The type of plants you choose for repotting will have more impact on your results than anything else.
Generally speaking, plants with thick leaves and stems are easy transplants. Switching from soil to hydroponics temporarily interrupts the flow of moisture up from the roots. These plants store moisture in their leaves and stems, so they're not effected by an interruption of moisture from the roots.
See a list of easy transplants here.
Some plants need a little coaxing during the transition. Rather than converting roots to hydroponics, they abandon their existing roots and insist on growing new ones.
A good growing environment is imperative for these plants during the transition. Moisture and nutrients the plant needs are scarce while new roots are forming. If the plant doesn't get what it needs to live and grow, it goes into stress. Leaves droop, turn yellow, and eventually fall off.
What's a good growing environment? Warm temperatures at the roots and lots of humidity at the leaves. See more here.
Have patience. Plants that stuggle during the transition thrive once they adapt to hydroponics. They just need a little TLC while new roots form. It's definetly worth the effort because hydroponic plants are stronger and more durable than soil plants.
Having the right tools makes the job a lot easier (see Tools for Transplanting for more).
See the list of plants that might need a little coaxing here.
Plants with thin leaves and fragile roots are never easy transplants. Thin stems and leaves simply can't hold the moisture the plant needs to live and grow. The plant depends on a constant supply of moisture from the roots - but delicate roots often get damaged when the soil is removed - making them ineffective.
The plant quickly becomes stressed because it's not getting the moisture it needs. Without adequate moisture, leaves wilt and dry up and eventually fall off.
It's ironic that these same plants - love hydroponics! That's because LECA pebbles create an even flow of air and moisture at the root zone, creating a perfect growing environment for delicate root systems. Growing these plants in hydroponics is much easier than growing in soil. The best way to grow these plants is to start with seedlings or cuttings.
The list of plants that are difficult transplants here.
The size and shape of the grow pot is also important for transplanting success.
The key to successful transplanting is an even flow of air and moisture at the roots. If the grow pot is too big, the roots stay too wet too long and they don't get the air they need to grow. Without air roots suffocate.
The new hydroponic grow pot should be a "snug fit" for the root system. In many cases, that means choosing a hydro planter that's the same size or even sightly smaller than the existing soil pot.
The shape of the grow pot is also important. Our culture pots are tappered, have extra openings on the side, and have a dome on the bottom. All of these features insure an even mix of air and water at the roots - the key to transplanting success!
Hydroponic grow pots come in many shapes and sizes
Grow pots are designed to promote maximum air flow at the roots
Find EasyGroHydro culture pots here.