Any plant can be grown hydroponically, but some plants have difficulties converting to hydroponics.
Repotting houseplants to hydroponics forces the plant to change it's soil roots to water (hydroponic) roots. Most plants do this without incident - but for some - it can be a little more difficult.
Some plants struggle during the transition to hydroponics because they insist on developing new roots rather than adapting their existing roots.
These plants need a good growing environment while new roots grow and mature. Increasing the humidity at the leaves and keeping the root zone warm are the two most important factors for these plants. With the right tools your plants will make the switch to hydroponics without any problems.
As plants grow, they release moisture into the air. This is called transpiration. Transpiration accounts for 90% of the water used by the plant! Only 10% is used for growing!
Slowing the rate of transpiration is key to successful transplanting because it reduces the moisture the plant needs to live and grow and at the same time reduces pressure on the new roots to perform.
The rate of transpiration, or how fast moisture is released into the air, depends on the realtive humidity at the leaves.
Hot, dry air increases transpiration significantly while cool, damp air - which holds more humidity - slows transpiration naturally.
Increasing humidity levels to at least 60% (or more) slows transpiration and reduces pressure on the new roots to perform.
2 Ways to Increase Humidity
1) Lower room temperatures. Cool air holds moisture better than warm air. As long as the root zone stays warm, air temperature can go as low as 60 degrees.
2) Put your plant(s) on a Humidity Tray. Moisture in the air increases as water in the tray evaporates.
Misting plants to increase humidity doesn't do much because the effects of misting are short lived. Unless you mist your plant every 30 minutes - around the clock - misting won't help.
Grower Tip: Don't try to increase humidity by watering your plant more! Moisture in the air (humidity) is completely different from water in the pot.
Being the tropical creatures they are, houseplants need temperatures of at least 68 degrees at the root zone for roots to grow. If temperatures drop below 68 degrees root growth stops. When roots become inactive, bad things happen. Disease and decay set in quickly. (That's why transplanting during the summer months is better than in winter.)
The best way to insure warm temperatures at the roots is growing on a Heat Mat. Heat Mats warm the root zone gently and evenly without raising the air temperature at the leaves.
Grower Tip: Never place new transplants on radiators or near heat vents from the furnace to keep the root zone warm. Radiators get too hot and air from the furnace is extremely dry which effects other parts of the plant. Heat Mats are the only way to raise the temperature at the roots.