Can you use Miracle Gro in a Hydroponic System?

For maximum success, it is recommended to use a nutrient solution made specifically for hydroponics. Miracle Gro can be used as a hydroponic fertilizer but lacks some essential nutrients that plants need to survive.

Before you decide on a plant food to incorporate into your hydroponic system, let’s take a look at a few important things to consider.

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants, typically foods, without the need for soil. The plant’s root system receives nutrients directly from the water below.

This practice is increasingly popular with farmers and even common folk because of its numerous positive externalities.

Why Hydroponics?

  1. Hydroponics makes it possible to grow food in places it otherwise would have been impossible like deserts, cities, and maybe even other planets one day. This helps feed hungry mouths around the world.
  2. The plants obtain all hydroponic nutrients via water that can be recycled and reused. It can even be done vertically, saving land and preventing deforestation.
  3. When done correctly, hydroponic growing can be more efficient than traditional farming. The roots constantly have access to nutrients which allows plants to grow continuously.

Many hydroponic enthusiasts have asked if Miracle Gro, or MiracleGro, can be used in hydroponic water in place of actual hydroponic solution.

Though some people have had luck with this method, studies show that Miracle Gro is missing vital ingredients that your leafy greens need. Let’s get into it.

Can you use Miracle Gro in a Hydroponic System?

In short, Miracle Gro can be used to grow hydroponic plants but isn’t necessarily the best option or even recommended by experts.

Miracle Gro is a regular fertilizer used to supplement the nutrients that plants receive from their potting soil. Because it was not created to be the end-all-be-all plant food, it lacks key nutrients and will eventually hinder plant growth.

Essential Nutrients for Growing Plants

Miracle Gro is missing a few key nutrients including Chlorine, Magnesium, and Calcium. These are not just recommended vitamins but are absolutely crucial to produce thriving, nutrient-rich plants.

It is also important to note that a hydroponic plant requires different nutrients during the stages of growth. Relying solely on Miracle Gro would prevent you from varying your plant food, thus failing your plants during certain phases of growth.

Check out our full guide on the best hydroponic nutrients

Benefits of using Miracle Gro for a Hydroponic System

  1. Miracle Gro is super affordable compared to your typical hydroponic solution. The low price and easy accessibility are what make so many hydroponic lovers wonder if it can be used without soil as well.
  2. Miracle Gro does make certain products that can function in general hydroponic systems.
  3. Most green thumbs already own a ton of Miracle Gro for their soil-bound plants. It is convenient and affordable if you can use it for your hydroponic water, too.

Drawbacks of using Miracle Gro for a Hydroponic System

  1. As stated before, Miracle Gro lacks certain crucial nutrients that a hydroponic nutrient solution will contain. These products are made specifically for hydroponic water, and ratios can be adjusted as needed.
  2. At first, your plant may flourish, but eventually, you will see signs of a nutrient deficiency including drooping, yellow leaves, and wilting. This is because of those key ingredients that Miracle Gro just does not have.
  3. With Miracle Gro being an all-in-one product, you can’t adjust the pH of your water easily as you can with most hydroponic fertilizers. The water’s pH needs to be monitored closely and adjusted when it strays from the safe range.

Stages of Growth with Hydroponics

During the different stages of growth, plants require varying ratios of N-P-K, or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

You can adjust the levels of these nutrients throughout the life of your plant for optimum growth. Since Miracle Gro is just one pre-mixed product, you lose the ability to adjust nutrients based on your plant’s needs.


Feeding is not necessary during this stage as seeds contain the minor nutrients needed to sprout a seedling.


Seedlings will require you to add a hydroponic nutrient solution but in smaller amounts.

Rooting Stage

If you are simply propagating another plant, this would be your first stage of growth. All nutrients are important at this time to build a healthy foundation.

Vegetative Stage

The plant will grow in size, width, and body. You will see green leaves and stems growing. High amounts of hydroponic nutrient Nitrogen are required during this stage.

Flowering Stage

The plant will be creating fruits! You will want to increase Phosphorus levels and decrease Nitrogen to support healthy flowers and fruits.


Miracle Gro can be used in your hydroponic system, but a dedicated hydroponic nutrient solution has more of the required nutrients and will yield better results.

Best Indoor Grow Kits

For a long time, indoor gardening had fallen out of favor. The once passionately pursued pastime became a hobby of the select few. Indoor plants became single statement pots, perhaps a bundle of herbs, and nothing else.

But now the indoor garden is back, and there has never been a better time to get started. Indoor grow kits are a flourishing market, with technological innovations making growing your own food easier than ever.

Hydroponics have become commonplace in family homes, decorating kitchen shelves and bedroom windows. But although we might see them everywhere, many of us still don’t really know where to get started with hydroponics.

If you haven’t jumped on the trend yet, it might be because the sheer number of options feel off-putting. Hydroponics can seem intimidating when you don’t know what you’re getting into. That’s why we’ve researched the best indoor grow kits, so you can have the garden you deserve.

Quick glance at the best indoor grow kits:


Best Indoor Grow Kits For Hydroponics

AeroGarden Harvest Indoors Hydroponic Herb Garden

AeroGarden Harvest with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit - Hydroponic Indoor Garden, Black


They don’t come much easier to use than the AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden, which is one of the best countertop gardens around. The sleek finish of the design shows the simplicity of the function, allowing even novice gardeners to grow impressive herbs.

Within minutes, first time users will have the AeroGarden indoor grow kit out of the box, set up, and ready to go. All you need to do is fill the garden with water, add the included plant food, and insert the pre-seeded pods. And it’s done!

From there, things only get easier. The ultra slim and energy-efficient LED bulbs provide the light needed for growth, tuned to the needs of your plants. You don’t even need to worry about turning the lights on, because the AeroGarden does it for you.

The control panel looks simplistic, but it tells you everything you need to know. With reminders for when to add water and plant food, hands-off gardeners can relax in the knowledge their plants are getting what they need.

And you don’t even need to worry about what plants to grow. AeroGarden includes 6 non-GMO seed pods, as well as enough plant food to see them through a growing season. With a 12” extendable arm, there’s plenty of room for plants to flourish.

For year round herbs that don’t require year round effort, the AeroGarden indoor grow kit is fantastic.



Click And Grow Smart Indoor Herb Garden

Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit with Grow Light | Smart Garden for Home Kitchen Windowsill | Easier Than Hydroponics Growing System | Vegetable Gardening Starter (3 Basil Pods Included), Beige


Space can be limited in the modern household, which is why so many turn to indoor gardening. If you want a grow kit that gives big results from a small space, then the Click and Grow Indoor Herb Garden is a smart choice.

At roughly 12 x 5 inches, this indoor grow kit can fit comfortably into even the smallest kitchen. The 5-inch depth allows for the kit to be placed on window sills, or tucked onto shelves. With a thin upper arm providing light, it doesn’t take up room overhead.

The Click and Grow herb garden is so small you might even forget it’s there. Luckily, this is a smart garden, so it takes pretty good care of itself. The built-in light timer and self watering system allows you to take a step back. The seed pots come packed with nutrients, so you don’t even have to remember to feed the plants.

If you’re worried you’ll forget the garden, you’re sure to remember when your basil starts to flourish!

Another big advantage to buying Click and Grow is the range of products on offer. The Smart Indoor Herb Kit comes with basil plant pods, but you can purchase a variety of flowers, herbs, and edibles from the Click and Grow store. If basil doesn’t appeal, maybe try red bok choy. Or some stunning black pansy?

Growing your own herbs and vegetables can be tough when you’re struggling for space. With the compact Click and Grow planter, you get vibrant growth from a workable size.



VegeBox Hydroponics Growing System

VegeBox Hydroponics Growing System - Indoor Herb Garden, Smart Garden Starter Kit with LED Grow Lights for Home Kitchen, Plant Germination Kits (9 pods, White)…


Hydroponics can be a great way to teach children about nutrition, produce, and sustainability. With an indoor grow kit like the VegeBox hydroponics system, your family can have a fantastic learning tool — and fresh vegetables, year round.

The VegeBox is designed for veg growing, so it has a slightly larger build than other indoor kits. The base can hold 9 seed pods, so you can plant a real variety. It’s fun to watch these grow, and children can learn all about how plants develop.

But the VegeBox is much more than just a learning tool. With 21 LED bulbs on a smart control system, this is a planter designed to optimize growth.

The 4-in-1 technology protects the eyes and the skin from bright lights, but still provides the plants with the sunlight they need. An adjustable arm can be moved to different angles, giving strong light without burning delicate leaves.

Only needing to be watered every two weeks, the accelerated growth the VegeBox encourages is impressive. Children and adults alike will marvel as they watch the seedlings become real, fully-grown plants.

At 15 inches long and 6 inches wide, the VegeBox is a slightly larger indoor grow kit.

Bring the garden into the home with the VegeBox. Children will love watching as it grows, and you can all enjoy fresh produce all year long.



iDOO Hydroponics Growing System

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System, Indoor Garden Starter Kit with LED Grow Light, Automatic Timer Germination Kit, Height Adjustable (7 Pods)


One of the reasons many of us have shied away from indoor gardening in the past is the potential for mess. Soil gets everywhere, it turns to mud when watered, and flies seem to flock. But you don’t have to worry about that any longer.

With the iDOO grow kit, indoor gardening becomes fuss free. The water based system is supported by two different feeds, which provide plants with all the nutrients they need. There’s no mess, no fuss, and absolutely no soil.

The iDOO hydroponics growing system is an indoor garden that’s a pleasure to look after. The sleek and simple design comes with clear controls for both the light and the pump, with timed settings giving an ease of use.

A height adjustable lamp can be moved as the plants grow, ensuring they have access to optimum light settings. Lights can be controlled with a press of a button, although the timing switches are slightly more complicated than other devices. It can take some practice getting used to the press and hold that’s needed to activate certain modes.

One downside to iDOO is that they don’t manufacture their own seed pods. The AeroGarden seed pods have been proven to fit, and they sell a good range. Still, it would be good if iDOO included even some basic choices.

The iDOO hydroponics kit is simple but spacious, with easy use switches and some clever modes. A good pick for a family home.



Back To The Roots Water Garden

Back to the Roots Indoor Aquaponic Garden and Fishtank - 3 Gallon Self Watering, Mess-Free Planter and Self-Cleaning Fishtank for Herbs, Microgreens, Bamboo, Succulents, and Houseplants, support Fish


If you’re only just getting started with hydroponics, the world of aquaponics can seem worryingly confusing. Most aquaponics kits require a fair amount of know-how and a complicated set-up, which is more than off-putting for the new gardener. But this kit allows you to dip your toe into the world of aquaponics, without needing to take the plunge.

A hybrid between a fish tank and a planter, the Back to the Roots water garden might not look like something special at first glance. But it’s actually an incredibly clever system that uses the natural habitat created by the fish to feed growing plants.

What happens is: fish produce waste. This is then absorbed by the plants, who filter out the nutrients. Clean and filtered water then drips back down into the tank, and the cycle starts again. It’s a sustainable and closed loop system — with delicious results.

Children will be excited to learn as they watch their plants grow and fish thrive. Let’s be honest, adults will probably learn something as well.

With the Back to the Roots aquaponics indoor grow kit, almost everything is included in the box. You even get a fish coupon, to get your tank started.

Back to the Roots have included radish and wheatgrass seeds, but don’t let your imagination hold you back. All kinds of plants can be grown this way, with as much diversity as the classic hydroponics system.


Be sure to read up on fish care before purchasing. Depending on the fish you intend to house, additional features may need to be purchased for the tank.

Best Indoor Grow Kits Buyer’s Guide

Buying a hydroponics system for the first time can be confusing. It’s definitely hard, when you’re looking at a basic indoor grow kit, to understand where the plants grow from.

Don’t worry, you don’t really have to understand the mechanics to get it to work. All you need to know are the features that make up an indoor grow kit, and what to look out for.


Many of us choose indoor gardening because we don’t have an outside space. If space in the home is limited as well, then it’s important to check the size of the planter. Indoor grow kits tend to be small, as they’re designed specifically for use in the house.

Make sure to check the width and length, and pick out a place where the kit can go. Be aware of the height that the light can reach, in case of any shelving overhang.


The lights of the hydroponics system are part of what encourages the plants to grow. They tend to be LED bulbs, preferably energy efficient. They need to be on for long hours, so if money’s a concern, don’t forget the power costs.

Advanced systems tend to use white lights, but multicolored lights are also common. Lights should be moveable, to accommodate for the growth of the seedlings.


Novice growers are universally bonded by the experience of excitedly buying a plant, watering it once, and forgetting about it until it’s died. Good intentions are noble, but sometimes life gets in the way.

For that reason, a smart indoor grow kit includes automated features, which can turn lights on and off, water the plants, and even remind you when to add food.

Plant Feed

Indoor grow kits often substitute soil with plant feed. This needs to be added to the water every couple of weeks. It’s often included in the kit, but may need to be bought separately.

How Many Seed Pods Can It Hold

The number of seed pods does relate to size, but the two aren’t always linked. How many spaces there are will determine how many plants you can grow.

The smallest indoor grow kits often only have room for three plants. Larger kits can be extensive, like a mini allotment in the home.

Are Seeds Included?

Whether seeds are included in the indoor grow kit or not can be a positive or negative depending on your view. On the one hand, it’s nice to have an easy starting point, especially if you’ve never grown anything before. But, it does limit your choices.

If you decide to buy something new, those included options feel like a waste. We like kits that come with at least one type of plant. It means you can get going right away.

Ease Of Use

Indoor grow kits don’t need to be complicated, but some brands add enough buttons and switches to confuse NASA.

A good hydroponics kit only needs simple controls, which can be operated with ease. An indoor grow kit is a great family gift, so ideally it should be child-friendly.


Are Hydroponics Worth The Money?

Hydroponics are definitely worth the money, particularly if you’re only buying a small starter kit. They give you access to fresh herbs and vegetables year round, even in the winter months.

A hydroponics kit can be a great learning tool for families, teaching children about both science and responsibility. Plus, having plants indoors is good for both air quality and mental health. Easy to use and fuss free, a hydroponics kit is a fantastic investment.

Is An Indoor Grow Kit Good For A New Gardener?

The beauty of an indoor grow kit is that it requires very little hands-on work. Once you’re through the set-up, often all the plants need are the occasional feed and the water to be topped up.

In return, you get fresh growth and vibrant planting.

What Should I Grow In An Indoor Grow Kit?

Herbs are a great starting point for an indoor grow kit. Many herbs are hardy, so even an inexperienced gardener can find success. They’re also incredibly useful. Having a herb garden at hand can liven up any kitchen.

Other good plants for an indoor grow kit include tomatoes, spinach, and lettuce. You can also grow flowers.

Do Indoor Grow Kits Work?

Indoor grow kits do work, as they provide the plant with all the nutrients they need to live and thrive. Without the soil, the concentrated light and formulated feed can actually cause plants to grow faster.

However, that doesn’t mean every plant will turn out perfect. Even plants grown by hydroponics can die, and it might be caused by factors outside our control. If your plants fail the first time around, remember that these things happen, and the next lot will probably do better.

Cleaning Hydroponic Air Stones: A Step By Step Guide

If you are a hydroponic enthusiast, then it is important that you know how to clean your air stones properly. Air stones provide oxygen for the roots of plants in your hydroponic garden and should be cleaned on a regular basis so there is no buildup of dirt or bacteria.

If left uncleaned, this can lead to unhealthy plants which will not produce as much fruit or vegetables.

Also Read: Cleaning Salt Build Up In Your Hydroponic System

How to Clean your Hydroponic Air Stones in 4 Steps

To keep your air stones clean and functioning well, here are some steps to follow:

Step One

Rinse your air stones thoroughly in water. Remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the stone. If necessary, use a toothbrush to scrub off stubborn deposits that may be stuck on them.

Be careful not to break these stones when cleaning with a toothbrush as this will cause you problems later down the line!

Step Two

Fill a pot with white vinegar. Place your air stones inside the container and allow them to soak for about twenty minutes.

After this time has elapsed, drain out any excess liquid that may have built up in the bottom of the bowl or pan you are using to hold it. Use gloves when doing this as some people can be sensitive to the smell of vinegar.

Step Three

Rinse your air stones again with water and allow them to dry completely on a towel before reinserting them into your hydroponic system.

This is an important step as you do not want any excess moisture or liquid inside the device that can cause corrosion or possible electrocution! When they are dry, you can reinsert them into your hydroponic garden.

Step Four

Clean the rest of your equipment that was used in this process such as tubing or reservoirs.

This will help keep all parts of your system clean and healthy for long-term use! If you follow these steps, then it is guaranteed that cleaning your air stones will be quick and easy.

You will have cleaner air stones which means your hydroponic garden can run at maximum efficiency, giving you the best possible results every time!

Why Cleaning Hydroponic Air Stones is Important

Cleaning your air stones is super important because it ensures a healthy hydroponic garden. If you do not clean these stones, then over time bacteria and dirt particles will build upon them which in turn can make your plants unhealthy or even die off completely!

This is why it's super important to keep this equipment well maintained because the last thing anyone wants when running a successful hydroponic garden is to lose all of their hard work and time.

How often should I change my air stone?

As far as how often you should change your air stones, this depends on the type of hydroponics system that you are using.

For example, if you have a low-flow or pump-less system then it is best to change these stones every three months so there is no buildup of harmful bacteria inside the device.

If, however, you have a more high-powered system such as one that uses CO and or an air pump, then it is recommended you change the stones every six months.

This way your garden will always be safe from harmful bacteria and dirt particles.

Do I have to soak my air stone?

It's recommended that you soak your stones to loosen any dirt or debris from the surface of the stone before attempting to scrub them clean with a toothbrush or other cleaning device.

If you do not have time for this step and would rather just use water and vinegar without soaking first, then be careful when using a toothbrush as some people can be sensitive to the smell of vinegar.

How do you clean air stones with hydrogen peroxide?

You can clean air stones with hydrogen peroxide by following the same steps as you would when using vinegar.

However, be careful because some people can be sensitive to this particular cleaning solution so it's best if you test it on a small area first before applying to your entire stone in case there is any reaction or irritation caused.

Do I need any special cleaning products?

Not really, no.

All you need is some white vinegar and a toothbrush.

If you cannot find any of these items, then water with salt will also work as this substance acts like an abrasive that can help remove stubborn dirt or grime from the surface of your stones!

A Final Note on Cleaning Hydroponic Air Stones

Make sure to always clean your air stones before and after every use.

If you do not, then dirt particles can get trapped inside the stone or if left too long without cleaning will build up bacteria which in turn could make your plants sick!

So always remember to keep these devices well maintained for longer life of hydroponic garden systems.

Hydroponics vs Traditional Farming: Which Is Better?

The hydroponics vs traditional farming debate has been an ongoing discussion for decades in the agriculture industry. Is hydroponic farming better than traditional farming?

For many, the answer is yes. Hydroponics cost less and also produce more yield in comparison to traditional methods of farming.

The main downside that hydroponics have is that they require a lot of energy to run well, but it pays off in the long-run as hydroponic farms are usually able to produce 10 times as much as a traditional farm would!

But let's a take a more-depth look hydroponic farm system costs and other factors that will help you make a better decision.

Is hydroponics cheaper than traditional farming?

The answer really depends on a number of factors. If you are looking at the price per square foot, then hydroponics is usually cheaper than traditional farming because it requires less space for production.

The soil in which plants grow also costs money and can be avoided with hydroponics where water takes its place.

However, if we look at the price per pound of production, traditional farming is often a better option. This happens because yields can be greater with conventional methods and there are no added costs for labor or equipment to maintain your hydroponic garden.

But don’t rule out hydroponics just yet! If you plan on producing only one item in certain quantities, then hydroponics may be cheaper. For example, if you want to produce a large quantity of tomatoes or peppers for canning purposes, traditional farming will cost more.

Why is hydroponics better than traditional farming?

Many people think hydroponics is better than traditional farming because it uses less water and it is easier to manage. However, you can grow much more food in traditional farming than hydroponics.

Many people believe that the nutrients used for growing plants are not healthy or safe either because they use too much chemicals like pesticides or because of how they're processed. It's true that some fertilizers contain harmful compounds, but they're not necessary to grow crops.

It is true that growing vegetables with hydroponics takes more time than traditional farming because you have to provide the nutrients yourself and monitor the system every day if it's automated, but many people think this extra effort makes your food healthier and safer for consumption.

How much does a hydroponic farm cost?

On average, setting up and running a hydroponic farm will cost you about $3,000. However, this figure can vary depending on the size of your hydroponic farm and the setup that you prefer. For example, you can purchase pre-made hydroponic systems or build your own.

If you are knowledgeable about gardening and want to create a small farm on the cheap, building an easy DIY hydroponic system is probably for you. You'll need some basic materials like PVC piping, tubing, nutrients, trays, net pots grow lights plus enough seeds to get started.

Is there money in hydroponic farming?

Yes, there is. However, this does not mean that everyone should go out and start their own hydroponic farm right now.

It’s important to look at the pros and cons of both methods before making a decision on how you want your business to run or what type of farming method you plan on using in order for it to be successful.

When it comes to hydroponic farming, the main concern is that you will need a lot of money up front in order for your business to be successful. This means buying all of your equipment and building materials as well as paying initial costs such as insurance and maintenance fees.

Quick Note: Although this method does save on land usage because you do not need to use soil, you will need a larger space in order for your plants to grow because hydroponics requires more growing room.

In traditional farming methods, there is no initial investment needed up front and on top of that it does not require any additional costs such as maintenance or insurance after the farm has been set-up.

Is hydroponically grown food healthier for you?

The short answer is that hydroponically grown food could potentially be healthier for you than traditionally farmed crops.

This is because there are less pests and diseases when growing indoors in a controlled environment which means pesticides aren’t needed to protect the plants from insects or pathogens.

The other added benefit of indoor farming is increased control over water and nutrient levels. When this is done properly it can also ensure a higher quality crop than what you would get from traditional farming practices.

All that being said, the hydroponic equipment to do these things costs money and runs on electricity so your initial investment will be much more expensive compared to buying produce at the grocery store or farmers market.

The Final Verdict on Hydroponics vs Traditional Farming

If you're a professional farmer or even a hobby farmer that wants to explore your options of hydroponics and the modern gardening techniques a lot of people are using these days, then it really comes down to a handful of things to consider:

Best Grow Tent For Growing Plants Indoors

Grow tents are the more practical variety of greenhouses. It’s incredibly hard and expensive to try and build one on your own property, and if you don’t have a garden of sorts, it’s impossible.

Grow tents, on the other hand, allow you to control every single aspect of the environment where the plant is trying to thrive.

In this guide, we’ll review some of the best grow tents for indoor growing, so stick around to learn more.

Further reading:

Best Grow Tents Reviewed

Pinpointing a suitable grow tent can be tricky, especially with all the models available on the market. There’s plenty to choose from in regards to features, such as different builds, different sizes, observation windows, door styles, extension kits, and so much more.

But don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you to make things a bit easier. Now, let’s get straight to the point and start discussing the choices that we’ve got for the day.

Best Overall: VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent

VIVOSUN S448 4x4 Grow Tent, 48'x48'x80' High Reflective Mylar with Observation Window and Floor Tray for Hydroponics Indoor Plant for VS4000/VSF4300


We start the reviews with our top-of-the-line pick, the VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent.

This grow tent comes with a ton of unique features starting at 98% light reflectivity thanks to its double-stitched tear-proof fabric that’s almost completely light-proof and, of course, the act of the robust SBS zippers supported by black lining on both sides. This prevents the leakage of light from the outside to the inside and vice versa.

The entire grow tent is lined with non-toxic PE. Plus, if you want to keep an eye on your plants conveniently, you can use the strategically placed observation window.


Robust SBS zipper with black lining

Easy connections

Observation window

Metal frame



Zippers need frequent oiling

Great Choice: Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line

Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line 8x8, Tallest Height-Adjustable, Lite Professional Canvas with EZ Clean Diamond Reflective Interior, Strongest Zippers, All-Steel Poles for Indoor Hydroponic Growing


On to the next choice: the Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line, an 8x8 grow tent that can be extended even higher using the kit that’s sold separately. This entire thing is incredibly robust, thanks to its all-steel frame and interlocking poles that provide security.

On top of that, it comes with both a flood pool and a roof section that successfully blocks the damaging infrared rays and reduces heat accumulation inside. Not to mention, the entire tent is bug and pest resistant for the protection of your plants, courtesy of the double-lined mesh pre-filters.


Height extension kit (sold separately)

Double-lined mesh pre-filters

Oversized zippers

360° doors

All-steel frame


210D fabric


Best Reflective: Hydroplanet Grow Tent

Hydroplanet 36x36x72 Mylar Hydroponic 600D 3'x3' Extra-Thick Canvas Grow Tent for Indoor Plant Growing (36x36x72)


The Hydroplanet Grow Tent brings a lot of competition to the race with its stylish black and blue design and completely washable fabric; it’s already an attractive choice.

Moreover, this fabric has 100% reflectivity and is completely tear-resistant. Also, no PVC is involved in the construction of the tent at all; hence, it’s environmentally friendly.

All of this tent is supported by a stainless steel frame that’s rust-resistant. Subsequently, the longevity of the Hydroplanet Grow Tent is extended.

As for the windows, it does have observation windows; unfortunately, they’re flimsy and need Constant maintenance.



Stylish (black and blue)

Washable fabric

Stainless steel frame



Flimsy windows

Eco-Friendly: Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly

Quictent Approved 48'x24'x72' Reflective Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent with Heavy Duty Anti-Burst Zipper and Floor Tray for Indoor Plant Growing 4’x2’


This is our environmentally friendly option; the Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly, with its 600D Oxford fabric that provides 100% of reflectivity. As for the frame, there’s a stainless steel frame that’s coated with non-toxic green powder. This allows the frame to withstand the trials of time much longer.

Additionally, it comes with a floor tray and four nylon belts to hang light fixtures and appliances however you see fit. The entire tent is light resistant and heat resistant to maintain the desired conditions for the plants. It’s also worth noting that the observation window is protected by a removable cover.


100% reflective mylar

600D Oxford fabric

Steel frame


Floor tray


Quality control

Space Efficient: TopoGrow 2-in-1 Indoor Grow Tent

TopoGrow 2-in-1 48'X36'X72' Grow Tent 4'X3' Diamond Mylar Canvas Reflective Growing Tents Room Box House Lodge Propagation Flower Veg Indoor Plant Growing Hydroponics Growing System with Floor Tray


The Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly is space-efficient for a reason. Its design is amazing as it’s split vertically into two chambers, and the left chamber is split using shelves in order to grow all kinds of plants throughout different ages without any trouble.

Moreover, the design is flexible as you can remove the shelves and place them however you see fit to distribute your plants. The primary frame is made out of stainless steel.

Additionally, the fabric on the outside is 100% reflective, while the inside has a diamond pattern, which works great for keeping everything where it should be.


Steel frame

600D Oxford fabric

Diamond patterned mylar

100% reflective



Absence of front window

Pricey for some people

Best on a Budget: Mars Hydro Grow Tent

MARS HYDRO 2.3x2.3 Grow Tent, 27'x27'x63' Reflective Mylar Grow Tents with Removable Floor Tray View Window for Indoor Plant Growing Room for TS600/SP150/TS1000


Last but not least, we have our budget pick, the Mars Hydro Grow Tent, which offers you 1680D double-stitched fabric on the outside, with a diamond mylar on the inside, all in the pursuit of light reflection.

Moreover, there’s a rust-proof metal frame to support all of that, and it’s helped by the floor drain and the adequate vents distributed around the tent.

Additionally, assembling the Mars Hydro Grow Tent requires no tools, and it’s an easy process. There’s also heavy-duty metal double-lined SBS zippers that don’t harm your hands at all, and they can withstand a lot of trouble.


1680D double-stitched fabric

Diamond mylar

Floor tray

99% light reflection

Adequate vents


Fabric and seams problems

How to Choose a Grow Tent

Different Sizes

We’ll just go through a brief of what each side can include in regards to different plants and their sizes.


A 2x2 grow tent can house a large plant, two medium plants, or four small plants.


A 2x4 can house either two large plants, four medium plans, or eight small ones.


A 3x3 grow tent can contain two large plants, four medium ones, or nine small plants.


A 4x4 makes quite a jump, as it can house four large plants, eight medium plants, or 16 small ones.


The 4x8 grow tent can be home to eight large plants, sixteen medium plants, or thirty-two small plants.


Lastly, we’ve got the 5x5 grow tent, which can contain six large plants, twelve medium ones, or twenty-five small plants.

Must-Have Features

Heat and Rip Resistance​

When you decide to go with a grow tent, you’ll find yourself going through numerous processes inside the tent in order to grow your plants properly. So, you’d have a lot of light fixtures, some devices that will require electric current, and, of course, a water source.

Having these three elements in an enclosed space can be incredibly hazardous. Hence, the material of the grow tent will always be a crucial factor in the success and safety of the project. We don’t expect a fire amongst the growing plants, but the working devices can bring it on.

Fabric Density and Strength​

Another essential factor is the strength and durability of the fabric. We’d advise you to go with the strongest fabric possible. The thing is, how do you know the strength of the fabric?

The answer is denier, which is the unit in which the strength of the fabric is measured, and it can go up to 1680D.

A stronger fabric will last you a few years, keeping all of the plant products that can cause diseases, especially respiratory ones, inside, such as spores and pests. It’ll also reduce light leakage as much as possible.

Quality Reflective Material

When talking about the quality of the reflective material, we’ve got two aspects to be wary of. The first one is the pattern on the inside which offers different levels of reflectivity levels. From experience, we’d say that diamond patterns are the best way to go, as they’re adopted by the majority of the top-notch grow tents.

On the other hand, we’ve got the percentage of reflectivity. You ought to go for the highest level of reflectiveness possible; 100% would be perfect if you can obtain it.

This means that all of your calculations will be as accurate as possible since your plants will be benefiting from all of the lightings that you have supplied them with; nothing will go to waste.

No Gapping in the Fabric​

We’ve just mentioned how important it’s to use all of the light that you’re supplying for your plants inside of the grow tent, and that won’t ever happen unless your tent is completely secure.

This means that all of your seams are done perfectly, all windows and openings are extra supported through the use of velcro straps overlapping each other, preventing the light from escaping. Also, openings for any chords must be surrounded all around by zip draws to prevent any leakage.

Zipper Durability

The thing with zippers is that you can easily damage a small part of its length without knowing it; this small error will allow light out of the tent while you’re none the wiser. So, you must be incredibly careful with how you handle your zipper.

You have to be delicate about it. More importantly, when purchasing your grow tent, try to look for a robust zipper system that’s oversized so that you can maneuver it with comfort and economically designed not to hurt your hand when frequently used.

Corner Construction

Corners are the most important pillars of the primary structure of the grow tent. If you have weaker corners, then the tent is bound to collapse at any time; hence, always check the quality of the corner pieces of the frame.

Try to go for interlocking parts that can connect the three sides of the frame. Also, these pieces can be weighted, which will make the tent much more stable, and fixated to the ground; subsequently, way more durable.

Frame and Pole Strength

Just like a puzzle, grow tents are built by connecting the right pieces. These pieces are complementary to each other, so it’s essential for each piece to be of excellent quality.

With the frames of grow tents, you can go three ways; metals in general, steel which is our best choice, or plastic which isn’t at all recommended as it’s nowhere near as durable as the two other choices.

Nevertheless, no matter which way you decide on, make sure that the locking mechanism of the pieces is as secure as possible. Moreover, some frames come with extra pieces in case you want to make the tent taller or wider, which is always a welcome plus.

Number of Ventilation, Exhaust, and Cord Ports

Ventilation, exhaust, and chord ports are all openings in the grow tent. We’ve mentioned before that the security of their closure is essential to obtaining the maximum benefit from the tent.

Their placement around the tent is crucial to the efficiency of the entire process. If you’ve got all of your cord ports placed strategically, you won’t need extension cords, which can make things way more complicated.

The same goes for ventilation openings or exhaust ports, as that will allow the proper amount of ventilation that your plants need without you having to tackle the tent in any way.

Flood Tray

The flood tray is the same as the tray placed at the bottom of the dish drying rack. It catches anything that might’ve spilled inside of your grow tent and drains it through a specific port. In other words, your floor is completely safe and dry no matter what kind of accident happens.

This feature is becoming more and more popular by the day as it doesn't just boost the efficiency of your work, as you don’t have to waste time cleaning, it also makes the grow tent much safer inside and around.

Viewing Windows

Viewing windows are exactly what they sound like. Just like the exhaust and chord ports, they’re secured from all sides using overlapping velcro tape to prevent any leakage from happening.

They allow you to monitor everything that’s going on inside of your grow tent without having to go inside by yourself. That, of course, boosts the lifespan of your grow tent and reduces leakage.

Tool Pockets

At first, tool pockets might sound like a small secondary detail. Nevertheless, they do provide a massive boost to your efficiency and practicality inside of the tent.

You certainly don’t want to be going back-and-forth between the tent and where you keep all of your tools; that’s not productive at all. Pockets allow you to keep everything inside and within an arm's reach. Moreover, they’re very flexible with their shapes and placement to fit your exact needs. You might need specific tools in one spot of the tent, while other tools ought to be kept at the other end.

Net Trellis

Gardeners have used net trellis for so long, and the point of them is supporting the delicate veins that you want to grow higher and higher. Undoubtedly, this makes growing any type of plant so much easier as you don’t have to worry about the newer, more sensitive parts of your precious plants.

Consequently, they’re a great option to have on hand, as they‘re exceedingly adaptable and can fit all kinds of plants without any trouble. In the end, the net trellis will support these branches till they’re strong enough to stand on their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Use a Grow Tent?​

A grow tent is like a more flexible greenhouse that you can build yourself inside of your home. They come with so many options and so many sizes.

The most important thing to look at is the level of reflectiveness of the wall and the security of the openings and zippers. That way, you’ll be able to provide the best environment possible for your plants and reap the best results.

How Big of a Grow Tent Do I Need?

The size of the grow tent that you want to go with completely depends on the type and number of plants that you plan on growing inside of it. These two categories will lead to the type of devices that you’ll need to put inside of the tent, such as light fixtures.

That’s why you must study the needs of the plants that you wish to grow before going for a certain size.

What Grow Lights Should I Use in My Grow Tent?

When it comes to the lighting system that you‘ll implement inside your grow tent, you need to think about the size of your grow tent to determine the wattage.

For instance, if you have a 3x3 grow tent, you’ll need around 350W to power it. As for the type of light used, our number one choice will always be LED lights. That’s because they use less electricity and reduce the amount of heat generated.

How Thick Should My Grow Tent Fabric Be?

The thickness of the fabric is measured in the unit known as Deniers(D).

One denier stands for the thickness of an individual strand of silk, and of course, the more, the merrier. You ought to go for the highest thickness that you can find, which will definitely cost you a lot.

1680D is the maximum protection of thickness for grow tents, and it offers an excellent level of reflectiveness.

What Kind of Ventilation Fan Should I Get?

In order to guarantee proper ventilation, you’ll need two types of fans. First, we’ve got the air extractor fan system, which is basically an exhaust system that removes old air to the outside of the tent while pulling in fresh air to keep the circulation going.

On the other side of the spectrum, you can use oscillating or regular fans that you can find in houses. They’re efficient!

How Powerful Should My Fan Be?

Your fans should be powerful enough to cover the entire room in a reasonable length of time. How are you supposed to know that? Calculations. The first thing they need to know is the volume of your room.

Then you need to multiply that by the efficiency drop, which is a kind of safety margin to make sure that the entire room is covered. The efficiency drop depends on the duct part.

Do I Need an Intake Fan?

The answer to this question is yes. You might not need to operate it at all times, still, to keep the circulation going, remove all of the unwanted gases to the outside, and start bringing in the fresh air inside; an intake fan or an exhaust fan is essential to the small ecosystem that you’re trying to create inside of your grow tent.

Do Grow Tents Keep the Smell In?

Not really. Exhaust fans carry the air with the particles that create foul smells to the outside, and if the smell is overpowering for any reason, then you might need a stronger exhaust fan or more ventilation ports to boost the airflow a few notches. So, as you can see, there is more than one way to get rid of the smell in a grow tent. Fertilizers, too, can cause foul odors.

Can Grow Tents Become a Fire Hazard?

Grow tents do include a lot of light, appliances, and even gases produced from the plants. So, the answer is yes! Due to the electronics present inside and the fabric of the tent, it can catch on fire.

Yet, there are certain steps that we take to prevent that; most importantly, don’t overload your electronics. If you’re using a power strip, try to distribute more than one around the grow tent.

Can a Grow Tent Be Placed on a Carpet?

Now, placing a grow tent on any kind of flooring that can get damaged by spills isn’t the wisest thing to do. You can take all of the precautions and still suffer from some mishaps with your grow tent.

You wouldn’t want such liquids seeping into your carpet and then into your flooring to ruin it. So, try to find a proper place for your tent, away from carpet and hardwood floors.

Final Thoughts

  • The VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent is our top pick, boasting a double-stitched tear-proof fabric..
  • The Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line is another good choice, with its flood pool, heat-resistant roof section, and interlocking poles.
  • The Hydroplanet Grow Tent is made of tear-resistant fabric and is also lightweight.

How Much Do Grow Lights Cost to Run?

Running your grow lights should not cost more than a few dollars per week. However, every setup is different. You may worry that leaving lighting on for over half the day may drive up your electricity bill.

Luckily, most indoor setups will not severely impact your budget. Unless you have a large grow room with dozens of lights, you can expect to spend just pennies per day.

So, how much do grow lights cost to run? Use the following guide to calculate the cost of running your grow lights and find ways to increase your energy savings.

You should also read: Best Grow Lights For Beginners

Do Grow Lights Use A Lot Of Electricity?

The cost of running grow lights mostly depends on the watt of the bulbs and your local electrical rate. A 600-watt LED bulb consumes the same amount of power as a 600W HPS bulb.

You can estimate the cost by determining the power consumption of your grow lights. Divided the wattage of the bulb by 1000 to determine how many kilowatts per hour it consumes.

A watt (W) is a unit of measurement for electrical power. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) measures the consumption of energy. 1 kWh is the energy consumption for a 1,000-watt device operating for one hour. A 60W incandescent light bulb consumes 0.06 kilowatts per hour (60/1000 = 0.06).

Multiply the consumption of the light bulb by the number of hours per day that you plan on leaving the light on. For example, if you leave the lights on for 18 hours, multiply the kilowatts consumed per hour by 18. A 60W bulb left on for 18 hours per day would consume 1.08 kWh (0.06 x 18 = 1.08).

Multiply the kilowatt-hours by your current electric rate. Your rate is found on your electrical bill.

The average residential electricity rate is 13.29 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Using the previous example, a 60W bulb would cost $0.1435 per day (0.1329 x 1.08 = 0.1435).


LED grow lights are the most efficient option and cool to the touch. An LED light bulb does not produce heat, which eliminates the need for fans that add to the cost of running grow lights. An LED grow light should also last much longer compared to other bulbs, but also tend to cost more.


HID grow lights are the traditional grow lights found in many indoor gardens. HID lights offer the brightest light output and a broader light spectrum.

HID grow lights come in two varieties: HPS and MH. High-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs provide a broader spectrum of light. An HPS light is a common sight in a grow tent, as it is useful for the flowering cycle.

Metal halide (MH) bulbs are better suited for the vegetative cycle. However, both varieties emit more heat compared to other types of bulbs.

The heat produced by an HID grow light often requires ventilation. Using fans increases the cost of running your grow lights. If you add fans, include the wattage of the fans in your total when calculating your electricity costs.


A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) is a common choice for growing plants indoors. Fluorescent grow lights are cheaper and produce less heat compared to an HID bulb.

A fluorescent light bulb is also likely to die more quickly, requiring more replacement bulbs. Depending on the size of your setup, you may not need fans to control temperature.

You may also like: These Are The Best Herbs To Grow Indoors

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions people have when it comes to the cost of running a grow light.

How Much Do You Pay for Electricity?

Rates are listed as the cents charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The average in the US is 13.29 cents ($0.1329). However, rates vary significantly from one state to the next and even from town to town.

Hawaii residents pay 30.55 cents per kWh, which is the highest rate in the US. Louisiana has the lowest rate, charging an average of 7.01 cents per kWh. Outside of the US, Germany has the highest electricity rates. The average residential rate was 36 cents per kWh.

What’s the Wattage of Your Grow Light Bulbs?

Multiply the watts of your bulbs by the number of bulbs to determine the total wattage. For example, if you have 6 40-watt CFL tubes, your grow lights require 240 watts of power (6 x 40 = 240).

What Are the Most Expensive Grow Lights to Run?

HPS bulbs are the most expensive to run, as they may require the use of ventilation fans. They are also the least efficient option, requiring you to replace the bulbs more frequently.

Can You Turn Grow Lights Off to Save Money?

You can turn your grow lights off to conserve energy and save money, but your plants may not grow as quickly. Leaving your lights on for 12 to 18 hours per day promotes faster plant growth, especially during the flowering stage. However, most plants only require 8 to 10 hours of light.


The cost of running your grow lights depends on the total wattage of all the bulbs used. You also need to include the cost of ventilation fans, which are often needed when using HID bulbs.

Multiply the total wattage of your setup by the number of hours they run each day. Depending on the growth stage, you may run your lights for 12 to 18 hours. Multiply the total energy consumed each day by your electricity rate. You now have an estimate for the cost per day to keep your lights on.

Further reading: Can You Grow Your Plants With Regular LED Lights?

Can You Use Regular LED Lights for Grow Lights?

If you have any regular LED lights around the house and want to grow some indoor plants, this question may have crossed your mind.

Of course, natural sunlight from the sun is best for growing plants, but what about indoor plants?

The simple answer is yes, you can use a regular LED bulb to grow plants. However, there are some specifics and caveats that you need to know. Let’s take a look at what those are, and the best ways to use light to aid in plant growth.

You should also read:

LED Grow Lights Versus Regular LED Lights

While both can be used to grow plants, there are specific advantages and disadvantages to each.

LED Lights



LED Grow Lights



Why Your Plants Need PPFD

PPFD, or photosynthetic photon flux density, tells us how much of the light being delivered to a plant enables photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their own food and energy, and are able to survive and thrive. Therefore, it is essential for plant growth.

LED grow lights provide the PPFD on their packaging. Typically, regular LED lights do not; you will have to calculate it yourself.

Quick Tip: Wattage doesn’t tell you much about a bulb’s helpfulness for plant growth. Look for PAR and PPFD.

Color Matters with Grow Lights (Kelvin Color Temperature)

Did you know that even incandescent bulbs that appear clear or white emit a “color”? This color temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale.

Plants need different numbers of Kelvin at different stages of growth. Red and blue are the most important light colors on the light spectrum for plant growth.

Initially, plants need a blue light, or about 5,000 Kelvin. Blue light helps with leaf growth and at the seed stage, while red helps with flowering. Once they have reached maturity and begin to bloom or are flowering, you can switch from a blue to a red light, which is about 2,700 Kelvin.

Keep in mind that we’re referring to the light spectrum and not to the actual color that is visible to the human eye!

Have you read: How Much Do Grow Lights Cost To Run?

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look at some FAQs regarding plant growth, light sources, and more.

How many LED lights do I need

It depends how many plants you’re trying to grow, what kind of LED lights they are, and the types of plants.

Different plants need different amounts of light. In addition, one small potted herb needs far less light than a long bed of herbs and flowers, for example, or a much larger plant.

Can fairy lights work?

If your fairy lights are strung with LED bulbs, then they might be able to work for growth. However, it’s doubtful that they will provide enough energy to meet your plants’ needs. They should be used as a supplementary light source only.

Is light intensity important for growing plants

Yes, light intensity is crucial. Light intensity impacts photosynthesis, which in turn impacts your plants’ ability to grow.

What is the difference between regular lights and grow lights

Grow lights are specifically made to provide the kind of light that plants need, including adequate amounts of both red and blue light.

Regular LED lights are made for human consumption. They are usually multifunctional. While they can help plants grow (certainly using LED lights is better than incandescent bulbs), they probably won’t be sufficient on their own unless you make sure they are the right type and give off red and blue light.

Can white LED lights grow plants?

Yes, they can. They should emit a high amount of light, though.

Final Verdict

Both regular LED lights and LED grow lights are effective for growing plants indoors. LED grow lights emit red and blue colors on the Kelvin spectrum, which is ideal for plants at both early stages of growth as well as around time for harvest. Therefore, grow lights are ideal.

That said, regular LED lights are easily accessible; you probably have them lying around your house and if not, you can buy them at most supermarkets or pharmacies. They also tend to be less expensive.

Further reading: Can Grow Lights Cause Eye Problems?

Are Grow Lights Bad For Your Eyes?

We all want to know how much risk we are at from the potentially unhealthy side effects of grow lights.

Did you know that different types of grow lights (including LED light) contain UV and blue light rays that are harmful to our eyes?

In this article, we'll explore the ways that unprotected exposure to these lights can put us at risk of skin damage, as well as eye health issues like cataracts, degeneration, and more.

You may also like: The Best LED Grow Lights

What Types of Light Can Cause Us Harm?

The most harmful types of light for eyes include those with the shortest wavelengths.

Blue light (found in electronic screens and LED lights), and UV radiation (found in incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs) are some of the worst types of light to expose your eyes too. And extended and unprotected exposure to them puts you at even more risk of harm.

Blue Light and Its Effects on the Eyes and Body

Blue light is going to be harmful to the human eye if you have too much-unprotected exposure to it because it will cause eye strain. It's linked with retinal injury. It can also lead to eye aging and age-related eye issues.

Blue light also affects your body since it can block the melatonin hormone that helps your sleep cycle.

Blue light commonly comes from electronic screens. But, you also expose yourself to it when using LED lights that emit red and blue light.

UV Light and Its Effects on the Eyes and Body

UV is one of the most harmful types of light waves for your eyes, as well as your body. Growers like UV light on their plants because it can help reduce fungus and pests.

UV-A light exists in grow lights, and as it turns out, this type of UV light is one of the most harmful and penetrates the deepest in the skin.

Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV rays can damage DNA in your skin cells, which makes you more vulnerable to skin cancer. This is because it forms free radicals and causes skin aging. No one wants to put themselves at risk of these effects.

Did you know?

It's also harmful to your eyes because it puts you at risk of:

LED Grow Light Safety Tips

Wear Protective Grow Room Glasses

LED lighting usually don't emit enough UV light to harm your eyes unless it's a very strong light or you're having light sensitivity issues.

But for harmful light emitting from LED grow lights, I suggest wearing protective glasses that block out the specific light types your grow lights emit.

I buy general LED glasses for my lights that emit red and blue light. However, when I use all-white LED lights, I choose HPS (warm lights) and MH glasses (cool lights).

You should also read: Can You Use Regular LED Lights For Grow Lights?

Hang Lights at Least 8 Feet off the Ground

Hang your lights higher (at least 8 ft. off the ground). The further they are from your skin and eyes, the less exposure you get.

And the less likely they are to meet my eye level and damage my eyes.

Wear Long-Sleeved Shirts

You can also protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts. This creates a protective barrier between harmful light rays and your skin while near your grow lights.

Use "View Mode" if You Have LED Lights

Some LED lights have a "view mode", which lets you use a natural white light temporarily. This is safer for your eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions people have.

Are LED grow lights harmful to humans?

Yes, LED grow lights contain blue light and some UV light. Both are harmful to our bodies and eyes.

Do LED grow lights contain mercury?

No, the U.S. Department of Energy confirms that LED lights don't contain any mercury. This used to be true of LED lights, but it's no longer a concern.

Can LED grow lights cause cancer?

LED grow lights themselves can't cause cancer. However, the UV light emitted from them can put us at risk of skin cancer because UV light makes free radicals in our skin.

Are HPS lights bad for our eyes?

HPS lights - reddish grow lights - also contain small amounts of UV and blue light, meaning they can have harmful effects just like LED lights.

They are intense lights, though, and that alone can make them damaging. They also get very hot and can burn you.

Can you wear regular sunglasses to protect your eyes?

No, it's not recommended. You need glasses that protect against blue visible light and UV light specifically.

In Summary

Unlike a regular incandescent bulb, LED grow lights contain blue light as well as UV light or ultraviolet light, which are both harmful to our skin and eye health over time.

To protect ourselves from cataracts, skin cancer vulnerability, and other health issues, we should shield ourselves with protective glasses, long-sleeves, and appropriate distances from our grow lights.

Further reading: What Distance Should My Grow Lights Be From Plants?

How Far Should Grow Lights Be From Plants?

Indoor plant growers want to know how far grow lights need to be from plants so they don't burn or suffer.

The answer is, the distance varies based on the age of the plant and the type and wattage of the grow lights used.

In this article, I've outlined the recommended distances for fluorescent, LED, and HID lights at each stage of plant growth. I'll also touch on why it's important to get this right so that my plants can be as healthy as I hope for.

You might also like:

Different Heights for Different Grow Lights and Wattages

LED Grow Light Bulb Distances

My LED (light-emitting diode) lights should be about 12-30 inches apart from the top part of my plants.

The nice thing about LED lighting is that they give me a little leeway in terms of distance because they let off relatively less heat.

In a study by Oklahoma State University, I learned that LED lights have the highest efficiency and lowest energy consumption in comparison to HID, fluorescent, and incandescent lights.

LED Distances by Wattage:

Fluorescent Light Distances

I never raise fluorescent grow lights more than 1 foot above my plants because they won't be effective at that height. Five inches is a good light distance to start with.

These lights aren't quite as strong as the others, but I do recommend keeping an eye on them in case their heat emission does burn the plants.

HID Grow Light Distances

My HID (high light intensity discharge) lights should be a minimum of 12 inches apart from any part of my plant in any case.

There are differing strengths of HIDs based on their sizes, but the lights shouldn't go more than a maximum of 30 inches away.

You should also read: Can You Leave Grow Lights On All Day?

Flowering Plants Distancing

The distances to keep grow lights from my flowering plants will be slightly different, based on their growth stages. The following guidelines go solely for LED lights.

1. Seedling Stage

To keep my seedlings from drying out, I will make sure LED grow lights are no further than 24 inches (and no more than 36 inches away).

2. Vegetative Stage

When the plant is past seedling age but not yet flowering, I can optimize its growth by placing my LED lights or grow lamp closer than they were in the seedling stage.

However, I don't want to place them too close, as this stage is when the maturing happens. I don't want to stunt its growth with excess heat that could come from putting the lights too close.

3. Flowering Stage

Note that for LED grow lights, the distance must get shortened in the flowering stage. This helps optimize photosynthesis.

I will make sure my grow lights are 16-36 inches from the plant canopy in this vital flowering phase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions people have when it comes to distancing.

Is too much light bad?

Too much light is bad because it can lead to bleaching or drying out of plants. If my plants get too dry, they won't have enough water to fuel the photosynthesis process.

How can I tell if a grow light is too close?

While the obvious sign is a dried out plant, it's better to know before the plant dies. I can tell if a grow light is too close to a plant based on several factors - the stage of plant growth, the type of grow light I'm using, and the wattage of my grow light. Each of these factors work relative to each other.

Can an LED grow light burn plants?

Yes, it's possible for LED grow lights to burn my plants. However, LED are far less likely to output enough heat to do so in comparison to HID and fluorescent lights.

Where should I locate my grow lights for plant growth?

Grow lights are best placed above the canopy of my plants (the canopy is the top layer of leaves). If my plant hasn't sprouted yet, I can place the light above the top of the soil instead


Placing grow lights at the best distance above my plants is easy enough if I know what type of light I'm using, as well as its wattage power. Additionally, it will help me to know how far along the plant is in its harvest cycle (seedling, vegetative, or flowering stage).

In general, though, I can count on LED lights as being the least heat-destructive to my plants and the most trusted artificial light. They are also the most energy efficient grow lights, and I can place them closer to my plants in general than I can place HID and fluorescent grow lights.

Further reading: DIY Grow Light System

Can You Leave Grow Lights on 24 Hours a Day?

You can technically leave grow lights on your plants 24 hours a day to speed up plant growth, but you probably shouldn't in most cases. While it's enticing, it has severe disadvantages.

All light and no period of uninterrupted darkness are bad for plants for multiple reasons. First, it's costly for you. But more importantly, it can lead to weakness, disease, and stunted growth, since it robs the plant of a balanced photosynthesis + respiration cycle.

Bellow, I'm going to go over the effects of 24 hour grow lights usage and how to better light your plants.

Also read: Grow Lights That Professional Growers Use

Length of Light-Dark Cycle in Plant Growth

Most plants have a 24-hour light cycle called a photoperiod. However, it can be short-day, meaning more than 12 hours of darkness (uninterrupted) and less than 12 hours of light.

There is also a long-day cycle, characterized by less than 12 hours of darkness (uninterrupted) and more than 12 hours of sunlight.

Advantages of 24-Hour Lighting

Unfortunately, there's only one real advantage to leaving your lights on full time.

Faster growth

24-hour lighting leads to more rapid growth, which we all want at the end of the day.

Disadvantages of 24 Hour Daylight

There are several disadvantages that you need to take into consideration.

Photosynthesis and Respiration

24-hour lighting negatively affects the plant's ability to respire or rest. In addition, continuous light keeps the plant working hard at all times, which means it can tire and become vulnerable to developing diseases.

Additionally, the lack of respiration means constant photosynthesis. But healthy plant growth requires both parts of the cycle (photosynthesis and respiration).

Extra Costs

Another downside to 24-hour light for your plants is the added cost. Grow lights run on electricity, and running them constantly can spike your utility bill.

And, grow lights themselves can get expensive, as you need multiple to light multiple plants. They can be as cheap as $20-$30 and as expensive as hundreds of dollars.

Added Stress on Equipment - While you can leave a grow light on 24 hours a day, this will significantly reduce the number of days you get out of one light bulb, which means you'll have to buy more.

Added Heat

Intense and overly frequent light and heat from grow lights can damage a plant by drying it out, hindering photosynthesis processes. No photosynthesis means no growth.

Light Duration Factors to Consider

The ratio of light versus darkness you give to a plant depends on the type of plant (mentioned above) and the growing conditions.

Have you read: How Far Should Grow Lights Be From Plants?

Type of Plant

Long day plants - such as root veggies, peas, spinach, and chard - need more light than darkness. On the other hand, short-day plants - such as soybeans, rice, and onions - need more darkness than light.

Some "neutral" plants rely on their age to bloom rather than sunlight versus darkness in a day (tomato plant and corn, for example).

Growth Phase

The color wavelengths LED lights emit (blue and red) are helpful for seedling growth, the flowering stage and those just beginning to fruit.

Type of Light

The type of light exposure (halogen bulbs or LED) will affect indoor plant growth, too. LED is more powerful and still energy-efficient.

Temperature and Humidity

Humidity and moisture are necessary for photosynthesis and growth. However, keep in mind that grow lights may get hot and dry out your plants. So, it's good to supplement humidity with a humidifier or watering from below.

Size of Grow Space

If you have a small grow space, you still need to make sure your grow light isn't too close to the plant. LED grow lights need at least 12 inches of distance from the plant.

The intensity of the grow light changes based on its Watts, affecting how far it should be from the plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions that might spring to mind.

Does more light mean more yield?

No, more light doesn't necessarily mean more yield unless it is in moderation. However, more light can help, as long as there is still time for the plant to sit in darkness.

How much light output do plants need?

Most plants need at least 8 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day. 12 to 16 hours of light is ideal, with more light necessary for flowering plants.

Will plants grow faster under 24 hours of light?

Yes, at first, they can grow quickly with 24-hour light. However, the stress this puts plants under can stunt their growth later by making them vulnerable to disease.

Can plants get too much artificial light?

Yes, plants can get too much artificial light because too much light keeps the plant from respiring. Unfortunately, this means it won't get a chance to release sugars into the rhizosphere or microbes in the soil.

What happens when you leave grow lights on for 24 hours a day?

The photosynthesis and respiration cycle will be offset, and the plant will get dry and weak. Basically causing the flowering phase to fail.

Conclusion: Use Artificial Lighting Properly

Using an LED grow light or grow lamp 24 hours a day is not recommended because it can cause severe damage to plants. Consider a balanced light/dark cycle based on the plant's photoperiod instead.

Further reading: The Difference Between Led Vs Fluorescent Grow Lights