How To Grow Strawberry Hydroponically-Full Guide - No Plant No Life

Sunday, January 8, 2023

How To Grow Strawberry Hydroponically-Full Guide

Strawberries are one of those fruits every gardener loves to grow all year round. The best way to ensure continuous production of this awesome fruit is by growing them hydroponically. 

Regardless of your experience in hydroponics, this article will walk you through the step-by-step method of how to grow strawberries hydroponically, from choosing the best strawberry seeds to installing your own hydroponic system.

If you are new to hydroponics, check out what you need to know before starting a hydroponic system.

What is hydroponic Strawberry?

Hydroponic strawberries are simply strawberries grown using a hydroponic method of farming. Hydroponic systems use nutrient-rich solutions to grow strawberries rather than planting them directly into the soil.

Are Hydroponic Strawberries Safe?

Strawberries grown hydroponically are healthier and safe to consume. Hydroponic strawberries are grown in a well-formulated nutrient solution and in the right growth environment making them sweeter and more enjoyable to consume.

Are Hydroponic Strawberries Better Than Regular Strawberries? 

Hydroponic strawberries are generally considered to be more nutrient-packed than regular strawberries. Although conventionally grown strawberries taste good and delicious, it is commonly believed that those grown hydroponically taste even better.

This may be as a result of the balanced nutrient hydroponically grown strawberries receive whereas in the case of those grown in soil, a lot of factors come in to play. 

Although whether grown in soil or in a hydroponic system, it all depends on your personal preference, most people prefer to eat hydroponic strawberries while others love to consume soil-grown strawberries.

3 Advantages Of Hydroponic Strawberries

1. Year-Round Production

With a hydroponic system, you're sure to keep getting new and fresh strawberry fruits all through the year even when they're out of season.

This is possible because the fruits are grown in a well-regulated growth environment and there are fed constantly with the appropriate nutrients.

2. Higher Yield

Because in hydroponic systems, the plant is regularly fed with the right nutrients, this increases the overall productivity of the plant resulting to higher fruit yield as the plant gets the necessary nutrients to flower and produce fruits.

3. Water and Resource Efficiency

Growing plants hydroponically not only reduces labor and manpower, but it also helps in conserving water and nutrients. Most hydroponic systems have a mechanism installed to recirculate the used water rather than allowing it to drain away like in conventional farming. 

This makes hydroponic farming resource-efficient, as it provides reliable ways to save money and to conserve and retain used water and nutrients.

3 Disadvantages Of Hydroponic Strawberries 

1. Cost

Setting up or constructing a hydroponic system generally is more capital-intensive than conventional farming. You would need to get the right hydroponic grow kit, whether you decide on using ebb and flow, NFT or DWC, they all require some sort of capital to purchase these items. 

Also, to ensure your plant grows optimally, you would also need the right hydroponic nutrients and in most cases getting these nutrients requires spending an extra amount with other miscellaneous that come with it. 

2. Labor and Maintenance

One of the cons of growing strawberries using the hydroponic method is the fact that you have to constantly check to monitor the operations of the hydroponic systems. 

This can become more tedious if you are a commercial grower as more labor and time will be needed to accurately maintain and check the working conditions of the system especially if you're growing different plants. 

3. Dependence on Technology

Unlike growing in soil, hydroponic farming is largely dependent on different technologies like the pH meter to check the pH level of your water, and the EC/TDS meter to check how well your nutrient has dissolved in the water. 

Also, technologies like water pumps, air pumps, mechanical plug timers, grow lights and what have you, are all necessary to ensure the effective delivery of nutrients to your plants. If these devices stop functioning, it will drastically affect the yield and growth of your plants.

Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that these technologies are kept in good working conditions, also it's important to replace spoilt ones immediately before they impact nutrient delivery to the plants. 

Materials Needed To Grow Hydroponic Strawberries

To grow strawberries in hydroponics, there're certain materials and equipment you must have to set up and build a successful hydroponic system. Here are some of the instruments and materials you will need to grow strawberries hydroponically.

1. Hydroponic Strawberry system

The first thing to consider before growing hydroponic strawberries is the type of hydroponic system to use. There are lots of hydroponic systems out there, from ebb and flow, and NFT, to drip irrigation and DWC hydroponic systems. 

Depending on your personal preference, there are lots of hydroponic strawberry systems designed to suit your needs and budget. Here are some of the best hydroponic systems for growing strawberries.


2. Strawberry Plants

When starting a hydroponic strawberry farm, it is always advisable to select the best strawberry varieties with pest and disease-resistant capabilities. This is important because you want to prevent disease and pest infestation in your strawberry garden and the best way to go about this is to select pest and disease-resistant cultivars. 

Also, you might decide to use runners from parent strawberry plants. Using stolons or runners from parent plants saves you time because you don't need to wait for the seed to sprout before transplanting as these runners can be transplanted immediately into your hydroponic system.

3. Hydroponic Strawberry Nutrients

For your strawberry plants to flower and produce effectively, you will need to feed them with the right hydroponic strawberry nutrient solution. 

There are various hydroponic nutrient solutions out there but I will advise you to purchase nutrients specifically formulated for strawberries. 

These feeds should contain all the macro and micronutrients needed for the optimal growth of the plants. Some of the best hydroponic strawberry nutrients available in the market include:

4. Water

The purity of the water you end up using is also very crucial in determining how well your strawberry plants will grow. When using tap water, allow the water to settle down in the reservoir for at least 10 minutes before using it. 

This time is needed to expel the chlorine used in the filtration process. Take the pH of the water before adding your hydroponic nutrients and also maintain the right EC level. 

5. Growing Media

It is not advisable to insert your plants directly into the grow pots and place them into your hydroponic system. This practice is very dangerous and detrimental to your plants as they will be no means by which your plants can absorb nutrients and retain oxygen. 

Grow media such as clay pebbles, coconut coir, vermiculite, and perlite are inert substrates that add no organic nutrients to the plants but help retain both nutrients and oxygen which is vital to keep the plant growing. 

6. Water pump

If you are using an NFT system or ebb and flow system, you will need a water pump to pump the nutrient solution to the roots. This is a more assured way of ensuring your plants get the right amount of nutrients they deserve. 

7. Air pump & Air stone

You will need an air pump and air stone to create an oxygen-filled environment for your plants so as to ensure a disease-free environment for your plant roots. 

8. Net cups

These are tiny-inch cups with net-like openings all over the bottom and sides. Net cups vary in size as the size to be used is mostly dependent on the preferences of the grower. The net cup helps to hold the growing media which provides support to the plant.

9. Grow Lights

Grow lights are only needed by indoor growers. When using grow lights, ensure to use those designed specifically for plants and follow the manufacturer's guide for a guaranteed result. 

Steps To Grow Hydroponic Strawberries 

Below is a detailed guide on the steps to follow in other to grow successful hydroponic fruits:

1. Choose The Right Strawberry Variety

Even if you have the right nutrient and the best hydroponic system, not choosing the right strawberry variety suitable for hydroponic may be the fine line between success and failure when it comes to growing strawberries hydroponically. 

It is best to select varieties such as everbearing and day-neutral for effective fruit production all year round. Check out this everbearing variety, I personally grow them, and there're very good variety to grow in hydroponics.

2. Set Up Your Hydroponic System

There are a variety of hydroponic systems out they designed to meet your needs. Whether it's NFT, DWC, or drip irrigation hydroponic system, check to see if the specific system suits your needs before going ahead to set it up. 

This is important especially if you're planning on growing strawberries hydroponically on a commercial scale. 

3. Prepare The Hydroponic Nutrients

Ensure to get nutrients formulated specifically for hydroponic strawberries. Although there're lots of nutrients out they, getting those designed specifically for hydroponic farming will not only ensure you get a high yield but will also help in the overall development of the plant. 

This is because the feed contains all the macro and micronutrients needed to keep the plant growing. 

4. Start Your Strawberry Plants From Seedlings or Runners

Start your seeds in a growing medium such as Rockwool. The germinated seeds are called seedlings, allow them to be a few inches long before transplanting them to your hydroponic system. 

Also, strawberries can be propagated in hydroponics by cutting off the stolons or runners from the main plant. Transplant immediately after disconnecting the runners from the parent plant and place the node inside a growing medium in a net cup before inserting it into the hydroponic system. 

5. Monitor and Maintain The Hydroponic System

One of the most important things to do after setting up your hydroponic system is to constantly monitor its operation. 

After transplanting your seedlings or runners to your hydroponic system, you want to ensure that you keep an eye out for the EC and pH level of the nutrient solution and also ensure that all the necessary electronics like the water pumps, air pumps, and mechanical plug timers are in good working conditions. 

Maintaining the system will not only help you produce more strawberry fruits but will also help keep some common pests and diseases away from your hydroponic system.


A large percentage of strawberry varieties will grow at a temperature range of 60-70 °F (15-21 °C) during the day and 50-60 °F(10-15 °C) during the night. Too high or too low a temperature will negatively affect not only growth and fruit production but also the taste of the fruits. 


The light requirement for strawberry plants is generally the same, whether you're growing indoors or outdoors, ensure to provide your plants with the needed lighting they need to produce flowers and ripen fruits. 

In general, strawberry plants require 8-10 hours of sunlight for effective growth although some cultivars require more lighting than that. 

So, if you're growing indoors, ensure to provide the same hours of lighting to your plants otherwise your plants may not fruit and may end up becoming stunted. 

Correct pH Level

The ideal pH level for growing strawberry plants ranges between 5.5-6.5. Strawberries grow well in slightly acidic solutions as this naturally enhances the plant roots to absorb the necessary nutrients from the nutrient solution.  

Use a pH up or pH down to balance the pH of the water to ensure that the nutrient solution remains at the required pH level. 

Correct EC Level

The ideal EC level for growing hydroponic strawberries should be maintained at 1.5-2.2 during the vegetative stage and 2.0-3.0 during the fruiting stage. 

The importance of knowing the EC level of your nutrient solution can not be overemphasized, EC level helps measure the concentration of nutrients in the hydroponic solution which is a very important factor for growing crops hydroponically. 

When the EC level of your nutrient solution is too low, it indicates that your plants may not be getting enough needed nutrients. This can drastically affect the yield and productivity of the strawberry plant.

A high EC level may indicate that too many nutrients are being fed to your plants which may result in a condition called nutrient burn or other deficiencies.  

To avoid too low or too high an EC level in your hydroponics, always take regular measurements of your EC level using an EC meter. 

When the EC level is too high, the concentration of the nutrient solution can be reduced by diluting it with water, if it's too low, more nutrients can be added to the water to have a balanced EC level.

Growing Mediums

There are various types of growing mediums that can be used for growing strawberries hydroponically, however, below are the five major growing mediums commonly used by hydroponic growers:

1. Clay pebbles 

2. Coconut coir 

3. Perlite 

4. Rockwool

5. Vermiculite 

The choice of the growing medium to use will always be dependent upon the specific needs of the grower. Use any of the above-listed growing mediums or you can use them alone or in combination with others to create a custom growing media that suits your growing needs.


Pollinating hydroponic strawberries usually requires the same method as conventional farming. Here are some simple tips to guide you:   

1. Provide The Right Growing Conditions

To ensure that pollination is effective, the right growth environment must be provided to the plants whether indoors or in a greenhouse setting.

2. Use a Pollinator

When growing indoors or in a greenhouse, natural pollinators such as bees and other insects may not be readily available, therefore pollination must be done manually to ensure fruit production.

You can manually pollinate the flowers by gently transferring the pollens from the male flowers to the female part of the flowers. Also, to make it easier for you, an electronic handheld pollinating device can get the job done as well. The device gently massages the flower to release the pollen grains. 

3. Keep The Flowers Clean

Ensure the flowers are free from debris and dirt otherwise, they might impact the pollination process.

Pest Of Hydroponic Strawberries

We can all attest to the fact that strawberries are one of the most sweetest and delicious fruits to grow and consume. Not only do we as humans find these fruits attractive, but so also do some pests and other organisms.  

Here are some examples of pests that will often attack your strawberry plants and try to enjoy this delicious fruit before you, especially if you're an outdoor grower. 

1. Spider mites

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that are spider-like in appearance, they mostly feed on the vegetative parts of the strawberry plants leaving behind spider-like webs and causing the leaves to appear yellow due to the damage done to the chlorophyll of the plant.

2. Thrips

Thrips are tiny insects that inflict serious damage to the leaves and flowers of strawberry plants causing the plant to appear discolored and distorted.

3. Aphids

Aphids are small sap-sucking insects that cause wilting and curling of strawberry leaves.

To treat and prevent these pests, you can try the following methods:

1. Use any of these Amazon pest prevention products, they work really well:

2. Practice good hygiene

The rate of pest infestation will be greatly reduced if the areas around your hydroponic system are always tidy and neat.

3. Monitor regularly

Cultivate the habit of regularly checking up on your plants. This will not only enable you to track the early appearance of pests in your garden but will also enable you to notice any unwanted changes in your plants. 

This will give you an opportunity to treat the plants early before the infestation spreads throughout your hydroponic farm.

How Long Does It Take for Hydroponic Strawberry to Ripen?

Depending on the variety of strawberry plants you're growing, hydroponic strawberries can take anywhere from 95-120 days to ripen. 

Though a lot of factors come into play for this to happen, some of these factors include the temperature and humidity the plants were exposed to, the amount of daylight the plant receives, and the quality of the nutrient solution it was fed with. 

Generally, hydroponic strawberries are believed to ripen faster than those grown in soil, this is largely due to the controlled environment in which the plants were grown in. 

However, it is important to pay significant attention to when the strawberries are fully ripened so as not to harvest unripe strawberry fruits. 

Final Words

Growing hydroponic strawberries is not as complex as we think it is, all you need do is follow the outlined steps in the guide above, and in a few months' time you will have fruiting strawberry plants in your hydroponic garden.

Let us know if you have any questions and we shall try our best to answer them. Always refer back to this guide if you seem lost in your journey, thanks see you in our next article.

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