soil, but the same is not valid for an aeroponics system. 

Remember that the canopy will survive even if the temperature exceeds a bit, but the roots will not, so make sure you dial in the water temperature before growing plants. You will get several devices to raise the temperature of the water; however, equipment to cool the water is generally expensive.

How to Introduce Ventilation?

Like any other growing system, ventilation plays a significant role even in aeroponics systems. For this reason, many growers use extractors to expel stale air in the system. You can also use small fans for the same purpose to help the stems and leaves become stronger as the air gently blows over them.

Aeroponics Vs. Hydroponics

As mentioned already, if you have some experience with hydroponic systems, aeroponics shouldn't be too difficult for you. The primary difference between the two techniques is simple.

Hydroponic plants

Hydroponic plants have their roots suspended in water, as you can see in this image. Plants get oxygen from the water in hydroponics systems.


In aeroponics systems, however, the roots are exposed to air, as you can see in the image above. They receive oxygen from the air. 

How to Grow Aeroponics Cannabis?

Now, it's time to grow cannabis with aeroponics. This is a very simple setup you can make at home. Let's begin!

Equipment You Need

  • Grow tent or room 
  • Sealable container to store the nutrient-water solution 
  • Net pots and zip ties to hold the plant
  • Water pump to connect the reservoir to the cloner 
  • Misters and plastic tubing to feed the roots
  • Grow lights 
  • Small computer fan to aerate the root zone 
  • Timers to automate the misters 

Step by Step Set-Up Process 

  • Pick the Right System 

You can choose between two options here. You can either choose a prebuilt aeroponics system or build your own. We recommend starting with a low-pressure system as it's suitable for beginners and won't leave you bankrupt. 

  • Create a Reservoir

Aeroponics reservoir

Next, get a plastic storage bin or a bucket to store your water and nutrient solution. Ensure that the container is entirely dark and sealed completely — any light leaks can increase the risk of bacteria and fungi.

The size of the reservoir depends on how many plants you are growing, but we recommend at least 100 liters to get started. 

  • Position Your Plant Pots

Position the pots

Your cannabis plant will sit over the reservoir. So, if you are using buckets, you can cut holes on the top to place the plant pots. Always use insulating tape to cover any gaps in the buckets to prevent the light from leaking inside.

  • Transfer the Seedlings

Transfer the seedlings

You can use Rockwool cubes or peat pellets for germinating the seeds during this stage. Then, you can transplant the seedlings to the net pots containing clay pebbles.

  • Set Up the Misters  


Next, you need to connect the reservoir to a pump that will circulate the water between the reservoir and misters. Next, connect the pipes to the misters or atomizers within the root zone. You don't need high-fi misters to start aeroponics — simple sprinkler heads will work as well. Whatever you use, just make sure the atomizer’s mist completely blankets the roots when it sprays.

  • Automate the Process

Automate the process

Next, you need to add timers to the pump and sprinklers to automate the process. The timer must trigger the atomizers every 3 to 4 minutes for about 3 to 5 seconds. Feel free to tune it in once as per your plant's requirements.

Complete design

Ultimately, a complete setup will resemble this image. Use the right strains and good grow lights that don't overheat the plant (max 24°C).  

That said, all this would be great for those growing single plants or clones or seedlings in the cloner. But, what if you were growing many plants? What if you want a separate reservoir?

Aeroponics setup

As you can see, you can grow several plants in one large setup. 

That's it! Follow these steps, and you will have an automated aeroponics system to grow your cannabis.

Why Should You Use Aeroponics to Grow Cannabis?

Aeroponics advantages

There are many reasons why choosing to grow aeroponics cannabis can work for you. As long as you have some experience with hydroponics, aeroponics will be easy for you.

Here are a few reasons why you should shift to aeroponics :


The more oxygen the roots get, the better they grow, so plants grown in aeroponic systems are comparatively better than those produced in other systems because of all the oxygen they get. 

Since the aeroponics concept involves suspending the plant’s roots in the air, the roots get direct access to oxygen and grow faster than any other medium. 

In comparison, even hydroponic systems offer a lot of oxygen to the roots; however, the grower will have to constantly monitor the roots and oxygenate the water using air pumps or other equipment. 

You won't have any such problems with aeroponics systems since the roots are not submerged in water 24/7. Just make sure the routes are happy and you're sorted.

Conserves Water

Aeroponic systems use significantly less water compared to other mediums. This is because the system supplies very little water required to grow. In addition, the system recycles the water, so you're saving more money and water in the process.

Quick Nutrient Supply

Plants growing in soil will have to work towards getting nutrients. Not that plants grown in soil are bad; however, the plants will have to work harder. 

In an aeroponics system, however, you supply the nutrients directly to the plants and make it easier for them. In addition, the roots are exposed to the air and get their regular nutrient supply consistently, so they also yield more than other mediums.

Reduces Pest Invasion

Since the plants will be growing without soil, pest invasions are very low. Most pests hide in the soil, but since aeroponics does not use soil, you will quickly spot potential problems.

Less Space

Since you can incorporate all plants in one extensive system, aeroponics systems won't take as much space as soil mediums. You won't need to dedicate lots of space for large pots because one big reservoir will do it all. Aeroponics systems also offer you the opportunity to grow more plants in one system compared to soil mediums.

Summarising the advantages, these are the factors you should keep in mind:

  • Aeroponics offers an excellent yield since the nutrients are applied directly to the roots, allowing for larger, more potent buds ripe with trichomes. 
  • The system also lets you save a lot of space, so you can grow multiple cannabis plants without sacrificing a lot of space. 
  • The lack of soil in the system also reduces the risk of pests and mold in the growing medium. 
  • This technique is also eco-friendly as it uses 90% less water than a soil-based growing system and 40% less than hydroponics. Less water, more buds — what's to complain about?!

Why Aeroponics May Not Work For You?

Aeroponics disadvantages

Like any other growing system, aeroponics isn't void of drawbacks. Here are a few disadvantages:


Not everyone will have the time or patience to create a DIY aeroponics setup. Most growers will simply go for premade commercial aeroponics systems — and rightly so, but they can be expensive. 

Even a small setup can cost more than $350 and often goes higher since you need more extensive systems to grow cannabis. 

In addition, you have to spend on a power backup source, just in case there's a power cut in your area. Even if the system stops functioning for, say, 30 minutes, there's a possibility of the roots drying out immediately. 

Other expenses include the nutrients and temperature control systems. Of course, many growers will attest that it's all worth it, considering the high yields, but the initial setup can be a drawback for some. 

Therefore we recommend that you go for aeroponics only if you are ready to spend more initially.

Not Suitable for Newbies

Although aeroponic systems offer more control over the plants, they have to be controlled very strictly to get the best results. Every factor, including the water, pH, temperature, humidity, and nutrients, need to be monitored closely.

Soil mediums are pretty forgiving where you can fix your mistakes and wait for the plants to grow. For example, if you water the plants with contaminated water, the symptoms will show up in a few days. 

Or, if the water lacks nutrients or has an incorrect pH, the symptoms will tell you that something is wrong. It gives you a while to get to the root of the problem, and you won't have to lose the plant. 

In fact, if you're quick enough to rectify the problem, the plants will take some time to recover, but you can still get great results if the plants are still in the vegetative or growing stage. The soil generally acts as a buffering medium for the plants.

However, there's no buffer in aeroponic systems. They are not so forgiving. You have minimal scope to commit mistakes as a newbie, and the plants will begin suffering immediately. 

Therefore we recommend that you start aeroponics only if you have had some experience growing cannabis plants previously. One advantage is that you can automate the systems to run smoothly, but you'll still have to keep a close eye on everything to work properly.

In conclusion, the disadvantages include:

  • Aeroponics is complex and does take some time and effort to set up correctly and efficiently. You also need to be meticulous with the system. 
  • The nutrition supply is dependent on timers and pumps, so any power outage or failure may lead to the cycle getting derailed. Therefore, you need some failsafe measures to alert you of such shortcomings. 
  • If not done correctly, the buds can lack the flavor of soil-grown buds. 

What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Growing in Aeroponics?

If you want to take up aeroponics systems to grow cannabis, it's best to consider a few factors. Aeroponics systems can give you excellent yields by following a few basic rules. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid:

Using Cheap Lights

If you have taken the time to create your aeroponics system, installing appropriate grow lights that support your plants becomes even more necessary. Unfortunately, many growers make the mistake of spending a lot on aeroponics systems but ultimately skimp on the lights.

Before investing in an aeroponics system, make sure you buy the right lights. Then, do some research on a few factors, including the spectrum, the amount of heat it generates, and other equipment necessary to install along with the lights. 

For example, install additional fans if you purchase lights that generate too much heat. Similarly, many growers use air conditioners to keep their grow room cooler.

That said, remember that a lot of light will also stunt your plants — anywhere from 60-70W per square foot is suitable for the plants. So, if you have a small grow room that's only 2x2 feet, a 600W light isn't a good idea.

Relying Too Much On Automation

In aeroponics systems, the roots are constantly exposed, making them vulnerable. Therefore, do not invest in an aeroponics system if you can't spend enough time tweaking it.  

Although aeroponic systems are automated, you will have to intervene to ensure everything is working perfectly. For example, it's common to experience water leaks in the system, but you must fix it so everything can function correctly. 

Water leaks occur because of loose joints or if the reservoir cannot handle so much water. It could also happen if the pump isn't efficient. With so many factors to dial in, monitoring everything carefully is important.

You'll have to do this until you gain some experience with at least 5 to 6 aeroponic projects, so you’re confident enough that the system will take care of itself. Growers that rely entirely on automation may walk into a room full of dead plants if they don't monitor it frequently.

Not Planning Ahead

Aeroponics can be an expensive endeavor initially. From controlling the temperature of the water to investing in sophisticated misters, you have a lot to do. In addition, you'll need an additional power backup source to help during emergencies. 

Do not skip this step of planning your budget before purchasing or making an aeroponics system, or you'll be caught unaware suddenly.

Failing to Maintain a Schedule

Every grower must plan an immaculate schedule when growing aeroponic cannabis. You should maintain a proper schedule from maintaining the pH to cleaning the area. 

In aeroponic setups, cleaning is even more important than other methods because the roots are vulnerable to every disease you can imagine. In addition, debris usually attracts bugs and pests that can harm the plants. 

To get great results, fix one day in your schedule as the cleaning day and clean everything, including the area and equipment such as the pipes and reservoir. Always check for algae and other buildups in the reservoir to prevent problems. 

If you ignore or avoid cleaning the system, you'll encounter root rot that can immediately kill the plants. Therefore, use a 10-15% hydrogen peroxide solution (10-15 ml hydrogen peroxide in 100 ml water) to clean the equipment.

Failing to Maintain the pH

Most cannabis problems occur due to a pH imbalance. Like other systems, you should frequently keep an eye on the pH to make sure everything is functioning properly. Aeroponic systems will do well by maintaining the pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Keep in mind that the plants will not use the nutrients if the pH is not in the right range. Therefore the underlying cause for most nutrient deficiencies is an incorrect pH. So before diagnosing any nutrient deficiency, check the pH, and you'll note that it's off in most cases.

Summary: Want To Up Your Cannabis Game? Try Aeroponics!

While aeroponics requires skill, dedication, and time to set up, the rewards more than make up for it. You will be rewarded with terrific buds that taste great and give you a memorable high if you do it right.

Aeroponics is very similar to hydroponics. However, instead of suspending the roots in water, they are constantly exposed to air for best results. 

Setting up a complicated aeroponics system can intimidate you initially, but it becomes effortless once you successfully grow a few plants. 

The motto is to keep trying until you succeed. As long you monitor the system closely by maintaining the pH and fixing problems like water leaks, you should do fine. 

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to take your cannabis cultivation to the moon (not literally). Let's do this!