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Simple Vegetable Jar Hydroponics

Plant in pretty jar

Photo courtesy of Her 86m2

If you’re new to hydroponics, you may feel like it’s a complicated hobby to get into. And certainly, some people create fairly complex setups, but you don’t have to do that.

In fact, you can make growing plants with hydroponics as simple as you want.

This article covers just one of the ways to make an easy, low-maintenance hydroponic setup. Keep reading to learn how to grow hydroponic vegetables in jars (no electricity required!).

Pick the right vegetables

Technically, you can grow pretty much any vegetable hydroponically, even in a simple jar setup. Realistically, if you are new to hydroponics or really don’t like hassle, leafy green vegetables are the best way to go. They grow easily and require little work.

Some options include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, Boston lettuce, and pretty much any other kind of lettuce.

Germinate the seeds

You can germinate seeds in a lot of ways. For this jar setup, you germinate the seeds in a rockwool cube. Soak the cube of rockwool in water. When it’s ready, transfer the rockwool from the water to a clear container. Place a few seeds in it. Then cover loosely with a transparent lid until the seeds sprout.

Moist rockwool cubes

Photos courtesy of Her 86m2

If the rockwool gets dry, mist it with a sprayer of water.

Transfer to jars

Once the seeds sprout, select the strongest-looking sprout from each rockwool cube and transfer it to a prepared hydroponic jar. (You can reuse the rockwool for future sprouts.)

To prepare the jars, fill them about halfway with a water and nutrient mixture, and paint the outside of the glass jar or cover it with craft paper to prevent algae growth.

Jar wrapped in brown craft paper

Put net cups in the tops of the jars to hold the growing medium and the plants. Here are a couple of sizes of net cups we sell at The Tye-Dyed Iguana:

3” Net Cup

5” Net Cup

Use a layer of hydroballs to hold in moisture.

Hands adding clay pebbles to the net cup


Check the water levels

With this jar setup, you want the rockwall to be in the water just enough that the rockwool does not dry out while the plants first start to grow. Every few days, lift the net cup out of the jar and check the water levels, as well as how large the roots are getting.

Once the roots are long enough to hang into the water on their own, you don’t need the water level so high. This creates a layer of air between the roots and the water, providing them with sufficient oxygenation without needing to add an oxygenation system with electricity.

Watch this video to see how one indoor grower prepares her passive hydroponic jars:

You can find all the indoor gardening and hydroponic supplies you need at The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights.