America's Favorite Tabletop Self-watering Planter

Hydroponic Garden Troubleshooting

A hydroponic garden can be a great and fun way to grow your own produce but there can be a very fine line between a bountiful harvest and complete famine.  If you’re having problems with your hydroponic garden don’t feel alone – it took me three batches of seedlings before my first lettuce harvest!

If you’ve kept your hydroponic garden indoors you can most likely throw out disease and bugs as the culprits which lets you isolate your growing conditions as the main problem.

ZeroSoil Gardens is committed to making sure you get the most out of your hydroponic garden.  If you’re having problems with your garden keep in mind this checklist of important points:


  • Is the temperature range between 60-90°F?
  • Is the humidity range between 50-60%?
  • Is there adequate air flow/exchange?

Nutrient Solution

  • Is the pH adjusted correctly?
  • Are your nutrients at the proper strength and concentration?
  • Is the solution properly oxygenated?
  • Is the solution temperature under 80°F?


  • Is there adequate lighting?
  • Are your lights too far or too close?

The most important thing to remember is not to get frustrated; if something isn’t working, find out what the problem might be and try again!

Common Hydroponic Garden Problems


Your plants are at their weakest when your seeds first sprout so its important you give them the proper conditions to grow into healthy plants.  Here are two of the main problems you may face:

Hydroponics garden - spindly

  •  Long and spindly growth – most likely caused by lack of light as your seedlings will strain in an effort to search out the light they require.
  • Total collapse – you’re probably looking at root rot as a result of conditions being too damp


Your plants’ leaves will act as a primary indicator to your plants’ overall health.  Here are some common conditions and their probable causes:

  • Wilted Leaves – this is a very general type of problem and could be the result of over or under watering or temperatures that are too hot
  • Droopy Leaves – another general problem that could stem from temperatures that are too hot, your plants are getting too dry, or that your nutrient solution is too strong
  • Yellowing Leaves – usually an indication of improper nutrient to water ratio
    Hydroponic garden - fertilizer burn
    • *TIP* When your plant reaches the end of its life its normal for its leaves to turn yellow.  When this happens its time to clear the old and make way for the new!
  • Burned Leaves – your nutrient solution could be too strong or too acidic