Hydroponic Seeds: Do You Need Special Seeds for Hydroponics? 

hydroponic seeds

When it comes to hydroponics, there’s a lot of confusion about what kind of seeds you need. Some people think you need special seeds for hydroponics, but that’s not the case! In this article, we’ll dispel some myths about hydroponic seeds and answer some common questions. So, do you need special seeds for hydroponics? Keep reading to find out! 

Understanding Hydroponic Seeds 

To answer the question, “Do you need special seeds for hydroponics?” it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as purely hydroponic seeds. There are only regular seeds that can be used in a hydroponic system. That’s because hydroponics is a method of growing plants, not a type of plant. So, whether you’re growing in soil or water, the seeds are the same. However, some people may refer to a seed as a hydroponic seed if it’s been pre-treated or if it has certain characteristics that make it easier to grow in a hydroponic system. 

Pre-Treated Seeds 

Pre-treated seeds have gone through a process that makes seed germination easier to grow. This treatment is usually done by the seed company and will be clearly marked on the seed packet. Some common treatments include: 

  • Scarification: This is a process of mechanically or chemically breaking through the seed coat to help water penetrate and speed up germination. 
  • Stratification: This is a process of cold-treating seeds to simulate winter conditions and break dormancy so the seed will germinate in the spring. 

Scarification and stratification are two common treatments that can be found on seed packets. These treatments make it easier for the seeds to germinate and grow in a hydroponic system, but they’re not necessary. You can still grow hydroponically without these treatments. 

While any seed can be used in a hydroponic system, not all seeds are created equal. Some plants do better in hydroponics than others, and some plants are easier to grow. Therefore, when choosing the best seeds for your system, it’s essential to research and find out which plants will do well in the conditions you’re able to provide. 

Now that we’ve cleared that up let’s talk about which seeds are best for hydroponics, the differences between seeds and seedlings, and other frequently asked questions. 

do you need special seeds for hydroponics

Seeds vs Seedlings 

When it comes to traditional gardening and growing hydroponic plants, you have two starting options: seeds or seedlings. Seeds are the best option if you’re starting from scratch and want to grow your plants from the ground up. Seedlings, on the other hand, are young plants that have already been started and can be transplanted into a grow medium. 

There are pros and cons to both seeds and seedlings, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.  


If you’re starting with seeds, you’ll need to do a little more work up front, but you’ll have the satisfaction of watching your plants grow from tiny seeds into full-fledged plants. With this comes the responsibility of seed starting, meaning you’ll need to provide the ideal conditions for your seeds to germinate. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting with seeds: 

  • You’ll need to start your seeds ahead of time, which means you’ll need to have a place for them to grow before they’re ready to be transplanted. 
  • You must provide an ideal growing environment for germinating seeds which can be tricky if you’re not experienced with starting seeds. 
  • You must be patient and wait for your seeds to germinate, which can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. 

Once they’ve germinated, you’ll need to care for them until they’re ready to be transplanted into your grow medium. From there, growing seeds is very similar to growing seedlings. 


If you decide to start with seedlings, you’ll need to find a reputable source for healthy plants. Once you’ve found a source, you’ll need to acclimate your seedlings to their new environment before transplanting them into your grow medium and grow tray or system. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting with a seedling: 

  • These plants have already been started, so there’s no need to germinate seeds. 
  • Acclimating your seedling will take time and requires slowly introducing them to the light and temperature they’ll be growing in. 
  • Your growing tray or system must be big enough to accommodate the roots of your seedlings. 
  • Transplanting a seedling is a delicate process and, if done wrong, can shock the plant and stunt its growth. Therefore, it’s essential to take your time and do it correctly. 
  • After they’re transplanted, you’ll need to care for them until they’re ready to harvest. 

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of starting with seeds vs seedlings, you can decide which route is best for you. No matter your choice, ensure you’re getting high-quality seeds or seedlings. Otherwise, you run the risk of your plants not growing properly or not thriving in your system. 

What are heirloom seeds? 

If you’re interested in growing hydroponically, you may have heard of an heirloom seed. Heirloom seeds are simply seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation and are not hybrids. Heirloom seeds are great for hydroponics because they’re open-pollinated, which means they’ll grow true to form. 

Open-pollinated seeds are important for hydroponics because you need to know precisely what you’re getting. With hybrid seeds, there’s always the risk that the plants will not turn out the way you expect. Heirloom seeds are a smart choice if you want to be sure of what you’re getting and if you want to save your own seeds for future generations. They’re also a wonderful gift to those with a hydroponic garden themselves! 

Best Seeds for Hydroponics 

Hydroponic gardening offers abundant benefits and opportunities to grow your favorite fruits, vegetables, nonflowering plants, and cannabis flowers. However, some plants require more room and water than others to grow, so it’s best to research what will do best in your system. 

Here are some of the best seeds for hydroponics: 


  • Cucumbers 
  • Eggplants 
  • Peppers 
  • Squash 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Celery 
  • Kale 
  • Beans 
  • Radishes 
  • Bok Choy 
  • Scallions 
  • Arugula 
  • Mustard Greens 


  • Strawberries 
  • Blueberries 
  • Raspberries 
  • Cranberries 
  • Grapes 


  • Basil 
  • Thyme 
  • Cilantro 
  • Parsley 
  • Rosemary 
  • Sage 
  • Microgreens 


  • Daffodils 
  • Carnations 
  • Snapdragons 
  • Daisies 
  • Iris 
  • Orchids 
  • Pansies 


  • Ivy 
  • Pothos 
  • Spider plants 
  • Philodendron 
  • Rubber plants 
  • Snake plants 
  • Lucky bamboo 
  • Chinese money plants 

Cannabis strains: 

  • Amnesia Haze 
  • Jack Herer 
  • Northern Lights 
  • Bubba Kush 
  • Gorilla Glue 
  • Girl Scout Cookies 

While most plants grow well in hydroponics, there are several to steer clear of. 

Seeds to Steer Clear Of 

There are many reasons why you might not want to grow certain plants in your hydroponic system. Maybe they’re invasive, perhaps they require too much room, or maybe they’re just plain challenging to grow. Whatever the reason, it’s best to do your research and find out which plants are not well-suited for hydroponics before you get started. 

Whatever the reason, it’s best to do your research and avoid these plants: 

  • Crawling vines: These plants are often invasive and can quickly take over your system. 
  • Deep-rooted plants: These plants have an extensive root system that can clog up your pipes and make it difficult to circulate water. These may include pumpkins, melons, carrots and similar. 
  • Tall plants: These plants can quickly become top-heavy and topple over, taking your whole system with them. This includes corn, sunflowers, and similar things. 
  • Underground plants: These plants are difficult to grow in hydroponics because their plant roots need to be in contact with the soil and not just growing media. This includes potatoes, onions, and garlic. 

Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to pick your favorite plants and get started with hydroponics. 


Still have questions about hydroponic seeds? Here are some answers to common questions. 

Do I need to start my seeds in soil first? 

No, you can start your seeds directly in your hydroponic system. However, some gardeners prefer to start their seeds in soil and then transplant them into their hydroponic system when they’re big enough. 

Do I need to soak my hydroponic seeds before planting? 

No, you do not need to soak your hydroponic seeds before planting. Instead, plant them directly into your system. 

Can seeds grow in just water? 

Yes, seeds can germinate and grow in just water, but they will need other nutrients to continue growing into healthy plants. Common hydroponic nutrient solutions include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

What is the difference between hybrid and heirloom seeds? 

Heirloom seeds are simply seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation and are not hybrids. Hybrid seeds are created by cross-pollinating two different plants to create a new plant with desired characteristics. Either work for hydroponic growing. 

How many seeds should I plant at a time? 

It depends on how many plants you want to grow. When starting, it’s best to plant a few seeds and see how they do before planting more. 

When should I start feeding my hydroponic seedlings? 

You should start feeding your hydroponic seedlings as soon as they’ve germinated and have their first set of true leaves. 

What growing medium should I use for my hydroponic seeds? 

The best growing media for hydroponic seeds are those that allow the roots to get plenty of oxygen, such as perlite, vermiculite, peat moss or coco coir. Reputable brands like Vidawool and Charcoir offer top-of-the-line grow media for every hydroponic system. 

Can I save my own seeds from my plants? 

Yes, you can save your own seeds from your plants to grow next season. However, keep in mind that if you’re growing hybrid plants, the seeds may not produce plants that are identical to the parent plant. 

What’s the best way to store my hydroponic seeds? 

The best way to store hydroponic seeds is in a cool, dry place. However, you can also store them in the fridge if you need to. 

Are there any special considerations for growing cannabis in hydroponics? 

Yes, there are a few special considerations for growing cannabis in hydroponics. Make sure to do your research and consult with a professional before getting started. 

Where can I buy hydroponic seeds? 

You can buy hydroponic seeds from various places, including online retailers and your local garden center. 

Now that we’ve answered the question of “do you need special seeds for hydroponics?” you can research what plants you want to grow and the best hydroponic system for your needs. 

If you’re looking to grow cannabis, there’s more to consider than just the type of seed. Make sure to research the best strain for your climate, how to germinate cannabis seeds, how to plant germinated cannabis seeds, and the best way to grow cannabis in hydroponics. Likewise, ensure you know the legal considerations in your area and how to set up your system before getting started. 

Grow Your Own Hydroponic Seeds! 

So, do you need special seeds for hydroponics? The answer is no, but there are some considerations to take into account when choosing what plants to grow in your system. We hope this article has helped you understand more about hydroponic seeds and how to start growing your own tower garden or home hydroponic system. 

Once you’re ready to grow, head to our represented brands page to find the top hydroponic equipment on the market to get started. Trust us, with the right hydroponic system and a little bit of patience, you’ll be an expert at growing hydroponically in no time!