Last Updated: April 25, 2018

Definition - What does Aeroponics mean?

Aeroponics is an indoor gardening practice in which plants are grown and nourished by suspending their root structures in air and regularly spraying them with a nutrient and water solution.

Soil is not used for aeroponics, because the plants can thrive when their roots are constantly or periodically exposed to a nutrient-rich mist.

Aeroponics offers an efficient means to grow plants, including fruits and vegetables, without potting and repotting them to replenish their access to nutrient-rich soil.

MaximumYield explains Aeroponics

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) tested the effectiveness of aeroponics on the Mir space station and the results showed that Asian bean seedlings could grow effectively in a nutrient solution in zero gravity.

Plants are suspended in the air in enclosed frames that leave the leafy tips and the roots able to grow up and down respectively. Many aeroponic systems look very similar to traditional potted plant systems, with the key difference being that the containers for the plants are sealed around the plants’ bases and have a closed environment for the root systems.

Instead of relying on a mixture of soil and water to feed the plants, aeroponic horticulturists spray the root systems with a nutrient mix. Because the roots are enclosed, the nutrient-water mix is used more efficiently by the plants and less water is needed for them to grow and thrive.

With aeroponics, indoor horticulturists may use vertical and horizontal space to grow more plants using less floor space and they conserve water by using sealed aeroponic systems.

Depending on the aeroponic system, nutrients may be sprayed manually at intervals throughout the day and night, but most aeroponic systems have one or more pumps that automatically keep plants nourished without constant supervision. As long as the system is sealed and nutrient mist is consistently pumped to the roots, plants should thrive in an aeroponic environment.

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