Frequently Asked Questions

Get the Answers you need

Although we have tried to make Grow Up Hydrogarden as easy as possible to assemble and maintain, there are some questions that may arise the more you plant and grow. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that will help you combat any issues you may have:

Q. What can I grow in my Hydrogarden?
A. Almost any vegetable, fruit, herb or flower that you can grow in the ground, you can grow in hydroponic systems such as Grow Up. Be sure to read the seed packs or plant tags for the best plants to grow in your region and season. For larger plants such as tomatoes, consider choosing  “determinate” varieties and for vining plants, such as beans, use “bush” varieties. We encourage you to experiment and try new vegetables each year.

Q. Can I grow different crops in the same tower?
A. Yes, you can plant up to 4 different crops in each pot. We recommend that you plant smaller crops in the top 2 pots and larger plants in the bottom 2 pots. We also suggest that you are mindful of how you plant, making sure not to overcrowd smaller plants with larger ones.

Q. What if I don’t have a green thumb?
A. Many common mistakes made in traditional gardening are eliminated with the Grow Up Hydrogarden. It takes the guesswork out of gardening. Plus, we offer complete online support and education to help you become the best gardener possible.

Q. Is Grow Up Hydrogarden expensive?
A. No. The system is a highly durable system that will bring you years of enjoyment. The only ongoing costs are the nutrient solution, starter plants or seeds and the growing medium that you will use each season. 

Q. Is Grow Up Hydrogarden bad for the environment?
A. On the contrary, Mother Earth loves hydroponics! Growing hydroponically uses up to 90% less water than soil gardening and uses no harmful pesticides or herbicides. Plus, when you grow from your own backyard or patio, it saves the road all the miles it would normally travel to get to your store.

Q. Can I grow indoors as well as outdoors?
A. Yes, you can grow indoors or outdoors with Grow Up Hydrogarden. However, depending on where you live, if you want to grow indoors, you may need to invest in special lighting and fans. It is easier and less expensive growing outdoors with Mother Nature controlling the growing season. And, our system is UV protected.

Q. Will I have to worry about pest control?
A. Hydroponic gardens grow using growing medium instead of soil so many pests, bacteria and fungus are eliminated. Unfortunately, no garden is 100% without pests.  We recommend organic neem oil for any insects for best results. 

Q. Grow Up Hydrogarden sounds like “hydroponics,” which I’ve heard is difficult and technical. Is this true?
A. Well, yes and no. Hydrogardening is a different way of saying hydroponics and comes from the Greek words hydro, meaning water, and ponics, meaning work. But difficult and technical, no way! Grow Up makes it easy! Once you learn a handful of simple new skills, you’ll never go back to conventional gardening.

Q. My garden doesn’t get much sun in the winter. Will I still be able to use Grow Up Hydrogarden?
A. Absolutely! With Grow Up Hydrogarden your garden is portable and can easily be moved whenever you want based on sun orientation and seasons. For us hurricane-prone Floridians, being able to safely store your garden is a great feature.

Q. Is Hydrogardening an artificial or unhealthy way to grow?
A. All plants require basic, natural components for normal growth. Unfortunately, in soil gardening, these needed components are subject to root competition, scarcity, and run off. Hydrogardening provides all the needed components to plants on a continual, non-competing basis. Plants take exactly what they need, when they need it.

Q. Is Hydrogardening organic?
A. It is easy to grow organically in the Hydrogarden. Organic seeds and starter plants are widely available at local nurseries, as well as organic pest control, such as Neem Oil. Hydroponic nutrients are considered all natural, but OMRI™ Certified Nutrients are 100% organic.

Q. What is a GMO seed?
A. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism whereas in agriculture, crops are engineered to possess desirable traits, such as pest resistance, or increased production. Non-GMO, organic, and heirloom seeds are available through many seed distributors.

Q. What is perlite?
A. Perlite is a pH neutral, amorphous volcanic glass with relatively high water content. It occurs naturally and is greatly expanded with heat. It’s super light weight and absorbs nutrient-rich water to feed plants.

Q. Why is my perlite turning green?
This is algae which is a normal for a plant that grows with direct exposure to moisture and sunlight. It does not contaminate, harm or restrict any of the nutrient value to the plants, herbs and flowers in the hydroponic unit. You can remove the top layer of perlite that has turned green and gently rinse under warm water. The algae will subside as your plant canopy grows and the perlite is shaded.

Note: the blue green algae spirulina is a good source of protein, with about 6 grams in each 100-gram serving. Its protein content includes all the essential amino acids, making it a complete source of these important nutrients. A 100-gram serving also contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates and almost no fat. Talk to your local nursery for more information.

Q. Can I use dirt as a growing medium?
A. No. Only hydroponic growing mediums such as extra large, coarse perlite or growstones will work in the Grow Up Hydrogarden. Any loose material, such as dirt, coconut husk, or small size perlite, has the potential of entering the reservoir and clogging the pump. The XL perlite provides maximum airflow to plant roots, adding oxygen and promoting healthy growth.

Q. What is pH?
A. A pH measurement is used to show if a solution is acidic or alkaline, also called acid and base. The pH scale runs from 0.0 to 14.0, with 7.0 being neutral. If the solution is lower than 7.0, it is acidic, and if it is above 7.0, it is alkaline. The ideal pH range for most hydroponic crops is between 5.5 and 6.5.

Q. Why is pH important?
A. The pH level affects the availability and absorption of nutrients to plants. Maximum absorption is found at pH levels of 5.5 to 6.5.

Q. How do I change the pH levels?
A. pH is adjusted by using an acid to lower, or an alkaline to raise. Hydroponic food-grade adjusters are widely available, or pH can be adjusted naturally. To do this, vinegar will work as an acid to lower pH levels if above 6.5, and conversely baking soda will work as an alkaline to raise pH if below 6.5. Talk to a specialist before adding anything more than a teaspoon to your units since any drastic changes can and will affect your plants.

Q. What type of water should I use in my Hydrogarden?
A. Generally speaking, the water from your garden hose should be fine. If you are on a well, you will want to test your pH.

Q. Can a timer be used on my Hydrogarden?
A. Yes, absolutely. The pump may either run continuously 24/7 which is what we recommend or be on a timer with multiple options on watering intervals shutting it down no more than 4 hours in the evening.

Q. Why do my vegetable plant’s flowers just fall off?
A. Sounds like they are not being pollinated. If your Hydrogarden is in an area with no bees or breeze, make sure to gently flick flowers at dusk or dawn. This works for the vast majority of self-pollinating plants.

Q. What can I do to support my heavy crops?
A. The Hydrogarden pots have holes on the ends just for this purpose! Use twine, wire, wood dowels, green garden tape, or similar, to create a support system for your weighty tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, or any vining crop. Just tie or clip vines to your support system and your heavy plants will be happy.

Q. Why aren’t my plants doing as well as I expected?
A. This could be due to many factors, but the number one reason is lack of adequate sun. Make sure your Hydrogarden is getting full sun (6 plus hours a day), in addition, rotate the lid at quarter turns or half turns periodically to make sure your plants are getting 360 degrees of sunshine.

Q. How do I know when to harvest?
A. Every crop is different. For example, lettuce can be harvested daily by cutting outer leaves off. Herbs can be clipped regularly, but red peppers, for example, should be red in color before harvesting. Refer to the wealth of information online for details on each crop.

Q. What do I do if my pipe is clogged? 
A. If your pump is getting clogged you may have some perlite, dirt, or debris floating around in your reservoir. Check your large reservoir for floating debris and loose perlite and remove accordingly. You can also reset the pump by unplugging it for 30 seconds and then replugging it back in.

Q. What do I do if I get pesky pests?
A. Although hydrogardening eliminates many pests, no gardening is pest-free. Where there are plants, there are bugs. If you are weary of using pesticides, our favorite organic pest control is the “manual method,” which involves picking off caterpillars or diseased leaves as soon as they appear. Our second favorite organic pest control is Neem Oil. Neem Oil is a naturally occurring pesticide found in seeds from the neem tree. Treat your garden by spraying diluted Neem Oil on all leaf surfaces.

 Have a question you would like answered? Write us at or call us at 877-324-3785.