Common Hydroponic Plant Issues and How To Fix Them

Common Hydroponic Plant Issues and How To Fix Them

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice gardener or an experienced grower—you’re likely to find problems with your hydroponic plants from time to time. When you notice something wrong with your garden, it’s not time to mourn—it’s time to act. Most of the time when you find an issue with the crop, you can fix what’s wrong by controlling the environment. Don’t admit defeat at the first sign of a problem; learn these common hydroponic plant issues and how to fix them for a garden over which you can maintain control.


While it may be normal to see mold on fruit that’s been in your fridge for too long, if it’s growing on plants that have just fruited or ripened, you must act before the mold takes over the entire plant. When you find gray mold affecting the fruit of a plant, it’s too late to save that specific fruit. However, it isn’t too late to save the rest of the plant.

The Fix

Gently cut the infected fruit from the stem—avoid spreading the mold spores around your garden. Place it in an airtight bag or container along with other affected parts of the plant. If another fruit was directly touching the mold-afflicted fruit, consider it a victim of the mold as well.

The cut stems are vulnerable, so be sure to keep an eye on them after you finish and provide the plant with good air circulation. Prevent further infections by keeping your plants properly pruned and by maintaining clean and functional ventilation.

Root Rot

One of the benefits of hydroponic gardening is the ability to check in on your plants’ roots whenever you want. Unfortunately, if you notice your plant looks droopy and yellow, it may be suffering from root rot. If its roots are brown and slimy you must act quickly to treat it.

The Fix

Root rot happens due to poor oxygen levels—rinsing the roots off and trimming the dead ends only solves part of the problem. The most apparent causes of low oxygen are algae growth in the container or a broken air pump. Solve any algae issues you may have and work to prevent recurring algae growth. Fix or replace damaged equipment when you notice it and add beneficial bacteria to your solution to help the plant fight against harmful, rot-inducing bacteria.


Last on this brief list of common hydroponic plant problems and how to fix them is mildew. Mildew is an innocuous-looking white powder that covers dry, unprovoked leaves. Without treatment, it suffocates the leaves and could potentially kill the plant.

The Fix

Mildew spores are another result of poor air circulation and humidity. The most important thing to remember when dealing with fungal spores and their diseases is that any spores that you blow away can infect other plants in your system. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of non-detergent soap into a gallon of water for an anti-mildew home remedy you can apply with a spray bottle.